Pharmacy U

Leaders in Pharmacy: Benoit Morin – Helping patients navigate the healthcare system

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Morin Pharmacy serves a large and diverse community of patients. In addition to a pharmacy with a small frontshop, owner Benoit Morin operates three labs, including one for IV products.

Education: Université de Montréal (Pharmacy)

Current role: Pharmacy owner, Proxim, Montreal

 

Morin Pharmacy serves a large and diverse community of patients. In addition to a pharmacy with a small frontshop, owner Benoit Morin operates three labs, including one for IV products. As well, Morin and his two brothers have provided services to some 3,000 customers in nursing homes for the past 15 years. “It’s a different model from the traditional pharmacy,” says Morin, who spent seven years on local radio hosting a daily Health Chronicle report.

 

What legacy would you like to leave as a pharmacist? In part, because of the radio show, many people in my community now know what a pharmacist can do. This knowledge is essential, and as a result, patients will often call their local pharmacist before they make an appointment with their doctor. That is an effective use of the heath system. I’m proud that people know how we can help them as pharmacists and are seeking us out.

 

What tips do you have for pharmacists looking to provide the best quality of service to their patients? Knowledge is one thing, but communication is the most important thing. I know pharmacists hear this a lot, but it bears repeating. You need to be able to transfer your knowledge to your patients. You need to be constantly asking yourself, “Does my patient get my message?”

 

How would you describe the value of pharmacy to health care? Our role is essential, especially in helping older people and those who experience health problems. Dependence on the work we do is only going to increase. Many people need more and more help with their health and with navigating the health system at a time when there may be less and less assistance from government. We need to step up as a profession. We need to be an advocate for our patients. That is not optional.

 

How critical is it to demonstrate the value of pharmacy in order to shape the profession? The people who are sick or who need us already know what we do. Many others do not. We need to reach those people—and we are failing to because we don’t promote our role, our expertise or our services. Government is beginning to understand the health system will be healthier if it takes full advantage of the skills pharmacists bring to the table. As a profession, we must demonstrate to government and others the significant value we have to offer.

 

What can individual pharmacists do to better understand their expanding role? First and foremost, pharmacists must meet their patients’ needs. That is the foundation of the relationship we have with them and of the value we bring to the health system. In Quebec, while we are paid for dispensing, we are only paid for some patient consultations. That needs to change. To be honest, I think we should be paid less for dispensing and more for consulting. As a profession, we will do what is right for our patients. Talking with them and following up is central to our services and to improved outcomes. It’s time the health system understands this—and takes advantage of it.

 

Leaders in Pharmacy, including this independently written article, is supported by Pfizer Canada Inc.