In completing his final year of studies in the Doctor of Pharmacy program at the University of Toronto’s Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, Moataz Daoud, from Nepean, Ont., says he’s fortunate to be starting out in pharmacy at a time when the profession is taking the pharmacist’s role well beyond the dispensary.
By Moataz Daoud
The pharmacist of tomorrow will be different from the pharmacist of today. I want to lead, innovate, and drive the profession forward by being involved with patient care on the front lines. I want to change peoples’ perception of the profession through promoting pharmacies as “wellness centres” in the community, where people do not just go to get their medications, but go to get well. I hope to accomplish this by building an integrative practice that involves all those in the patient’s circle of care. I also want to leverage the fact that pharmacy is the most accessible healthcare profession in Canada to see my patients benefit from routine monitoring and care.
I started pharmacy school in 2010, the year that everything changed for pharmacy. I viewed the changes to our scope of practice as a symbolic step forward. The introduction of MedsChecks and the Pharmaceutical Opinion program meant that we would finally be recognized and reimbursed for something we have already been doing for quite some time.
What I could not predict was the impact these changes would have on how pharmacists and the public perceived the profession. The phrase “count, pour, lick and stick” no longer held any meaning as pharmacists became recognized as the valuable health resource they are. Prescribing and injection authority quickly followed, and this, I feel, is the turning point for our profession. For the first time we can touch the patient; there is no counter, no wall of drugs, and no cash register in the way. The public seems to have embraced this change as well, with more than 750,000 Ontarians receiving their flu shot from their pharmacist in 2013-2014.
One of the main challenges I see with pharmacy today is that although we are great at identifying problems, we fall short at times when it comes to presenting a solution. We must use every tool at our disposal to help our patients, and, when faced with a problem we cannot solve, refer them to someone who can help. We also need to understand that our input is valuable and as such go the extra mile by providing actionable recommendations with every referral.
Over the years, I have developed some principles that will guide how I practise as a pharmacist. Patients are more than a collection of disease states, they are individuals with unique goals and motivations. I plan to use my communication and interpersonal skills to build a rapport and establish lasting relationships with my patients. I believe that flagging problems is only the first step in solving them. My problem-solving skills, combined with my strong bias for action will enable me to identify and resolve issues and take ownership of my patients’ health.
In my view, a pharmacy is much more than a dispensary, it is a vital health resource for the community. I plan to be a leader by leveraging my communication and presentation skills to educate members of my community about health and wellness. The bottom line is that good patient care makes good business sense.