Pharmacy U

The mentor-mentee advantage. Inspiring change to the next career level


By Mike Boivin, BSc.Phm.

Drive and desire are crucial to propel any career to the next level. Trouble is, many people feel blocked trying to move beyond their current positions. Two major reasons are the failure to identify barriers and an inability to network with the right people to further their careers.

Through Pfizer Canada’s Leaders in Pharmacy mentoring program, pharmacy leaders are helping to identify potential barriers and working with 12 pharmacists from across the country to move their careers to the next level.

Making good decisions is a crucial skill at every level”

Peter Drucker, management consultant

The mentees have shared what they see as the next steps to reach their goals, working with their mentor partners:

Andrea Gut, mentee, with mentor Iris Krawchenko, pharmacist consultant, CE writer, and speaker

“I am looking to develop an action plan to address my needs and create key performance indicators to track my progress,” she says. “I hope to become more informed and increase my knowledge of issues impacting the profession. I want to engage in discussion groups with professional advocacy groups, government and the public to demonstrate the valuable services and expertise pharmacists offer.” Andrea is turning to her mentor to help with this process. “With Iris’s incredible role in so many aspects of the profession, she can help to guide me by providing honest, constructive feedback, motivation and emotional support to help attain my goals.”


Roxy Khosroshahi, mentee, with mentor Tracey Phillips, President, Ontario College of Pharmacists

The mentoring program is occurring at the perfect stage of Roxy’s career. “As a recent graduate, I have so much to gain from my mentor. I am flexible and open-minded to think differently and have the eagerness and potential to contribute to my profession,” she says. With a number of options available to her, Roxy is hoping to tap into her mentor’s expertise to determine the best career path. “I would like to further my education and skillset to best position myself for long-term career growth.”  She feels that Tracey is the ideal person – and pharmacist — to help her make the best decisions possible. “Tracey is an extremely dedicated individual whose energy and commitment are contagious. By sharing her passion for the profession, I am sure I will learn some tools to help me move forward.”


Jen Baker, mentee, with mentor Rita Winn, Chief Operating Officer and General Manager at Lovell Drugs

Jen strongly feels that pharmacists have a role in filling the gaps in the Canadian healthcare system. “For pharmacists to address this need, we have to provide the service as good as or better than anyone currently providing that type of care.”  Jen feels that with the help of her mentor, she can push herself and the profession’s boundaries towards this goal. “As I transition from student to new practitioner, I am promoting our role to our patients by providing education outside of the pharmacy setting and directly to patients in the community. I am also starting new services such as a travel health clinic in my pharmacy practice to address the needs of our community.” Jen knows that her mentor will be there to help her through this transition. “Rita is a strong and dedicated pharmacy leader who inspires each of us to create the best possible practice environment for our patients and the profession.”


Nadine Winsor, mentee, with mentor, Stacy Johnson, Director of Pharmacy Professional Services at Canada Safeway Pharmacy

Nadine has already taken steps to move her career to the next level. She is a Certified Diabetes Educator who has completed CPhA’s ADAPT skill development course. She is now looking to her mentor to offer new insights on how to provide these clinical services in the current pharmacy environment. “We need to advocate our expanded scope not only to patients, but also to other pharmacists to foster a unified front for embracing change.” Nadine is already utilizing the skillset of her mentor to help her navigate the waters to achieve her goal. “Stacy is encouraging and supporting my career path. She is directing me to resources, identifying barriers and providing me with necessary tools to reach the next level.”