Home' Australian Pharmacist : Australian Pharmacist January 2017 Contents Australian Pharmacist January 2017 I ©Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Ltd.
Welcome to the
A prominent discussion in Australian
Pharmacist recently was about the pros and
cons of relocating to work in rural pharmacy.
Some contributors were sceptical about the
cost of living in the country and dubious
about moving away from the city.
From personal experience, I lean toward a ‘welcome
to the real world,’ go where the opportunities are
In my own career that is what I have done. I moved
from Hobart to Launceston to get my start as a
journalist and I moved from Hobart to Canberra
to work on Australian Pharmacist a few years ago.
Sitting still is not an option. Pharmacy is no different
to any other career or profession.
Putting this to the test, I asked a couple of
pharmacists about why they made the city to
Sarah Sinclair MPS is a big city girl from Sydney who
moved to Dubbo to practise pharmacy. Recently she
moved to Canberra to take up a new pharmacist role
with the Federal Government.
Her response was unequivocal: ‘The best decision I
made as I came to the end of my pharmacy studies
at the University of Sydney in 2011 was to pack up
my life, leave behind the familiar and take up an
internship opportunity in Dubbo.’
‘My five years in Dubbo were amazing. I could go
on and on about all of the advantages of moving
out of the city and to the country – the patients,
the friendships, moving out of my comfort zone,
being challenged professionally, exposure to so
many different patient scenarios, being a part of the
community,’ Ms Sinclair said.
What started as a one year commitment turned into
a five year stay that was the best decision Sarah
could have made for her career.
‘If I hadn’t been looking for new career challenges, I
would have happily stayed for another five years, or
PSA National ECP Board member Taren Gill MPS is
another pharmacist who ‘upped-stumps’ and moved
to the country. In her view it is all about being
proactive about your career.
‘Move for opportunities, think outside the box. Come
up with plans to improve and innovate the services
the pharmacy provides,’ Ms Gill said.
‘ The tree change is cool. Because of NBN, more
professionals are opting for towns like Orange and
still maintaining successful corporate careers by
working remotely. It is getting easier for partners
to get a job, it’s not perfect but nothing is. The cost
of living is cheaper and your wage and benefits are
generally higher. Even if it is not for you long term,
use it as an opportunity to save for a few years.’
Ms Gill pointed toward potential leadership
‘Be the big fish in a small pond, who knows what
opportunities you might land because of it.’
Ms Sinclair agreed. She was registered in August
2012 and by March 2013 was Pharmacist-in-Charge,
an opportunity she believes was unlikely to have
come her way in the city.
‘Professionally, the opportunity to work in a country
town allowed me to build an incredible network of
other health providers and help to link my patients
to the best health services available to them. I could
pick up the phone and ask a dietician colleague
for advice, or connect patients to services such as
podiatry or physiotherapy which they didn’t know
they could access. It was incredibly satisfying to have
a really productive working relationship with all of
the local GPs, and not just call on them when things
As Ms Gill says – be proactive in your career and
grab opportunities. Relocating to take advantage
of an opportunity is not a life sentence, just one
step on the career pathway. After making the leap
from Tasmania the journey has been interesting,
occasionally frustrating but rewarding. That is the
u See page 22 for more on rural pharmacy
“ The opportunity
to build an
network of other
and help to link
my patients to
the best health
– SARAH SINCLAIR
Andrew Daniels is
Communications Manager of
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