Home' Australian Pharmacist : Australian Pharmacist February 2011 Contents Vol.30–February#02
A rewarding rural challenge
early career pharmacist focus
Cynthia Foo, the South Australian
Early Career Pharmacist Working
Group Coordinator, talks to Niloufar
Shahzadi about what attracted her
to working in country Victoria.
Why did you decide to pursue your
career in a rural area?
There were two reasons why I moved
to a rural area to undergo my internship.
First was the opportunity to complete
my internship in a hospital. Secondly,
it was also an opportunity to fulfill a
promise to myself to, at some stage,
work in a rural area. I proved to myself
that I could take the challenge, and
that I could move away from familiar
settings to a place where I had to stand
on my own two feet. Also, growing
up as a Baha’i, I had been encouraged
to move to a less populated area in
order to serve the community. These
reasons have led me to pursue a career
as a pharmacist in a rural area. Since
completing my internship at Ballarat
Health Services, I have taken up a
temporary position at Castlemaine
Health, a smaller hospital in Victoria.
How does practising in a rural area
compare with a metropolitan area?
While completing my internship at
Ballarat hospital I didn’t notice much
difference to working in a metropolitan
hospital except that it was a bit
smaller. However in general I think
that pharmacists who work in a rural
area have to be more resourceful
and flexible. I also found that a close
relationship develops between health
professionals not only on a professional
level but socially as well. For example,
while I’ve only been working at
Castlemaine hospital for a short time,
I have played with the hospital’s musical
group which includes a doctor, a ward
clerk and a pharmacy technician as well
as others from the hospital. We play
music for string quartets but have
adapted to include other instruments.
How did you find the transition to
practising in a rural area?
I didn’t find it a very big transition
moving to Ballarat, as it is a fairly large
town and not that far from Melbourne.
Niloufar Shahzadi (centre) with staff at at Castlemaine Health.
It was an easy first step, you could
say. As for leaving friends behind,
I have gained many more during
my stay there. In a rural area there
are always opportunities to try new
things and you’re more likely to be
given greater responsibility earlier on,
which is more likely to enhance your
What makes practising in a rural
Job satisfaction: you feel really
appreciated by the community for your
work. In my experience I have found
people in the country very warm and
friendly. You can walk down the street
and greet everyone you pass, and
this is something that I miss when
I go back to the city. Somehow in the
hustle and bustle of city life people
forget to greet each other, to smile
and say g’day. There is a different
pace to life.
What type of support do you receive
to develop yourself professionally?
PSA is a great source of professional
development. I was lucky enough to be
involved as the local area coordinator
and was given the responsibility of
coordinating the monthly PSA lectures
in our region. There were also weekly
lectures held by the Division of General
Practice that were open to pharmacists,
as well as all the resources that are
available on the internet.
How would you convince early career
pharmacists that practicing in a rural
area will be a rewarding experience?
I would point out all the positives
such as job satisfaction, increased
opportunities and taking on new
responsibilities. There is much that
pharmacy practice in rural areas has
to offer to early career pharmacists.
I strongly urge early career
pharmacists to pledge to themselves
to spend at least some time in a
months. Challenge yourself, not just
professionally (although you might
find you will be challenged) but also
personally. You may just find that you
enjoy it as I, and many others, have!
What advice would you give to early
career pharmacists who have not
considered practicing in a rural area?
If you do decide to spend time working
in a rural area, be open to trying new
things and meeting new people. Get
involved in community activities and
don’t be too quick to judge if things
are done a bit differently. Take it as
an opportunity to make a difference.
I believe that you are more likely to make
a big impact on the lives of people in a
rural area than in a metropolitan one.
It’s all about the evidence1–4
PBS Information: Restricted benefit.
For use in patients that meet the criteria set out in the General Statement for Lipid-Lowering Drugs.
Before prescribing please review full Product Information available from Pfizer Australia.
LIPITOR® (atorvastatin) 10mg, 20mg, 40mg and 80mg Tablets. Indications: Adjunct to diet in hypercholesterolaemia. Hypertensive patients with
multiple risk factors for coronary heart disease to reduce risk of non-fatal myocardial infarction and stroke. Contraindications: Hypersensitivity to
tablet components; active liver disease or unexplained persistent elevations of serum transaminases; pregnancy, lactation, women of child-bearing
potential. Precautions: Liver dysfunction: monitor liver function tests; substantial alcohol intake, history of liver disease; myopathy: monitor CPK;
history of renal impairment‡, risk factors predisposing to renal failure secondary to rhabdomyolysis; history of haemorrhagic stroke or lacunar
infarct; interstitial lung disease‡; ubiquinone levels; medications that may reduce activity/levels of steroid hormones; fusidic acid‡; inhibitors of
cytochrome P450 3A4; antacid; colestipol; OATP1B1 transporter inhibitors, e.g. cyclosporin; erythromycin/clarithromycin; fibric acid derivatives;
niacin; azole antifungals; protease inhibitors; diltiazem hydrochloride; grapefruit juice; digoxin; oral contraceptives. See full Product Information
(PI) for details. Adverse Effects: Headache, asthenia, abdominal pain, dyspepsia, nausea, flatulence, constipation, diarrhoea, insomnia, myalgia,
sinusitis, rash, hepatitis, cholestasis, allergic reactions, chest pain, bullous rashes. See full PI for details. Dosage and Administration: 10–80mg/day
as a single dose, at any time, with or without food. Based on TGA approved Product Information of 11 July 2008, amended 11 August 2010.
PBS dispensed price, November 2010: 10mg $42.70; 20mg $58.00; 40mg $79.05; 80mg $110.25.
‡Please note changes to Product Information.
References: 1. Sever PS, et al. Lancet 2003; 361: 1149–58. 2. LaRosa JC, et al. N Engl J Med 2005; 352: 1425–35. 3. Cannon CP, et al. N Engl J Med
2004; 350: 1495–504. 4. Colhoun HM, et al. Lancet 2004; 364: 685–96. 5. LIPITOR® Approved Product Information. Pfizer Australia Pty Limited,
ABN 50 008 422 348, Pfizer Medical Information: 1800 675 229 www.pfizer.com.au LIPITOR*®Reg Trademark Pfizer Inc. P3072 12/10 PPU0855/AP
Pfizer Australia Pty Limited 38–42 Wharf Road, West Ryde NSW 2114
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