Home' Australian Pharmacist : Australian Pharmacist June 2013 Contents Australian Pharmacist June 2013 I © Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Ltd.
Make yourself unique
By Peter Waterman
Early Career Pharmacist Elise Taylor
believes there are huge opportunities
for young pharmacists, but they need to
make themselves stand out from their
peers to make the most of them.
At 25, Elise manages
a large late-night
Canberra and has 30
staff reporting to her,
a role she won by
going the extra mile
in equipping herself
with skills and knowledge.
‘I grew up in Canberra but went to
uni at Wagga, and came back and did
my internship with Capital Chemist in
Canberra and I still work for that group,’
‘About nine months after graduating I
was offered a management position and
I have been managing this pharmacy
for the past two years. My day-to-day
role is primarily managerial but I am also
a preceptor to an intern and we have
pharmacy students on placement to us.
High school students also come in and do
placements with us.’
Elise believes that while universities
provide some management education,
pharmacists seeking to expand their skills
need to do more.
‘ The business side was covered for about
six to 12 months at university but I
realised that to have an edge I needed to
expand on this,’ she says.
‘As a result, a few friends and I entered the
Pharmacy Business Competition while we
were at uni, so that helped to prepare me
‘But I also enrolled in the PSA Diploma
of Management when I found out I was
being offered a managerial position and
that was very helpful.
‘ The PSA course helped to consolidate my
knowledge but the fact is that you can’t
really teach some of the things you need
to know. You just have to be thrown into
the thick of it and sink or swim.’
Elise believes young pharmacists
need to build networks to help boost
‘I think networking is really important.
There are a lot of students who are just
students and that is fine but I think doing
more is very helpful,’ Elise says.
‘Being involved in organisations like PSA
and NAPSA when you are at university
helps to make connections with
other pharmacists. Often these other
pharmacists are in non-traditional roles
and this can broaden your outlook on
your potential career path.
‘ There is a bit of an historical belief that
when you finish your bachelor or master
of pharmacy then you just work in a
community pharmacy, but now you really
have to do some postgraduate or further
studies to make yourself unique.
‘ You need to stand out from the rest of
the pharmacy workforce. It’s easy to just
maintain your CPD every year but I think
it is really valuable if people can do some
post-graduate study in areas that interest
them to make them more employable
and better qualified.’
Elise also believes there are exciting
things happening with different roles for
‘ We’re starting to hear more about these
roles now,’ Elise says.
‘It has been drummed into us that we all
go to work in retail pharmacy but that is
certainly not the case anymore.
‘ We have to break with that view. It is
certainly a good job and we all have
to do a placement in the community
setting, but it doesn’t have to be where
Elise is confident and optimistic about the
future, but recognises that the profession
faces some major challenges.
‘Obviously deregulation is a big threat,
and PBS changes have the potential to
be a big threat if they are not managed
correctly or offset with exciting new
avenues for pharmacists that can be
administered from the community
pharmacy setting,’ she emphasises.
‘A big challenge will be to diversify our
role and demonstrate to the public and
the government how much impact we
can have if we are trained correctly and
given opportunities to help alleviate the
pressure in other areas of primary care.
‘For instance, just with some of the
professional services we offer here I have
seen big differences in what we can do.
MedsChecks and providing absence
certificates where appropriate have been
very helpful and takes the pressure off
other primary care providers.
‘ We are an adapting profession so we
can accommodate change and help
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