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In 2009, Bruce was awarded the PSA
Young Pharmacist of the Year for his
work in enhancing the delivery and
access of continuing pharmacist
education across rural and regional
Queensland. He became a Fellow of
the Society in 2012. Currently, he is a
ministerial appointee representing rural
pharmacy on the Programs Reference
Group of the Fifth Community Pharmacy
Agreement and is the inaugural
Chairman of the Central Queensland
What have you been doing since
you won the award?
I have continued to be heavily involved
in pharmacy as a working partner in
five community pharmacies in Central
Queensland. I’m also an accredited
pharmacist and still love conducting as
many HMRs as I can fit in. Aged care is
my clinical passion, so I tend to gravitate
towards professional practice where
I can work closely with the oldies.
In my spare time, I am the Chairman
of the Central Queensland Medicare
Local. It’s been fascinating to better
understand the wider health system and
see where pharmacy fits into it.
Did winning the award have an
impact on your career?
In this day and age, the only thing which
can impact your career is you. You can’t
blame anyone else but yourself so learn
from your mistakes and be proud of
Where did you go with the travel
grant that came with the award?
The grant co-funded two activities
for me – I attended the International
Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP)
congress in Lisbon in August 2010 and
I also completed the AICD Company
Director’s Course during 2011.
What did you learn/how did it
broaden your practice skills?
Attending FIP was an amazing
experience. In Lisbon, there were more
than 5,000 pharmacists representing
over 120 countries. It was interesting to
chat with so many and understand that
the challenges we face as pharmacists
in Australia, are mirrored all over the
world. I enjoyed listening to some
of the new clinical roles occurring in
pharmacy practice overseas and to see
their passion for quality and safety.
I remember thinking at the time that
innovation in healthcare is evolutionary
rather than revolutionary and that it is
up to the whole profession to embrace
new skills and services and not just the
few well known trailblazers.
What areas of pharmacy practice
inspire/interest you today?
I am really passionate about expanding
the role of non-dispensing pharmacists
working within the community
pharmacy model. The scope is unlimited
and pharmacists are well placed to
provide an expanded suite of clinical
services from inside their pharmacies.
Unfortunately, what health professionals
are paid to do, often limits what
they actually do. So, we operate in
an environment where the scope of
practice is limited to funded services
and not reflective of our full abilities.
What professional pharmacy goals
do you have for the next two years?
Next year, will be my 15th year post
graduation, so I am excited to be
enrolling in some post graduate study.
I have loved my role as an accredited
pharmacist and feel that the time is
right for me to up skill again and ensure
that my clinical knowledge is to the
necessary level required to embark on
any future advanced pharmacy practice.
Based on your experiences as an
award winner, what advice would
you give to new pharmacists?
Don’t rely on anyone other than yourself
to drive and progress your career.
Pharmacy is an amazing profession and
opportunities – great opportunities –
still exist but no one will just give them
to you. Focus less on your hourly rate
and more on demonstrating your worth
and developing your own personal
and professional skills. Hard work is
I would also always encourage a young
pharmacist to find a mentor who shares
their values and career goals and use
them to learn as much as possible.
Bruce Elliot was the 2009 PSA Young Pharmacist of the
Year. Australian Pharmacist spoke to Bruce about what
winning the award meant to him. Bruce is based at
Yeppoon, working as the regional managing partner of
five Central Queensland based community pharmacies.
Symbion, proudly supporting the
PSA Excellence awards.
Nominations for the 2014 Excellence awards
are now open. Visit: www.psa.org.au/about/
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