Beginning July 1, 2020 the Faculty welcomed Dr. Ricky Turgeon to the role of assistant professor, Greg Moore Professorship in Clinical and Community Cardiovascular Pharmacy. This professorship was established by the Faculty in partnership with St. Paul’s Foundation and the Division of Cardiology at Providence Health Care with the objective of providing combined clinical and academic leadership to advance research, education and practice in clinical and community cardiovascular pharmacy.
Dr. Turgeon received his BSc(Pharm) from Dalhousie University and completed an Accredited Canadian Pharmacy Residency with Lower Mainland Pharmacy Services, before completing his doctor of pharmacy at UBC and a postdoctoral fellowship with Drs. Glen Pearson and Sheri Koshman at the University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry (Division of Cardiology).
Julia Kreger: What is your area of research interest?
Ricky Turgeon: I am primarily interested in how we can best manage cardiovascular disease with medications. Specifically, my research focuses on identifying the most effective medications to treat cardiovascular diseases such as heart failure or people who have had a heart attack, and to assess for safety concerns with medications in these conditions. When there is no single best treatment, or when the decision is not straightforward, I use the best available evidence to develop tools to help patients and clinicians make decisions about their treatment.
JK: How do you hope to grow and further this research at UBC Pharm Sci?
RT: My new role in the Faculty provides a unique opportunity to collaborate with experts in various areas of research and clinical practice within the Faculty, as well as at the St. Paul's Hospital Division of Cardiology and Department of Pharmacy. I plan to create teams of these experts, along with patient partners with lived experiences with cardiovascular disease, to produce evidence and tools that can improve the health outcomes of people with (or at risk of) cardiovascular disease.
JK: You completed your PharmD at UBC Pharm Sci in 2015. How does it feel coming back to the Faculty?
RT: Honestly, it feels like I never left. The friends, mentors, and colleagues that I met during my time at UBC for my PharmD have continued to be an important part of my life. Now I have more opportunities to work with them.
JK: Tell us about your NERDCAT project?
RT: NERDCAT started with the NERD journal club, that I started as a hospital pharmacy resident at Lower Mainland Pharmacy Services. The NERD journal club was an opportunity for learners from all healthcare disciplines to discuss studies and evidence appraisal without the pressure of a preceptor in the room. I facilitated NERD journal clubs for two years, including my residency year. The name 'NERD Journal Club' was a "backronym" (from iNtERDisciplinary Journal Club) that my co-residents and I created as a nod to the elaborate acronyms created for names of clinical trials in cardiology. Finally, the "CAT" part of NERDCAT is short for "Critical Appraisal Tool". NERDCATs were tools that I developed to guide learners in appraising clinical studies of various designs. Perhaps my favorite thing to come out of NERDCAT is the logo, which was commissioned by a dear friend.
JK: What is your best piece of advice for new pharmacists?
RT: Follow your interests and let that guide your career. You may not know exactly what you want to do (or where you want to end up) right away, and that is okay. Try things out and find out what is interesting, important, or meaningful to you, and perhaps more importantly what doesn't meet any of those criteria.