Mentoring with meaning

Practice Educator of the Year Award Winners Share What Educating the Next Generation of Pharmacists Means to Them

Twice each year, the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences pays tribute to its undergraduate student mentors (commonly referred to as practice educators) with its Practice Educator of the Year Award program. Established in 2012, the Practice Educator of the Year Award recognizes exemplary pharmacists that distinguish themselves as entry-to-practice educators. These dedicated individuals volunteer their time and expertise to the next generation of Canadian pharmacists by providing them with meaningful on-the-job learning experiences. And in speaking with this year's recipients in the category of Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience (IPPE), their reasons for doing so are just as meaningful.

"Sharing my practice model and learning from the students' own experiences improves my practice and hopefully theirs," said Donovan Walters, pharmacist at the Shelbourne Street location of Heart Pharmacy in Victoria, BC and one of two recipients of the IPPE I (Phar 369) Practice Educator of the Year Award. "Students bring a positive energy to my pharmacy that my patients and staff benefit from."

"I enjoy teaching," said David Lee, pharmacist at Medicine Shoppe #239 in Vancouver, BC and fellow IPPE I (Phar 369) Practice Educator of the Year Award recipient. "Not only does it help students develop their skills but it also helps me keep up with my own practice." David's previous students keep in regular contact with updates on their accomplishments, which motivates David to continue in his practice educator role. "Plus, it's fun."

David Lee with Jas Jawanda, lecturer and coordinator with the Faculty’s Office of Experiential Education (OEE)

The two winners of the IPPE II (Phar 469) Practice Educator of the Year Award disclosed similar views. "I always wanted to give back to pharmacy by teaching new students and giving them my perspective on our ever-changing practice," said Eric Kosiuk, pharmacist at Howe Sound Pharmacy in Gibsons, BC. Eric also adds that his primary goal in being a mentor is motivating students to want to do more with their degrees.

Eric Kosiuk with Neelam Dhaliwal, lecturer and coordinator with OEE

For Mike Lizotte, pharmacist at London Drugs #51 in Prince George, BC, being a practice educator is meaningful because of the role it has in furthering student professional development. "I enjoy being able to work with students to develop confidence and communication skills as well as teaching them to look at the person as a whole and not just the prescription."

Mike Lizotte with Neelam Dhaliwal, lecturer and coordinator with OEE.

Practice educators are vital to the Faculty's undergraduate academic programs. "We have over 500 practice educators located all over BC," says Dr. Angela Kim-Sing, director of the Faculty's Office of Experiential Education. "They are our partners in clinical education and we are very appreciative of their support. What they do matters."

Recipients of the Practice Educator of the Year Award in the category of Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE) were honoured at the Faculty's Annual Dean's Reception in May. Click here to learn more about being a practice educator and the Practice Educator of the Year Award program.

Images (from top): Gathering at the Practice Educator Recognition Event at the Museum of Vancouver. David Lee with Jas Jawanda, lecturer and coordinator with the Faculty’s Office of Experiential Education (OEE). Eric Kosiuk with Neelam Dhaliwal, lecturer and coordinator with OEE. Mike Lizotte with Neelam Dhaliwal. Image credit: Ivan Yastrebov.