A scholarship supporting the development of pharmacists' skills as health care providers has been developed by UTS Pharmacy in partnership with the Chemmart group.
The Chemmart Community Innovation Scholarship is designed to facilitate professional services training for selected Master of Pharmacy students, with mentoring by a leading community pharmacist in the Chemmart group during clinical placement and financial support of $2,500 per year for two years.
Executive Director of Chemmart Duncan Phillips said the scholarship program was an important part of a strategy to develop leadership in community pharmacy.
"We offered these scholarships to UTS because we want to start introducing graduates into the business who fit in with our professional services model," Mr Phillips said. "UTS students have the right practical skills and clinical knowledge and can apply these with limited supervision. It's important to us that students who join Chemmart continue to deliver the high quality patient care our customers expect."
Inaugural scholarship winner Kelsey Burns said the Innovation Scholarship was providing her with wide-ranging experience of current industry practice.
"I'm mainly being mentored on the business side of things which has really helped me a lot," she said. "I don't have a background in business, so I'm learning how pharmacies order their stock, the sell price, how much to order and the general model of business, which is really beneficial.
"On-site, with the therapeutics side of things, I get to listen to a lot of counselling sessions and listen to how the pharmacist speaks to the patient and how they structure the counselling. How a pharmacist shows and expresses empathy is really important."
Instructor and manager of Drummoyne Chemmart Robert Lam said, "From our experience, UTS students tend to be more practice focused and enthusiastic about their role as a community pharmacist."
Chemmart professional services include sleep programs, DNA testing, weight loss consultants, metabolising medication and pain medication to name a few.
Head of the UTS Graduate School of Health Professor Charlie Benrimoj said, "UTS graduates are particularly sought after for positions as professional pharmacy service providers and mangers. On top of the usual therapeutics and pharmaceutical science subjects the graduates at UTS have learnt the theory and practice associated with designing, developing, evaluating and implementing professional services in all pharmacy environments."
The Graduate School of Health's Master of Pharmacy is a graduate‐entry degree designed for students who have completed a bachelor degree in a science‐related field. Over the course of their two-year degree students undertake around 520 hours of clinical placements.