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Excitement in the air at Pharmacy U Toronto

Excitement over new scopes of practice, broadest-ever variety of sessions attract record crowds to PharmacyU Toronto

It was no joke— the first Pharmacy U educational conference of 2023 drew enormous crowds of pharmacists and pharmacy owners to the International Centre on April 1.

With more than 25 educational sessions to choose from, there was something for everyone at this year’s Toronto-area event.  The day kicked off at 7:15 with a selection of three CE sessions and wrapped up after 5 pm with an informal reception and time to connect with friends and colleagues. 

In between, the crowd of more than 700 pharmacists enjoyed a full day of inspiration and education as well as the chance to meet with event sponsors—manufacturers and service providers eager to share their newest offerings.

four people on stage watched by tables full of people at conference
A lunchtime panel discussion on the new realities of minor ailment prescribing drew plenty of audience questions.

A morning keynote talk by Pharmacy Practice + Business columnist Amy Oliver, a pharmacist and consultant who specializes in leadership and personal development, set the tone for the day. Oliver asked pharmacists to take some time to ask themselves what they, personally, need from pharmacy. She encouraged everyone to stop and think about times when work felt meaningful, joyful and rewarding and then asked:  “What would have to happen in order for you to feel that way every day?” Oliver’s key message was that there are countless opportunities for each pharmacist to create a career that is meaningful, brings happiness and serves others. She shared a number of ideas for finding and developing that career and shared a helpful exercise and worksheet that attendees could download from the event app.

For a change of pace amid CE sessions on a range of clinical and business topics, a lunch-time panel discussion on the status of minor ailment prescribing featured two high-profile pharmacists (Ontario Pharmacists’ Association’s VP of strategic initiatives Jen Belcher and University of Waterloo professor and MAPflow founder Nardine Nakhla) as well as infectious diseases physician Dr. Kevin Schwartz. Health Innovation consultant Kiron Datta moderated the discussion in which the panel described the current issues facing pharmacists, patients and physicians as minor ailment assessment becomes a daily aspect of pharmacy practice. 

Attendance for Pharmacy U Toronto sold out ahead of the event, with individual sessions also selling out quickly.  

Pharmacie U for Quebec pharmacists will take place in Montreal on May 6. Pharmacy U Vancouver is set for November 4. Watch for details soon.

Read: Pharmacy U presenter Zubin Austin: “Rage is all the rage: Dealing with conflict and hostility in practice.”

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