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Young Leader in Pharmacy Kyro Maseh: "I began to make the person I'm treating the focus of my work."

Kyro Maseh



Bachelor of Pharmacy, Cairo University

Completed IPG program in Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy 

Current role

Pharmacist and pharmacy owner at Lawlor Pharmacy/ Mentor/Public speaker 

What excites you about being a pharmacist?

I feel that it's a unique position because I'm the first point of contact for most patients who have questions or concerns about their health. It provides me with an opportunity to collaborate with other healthcare professionals to enhance the quality of life of people in my community. I'm able to provide care in a timely and accessible manner. Most importantly, I'm able to customize the services that I provide, so the experience the patients receive in my care is personalized and humanizing. 

When you graduated, what did you envision for your future?

To be honest, I expected to do regular dispensing full time, and just do what I want on my days off.  

How has your career evolved since your graduation?

In the beginning it was very frustrating. I didn't really enjoy it, and I always looked forward to the weekend. Throughout the years, I started to question why I'm doing this job, and I had to go back to the very beginning. I had a period in my life, before I got licensed, when I was very sick and I felt completely objectified in the healthcare system. It was a nursing student who sat with me one night in the hospital and made me feel like a human being. Just by her acknowledging my struggles on a personal level, I felt human.

As I progressed in my career, I looked back and found that the moments that gave me true fulfillment were always moments when I did for patients what that nursing student did for me. I eventually accepted my true calling, and my "why".

I began to make the person I'm treating the focus of my work. When I did this, I began to shift my practice. Everything from the pharmacy design, to how I greeted people who walked through my door began to change. It became entirely patient focused. I'm now at a point where I love going into work, and I love the patients I serve. I feel the relationship I have with the people I treat has made me a better pharmacist, and a better person overall. 

How would you describe a great day at work?

A great day at work is a day when I don't have to be on hold with insurance companies, drug distributors, and pharmacy software IT support ....hahaha. On a serious note, any day where I have good laughs and conversations with patients, while taking the time to ensure that they understand their medical conditions and how to manage them is a great day in my books. makes everyday a good day.  

How important is mentoring in your career?

Mentoring is one of the most fulfilling aspects of my career. I love to teach, because teaching has many advantages. First off, it challenges me to keep my knowledge up to date so I can keep up with my students' questions. Secondly, it teaches me to be analytical of a person's strengths and weaknesses.

I had one student who was excellent in clinical knowledge but was very anxious in dealing with people. I had him be a door greeter for 3 days. By the end of his rotation, he was the first person to greet anyone who walked through the door and have full conversations with them; people loved him. Another student was extremely confident but made frequent dispensing errors (my assistants or myself always caught them, thankfully), so we agreed to go over the processes that created these errors every time one occurred, and I would have him propose changes to prevent them from happening. 

Over the years I became better at analyzing every student's learning needs, and how to empower them to be the best pharmacists they can be. It's extremely rewarding to see them go on to do great things, and in many cases, be mentors themselves. 

Was there an “aha” moment for you, when you realized the impact of the difference you’re making?

I think my "aha" moment was last December. We had two lineups outside, one for vaccines, and one for symptomatic testing. I had a pharmacist vaccinating, 3 assistants, 2 volunteers controlling the lines, I was swabbing patients outside, running back inside to dispense and this went on for hours. CBC News came by to take footage and I remember the cameraman saying "holy S#@#, this is like a warzone, how the heck are you doing this?" and I looked at him and said, "your question should be why not how," and he stood quiet. This was in fact a war and thousands of pharmacists across the province were throwing everything they had at it. We had no choice, we had to protect the people who placed their trust in us.  

If you can accomplish just one thing in your career, what would it be?

The one thing I want to accomplish in my career is the elimination of objectification in healthcare. I understand the importance of being efficient, but it's crucial that we realize the emotional vulnerabilities of patients. A new diagnosis, or a new medication, this can have a toll on a patient that is unimaginable for many. For this reason, it's very important that we do all we can to treat the patient first before the illness. I hope to teach this to as many people as I can, who knows, maybe one day it can be the norm.  

As a dynamic leader in the profession, what continues to drive you?

My main driver is seeing patients who continue to smile through illness. Being a positive element in their journey is what drives me to do better every day. 

How are young leaders paving the way for changes in the pharmacy profession?

Young leaders are paving the way by providing services during a time when the health system is severely strained. They are finding new ways of serving their respective communities, thinking outside the box, and leveraging new tech solutions to optimize care. 

What advice would you give to new pharmacy graduates?

The one piece of advice that I wish to give new graduates is that they need to know their "why," embrace it, and make it the focus of their career. Your reason for being a pharmacist should dictate how you practise, not the other way around. 


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