Staff Spotlight: Jacqui Hagidimitriou

AJP speaks with the optimistic pharmacist, who is also a nutritionist and an artist

1. What has been your experience as a pharmacist since you graduated?

I graduated in 2005 and I can distinctly remember back then there was a lot of ‘doom and gloom’ about the future of pharmacy and how secure the industry would be for the long term. It made me quite unsure what I would experience when I got out into real life practice.

I have performed a variety of roles, including hospital and community experience, but really flourished in the community pharmacy environment. Over the years I have realised that the rhetoric about the uncertainty of the future of pharmacy has lingered, yet for those that choose to make their own future, pharmacy is bright!

2. What are you enjoying most about pharmacy so far?

I chose pharmacy on a whim when I graduated high school as a naïve 16 year old – it was not a passion of mine (I didn’t even know what a pharmacist did) and so it is a pleasant surprise to me to find it such an enjoyable career!

I cannot think of many other industries where you get to explore such a wide array of skills – from business to marketing to science and, of course, relationship building.

I have completed a nutrition degree also, so I really enjoy being able to combine nutrition knowledge with the accessibility of our profession to the public, to be able to help people on a deeper level with their health goals.

3. You’re about to open a new pharmacy. How did that come about?

Yes, I’m about to open a new Wholelife Pharmacy and Healthfoods in Strathpine and I feel very privileged to be in this position! I would say that it came about due to being open to new opportunities and developing a valuable skillset while waiting for an opportunity.

Treat your professional relationships with respect, as you never know when you will be in the right place at the right time!

4. What are you most looking forward to with this new challenge?

There’s so many things I’m excited about. I’m excited about starting with a whole new team to fulfil the vision for what our brand-new store can mean to the community.

I can’t wait to start to get to know the people that are going to be walking through my door and also to be partnering with Wholelife at a key point in their growth as a brand.

5. Top tip for approaching patients?

Approach patients with the genuine desire to be helpful and they will sense your sincerity.

I think communication skills are definitely honed when you are a pharmacist and understanding the variety of experiences that we face as humans is key to being able to meet people with empathy and respect.

It is also important to read people and judge when it is appropriate to talk and when you should listen.

6. What’s the biggest challenge in pharmacy at the moment?

I think the biggest challenge is pharmacists not thinking there are rewarding career opportunities in the industry for them! We have to think more creatively and open up our minds to what we can achieve as an industry, whether we are in community, hospital, GP clinics, research, education etc.

7. Things you like to do outside of pharmacy?

I enjoy all creative activities – whether it is drawing a portrait or baking cakes, I’m always itching to spread a bit more colourful cheer to the world! I also like to play ultimate frisbee – one of the best team sports I’ve come across.

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