Jessica Bailey wins 2017 Pharmacy Student of the Year

(L-R): Jessica Bailey and Jessica Joseph
(L-R): Jessica Bailey and Jessica Joseph

AJP chats with the Victorian student, who received her award at the PSA17 Gala Dinner on Saturday night

Ms Bailey from Monash University was named PSA’s 2017 Pharmacy Student of the Year, and Jessica Joseph from the University of Technology Sydney won the People’s Choice Award.

Ms Bailey says winning first place was completely unexpected.

“I’m delighted, I’m very shocked but thrilled – it’s been a wonderful experience, and it’s my first time at PSA conference too,” Ms Bailey tells AJP.

“Having gone first in the finals, I got to watch all the other students so I really thought a few had covered more points than myself, but there you go!”

She is currently finishing her fourth and final year of university and is completing a six-week rural/remote placement in Broken Hill, NSW.

“I’ve been there for the past month,” she says, adding that once the conference is over she’s flying back to Broken Hill to finish her placement.

“It’s a mixture between hospital and community pharmacy. Of that, you spend one week in a very remote town called Menindee, which was a great experience for me, but it’s about 110km from Broken Hill so it’s completely in the middle of nowhere.

“It’s a very different experience because it’s a very small community – probably about 500 people. So it was obvious that I wasn’t from there because they know everyone.

“It was different, I got to go to the local school, chat with the kids and chat to a few of the locals who came into the pharmacy so it was a nice experience, but being in the middle of nowhere, it’s a shock to the system, that’s for sure. It’s good to get outside your comfort zone I suppose.”

But after finishing her placement does she plan to head back into remote practice?

“I think not for next year – I want to stay in the city,” says Ms Bailey.

“But being a locum and being able to go into a remote community for a few months once I’m registered would be exciting. It’s a great adventure to go, but I’m looking forward to getting a good foundation in a regional or metropolitan area first before going to a remote area.”

She hopes to eventually move into the hospital setting.

“I have a strong interest in research and help out on a few projects at Monash so I think eventually I’ll go into research in some sort of way.

“I really love the clinical side of pharmacy, and I hope to do a hospital internship next year.”

The nervous PSOTY finalists.
The nervous PSOTY finalists.

PSA National President Dr Shane Jackson congratulated both winners on their achievement.

“Presented with a challenging counselling session, the students in this year’s competition demonstrated exceptional communication skills and clinical knowledge,” says Dr Jackson.

“I am delighted to see the talent of these young pharmacists who are set to become future leaders of the profession.”

The eight State, Territory and wildcard finalists for 2017 were:

  • Jessica Goyne, University of Canberra (ACT) 

  • Jessica Thomson, University of South Australia (SA/NT) 

  • Diana Maza, University of Tasmania (Tasmania) 

  • Jessica Bailey, Monash University (Victoria) 

  • James Buckley, James Cook University (Queensland) 

  • Ella Scacchia, University of Western Australia (WA) 

  • Jessica Joseph, University of Technology Sydney (NSW) 

  • NAPSA Wildcard – Tessa Drew, Curtin University (WA)

This year’s competition was jointly sponsored by API and Mylan.

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