PDL backs students


Who are this year’s PDL Student Grant winners?

PDL has announced the recipients for its 2021 Student Grant, with a value of up to $5,000 each.

The program aims to enable Australian pharmacy students to attend educational events or conferences locally or overseas, to enhance their education and training as a future pharmacist.

PDL has announced the three recipients of the grants: Gurkamal Singh, a Master of Pharmacy student at the University of Western Australia; Molly Hanley, a fourth-year Bachelor of Pharmacy student at the University of Newcastle; and Edgar Poon, a first-year PhD student at the University of Queensland.

Gurkamal Singh

Gurkamal, who has been involved in two major research projects implementing active vaccine safety surveillance within community pharmacies, is excited to use the grant to attend APP21 in May.

“This event presents many opportunities to receive high quality education from world-renowned speakers and connect with leaders within the profession,” he said.

“I am particularly interested in seminars discussing innovations in pharmacy … and what is to come in the e-technology space.”

Molly will be using the grant to attend the PSA national conference in July/August.

Molly Hanley

“I highly value the attainment of leadership skills, which is another aspect of knowledge that I believe this conference will provide, both for the use in a university setting and the entirety of my future pharmacist career,” said Molly, who is an executive member of The University of Newcastle Association of Pharmacy Students.

“I do have a passion for aged care pharmacy, and believe that my attendance at the conference would greatly benefit my knowledge in this specific area, as it is a nominated talk at the 2021 PSA National Conference, which I believe is particularly important in light of the recent Royal Commission into health professionals in aged care.

“I am enormously grateful to be provided with this opportunity through the PDL grant, to be able to learn and network with pharmacists from all over the country outside of my usual university environment,” she said.

Edgar Poon

Edgar shared that he is interested in contributing to the medication safety team to optimise patient outcomes through enhanced medication management.

Edgar’s PhD topic is on addressing early discontinuation of antidepressant treatment from a patient and health care professional perspective. “Ultimately, we want to reduce antidepressant harms and improve the quality use of these medicines,” he said.

He intends to use the grant to attend SHPA’s Medicines Management conference (MM2021) in November.

“I am hoping to communicate and exchange ideas with other pharmacists and researchers across the country,” said Edgar.

“I am especially interested in learning from their experience, such as how do they identify areas for improvement and how do they implement changes at their local facilities.

“It is an honour to be awarded the PDL Student Grant for 2021, and I am really thankful to PDL for supporting my learning journey,” he told AJP.

Celia Sansom, PDL’s WA Director, Grants Committee member and a community pharmacist, told AJP: “It’s great to see this new initiative offering students grants that PDL has commenced be taken up by exemplary pharmacy students who are emerging leaders and innovators.

“Given the global and local changes that affect us all, and PDL’s commitment to supporting pharmacists throughout their professional life, what better to way to embrace this journey now with this initiative?

“We’re looking forward to fostering these relationships and seeing what is possible when partnering together.

“This year, given what we’ve recently been through, we are so thankful that we have the opportunity to meet face to face at events and engaging with our fellow members.”

The 2020 grant recipients unfortunately had their plans put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. PDL has confirmed they are all currently busy with placements and will use their grant funds to attend an event when their schedules allow.

PDL is a not-for-profit, independent member organisation that supports Australian pharmacists with professional indemnity insurance, 24/7 incident support and advice to help minimise incidents.

Visit pdl.org.au or call 1300 854 838 for more information and to become a member. Students and interns receive free PDL membership. Find out more about PDL’s Student Grant Program here

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