Curtis Ruhnau reflects on the career of an institution of NSW pharmacy
An institution of NSW pharmacy is about to sign-off on a long and honourable career that has provided support, comfort and sage advice to countless pharmacists.
For almost half a century, first representing Guild Insurance and then PDL, Bob Mallard has often been the first person contacted by pharmacists at their lowest ebb when confronted by an error that may have harmed a customer. His counsel during these times has always been a comfort to those of us in need of solace and practical advice.
Bob was also a regular feature for first-year pharmacy students being initiated into the profession at the start of their studies. I clearly recall him speaking to us in the University of Sydney Pharmacy Lecture Theatre, forewarning us of the potential personal and professional repercussions of dispensing errors.
It was a stark reminder of the responsibility we would shoulder as pharmacists. Just when many of us were starting to reconsider our choice of study, he comforted us with the knowledge that PDL would be there to support us if we were ever in such a position.
I have never regretted choosing pharmacy as my profession. There are so many good days where your actions result in relief and sincere thanks from members of our community. But sometimes the dark days do come.
On those days, Bob Mallard was always there on the end of the phone, ready to calm frayed nerves and help me to assess the situation, understand the steps necessary to care for the patient, remedy the situation and continue with confidence being a pharmacist.
Bob has served the members of PDL in NSW since March 1967. I personally thank him for his contribution to the professional lives of countless NSW pharmacists, and commend him for his diligence as Secretary of the NSW Local Area Committee over many years.
* Curtis Ruhnau is NSW Director of PDL.