The newest cohort of University of New England pharmacy students have been welcomed to the profession in a ceremony held this week.
The ceremony was held as part of the pharmacy discipline’s first intensive residential program for first-year students.
The practice shirts were presented by the PSA’s NSW Branch Director Steven Drew and are a nod to white jackets which are historically associated with the profession of pharmacy. About 60 students are in the 2015 first-year intake.
The Welcome to Profession event also featured a presentation by UNE Pharmacy alumni and NSW Intern Pharmacist of the Year Laura Norman. Norman will be competing for the title of Australian Intern Pharmacist of the Year award at the upcoming PSA national conference, PSA15, being held in Sydney from 30 July – 1 August 2015.
In his address to students, Drew affirmed PSA’s commitment to the pharmacists of the future, demonstrated by its constant development of new pathways for their careers.
“At the ceremony we were able to discuss with students their hopes and aspirations and also point out that there are many different career pathways for them when they graduate,” Drew said.
“It is a competitive environment for young pharmacists and at PSA we take very seriously our role of helping to guide these young people as they pursue their careers.”
Drew also noted the enviable record the UNE Pharmacy program was establishing despite being in only its sixth year of operation. Already UNE has produced two NSW Pharmacy Student of the Year award winners (including 2015 winner Brighid Carey) and NSW Intern of the Year Laura Norman.
Drew said the ceremony was an important step in the students’ journey to becoming pharmacists.
“It is a special occasion in that it brings them into the pharmacy family and also introduces them to some of the support and mentoring services available to them through PSA as they progress,” he said.
“This ceremony highlights that the students are not alone in this journey and have the support of the PSA and their peers.
“The white coat ceremony is an affirmation of that commitment and an opportunity for the students to engage with the Society and with pharmacists who can help guide and mentor them as they move forward.
“I welcome these students to our great profession and look forward to continuing to work with them.”