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Reputation attracted top student to Otago, a place she now considers her ‘second home’.

Friday, 26 February 2016

It was the School of Pharmacy’s international reputation that attracted Malaysian student Kit Yue Chan to Dunedin and she returned home in December feeling like she now has a second home. Kit, who is known as Jamie Chan in New Zealand, received the premier award at the school’s prizegiving in December - the Christina White Prize for having the best overall achievement throughout the Bachelor of Pharmacy degree course.

Jamie (23) was one of the students studying at Otago via the Jabatan Perkhidmatau Awam (JPA) public service department scholarships from the Malaysian Government. It was the school’s “great reputation” that attracted her to study at Otago and Jamie says though there was some adjusting to do upon arrival she returns home a little sad. “It took a while to adapt to the weather and the culture, but I will leave this city soon and I am sad because this is now my second home for me.”

Under the scholarship arrangement Jamie has to return to Malaysia to undertake her internship and will be bonded to the Government to work there for five years. Jamie’s internship will be in a hospital pharmacy, but she is keen to eventually work in community pharmacy also, having particularly enjoyed her community placements at Otago. “I really do like talking to people and helping them with their medicines.”

During her time at Otago Jamie had placements at community pharmacies in Wellington and Te Puke and she enjoyed her experience at My Pharmacy Te Puke so much she asked to return there for her final placement.

Jamie particularly enjoyed her final year studies and the clinical papers she studied which helped give a sense of what her future job will involve, she said.

Other top students recognised at the school prizegiving, prior to the formal university procession and graduation, were Rebecca Lovelock and Liang Kooi Kok, who between them took out the other premier prizes.

The country’s top pharmacist, Ministry of Health chief advisor pharmacy, Andi Shirtcliffe, spoke at the prizegiving, telling graduands they will work in an era of significant change for the profession (>>, ‘News’, 7 December 2015). “You are going to witness significant changes to where and how pharmacy services are delivered.”

School dean Stephen Duffull also reiterated at the prizegiving that it is an exciting time to be entering pharmacy. “The future of pharmacy has never looked brighter,” professor Duffull told the graduating class of 2015.

New initiatives such as pharmacist prescribing, vaccinations and coagulation monitoring services have all started in the past few years.

“This is the time to be a pharmacist – you made the right decision at the right time,” Professor Duffull said.

Prizewinners were:

  • Elective study (PHCY470) Laurelle Lock
  • Quality use of medicines B (PHCY471) Keryn Ramsay
  • Professional pharmacy practice (PHCY472) Rebecca Lovelock
  • Quality use of medicines C (PHCY473) Nevin Zhong
  • Honours research project (PHCY480) Nalini Ganaeswaren
  • Quality use of medicines B (PHCY481) Liang Kooi Kok
  • Professional pharmacy practice for honours (PHCY482) Isabelle Kuan
  • Quality use of medicines C (PHCY483) Liang Kooi Kok
  • Thomson Reuters Prize in Pharmacy for highest overall mark in pharmacy law across all years of BPharm, Rebecca Lovelock
  • Pharmacy Defence Association Prize for highest standard in the pharmacy law and ethics component of the fourth year of the programme, Rebecca Lovelock
  • Pharmacy Prize in pharmacy practice 4th year (Douglas) for student with best achievement in the fourth year profession pharmacy practice paper, Rebecca Lovelock
  • Pharmacy Prize in clinical pharmacy (NZHPA) for student with the best achievement in the three quality use of medicines papers, Liang Kooi Kok
  • Pharmaceutical Society of New Zealand Prize for highest standard of attainment in fourth year examination, Liang Kooi Kok
  • Christina White Prize, for student with best overall achievement in the BPharm degree course overall, Kit Yue Chan.

Top Student Profile_418p
Malaysian student Kit Yue (Jamie) Chan won the premier award for having the best overall achievement throughout the Bachelor of Pharmacy degree course.

Artilce written by Liane-Topham-Kindley at PharmacyToday, December 2015.