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Santoria Utufua-Leavai

Santoria Utufua-Leavai, Pharmacy Graduate


BPharm (2009) and Postgraduate Diploma in Pharmacy (2014)

Position now

Senior Hospital Pharmacist – Outpatient, TTM Hospital, Samoa

Previous positions

2009 – Hospital Pharmacist, TTM Hospital, Samoa, 2012 – Senior Hospital Pharmacist – Outpatient, TTM Hospital, Samoa

Current role

"Since 2012, I was appointed to the Senior Pharmacist position at the Outpatient Section of the Pharmacy at TTM Hospital in Samoa. I have been the main pharmacist supervising this section of the pharmacy, although it has been very difficult with the lack of qualified staff, especially as this is the busiest section of the pharmacy service. We serve on average about 250–300 plus prescriptions a day (not including the weekends), and it is almost always impossible to do patient counselling.

"This is one of the main reasons why I wanted to further my studies in pharmacy. First of all, since I am working at the hospital setting, I wanted to improve on my clinical skills, secondly, I wanted to help improve our profession and the services we provide, as there is not that many of us working at the hospital. Although I find that most of the time I am overworked and at times feel a bit defeated, it has become a challenge that I am determined to overcome."

Your Otago experience:

"I did my undergraduate at Otago University and it was one of the best years of my study life. Otago has a wonderful supportive system in place for its students and it has helped me a lot throughout my undergraduate years. I had always wanted to come back to Otago for further studies, there is no doubt about that….and here I am :)

"This year has been inspirational for me. I came initially wanting to do the clinical papers required of the clinical pharmacy diploma, instead I got to do two of the clinical pharmacy papers, and two research papers. I am not a big fan of research or writing for that matter, English was never one of my best subjects. However, my two wonderful supervisors have actually changed my mind. They were very encouraging and somehow made the researching and writing experience very enjoyable for me. I feel very blessed to have had these two brilliant ladies (Professor Pauline Norris and Dr June Tordoff) as my supervisors and mentors.

"Otago not only is the best place to experience being a student, but it is also, in my own biased opinion, the best place to nurture some of the most passionate people in the world. I myself started out in pharmacy knowing absolutely nothing about this profession, and now, 5 years later, I am very passionate about being a pharmacist and also very proud to have been an Otago Pharmacy graduate."