RxA President Mark Percy Welcomes Alberta Pharmacist Class of 2026

EDMONTON, AB, Jan. 27, 2023 /CNW/ - The din dies down in the conference ballroom in downtown Edmonton this past Thursday evening, as RxA President Mark Percy takes the stage. The room is packed with 140 pharmacy students, their invited families, friends, faculty members, and of course, alumni pharmacists. The Annual White Coat Ceremony held every year by the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Alberta, and co-sponsored by the Alberta Pharmacists' Association (RxA) and the Alberta College of Pharmacy, is an evening of recognition symbolizing the next generation of graduating pharmacists and their inclusion into the profession of pharmacy in Alberta.

Alberta Pharmacists' Association (RxA) Logo (CNW Group/Alberta Pharmacists' Association)
Alberta Pharmacists' Association (RxA) Logo (CNW Group/Alberta Pharmacists' Association)

"You represent the future of our profession. I encourage each of you to remember three things as you begin your careers as young pharmacists", begins Mark Percy. "First, embrace learning and our culture of continued professional learning, never stop learning. Second, engage your profession and work to uphold the tenets of what it is to be a primary care pharmacist in Alberta. And finally, and most important, look after your patients. Use your knowledge, skill, and ability to improve the lives of each person you care for."

In just three short years, the Class of 2026 will join the pharmacist workforce, many of them choosing to practice in Alberta to take advantage of the broadest scope of practice for community pharmacists anywhere in Canada. They will graduate as Doctors of Pharmacy, equipped with the most comprehensive clinical drug knowledge, and enabled to implement their knowledge by prescribing medications, administering drugs by injection, and ordering and interpreting lab tests.

This is the future of pharmacist-led primary care in Alberta. These are the clinical practitioners who will be ready and waiting at your next visit to your community pharmacy, helping to adjust your blood pressure medication, administer your next vaccination, monitor your lab results for your diabetes care, or use point of care testing to identify and prescribe therapy for your child's strep throat. They won't be replacing the need to see a family physician or nurse practitioner, but they will be supporting and enhancing your access to care, when you need it most, and where you want it in your local community pharmacy.

RxA Board Member Aileen Jang also speaks to the Class of 2026 on behalf of the pharmacist alumni, many of whom are in the audience. Aileen shares "As we pass the torch to these new graduating pharmacists, I am excited to see the potential our profession can achieve. Nothing is impossible if you have the will and passion to enact change."

The students are led through their Pledge of Professionalism and also recite the profession's Code of Ethics as a commitment to the profession and quality patient care. The evening culminates with the draping of each student in their first white coat. As each of the 140 pharmacy students crosses the stage, a member of the profession helps them don their white coat as a symbol of their entry to the practice of pharmacy, and to the broader community and culture of the pharmacist profession. With healthcare in crisis, and provincial/federal discussions occurring to restructure healthcare funding in Canada, we are pleased to be able to highlight this next generation of pharmacists who will join the health workforce of the future, helping Albertans to access primary care from their community pharmacist and alleviating pressures across the health care system.

Congratulations Class of 2026. The future of pharmacist practice in Alberta is yours… and it is in good hands.

For over two decades, the Alberta Pharmacists' Association (RxA) has been a champion for pharmacists in Alberta. We play an integral role in expanding pharmacists' practice, and we continue to advocate on their behalf towards excellence in patient care.

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SOURCE Alberta Pharmacists' Association


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