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Meet the Team Monday: Theresa Abdelsayed, Clinical Consultant Pharmacist

March is Pharmacy Awareness Month (PAM) – a time to highlight the enormous contributions that pharmacists and pharmacy technicians make to care teams and residents alike. This March marks one year since the COVID-19 pandemic began, and the pharmacy community has stepped up like never before to keep our communities safe and healthy.

In this week’s “Meet the Team Monday” series, let us introduce you to Theresa Abdelsayed, who joined Medical Pharmacies Group Limited (MPGL) in 2018 and works as a Geriatric-Certified, Clinical Consultant Pharmacist.

Just in time for International Women’s Day, Theresa talks about how she became a successful female healthcare provider, and gives valuable advice to women about following their dreams.

1. Why did you want to be or what was your inspiration to become a Clinical Consultant Pharmacist?

Helping seniors have a good quality of life. I enjoy supporting seniors and their caregivers as I’m inspired daily by their ability to provide remarkable care.

2. What has been your favorite project at MPGL?

One of my favorite projects at MPGL was to reduce the med passes for the nurses. It has great benefits during and even after the pandemic. It was great when I heard feedback more than once from the nurses saying, “Now we actually have time to spend with the residents, and do more than giving meds!”

Reducing med passes means reviewing medications each resident is taking, and consolidating them in a way that is most beneficial for the resident, with fewer med passes for the nurses.

It was challenging to go through hundreds of records and thousands of medications to review, but it was a very rewarding project, and I am so happy I was part of it.

3. What’s one misconception about your role?

I found that people need to know more about the role of Clinical Pharmacist in long-term care. New graduates and pharmacy students do not receive enough education/training about what life is like for seniors in LTC homes, and what Clinical Pharmacists do as healthcare providers in LTC homes.

4. If you could interview one person (dead or alive) in the pharmacy/healthcare industry, who would it be?

I would choose to interview the Honourable Adrian Dix.

5. Which has been more valuable in your career, your education or your experience? Why?

Education is the cornerstone – you cannot build anything without a foundation. Experience is the learning journey, which I enjoy and value every day.

6. What advice do you wish someone gave you early in your career?

Taking time to learn about yourself, what you like, and what you want in life and in your career, is important. Take time to try different things to figure out what you enjoy. Set up your goals, and remember there is no limit for your goals.

7. March 8 is International Women’s Day. What does their slogan, #ChooseToChallenge, mean to you?

When you choose “Challenge,” you choose to grow. It is an ongoing learning process about yourself, what you really want and how to achieve it. The achievements become more valuable when you face obstacles along the path to success. Your accomplishments after a long delay have an amazing, sweet taste. And it is not only about the destination – the “Challenge” journey is just as (if not more) important and joyful.

8. On IWD, what is the most important message you want to send out to young women thinking about their careers?

“Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.” – Dale Carnegie

The message is: there is no road without obstacles, and the greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it. When obstacles arise, it is a good time for you to see if what you want is really worth fighting for. If it is, you can choose to break these obstacles or change your path so you can still reach your goals.

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