Florian Zhou was excited to spend a summer in Kelowna during his third-year Entry-to-Practice PharmD rotation – both for the educational experience, and the opportunity to partake in a bounty of Okanagan summer fruits.
“(I’d) been to Kelowna a couple times before for baseball tournaments and volleyball tournaments. I’d seen a little bit of the city and knew that there’s a lot of good fruit here,” Zhou laughs.
“I’ve been biking around everywhere in Kelowna, which has been amazing, doing mostly outdoorsy things…hiking, cherry picking, fruit picking.”
Zhou’s rotation took place under the guidance of Craig Tostenson, pharmacist and owner of Pharmasave Glenmore, Kelowna.
“(Craig) is a really good mentor for sure. He has a lot of initiatives going on at this pharmacy. It’s been really nice to see a pharmacist be involved in so many areas of people’s healthcare,” Zhou says.
He notes that interactions with patients at Pharmasave Glenmore are longer than he was used to.
“You can really get into certain things. Why they’re taking these, or what’s the backstory behind this, or can I help you out in any way? There are so many things that we can do for them,” he says.
“Patients here are really nice. You can tell that they appreciate the work that the staff here do.”
During their Entry-to-Practice PharmD program practicums UBC Pharm Sci students work with practice educators at sites across the province. Practice educators provide guidance and mentorship to students, along with a safe space to develop their skills. Students placed outside of the Lower Mainland also benefit from experiencing the lifestyle opportunities, activities, and access to natural beauty that come with living and practicing pharmacy in smaller communities.