When Travis Orange completed his second-year community pharmacy practicum in Kamloops last summer, it proved both an intensive learning experience and an opportunity to enjoy his hometown’s ample outdoor activities.
Located at the crux of the North and South Thompson Rivers, Kamloops is the largest community in BC’s Thompson-Nicola region and is Canada’s “Tournament Capital.” As an avid hiker and mountain biker, Orange describes the area as the “perfect amalgamation of all outdoor sports.”
“I feel like you’re close to just about everything. If you want more of a rural experience, we’re surrounded by small towns. If you want to go spend a bit of time in a densely-populated area, Vancouver is just a few hours away,” he says.
Orange, now in third-year, studied biology at Thompson Rivers University before joining UBC’s Entry-to-Practice Doctor of Pharmacy program. He completed his second-year rotation under the guidance of practice educator and Shoppers Drug Mart #0277 owner, Mike Huitema.
“Working with Mike (was) great. He’s a great resource and...quite business-oriented. He’s also an expert (on) antibiotics, which up until now I thought was a weaker area of mine. I feel incredibly grateful to have an opportunity to strengthen my knowledge,” he says.
“My community rotation has really allowed me to develop my skills and grow as a person.”
One-quarter of the UBC Entry-to-Practice Doctor of Pharmacy program is experientially-based and the Faculty works to place students with practice educators at over 500 sites across the province. Practice educators provide guidance and mentorship to students, along with a safe space to develop their skills.
“We have a ton of regular customers and they love seeing the students,” Huitema says.
“I have had some patients that have been a big work-up patient for some of these students three or four times. They enjoy it.”