Amy Smith - ISOPP 2016 Summary Report

Reflections on ISOPP 2016

Through the support of CAPhO’s ISOPP Travel Grant, I was able to attend ISOPP 2016 in Santiago, Chile. As a novice researcher, sharing my research at an international conference is an astonishing opportunity that would not have been possible without the support of this grant. 
The ISOPP conference offered an intriguing research stream of speakers. As I strive to become more proficient in all areas of research, I took advantage of the opportunity to learn from expert clinical researchers. Many of the topics in the research stream targeted pharmacists who were either new to research, like myself, or those who have never been involved in research. Specifically, the session titled ‘How to Write Your First Grant’ was extremely applicable. The speaker and ISOPP Research Chair, Judith Smith, encouraged discussion among participants, which allowed me to expressed challenges and receive comments on how to overcome these challenges. As I am a clinical pharmacist, the session on ‘How Pharmacists Can Integrate Research Into Daily Oncology Practice’ was very practical. I struggle to devote time to research efforts. This session provided an opportunity to listen to past ISOPP Research Grant recipients and hear how they overcome similar challenges in their practice setting. This knowledge is valuable and I am now able to incorporate this knowledge into my future research work. As I build my research career, these bits of practical advice and pearls of wisdom are invaluable.             
The research I showcased at the ISOPP conference was surrounding patient adherence to an oral chemotherapy agent, abiraterone. Adherence interests me both as a researcher and as a clinician. The clinical stream of speakers at the conference discussed adherence among oncology patients. This issue is not only impacting my practice, but also the practices of oncology pharmacists around the world. Listening to speakers from the United States to Malaysia speak on patient adherence in oncology allowed me to gain perspective on the issue. There truly is no black and white answer to this problem. We all must share ideas and come together to attempt to find strategies to support our patients in adhering to oral chemotherapy treatments. I will be able to begin implementing some of these shared strategies into my daily practice immediately. 
The support CAPhO extends to its members is tremendous. I would not have been able to gain this valuable insight that will allow me to grow as a practitioner and researcher without the support of the CAPhO ISOPP Travel Grant. There is such a strong and positive Canadian presence among the delegates, poster presenters and speakers. Canadian oncology pharmacists are well represented at an international level thanks to CAPhO.

Amy D. Smith BSP, ACPR, PharmD
Saskatchewan Cancer Agency