Ashley Jang - CAPhO19 Summary Report

I thought that I would not have the privilege of attending a CAPhO conference until much later in my career, but now that I have, I can only say that I am even more inspired to become the best oncology pharmacist that I can be. However, this would not have happened without my two outstanding preceptors, Dr. Lynne Nakashima and Tonya Ng. It has been an honour to learn from the both of you and I am so grateful for all the opportunities. Also, a huge thank you to CAPhO for choosing me to be the successful recipient of the Student Member Award and I hope that I can continue to contribute to the world of oncology pharmacy. I had the best time of my life and cannot believe how fast the four days flew by.

My first day in Halifax began with the drug interactions workshop. Initially I was skeptical given my lack of knowledge in this area, however, it turned out that the presented cases were very practical. In addition, I was introduced to unique thought processes in oncology pharmacists across the country, which allowed me to incorporate different aspects to my own. I was amazed at the widespread expertise in the room and the workshop has increased my confidence in tackling drug interactions. 

The poster presentations occurred on the second day and I was very proud to have presented our first research poster, “A Real-World Data Approach to Determine the Optimal Usage of Pembrolizumab.” The highlights for me were the genuine interest and thought-provoking questions that I received which made me feel like our research truly mattered and that all the hard work was even more worth it. Furthermore, as I visited the other posters, what I found most intriguing was learning about the motivation behind their projects and how precisely the authors were able to articulate themselves. I was able to strengthen my communication skills and have become hungrier to get more involved in research. 

Throughout the conference, it was riveting to listen to experts in their field give presentations around the theme of Personalized Medicine during the satellite symposiums, plenaries, and round table discussions. I loved hearing about the history of how current treatment algorithms came to be and how therapy options for patients have improved dramatically. My main takeaway was that patients need their pharmacists now more than ever because of how times have evolved so rapidly with the new number of drugs available and coming down the pipeline. No one knows medications better than pharmacists do and they should be at the forefront to take care of all their patients’ drug therapy needs. 

All in all, I cherished every moment that I was able to be surrounded with oncology professionals during the conference. It was heartening to see such clearly passionate individuals working in oncology come together across the country determined to improve cancer care for patients. I learned how useful it can be to connect with others in the same field across the country and now feel that it is an essentiality. From this experience, I have further interests sparked in patient care, research, and advocation; I will continue doing everything I can to join the fight against cancer as an oncology pharmacist.

Ashley Jang, BSc, E2P PharmD Candidate 2020, UBC
3rd Year Pharmacy Student