Gaganpal Mutti - CAPhO17 Summary Report

I am delighted to write about my experiences at the 2017 CAPhO conference held in Banff, Alberta. I would like to thank the Awards Committee for providing me the opportunity to attend this event.
I cannot talk about the conference without first mentioning the incredible venue that was the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel. I couldn’t help but catch a glance of the scenery between sessions— the mountains and the trees looked almost too beautiful to be real! 
The conference began with the tearful talk by Mike Lang: “How to Win a Tickle Fight.” As I reflect and reminiscence on the talk, I cannot help but feel my heart melt once more. For a conference that is meant to showcase the progression of the oncology profession, this talk, to me, gave purpose in remembering why this progression is meaningful and important. We learned about our roles, as healthcare providers, and how vital we are in every patient’s life. We are a part of the clinical decision-making team, but more importantly, we are the listeners, who should take the time to understand a patient’s desires as they continue, or in some cases, discontinue, their treatment. Our role is to look beyond the patient, and see the person. Since the conference, I find myself correcting the term “patient-centered care,” and using “person-centered care” instead to encompass what makes the patient an individualized person: their values, their beliefs, and their decisions. As I continue with my career, I learned to always remember that “it is not always the smart decision, but the good decision.” 
As the conference continued, we were divided into groups for the Hot Topic Discussions. I joined in on the talk regarding social media and the increasing role it can have on providing care for our patients. I took note of a few apps that I continue to encourage my colleagues to use today. I particularly liked the diversity of the individuals that were included in the discussion. Pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and pharmacy students from a variety of different provinces and workplaces shared the tools and resources they use on a regular basis. 
I particularly enjoyed the debate on the pros and cons of pharmacists as physical assessors. Both sides delivered an interesting perspective on the topic, but ultimately both came to the same conclusion: that pharmacists should be advocating and participating in the physical assessment of toxicity management. This talk transitioned smoothly from the previous talk on integrating students into the oncology pharmacy practice. As a student, I continue to see passion and leadership in my colleagues. I hope that the pharmacists in the room were inspired by this particular discussion, and consider becoming a preceptor. As I transition my title into a practicing pharmacist this year, I hope to share my experiences as a preceptor in the future.
I would like to end by thanking the Conference Committee members for the time and effort they have put into planning this incredible conference. I am looking forward to attending #CAPhOCon2018 in Gatineau, Quebec next year! 
Gaganpal Mutti
H.B.Sc., Pharm.D Candidate