Nicole MacDonald - CAPhO17 Summary Report

I would like to thank the CAPhO Executive and the Awards Committee for providing me with the opportunity to attend the 2017 CAPhO conference through the Wild Card Travel Grant. This opportunity has been an excellent learning experience for me and I feel that my knowledge in oncology has greatly improved.
The variety of presentations kept the conference very interesting; moving from lectures to debates to small group discussions, I felt that it gave everyone the opportunity to contribute and allowed participants to not only learn from the speakers but also their fellow practitioners and colleagues. In particular, I especially enjoyed the small group breakout sessions where all participants could discuss and share ideas regarding different therapeutic topics. As well, the debate regarding pharmacist involvement in physical assessments of patients was both informative and relevant to the current direction of practice. It was beneficial to have discussion on the very relevant topic of biosimilars at the conference and to have different presentations from different viewpoints. Another excellent presentation focused on Medically Assisted Dying. In Eastern Health, this is a practice that is relatively new and it was very useful to see how other provinces incorporate MAiD into daily practice and how we can shape the current procedures we have at Eastern Health. Overall, every speaker provided an interesting and relevant presentation on a well-rounded variety of topics.
As a new pharmacist to oncology, this conference provided me with an excellent opportunity to expand my knowledge. I felt that I was constantly exposed to new information and new practices. From learning the most updated guidelines to treating different cancers, to learning how different oncology pharmacists practice throughout Canada, I felt that I had many ideas to take back to Eastern Health and help incorporate to what our pharmacy team currently does for our patients. Through group discussions with fellow conference participants, I was able to learn about new resources and tools, such as the latest phone apps for drug interaction checking, information searches, or patient medication monitoring tools. I was also able to partake in a discussion on what oncology certification should look like for pharmacists in Canada.
The focus of this year’s CAPhO conference was to “Do Something Astonishing”. Many of the speakers at this conference shared inspiring stories from their practice in which they helped expand the oncology pharmacist’s role and made a difference in their patients’ care. In order to do something astonishing, it is important to stay current in our knowledge and to keep moving forward in a direction that puts our patients first. This year’s conference has motivated me to continue striving towards improving the care I provide my patients. 
I am grateful for having the opportunity to review the posters set up during the conference, it is always interesting to see what current research is occurring as it promotes discussion and generates new research ideas. I am also grateful for the opportunity to network with pharmacists across Canada who also have a strong interest in oncology.  Thank you again to CAPhO for providing me with the opportunity to attend this conference. 
Nicole MacDonald
Clinical Pharmacist, Eastern Health