The preceptor

David Harris

David Harris, BPharm (Hons), GradCertPharmPrac, class of 2012

Preceptorship involvement provides a range of continuous self-education opportunities. Monash offers leadership programs, feedback programs and all sorts of learning development skills designed to help support the way you supervise students and interns.

Monash provided excellent moderating support with the use of online practice sessions and regular meetings so you’re well aware of all the expectations. There is valuable on-call support, which is great when you’re combining this with the demands of full-time work. There are seminar days, and staff are always open to feedback from a clinical point of view – it’s a good way to introduce practical experience and problem-solving skills into the course.

A preceptor is generally an allocated one-on-one educator and mentor. While I did precepting, I don’t manage any one student now, but I have preceptors that I manage, liaise with and support.

Medicine is such a rapidly changing area. Acting as a preceptor you get to keep up to date with new products, legislative changes and guidelines. For example, a new advanced inhaler for asthma or emphysema, not seen in my current practice, needs to be evaluated and researched before teaching students. This results in greater exposure to new practices in pharmacy. It’s a good way of maintaining your own practice beyond the hospital environment.

My connection with the University has brought about tremendous opportunities. I’ve always been interested in being an educator. It helped being involved with Monash where the lecturers remember you as a student. I did a placement at the Austin, a hospital Monash placement, followed by an internship and then progressed incrementally from there.

Networking through Monash has become more productive. Now that my role at the Austin is education-based, I’ve gotten to know the faculty’s Professor Tina Brock, who is originally from the USA. Through her I got in touch with her colleague and visited a hospital there. I got to see different ways of teaching and some new technology. It probably gave me an insight on things to come here.

Another opportunity that my studies and learnings have granted me was to present at the Indonesian Hospital Pharmacy Conference in Lombok, helping to globally improve pharmacy services – in particular, hospital manufacturing services and clinical pharmacy in psychiatry.

I love and adore preceptoring, giving students and interns opportunities I never had when I studied, and to have a positive supportive influence on the pharmacy practice. My involvement with the program has helped me with my communication styles, time management, presenting skills and gives me the chance to reflect on my own practice with current teachings at Monash.

David Harris works as the Intern and Student Placement Program Coordinator for the Austin Hospital, and works directly with patients and health care professionals as a clinical pharmacist.