Edwin Tan was drawn to pharmacy practice by the social dimension as much as the chemistry. But that's not all he's drawn to.

I went into pharmacy for the healthcare and patient interaction aspects. I have a background as a hospital pharmacist. I did my internship at Melbourne's Alfred Hospital, and worked at a few hospitals in the UK while travelling. When my visa was running out, I had to decide what to do next. I decided to change my career path and do some research. I wanted to do more with my degree, and see how I could make a difference. I commenced a PhD with Monash's Centre for Medicine Use and Safety, where I did my undergraduate degree and graduate certificate.

My research seeks to develop a new practice pharmacist role within Australian general practice. We're developing a strategy to resolve medication-related problems in the community. There are a large number of medication management issues in Australia each year. This will increase as the population ages and individuals take more medicines to manage multiple health conditions.

I think multidisciplinary team-based care is the future of healthcare in Australia. We're encouraging GPs, pharmacists and other primary healthcare providers to collaborate to improve patient outcomes. We've seen positive results from our trial, including reductions in medication-related problems, and improvements to patient medication management in the clinics. Patients and practice staff also appreciate having a pharmacist in the clinic.

It's rewarding to see pharmacists broadening their scope of practice, as we move towards more collaborative, patient-centred care. Pharmacists are highly skilled and have important roles in the community. I guess I'm drawn to pharmacy because it's not all science. There's an important social dimension as well.

Apart from pharmacy practice, I have a passion for cartooning and writing. I have a blog called "Ed's Rant" where I post my cartoons. It started when I was in the UK as a way of communicating with family and friends back home. It began as a bit of a rant, but it's progressed into musings on a range of topics-including the ups and downs of working in pharmacy and academia. I've had a few cartoons published, which is great.
Perhaps I could get a regular gig with Alchemy?!

You can see more of Edwin Tan's cartoons and ramblings at the Ed's Rant blog:

This is all the people ‘behind the science'

Ed's cartoon

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