Questions with QID: 5 Minutes with Shelita Dattani

Meet Shelita Dattani (PharmD, RPh), a pharmacist, educator and optimist. Shelita is an advocate for pharmacists and pharmacies in healthcare. A quick glance at her Twitter profile clearly displays her dedication as a leader in the pharmacy profession and the lengths she goes to support current and aspiring pharmacists.

Keep reading to find out Shelita’s advice for young pharmacists and aspiring pharmacy students!

1. Tell us a bit about yourself! What made you want to get into the pharmacy profession? 

My Dad is a pharmacist – I grew up in his community pharmacy. I loved that he was such a key health care provider in the community where we lived. I admired that because of his trusted care he developed long-lasting relationships with his patients and entire families that spanned generations.

2. How has COVID-19 impacted your day-to-day tasks as a pharmacist in healthcare?

I work to advocate for the role of pharmacies as health hubs, so the pandemic has opened up lots of opportunities to continue to build on the role pharmacies and pharmacists can have in primary care – to help close care gaps in communities. We can do so much more than dispense medication! In my role as a front-line pharmacist, I have really enjoyed helping people build their confidence in the role of vaccines.

3. As an advocate for pharmacists, how do you think pharmacists can be better supported in their clinical practice?

I think we need to enable pharmacy professionals to work to their full scope and also make sure that pharmacy scope and services are appropriately remunerated so that they are sustainable.

4. Having participated in #TwitteRx for many years, what is the value you see in sharing clinical information on this platform?

I have learned so much from others on Twitter and I try to use my platform to amplify the huge and constantly evolving role that pharmacists and pharmacies can play in caring for their communities. We have a very pressured health care system and really need to leverage fully the expertise of pharmacy teams, their access and the footprint of pharmacies in all communities across Canada and growing virtual opportunities to receive care as well. I also see a huge role for pharmacists to lend their expertise as THE drug therapy experts on Twitter for both the public and other health care providers. I still think people underestimate or misunderstand what pharmacists have the education training and access to deliver in terms of health services. Let’s show people who we are and what we can do.

5. Are there any tips you would like to share with pharmacy students or young aspiring pharmacists?

Build a good network of peers and mentors. There is so much to learn from each other and so many different perspectives and career paths to consider in your journey. Also, don’t be afraid to think outside of the box and shape the type of practice you want – innovation will be needed and your voice and ideas will shape the future of the profession and the sector at a very critical juncture in our lifetimes as we continue to define who we are in a post COVID world.