By: Kem Ogoti, Dalhousie University College of Pharmacy student
This winter semester started off with the opportunity for me to attend the Professional Development Week (PDW) Conference in Montreal. I loved the experience I gained from PDW 2020. I heard different topics from speakers and I participated in Canada’s Next Top Pharmacist representing Dalhousie University.
Dr. Stanley Vollant was one of the keynote speakers and my favorite from the whole conference who spoke about his first-hand experience as the first Innu person in Quebec to become a surgeon in 1994. He shared his teachings on traditional medicines and his work with community. I learned that it does not matter where you are from or even the difficulties you may face through your journey. The key is to have a goal and work hard towards it. The end result is all that matters. I also learned from another speaker about antibiotic stewardship and what role a pharmacist can play to make a contribution to the management of antibiotics around me and have an impact in the big scheme of things.
I was also privileged to compete in Canada’s Next Top Pharmacist and won 3rd place for Dalhousie University. I recited a poem that is dear to my heart entitled “Strong Black Woman.” It was important for me to share my truth with the conference and have everyone appreciate it.
PDW is a great conference to attend as you get to meet future colleagues and possible employers from all over Canada. It was also great to have the career fair and begin to start thinking about where I would like to work in the future. Montreal was also a great location to have it as we got to explore the city and immerse with the French culture.
I would like to thank the Johnson Scholarship Foundation and the Global Health Office for making this experience possible for me and express my extreme gratitude for the opportunity. For more information on these opportunities please visit the Global Health Office Diversity website.