Terence Yuen

Terence Yuen, a PharmD graduate from the class of 2018, has been recognized for his leadership and initiative during his residency through the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy’s Industrial Pharmacy Residency Award. As a resident at Purdue Pharma Canada, Yuen was a valuable member of the medical department, completed a high-quality residency project generating new knowledge for the company and continuously sought new learning opportunities.

Yuen, originally from Montreal, completed a bachelor’s degree in microbiology and immunology before starting his PharmD at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy. His first goal was to become a community pharmacist, but as he took more classes at the Faculty, he became more aware of the breadth of opportunities available in pharmacy, including roles in hospitals and industry, which he was able to explore through his rotations.

His industrial advanced practice rotation opened his eyes to the variety of opportunities for pharmacists. “It broadened my awareness of the career paths that you can have in industry while still being connected to patient care,” he says. “It’s not the direct patient care that you would be giving at the community pharmacy, but you can have an impact at the system level, helping health care professionals use drugs in appropriate ways and identifying patients who might benefit from certain drugs.”

Yuen graduated in the spring of 2018, and in the fall he started his industrial residency in Purdue Pharma Canada’s medical information and pharmacovigilance department. These highly sought-after, one-year residencies develop skills and provide experience within specific specialty areas.

Residency project generated new knowledge for industry

Not one to shy away from unique learning opportunities, Yuen felt strongly about wanting to generate new knowledge about pharmacy practice while satisfying a business need for the company. His project focused on pharmacists’ knowledge and experience with regards to ADHD management, an area where he felt he was lacking knowledge. Despite some difficulties that delayed the start of his project, Yuen was able to gather data from more than 200 Ontario pharmacists about their knowledge of ADHD medication and side effects and prepare a final product nearly ready for publication.

“If you want to go beyond your basic job responsibilities, you have to be proactive and reach out to people and ask about things that you want to learn or do.”

While the residency helped him build a number of skills that will help in his career, Yuen says that one of the biggest learnings was the importance of being proactive. “If you want to go beyond your basic job responsibilities, you have to be proactive and reach out to people and ask about things that you want to learn or do,” he says. “And people are generally receptive if you take initiative and ask.”

Yuen, who now works in the medical information department at AstraZeneca, says that he is humbled by the award, especially given the competitive nature of the industrial residency program. He hopes that the award will help to raise awareness in the industry about the value that pharmacists can bring in an industry setting. “Pharmacists bring a clinical perspective that can be valuable in many roles that involve speaking with prescribers, but also in research and marketing,” he says. “The roles for pharmacists in industry are endless and the skills and assets that we have are helpful regardless of the roles that you are in.”

By: Eileen Hoftyzer

More News