International Pharmacy Graduate (IPG) alumnus Sherif Guorgui’s passion for pharmacy has led him to work in nearly all areas of the profession. From community pharmacy, to roles in regulation and advocacy, to his current position as co-CEO of OnPharm-United, Guorgui’s determination to always challenge himself has kept him motivated throughout his career.
Graduating in 1998 with a degree in pharmacy from the University of Cairo, Egypt, Guorgui returned to Canada to begin the process of taking his licensing exams. With a desire to receive more structured training tuned to the Canadian pharmacy landscape, Guorgui learned about a new program at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy for international pharmacy graduates, and enrolled in its pilot year.
“It is my belief that any patient in Ontario should receive the same level of service from their pharmacist, whether they have been trained in Canada or internationally,” says Guorgui.
Guorgui believes the IPG program has value far beyond preparing international pharmacists for their licensing exams because it opens up new career opportunities and interests.
“I think it is a common misconception that the IPG program is merely a means to an end,” says Guorgui. “The main value of this program is enabling graduates to understand pharmacy practice in Canada, showing them how they can effectively use their license, and what kinds of new and exciting opportunities are available.”
Recently, Guorgui was named one of Pharmacy U’s ‘Leaders in Pharmacy’, where he embraces a cultural shift in pharmacy practice, advocates for continued education and looks forward to new opportunities for the profession.
Prior to that, in 2017, Guorgui received the Voice of Pharmacy Award from the Ontario Pharmacists Association, recognizing the significant role he played in promoting the value of pharmacists, the pharmacy profession, and the Association through my advocacy efforts within the profession and community. In 2015, Guorgui was named one of Canada’s Top Immigrants, promoting the value and contribution of international pharmacy graduates to the Canadian society.
Thanks to the evolving responsibilities of pharmacists in Ontario, understanding the current pharmacy landscape, and the new opportunities it provides, is crucial for international pharmacists looking to start their career in Canada.
“This is a challenging, yet exciting, opportunity for pharmacists practicing in Ontario” says Guorgui. “With the expected expansion of scope of practice, we are becoming more enabled to better serve our patients. The IPG program will be so beneficial in preparing international pharmacists for our new responsibilities. I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat.”
Learn more about the International Pharmacy Program at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy.
Photo courtesy of PharmacyU