Diverse Assignments Benefit OCP Summer Student


Stephanie Woo is a McMaster University undergraduate student in Honours Molecular Biology and Genetics (2020).


1. How would you describe your experience at the College this summer?

My experience at the College proved to be eye-opening and extremely valuable. Prior to this, I had limited knowledge about the role of the College, how self-regulatory bodies function, and the importance of the pharmacy profession on improving health outcomes. However, throughout the summer, I was given the incredible opportunity to work with many different College departments which allowed me to paint a better picture of how each unique department works together to ensure public safety and the importance of the College’s role as a whole. Many of the projects that I was given were focused on areas that I haven’t had much exposure to throughout my studies. This experience provided me with a great opportunity to not only learn more about the subject matter, but also to apply it to my work.


2. What was the most interesting project you worked on?

This summer, I wrote the literature review and backgrounder that focused on the diversion of opioids for the roundtable examining controlled substances security and safety in high risk hospital areas. I developed a better understanding of diversion, the opioid crisis and the urgent nature of this matter. It was absolutely fascinating learning about this issue which made me eager to dive into the project even more. Soon after I finished the literature review, I was ecstatic when I was also given the opportunity to draft the backgrounder for the Partners Table. Writing the backgrounder was definitely not the same type of writing that I do in school. It required a completely different style of writing and a subjective approach which made this project challenging but extremely interesting and informative. This is definitely one of the topics that I will continue to monitor after my time at the College.


3. What was your favourite part about working at the College?

I thoroughly enjoyed the diversity of the projects that I was given. Each assignment was completely different and unique from the previous one. This really allowed me to learn more about the different aspects of the College and to also explore my own interests and capabilities. I also enjoyed having the opportunity to attend meetings, a disciplinary hearing, and shadow a practice advisor. Lastly, everyone I met and worked with was extremely friendly and eager to help me learn and really get the most out of my experience at the College - which made my time here that much better.


4. How do you think your experience this summer will help you with your future career?

My current goal for the future is to actually pursue a career in dentistry. As there is also a self-regulating body for this profession, I know that I will be able to apply what I learned this summer to my future career. My experience here at the College has provided me valuable insight into all the hard work that is involved with regulating a healthcare profession while also stressing the best interest of the public. Learning about the College’s emphasis on best practices and the optimization of scope has sparked a realization and a sense of comfort in me knowing there are ongoing efforts to improve and optimize our healthcare system. These will be guiding principles to keep in mind when I become a healthcare provider.