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2013 Future of Pharmacy Award: Hugo Leung

Hugo LeungHugo Leung
Pharmacist, College Plaza Medicine Shoppe

Hugo Leung embodies a multifaceted and multidisciplinary approach to pharmacy. “I find pharmacy to be great balance of human skills, conversation, and motivation combined with the science of healthcare.” Hugo counts learning photography as one of the most important additions to his career. “Balance and composition are an important aspect to my career.” Hugo believes it is the balance of art and science that makes him a better professional.
Hugo has developed a passion for pharmacy - the big and the small. From conversing with patients to counting out change, Hugo is enthusiastic about patient interaction and patient care. “Everything about pharmacy brings me satisfaction in my career.”
When asked what his biggest challenge was, Hugo discussed his fourth year of university at the end of training. Burned out and exhausted, he contemplated other career options. Hugo assumed throughout university, wrongly, that a pharmacist was just a policeman for medication and judged solely on factual regurgitation. He wanted to find personal meaning in his chosen path, so he decided to create a practice focused on patient-centred care. Hugo tailors treatments for patients and looks to facts as well as creativity. Hugo believes pharmacists are there to supply the right information for patients, take the patient’s values combined with the pharmacist’s values, and meet in the middle.
Hugo aims to have an active role in how pharmacists practice in the future. He recognizes that core practice values start when pharmacists are students. As a teaching assistant, Hugo encourages interactions with colleagues and learning in a team environment. Currently, he is teaching three university lectures about shared decision making; pharmacy layout and design; and the use of technical tools, such as social media, in pharmacy.
Hugo would like to see more pharmacists teach students in university. He believes this would have a tremendous influence on the leaders of tomorrow’s pharmacies. “Teaching and mentoring these students can build the future of pharmacy as well as build a passion for the profession.”
Hugo finds enjoyment in refining each task and constantly improving while having fun with his job. He is constantly trying new initiatives, incorporating new studies from the university and adjusting existing procedures to streamline and provide better care for patients. One initiative he is particularly proud of is the creation of a social network dedicated for just pharmacists. Pharmbase.ca is an open discussion about pharmacy in Alberta. The idea was to take advantage of social media to increase collaborations. “We created an online conference center with dedicated rooms to create more collaboration within pharmacy.”
Hugo acknowledges co-workers for their support and believes that any award he receives comes from the team work and collaboration shown within the pharmacy. “They [coworkers] help share and facilitate the ideas as well as become creative instigators of change within the practice of pharmacy.” Hugo observes pharmacy as a profession in transition, and he has a vision for his pharmacy progression. “It’s really about doing what I enjoy and what I love.”