When pharmacist Aliaks Savin won ACP’s Leadership Development Award in 2017, he was given the opportunity to attend the leadership conference of his choice. After some research and conversations with colleagues, Aliaks chose to attend the 2019 International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) World Congress in Abu Dhabi. The congress focused on new trends in science, practice, and education; new roles, opportunities and responsibilities for pharmacists; and responding to today’s health challenges. Aliaks was excited for the opportunity to attend a worldwide conference that featured a variety of perspectives.
“The conference included a variety of conversations from therapeutics to promoting pharmacy as a leader in health care to advances in technology,” said Aliaks. “It also gave me an opportunity to connect with pharmacists from other parts of the world and learn about what works for them and what doesn’t.”
Aliaks said the experience gave him a better appreciation for how much progress Alberta has made in pharmacy practice compared to the rest of the world. That gratitude is one of his biggest takeaways from the event. However, he also believes it’s important that Alberta doesn’t get stuck in the status quo.
“With the innovations that are coming and the rise of internet pharmacy, I think it’s important for Alberta to stay ahead of the game and adapt to what’s coming down the pipe,” he said. “And it’s important to continue to lead by example. A lot of other countries look up to us. If we give them things to look up to and show them what a pharmacist’s scope of practice can be, we can continue to inspire change around the world.”
The Leadership Development Award is meant to advance the recipient’s leadership skills through participation of a leadership conference or program. The award has been presented to a third-or fourth year University of Alberta pharmacy student each year since 2015. Its purpose is to support the development and advancement of professionalism, citizenship, and leadership in pharmacy. Aliaks says he will continue to learn to be a leader through his own experiences and learning from the experiences of others.
“It’s one thing to be grateful and acknowledge what we have in Alberta, but it’s another to be someone who pushes for advancements,” said Aliaks. “Leadership doesn’t mean being in charge of people. Leadership is being someone who leads by example and inspires change. You don’t need a title to do that. By doing the best you can every day and performing the way you think you should, you’re setting precedents for other people to follow your lead.”
Aliaks encourages third- and fourth-year U of A students to apply for the Leadership Development Award, especially considering the experience you will gain.
“Don’t hesitate. Give it your shot,” said Aliaks. “I think a lot of financial awards and scholarships are great, but this award is an experience that can really change your outlook on our profession, your practice, and maybe where you see yourself in the future. Applying for this award can give you all this. If you want to have experiences you may not otherwise have access to, this is a great opportunity.”
For more information on the award and how to apply, visit the ACP Awards page on the ACP website.