Ayah Kapani is a 2022 University of British Columbia Doctor of Pharmacy graduate and recipient of this year’s BC Pharmacy Association Scholarship. For the past five years, Kapani has also worked at Terra Nova Pharmachoice in Richmond, B.C.
Each year, the University makes two BCPhA scholarships available, with recipients selected at the recommendation of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences. The scholarships are given with preference to a fourth year student and for a student from rural British Columbia. The scholarship was established in 1971 and since then, 71 awards have been distributed totaling $58,800.
Why did you choose to enroll in pharmacy school?
I have always been intrigued by the science behind different drug therapies that exist. Understanding the different treatment algorithms and tailoring them to fit specific patient requirements is what I find to be a very rewarding part of the profession. Pharmacy is a continuous, dynamic career which involves constant learning and allows me to be able to pursue my passion of studying science in a lifelong manner. As a pharmacist, you are also able to develop trustworthy relationships with your patients and truly have a direct impact on their care as you are one of the most accessible health care professionals for them.
What has been some of the most rewarding experiences you have had working inside community pharmacy?
The most rewarding experience working inside of a pharmacy is when you get to regularly see your patients, monitor them and watch them improve in the long run. Being able to see the impact you are having on one's health is always very exciting to see! My goal as a pharmacist is to fulfill patients’ needs and address their health concerns to the best of my ability.
What has been the impact of receiving the BC Pharmacy Association Scholarship to you?
As we know, the UBC pharmacy program is quite expensive! Receiving this scholarship has allowed me to be able to reallocate my time and energy towards other extracurriculars and student experiences which have contributed to my growth as an individual and a pharmacist. I am very grateful to receive this scholarship!
What's next? Where would you like to see your career in the next five years?
I would love to see how the scope of practice of pharmacists in B.C. further expands in this time period to allow for more opportunities. The profession is constantly growing! In the next few years, I see myself striving to pursue a more clinically oriented career. I have always wanted to work in an outpatient primary care setting where I could work alongside a group of other health care professionals to provide patient-centered care.
Left to right: Pharmacists Gordon Chow, Neesha Johal, pharmacy assistants Tiana Hu, Bhargavi Poranki, Ayah Kapani, and pharmacy owner Shawn Sandhu.
What pieces of advice would you share with people who are considering enrolling at UBC pharmacy?
Be confident! Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and reach out for help if you need it. There will be ample opportunities that will be available to you as students and I would say that when a door opens, take it and learn from your experiences and mistakes. Don’t forget to enjoy the journey, meet new people and have a good time. The years pass by really fast and looking back, the most memorable moments that I had were those that I spent with my classmates. It is going to be a challenging trek but all of your hard work and energy will pay off in the end!
Is there a pharmacist role model who has had a particularly positive impact in your education and career? Who is it and how did they make a difference?
All of my preceptors and the pharmacists that I have worked with as a student have contributed to shaping me into the pharmacist that I am today. Every pharmacist is unique in their practice and learning from their styles can really teach you about the type of pharmacist you want to be in the future. Particularly, one of my preceptors, Mona Kwong, had a positive impact on me. As a preceptor she has also taken the role to be a personal mentor and has challenged me in ways that have encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone and grow.