Canadian Pharmacists Association
Canadian Pharmacists Association

Pharmacy Check-in: Meet Lindsay Rodwell

Lindsay Rodwell

Lindsay Rodwell, PharmD (candidate), BSc (she/her)
University of Waterloo, Rx2024
Clinton, ON

Lindsay is a third year Doctor of Pharmacy candidate at the University of Waterloo. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Guelph with a major in biomedical science and a minor in microbiology. Most recently in her education she completed her 3A term at Waterloo, where she attended various interprofessional events, expanded upon her clinical knowledge, and worked on multiple projects, including a pharmacist’s aid for minor ailments prescribing for UTI that she co-created. She looks forward to her final few terms as a pharmacy student and getting to apply the knowledge she has gained into her practice.

Currently, Lindsay resides in Huron County, ON, and has a professional goal to aid in making more health-care services accessible to the rural population. To date, she has several years of community pharmacy experience through co-op placements and jobs where she provided direct patient care, administered vaccines and dispensed medications. Lindsay also gained valuable hospital pharmacy experience at Stratford General Hospital where she reconciled Best Possible Medication Histories for inpatients. Now, she is working for CPhA for her third and final co-op where she has been gaining more insight into the profession of pharmacy across the country and participating in various advocacy efforts.
When she is not working or studying, Lindsay loves to read a good book, go for a round of golf with her husband and friends, play baseball and walk on local trails.

Q&A with Lindsay

This spring we checked in with some of the pharmacy students on placements and rotations with CPhA. Lindsay Rodwell is a 3rd year student at the University of Waterloo and is completing a summer co-op term in our Public & Professional Affairs department.

Why did you choose pharmacy?

I have always been an inquisitive person and have wanted to learn new things. Because of this, being a pharmacist really appealed to me, since there are so many opportunities to learn and grow with the profession always evolving. Whether it is updated guidelines for the management of a condition, new medications coming to market or scope of practice being updated, there is always something new and exciting to educate yourself on as a pharmacist. I also knew I wanted to help people, so pharmacy was the perfect career option for me to combine my love of learning with wanting to help others in a role that emphasizes educating people and ensuring they are informed when making health-care decisions. Pharmacists carry the knowledge to provide guidance to their patients, and I am very excited to take on this role and to share the knowledge I have gained with my community.

How do you see the role of the pharmacist evolving as the health-care system changes?

With the way the health-care system has been evolving over the past few years, I no longer envision pharmacists participating in many of the technical aspects of the pharmacy, such as dispensing and compounding medications. Instead, I see pharmacists using their clinical skills to assess prescriptions and proactively get involved in their patient’s health. With our specialized knowledge of medications and our accessibility within our communities, pharmacists can empower and support patients on their health-care journeys not only as the person at the “end of the line” in the circle of care, but also initially through screening for chronic conditions and minor ailment consultations. Knowledge has always been at the forefront of what pharmacists bring to the table, but we are lucky enough now to be able to show our full skillset to our patients and other health-care providers through the expansion of our scope across the country. Overall, I see pharmacists entering a role where we provide primary care services to patients in close collaboration with other practitioners, and hopefully we can alleviate some of the burden on our health-care system by practising to our full scope.

What are you most looking forward to as you think about your future career in pharmacy?

The thing that I am most looking forward to in my future pharmacy career is making a difference in people’s lives. At the end of the day, I have chosen this career to work with the public and help improve the health of the community that I work in. No matter how small of a difference in someone’s life I can make, I see it as something to be proud of if I have impacted someone in a positive way. Whether it be simply giving advice about a medication, administering an immunization or answering questions in the pharmacy, I look forward to being a reliable source of information for people to trust in.

Are there any specific clinical areas or advocacy issues that you’re planning to focus on when you start your career?

When I start my career, I plan on advocating for more scope of practice for Ontario pharmacists and to provide these services in rural areas. I was born and raised in a rural community and have experienced first-hand long wait times and lengthy drives to access health-care services. While these barriers are experienced by many people in Ontario, those living in rural communities seem to be unfairly affected, as many health-care providers are drawn to work in larger cities. With the recent announcement of minor ailment prescribing in Ontario being approved, it made me very excited to be able to be a part of providing this service to my community and to hopefully alleviate some of these barriers that people in rural communities experience. However, while the scope of practice for pharmacists in Ontario is expanding and catching up to other jurisdictions, there is still much work to be done. Pharmacists are well equipped to order and interpret lab values, prescribe emergency and hormonal contraception and provide primary care services, as seen in other provinces such as Alberta and Nova Scotia. I plan on advocating for further expansion of our scope of practice in Ontario when I start my career, so timely care can be given to people in rural communities, especially to those who may be struggling to find a primary care provider.

What are you excited about working on during your work term at CPhA?

I am very excited to be working with CPhA on projects surrounding professional advocacy efforts and the mental well-being of the pharmacy profession. I have already completed various environmental scans of pharmacist authority across the country and have enjoyed getting the chance to better educate myself on the differences between provinces. I look forward to the information that I have collected being used to educate various stakeholders on the current landscape of pharmacy in Canada, and to provide insight as to where the profession is headed. Additionally, I am excited to be a part of the Pharmacy Wellness Task Force, where I will be able to provide a student perspective on wellness initiatives to support Canadian pharmacy professionals.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

As a pharmacy student, I am very excited for what the profession has to offer. I am so grateful to be in the position that I am and really look forward to putting my skills to use and helping people navigate their health care in an era where misinformation can be spread rapidly. It is my hope that I can make a difference in my community throughout my career as a pharmacist.