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(November 16, 2000, Gazette)

A flair for leadership

Megan TurnerPhoto by HSIMS
Megan Turner

By Sharon Gray

Megan Turner is a pharmacy student who likes to keep busy — not just at her studies, but at a variety of extracurricular activities that help to enrich the lives of all students in the School of Pharmacy. In fact, her activities are so outstanding that the faculty nominated her for the Alti-Med/Pharmacy Practice Magazine’s Commitment to Care Award for Student Leadership. On Nov. 9 she flew to Toronto to accept the award and a $1,000 prize.

“Ms. Turner is an exceptional student,” said Dr. Chris Loomis, director of the School of Pharmacy. “Since joining our school, she has provided strong and consistent leadership in student affairs. In fact, it is no exaggeration to say that her contributions as a student leader and as a representative of the School of Pharmacy of Memorial have not been matched.”

Ms. Turner enjoys her extra-curricular activities. “I find you learn a lot more by getting involved. I started in first year by becoming involved as class representative for the Canadian Association of Pharmacy Students and Interns (CAPSI), and the next year I took on the senior rep role as one of MUN’s representatives on the national body.”

CAPSI tackles many different issues but its main responsibility is advocacy on behalf of pharmacy students. Another MUN pharmacy student, Roland Halil, is president of the organization and Ms. Turner works closely with him in her role as national vice-president for communications.

She also works on issues within the School of Pharmacy. “I’m involved in the grad committee for my class and I sit on the Memorial University Pharmacy Society (MUPS) as the CAPSI adviser.”

Last year the students of the School of Pharmacy amalgamated MUPS and the local CAPSI organization. “It was a very interesting experience for a group of us to write up a constitution,” she said.

Another activity involved helping to organize a herbal seminar with a special expert brought in from Halifax so pharmacy students at Memorial could learn more about this growing field of interest. “I’ll pick up loose ends whenever something needs to be done — but it’s always very much a group effort. Our classes are small and very supportive.”

Growing up in St. John’s, Ms. Turner spent her first year after high school at the University of Ottawa, then returned to Memorial and entered the School of Pharmacy after a second year of university study. Now in the final year of the pharmacy program, she will travel to Harlow, England, for a hospital rotation after Christmas.

After graduation, this bright young student hopes to enter a hospital residency, which is a year-long structured clinical program, to train as a hospital pharmacist. “Clinical pharmacy is a well-established, yet growing role for pharmacists. Hospitals have individualized nationally accredited programs. However, as of yet, there are no such residency programs in Newfoundland.”

Although she grew up in a family with a pharmacist father and a pharmacologist mother, Ms. Turner said her parents definitely did not push her to become a pharmacist. “However, they are very supportive of all my activities.”

In addition to nominating her for the Commitment to Care Award for Student Leadership, Megan Turner was also the School of Pharmacy’s unanimous choice as their 2000 Centennial Scholar.

Pharmacy Practice and Hospital Pharmacy Practice offer Commitment to Care awards annually in the categories of patient care, health promotion, charitable work, patient-centred pharmacy design, hospital pharmacy, student leadership and overall service to the profession. Each award is sponsored by a different pharmaceutical company.

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