“Bite off more than you can chew, and chew like mad.”
It was this advice - from Pharmaceutical Society president Dr Fei Sim - that has characterised the study journey of final year pharmacy student Sarah Foster.
Saying yes to all opportunities that came her way led to Sarah being crowned Victorian Pharmacy Student of the Year in mid-2023 and more recently to a unique clinical placement as a GP pharmacist in Mildura with La Trobe alumni and rural health advocate Brooke Shelley.
“This placement reminded me of the growth of pharmacy practice over recent years and that community pharmacy and hospital pharmacy are not the only options when looking to my future career,” Sarah said.
“The GP pharmacist model makes so much sense for rural communities.
“In our pharmacy course, we learn all about the importance of working in multi-disciplinary teams and providing integrated care for patients, so it was great to see this in action on my placement.”
“I now have the confidence and skills going into my internship and beyond.”
While Sarah’s interest in pharmacy was sparked as a teenager working at her local chemist, her journey to final year has been far from straight forward.
“I didn’t have the self-confidence to pursue pharmacy straight out of high school and undertook studies in early childhood education. Along the way, I started a family and since becoming a single parent to my two boys I have built the confidence to pursue my dreams.”
"Getting accepted to La Trobe Bendigo wasn’t without its challenges. The boys and I had just settled in Melbourne, so we needed to uproot again. Then COVID hit, which came with home-schooling while undertaking a full-time study load, but we have come out the other side."
"The support provided by La Trobe's pharmacy academics, my parents and current partner has not gone unnoticed - they are a big part of my journey to success in pharmacy."