Andy Kwok beside his scientific poster
Thursday, June 20, 2024

Hospital Residency Spotlight: Andy Kwok

Andy Kwok (Rx2022) was inspired to pursue a hospital pharmacy career after experiencing different pharmacy careers during his co-op work terms. Working in a hospital environment, a family health team and a community pharmacy empowered him to choose what he felt most drawn to.

“I enjoy working in an environment where I can provide holistic approach to care to improve patient lives. For me, the best place to do this is working as a hospital pharmacist,” Andy says. He went on to complete his hospital residency at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC).

The Residency Experience

During his hospital residency, Andy was able to partake in a multitude of rotations including but not limited to neurosurgery, hematology, oncology, general medicine and cardiology.

Hospital residency provides every student the opportunity to develop clinical skills. Similar to Waterloo Pharmacy’s co-op program, you have a safe learning environment where you’re able to explore different areas of interest and find where you want to practice in the future.


Andy’s research project won second place at the 2023 Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists - Ontario Branch (CSHP-OB) Residency Research Night at Waterloo Pharmacy titled, Evaluating Direct-Acting Oral Anticoagulants in the Treatment of Intracardiac Thrombus: A Retrospective Chart Review.

He focused on comparing direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) and warfarin, evaluating the differences in their efficacy and safety when it comes to the treatment of intracardiac thrombus.

Warfarin normally requires a lot of monitoring and frequent dose adjustments. His research concluded that DOACs are comparable to warfarin and his conclusions have led to advancing the hospital’s research in this space.

Q&A with Andy Kwok

UW: What was the most fulfilling aspect of the hospital residency program for you?

AK: I was able to experience things I’ve never had the opportunity to experience before! I worked collaboratively alongside physicians during rounds, I had the opportunity to develop resources and provide counselling to newly diagnosed cancer patients, I ensured drug dosing was appropriate for our pediatric patients and I even observed a brain surgery in the operating room. The educational opportunities are endless and I grew so much as a pharmacist during my residency year.

UW: What was your biggest challenge?

AK: When I started residency there was an overlap with taking my pharmacy licensing exams, a highly stressful time. During residency, I could have easily fallen behind because of the volume of presentations and the high paced environment. It was important for me to self reflect and incorporate feedback from all my preceptors to improve for the next rotation. Luckily with the support of my residency co-ordinator, Venita Harris, preceptors and the rest of my co-residents, I was able to preserve through this time.

UW: How did Waterloo Pharmacy prepare you for your residency?

AK: My co-op work term, my rotations and the electives I chose to take prepared me for my hospital residency. I was intentional in choosing different pharmacy areas to find where I fit best and then tailored my electives in third year specifically to prepare for my residency application.

For more residency stories visit out Residency Programs website.