Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Hospital Residency Spotlight: Lisa Ros-Choi

Lisa Ros-Choi (Rx2021) reflects on her hospital residency at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton.

The Road to Residency

During her first year in University, Lisa knew she wanted to pursue a career in healthcare to help others.

“I wanted a career in healthcare that was varied, had a good work/life balance and worked with my strengths,” Ros-Choi says.

Lisa worked at Hamilton Health Sciences, a specialty pharmacy and community pharmacy before applying to Waterloo Pharmacy. During her co-op work terms and rotations she tried diverse placements in different pharmacy areas.

“It was after experiencing the different areas of pharmacy that I felt a pull towards hospital pharmacy,” Ros-Choi says.

The first time Lisa applied to St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton’s residency program she didn’t get matched.

“I was upset at first, but felt that things happen for a reason. I recognized I needed to work on my self-confidence,” Ros-Choi says.

After not being matched, Lisa worked at a community pharmacy for a year and worked building confidence in herself and her clinical abilities.

“I didn’t give up, I kept working towards the goal I initially set out for myself and paired with St. Joseph’s the second time I applied,” Ros-Choi says.

The program at St. Joseph’s was a perfect match for Lisa. She appreciated the care her preceptors put into her residency and was thankful that they tailored her rotations based on the skills she wanted to foster.

“I was always drawn to outpatients and psychiatric care and my residency coordinator made sure my rotations aligned with those interests,” Ros-Choi says.

I came out of my residency feeling stronger as a clinician and that I made a difference the short time I was there.

Lisa Ros-Choi

Lisa Ros-Choi

Lisa Ros-Choi

Lisa’s research project won first place at the 2023 Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists - Ontario Branch (CSHP-OB) Residency Research Night at Waterloo Pharmacy titled, "Vaccination of Vaccine-Preventable-Diseases in the Kidney Transplant Population: A Single-Centre Study".

From her research Lisa discovered that many kidney transplant patients, who are at a high risk of infection, aren’t vaccinated and did not know that vaccines are necessary and are available to them. In conclusion, Lisa found that more effort need to be placed into patient education at the hospital.

Lisa Ros-Choi pointing at a poster

Lisa Ros-Choi presenting at the Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists - Ontario Branch (CSHP-OB) Residency Research Night at Waterloo Pharmacy

Q&A with Lisa

UW: What was your favourite part of the program?

LRC: Seeing how far I’ve come since I first walked into the program has been so rewarding. It was challenging but I’ve learned a lot and further developed as a pharmacist. I’ve built resilience and honed my pharmacy skills for my future career.

UW: What was your biggest challenge?

LRC: As a resident I felt very isolated from my friends and family who live in Toronto. I started my residency before my co-resident began so it was a solo journey for awhile. In addition, the residency is very fast paced, and responsibilities stack up quickly. Managing priorities while feeling isolated was tough but I am thankful for the support that is in put place by the program.

UW: What is your advice to future students?

LRC: It’s going to be a tough year but you’re going to learn a lot and in the long run it’s going to be not only great for your career, but your personal growth as well. Try not to be so hard on yourself and do your best.

Future Plans

Lisa is embarking on a trip throughout Asia post residency. She enjoys trying new recipes, reading, catching up with friends and hiking on the weekends.

“After my trip I plan to find a career working with patients and compassionate healthcare providers that drive and motivate me to be a better pharmacist,” Ros-Choi says. “Residency has taught me that things happen for a reason, and that everything will eventually work itself out. Something that works for me will someday come my way.”

Her ideal position is to work as a pharmacist in a hybrid situation between community pharmacy and hospital pharmacy.

For more residency stories visit out Residency Programs website.