Kavita standing with her research poster

Kavita Puri (Rx2017) standing with her award-winning research poster.

Pharmacy residencies are postgraduate training programs where graduates further refine clinical skills. As residents, new grads perform independently as licenced pharmacists but also benefit from additional training with experienced practitioners. Each year, several Waterloo Pharmacy alumni pursue residency training opportunities at hospitals throughout Ontario.

In July, the 2018 residents in the Golden Horseshoe and Southwestern Ontario area gathered to showcase research they conducted while completing residencies. Nine of the thirteen pharmacists presenting at Residency Poster Night were graduates of Waterloo Pharmacy’s Rx2017 class. When completing a residency, students undertake research that is of relevance to the institution they are placed at. Topics vary widely, and this year’s presentations ranged from assessing mobile medication technology to examining pediatric information in drug monographs.

Kavita Puri completed her residency at St. Joseph’s Healthcare in Hamilton and her research was recognized with the Pharmacy Resident Research Poster Award. The project was conducted at St. Joseph’s Pre-Transplant Clinic and examined the impact that educational animation modules had on patient knowledge about medications related to their transplant procedures.

“I’ve always been interested in patient education and various modalities to improve the way clinicians deliver health information to patients,” explains Puri. “Research has shown that medication non-adherence is far too common in solid-organ transplant recipients, particularly among renal transplant patients.”

Medication non-adherence is a serious issue because it can lead to rejection and even loss of the newly transplanted organs. Thus, Puri examined a novel method of educating patients about the importance of medication adherence.

“To our knowledge, this is the first study to evaluate the impact of a patient-friendly animated educational module about immunosuppressive medications in patients referred for renal transplantation,” she says.

The results were promising, with patients who viewed the module demonstrating an improvement in knowledge. Her poster has since been accepted to the Canadian Society of Transplantation conference, where Puri will present her findings to a national audience.

“We’re proud to see the accomplishments of Kavita and all our recent grads at this event,” says Hallman Director David Edwards, who was one of several poster award judges. “The diversity and quality of research showcased is a testament to the many strengths of our alumni.”

This year’s Golden Horseshoe and Southwestern Ontario poster night was also the first one to feature a resident from the Waterloo Pharmacy residency program in Ambulatory Care. Based out of the Centre for Family Medicine Family Health Team, the new program is one of only three primary care residencies in Ontario.

Nikki Domanski of Rx2017 was the first resident to complete this program. She gained experience at several sites including Health Canada, the Centre for Family Medicine’s various clinics, and Grand River Hospital in Kitchener. At the poster night many expressed interest in this new program, and Nikki’s research on intravenous ibuprofen was well-received.