Spencer Candy talks about 2nd year

A day in the life

Spencer Candy talks about 2nd year


It’s not a competitive environment – people are willing to help each other out. Especially in PBL: the point is to share your knowledge, not keep it to yourself. We’re always collaborating and helping each other.

An exciting time to be in pharmacy

Though most of her friends were planning to attend a southern Ontario university, Brantford, Ontario native Spencer Candy decided to come east. “A little adventure never hurt anybody,” she says with a smile.

Spencer originally planned to do science but decided in October of her first year to apply to the Pharmacy program. “The more I looked at it, I was more and more interested. By the time I was preparing for the interview, I was really excited.”

At first, she admits, “I had the wrong idea of what pharmacy was – I thought it was just counting pills. But it’s very patient focused - all about counseling and patient care. It’s an especially exciting time to be in pharmacy right now because of the expanded scope of practice coming into play. It’s so much more what I want to be doing. I love it.”

One thing she loves is the problem-based learning curriculum. In PBL courses, students work in groups. “I enjoy discussing things and getting input from other people,” she says. “It allows us to cover more ground.”

Solving real-life problems in skills lab

Skills lab is another opportunity to solve problems. “The skills lab is essentially a mock pharmacy, with role playing and simulated patients,” she explains. “We apply what we’ve learned to addressing patients’ problems. It’s great to see that what we’re learning translates to real life. There’s that instant feedback and the gratification that you’ve learned something, and that you can help someone – it’s been really rewarding.”

In one lab, students considered the expanding scope of pharmacists. “It was a joint lab with students in the pharmacy technician program at the Nova Scotia Community College,” Spencer explains. “It was good practice for getting a sense of what other people can offer and how we might work together in a community or hospital pharmacy setting.”

Like all second-year students, Spencer will do two clinical rotations during the summer – one in a community pharmacy and one in a hospital. Though she doesn't know exactly what to expect, she is excited to “sit in on counseling, do med reviews, and other things that will allow me to apply my skills lab experiences.”

She doesn’t know yet what her “dream job” would be. “I’m waiting on these rotations to see if I like working in a hospital or in a community pharmacy. I’m open to either – there are pros and cons to both. But there are lots of other options – it’s not limited to just a community or hospital pharmacy.”

One thing Spencer wasn’t expecting was the number of learning opportunities outside class: “Lunch and learns, conferences, talks, and monthly get-togethers, both academic and social – there’s a real community here.”