Team player

Part of a series of stories profiling graduating students

- May 26, 2011

Melanie Trinacity graduates with a degree in pharmacy.
Melanie Trinacity graduates with a degree in pharmacy.

Over the last four years at Dalhousie, Melanie Trinacty has discovered she wants all the challenges and rewards of a hospital pharmacist’s life.

“It wasn’t until I got into the program that I realized what a strong presence pharmacists have in hospitals,” she says. “The pharmacist works on the floor with the physicians and the nurses, so you’re in there working as a team.”

Working through problems as a group is an essential component of learning in the College of Pharmacy. Ms. Trinacty discussed patient cases with her peers, focusing on evidence-based medicine in class. Then she took that skill to patients’ bedsides, in daily rotations at the IWK with doctors and residents.

“The most important thing is: when you go out into practice, you’re not going to know everything, but you need to know how to find that information when you need it. That’s what we learn here.”

The onus to develop a critical mind is on the student and she believes what you bring to the table will determine your success in the program.

Ms. Trinacty brought a lot to Dalhousie. As president of the Dalhousie Student Pharmacy Society and as an executive on the Health Science Students Association, she helped create a tight knit graduating class, connected to students in all the health professions.

Last year, she won the Canadian Pharmacists’ Association’s Centennial Award and was named first author and third author on two academic papers with Dr. Tannis Jurgens and Dr. Anne Marie Whelan.

All this, in between four part-time jobs and running half marathons.

“I always say this: you only live once. That’s why I try to take advantage of every single opportunity that comes my way.”

Soon, she’ll start a coveted residency in the Ottawa General Hospital, which she competed against 70 students from across Canada to win. But will this graduate from the Annapolis Valley come back to the Maritimes after she finishes in Ottawa?

“Oh, definitely. I’d like to come back and run this place,” she says with nearly a straight face. “Don’t tell anyone I said that, though,” 
she says, laughing.


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