INTERNLAB INTERN OF THE YEAR 2021
YI-HSIEN (DEBORAH) CHEN
SAMIOS PHARMACY – SUNNYBANK HILLS, QLD
What was your experience of InternLab?
Internlab was a great resource that helped keep my studies on track throughout the year amidst the busy schedule of an intern. It can be quite hard to find time to sit down and study, so attending the monthly webinars served as a helpful review of all the topics covered throughout the year. They provided the starting points of the basic gaps in knowledge that would need to be reviewed for various topics that I may find myself unfamiliar with. The exam resources in particular were invaluable for my preparations of the exam. They not only helped promote confidence, but also helped gain a clearer understanding for the expectations of the exam.
What advice would you offer to other interns?
For general internship: Try to learn as much around the pharmacy as you can, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Don’t be afraid to admit if you don’t know something: there is no shame in learning. However, most of all: take care of your mental health. Take time to do the things that make you happy, because a healthy mind leads to a healthier attitude. Feeling stressed or pressured is inevitable, but what’s important is not letting it get to a harmful state. If you need help or support or just people to talk to, seek it.
With regards to exams: Study smart, not hard. Trying to become a walking drug database by reading and writing out an entire encyclopedia will only lead to burnout, fatigue, and demotivation. It is better to begin with a rough review of everything you’ll need to know – then spend as much time doing practice exams as you can. Practice exams have done more for me than the time I spent reviewing all my textbooks. The oral exam practices helped test and identify gaps in knowledge for further review, as well as give a good idea of the amount of information expected of you. The more mock exams you expose yourself with, the more confident you will be – and you may even find that the actual exam contain questions very similar to a practice exam you already did. Similarly with the written exam practices, it helps with not only keeping track of time, but also your ability to find the answers needed quickly in the textbooks if needed.
What part of pharmacy are you most passionate about?
I am most passionate about research in pharmacy. Although data collection, analysis and write-ups can sound like tedious work – the fulfillment of contributing to what we know, or think we know about our practices today makes it all worth it. Being a part of the catalyst to strive for better patient care in our practices is an honour to be in. As this role would naturally develop my experiences and knowledge professionally – I wouldn’t need to fear complacency or stagnation in my professional growth.
How do you see yourself in the future as a leader in pharmacy?
I see myself as a future leader in pharmacy through mentoring others in my usual day to day job. Be it mentoring students, advising patients, or even fellow healthcare professionals. I aim to expand my professional experiences and expertise so that I can contribute back to the community around me with the utmost competency.