Only a week after the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada informed Brett Barrett (BScP 2003) that she had passed her three-day licensing exam, she was surprised to receive another letter from the board. As she opened it, Barrett half-joked with her husband that the board had probably made a mistake in telling her that she had passed. In fact, the opposite was true: Barrett had won the 2003 Dean George A. Burbidge Award from the Canadian Pharmacists Association for scoring the highest mark in Canada on the exam, written by 568 pharmacy students across the country. “It was very much a surprise,” says Barrett. “I didn’t feel that I’d aced it at all.” In fact, after the test, she had commiserated with her classmates about some tough questions on obscure drugs they had never even heard of.
Barrett is proud of her achievement, but even more interested in her new job as a clinical pharmacist at Grand River Hospital in her hometown of Kitchener, Ont. As part of the hospital’s health-care team, she is responsible for everything from managing drug orders to educating patients about their prescriptions. Barrett completed a life sciences degree before coming to U of T’s Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, and had contemplated various health-care positions as a career – including optometry, medicine and occupational therapy – but found her niche in pharmacy. “The best part of my job is the fact that I get to learn something new every day,” she says. “I feel like I make a difference.”