The International Pharmacy Graduate Program (IPG) at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy is an academic bridging program that prepares internationally educated pharmacists to meet Canadian entry-to-practice requirements, and develop skills to care for patients as the pharmacy profession evolves.
A newly established bursary fund is now available to support eligible international pharmacy students pursuing the preparatory bridging program. The bursary was established by several donors connected to program including Mahmoud Suleiman, a pharmacist and Assistant Registrar with the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada.
“I had been involved with the IPG Program at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy while I was undergoing my own studies as a pharmacy student at U of T and was a coordinator of one of the courses for many years after graduation,” said Suleiman. “It is important to recognize the vital contributions that graduates from the program make to improving the health and wellness of Ontarians and Canadians.
Shimaa Deif was born and raised in Egypt and received her Bachelor’s Degree of Pharmacy from Alexandria University in 1999. After immigrating to Canada, Deif had the opportunity to take the IPG and has recently graduated. The newly established IPG bursary provided crucial support for Deif as she completed the program.
“I gained a lot of skills and knowledge required to complete my journey to become a registered pharmacist in Canada,” said Deif who says she is passionate about pharmacy because pharmacists build a bond with patients and have a role in their lives beyond medication. She is also inspired by her father who was a pharmacist and has encouraged her to pursue the profession.
As she completed the program, Deif said she appreciated the support and expertise of IPG faculty who helped her overcome a sense of isolation that has set in while she was studying for her licensing exams prior to joining the program.
For his part, Sulemain takes inspiration from the drive and commitment he sees in so many of the IPG students. “I hope that through the generosity of IPG Program alumni and other pharmacy professionals and advocates, we can continue to grow this award so that more IPG students can benefit,” he said.
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