2022 EPE Preceptor Award Winners

The Early Practice Experience (EPE) rotations occur in the first two years of the Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program, and for some students, their first EPE rotation may be their first exposure to direct patient care. These experiences are formative for students, and preceptors are critical to providing a high-quality learning experience.

“Learning under the guidance of practising pharmacists who all share a passion for teaching is pivotal to experiential education,” says Debbie Kwan, Assistant Professor – Teaching Stream and Preceptor Education and Engagement Coordinator at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy. “Our preceptors not only teach, but they also serve as role models for our students. Many of them spend time above and beyond their workday to provide students with opportunities to enrich their learning.”

EPE Preceptor of the Year awards are student-nominated and recognize outstanding individuals who go above and beyond in teaching the next generation of pharmacists. This year, three community pharmacists and three hospital pharmacists were recognized for providing outstanding learning experiences in EPE rotations.


Portrait of Pharmacist Andy Bautista

Andy Bautista, Shoppers Drug Mart #939

“I really enjoy having the opportunity to impart knowledge to my students, as well as learning as much from them. I always view this teaching relationship as a two-way street, and I know I will learn as much as they would learn from me and the rest of the pharmacy staff. I suggest involving the whole pharmacy staff/team in the journey of the students during their rotation. Every pharmacy staff has accumulated knowledge and to a point some expertise to train and teach EPE students, be it technical or clinical knowledge.

This recognition validates the work that I put in as well as the whole pharmacy staff in helping my students ease into the practice of pharmacy. Hopefully, whatever they learn from me they will be able to pass on to their fellow students or colleagues. Lastly, I always say that the award is not mine alone. Without the support of the whole pharmacy team, I do not think that a student would have the full accomplishment and experience an EPE rotation would give.” 

Portrait of Pharmacist Stan Tsykov

Stan Tsykov, Shoppers Drug Mart #1246

“The most enjoyable aspect of preceptorship is learning with and from my students. Every individual brings a unique perspective and approach to problem-solving. I encourage open dialogue and have check-ins. These are excellent opportunities to help students reflect on assigned activities and help us create opportunities for their engagement with staff and patients.

Receiving this award is a very humbling experience that reinforces that my store team and I are on the right track for providing an inclusive and engaging environment to future pharmacists who will shape the future of our health care system.”

Gaurav Ratti, Shoppers Drug Mart #1330

A critical aspect to learning is challenging your knowledge outside of the classroom. As a preceptor, you are given the opportunity to offer that challenge to students and assist them in employing the tools they have learned at school to solve complex problems in the real world. Guiding students to find the solution is what I enjoy the most about being a preceptor. It is also very enjoyable to be a resource to students who want to find out about retail pharmacy. Many of my past students were excited to understand how a busy dispensary operates, and it's enjoyable to walk them through the operational workflow of a demanding dispensary.

I was thrilled when I was informed that I had won this award. … The award has reenergized me to continue to offer the best possible experience for students in the future as they start their placement in my store.


Portrait of Pharmacist Harpreet Khangura

Harpreet Khangura, William Osler Health System – Brampton Civic Hospital

There are many rewarding aspects to mentoring students. It’s an opportunity to spark the future generation of professionals’ passion for the field of pharmacy. I truly enjoy what I do and am honoured to have the opportunity to share my experiences through mentorship. It has also given me an opportunity to sharpen my leadership skills. My previous experiences in co-op and clinical rotations helped shape who I am as a pharmacist, and I am hoping to do the same for students. 

It’s very gratifying to know that my students had positive and impactful experiences with me. It was my first year as a preceptor, and I’m thankful my efforts were well received.

Portrait of Pharmacist Marissa Webber

Marissa Webber, University Health Network – Toronto General Hospital Transplant Outpatient Pharmacy

I most enjoy learning as much from the students as (I hope) they do from me. I teach not only the what, but the why. Why do we monitor for a certain adverse effect? Why does that step in the workflow exist? Does it reduce errors or workload down the line? I have found that it reinforces the learning and gives a more holistic understanding. 

As preceptors, I think we all hope we positively impact each student. This is a nice acknowledgement that I'm on the right track.

Portrait of Pharmacist Erita Habtom

Erita Habtom, Southlake Regional Health Centre

I enjoy witnessing those moments when things begin clicking for students as they transition from classroom theoretical knowledge to its real-world application with hospitalized patients under their care. I love that I'm able to be a part of making that happen and helping them create their own process for navigating complex clinical scenarios that often have more than one solution. 

During learning objective setting, I always get students to dig deep on what THEY want to get out of it. I find this approach not only helps increase their enthusiasm and buy-in, but also helps students leave the EPE experience feeling like more effective and confident pharmacy professionals, which to me is the heart of what an EPE experience should provide.

I feel truly honored that my enthusiasm for teaching has been recognized in this way. It's a great feeling when our extra efforts as preceptors are appreciated by our students and to be reminded that it does actually make an impact on them and their learning experience.

Honourable Mentions

Alex Hone

Shoppers Drug Mart #993

Andrea Mattiussi

The Hospital for Sick Children

Angelo Dias

Georgetown Pharmacy

Brendan Yeats

St. Joseph's Health Centre, Toronto

Daniel Shehata

Shoppers Drug Mart #815

Ginyoung Lee

Shoppers Drug Mart #731

Han Byul Kang

The Hospital for Sick Children

Jasneet Dulai

Whole Health Pharmacy Cooksville

Jeffrey Kwong

Walmart Pharmacy #1115

Kyro Maseh

Lawlor Pharmasave

Lauren Chan

Shoppers Drug Mart #1162 - York University Keele Campus

Linda Ou

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Linda Plong

Shoppers Drug Mart #1362

Sameer Habib

Rexall #8137

Vincent Le

Shoppers Drug Mart #1177

Yalda Pour Shahnazari

Shoppers Drug Mart #928

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