Pharmacy Mentor Spotlight
Clinical Supervisor, Pharmacotherapeutic Specialist in Infectious Diseases and Antimicrobial Stewardship
Vancouver General Hospital
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Brief description of role or responsibilities
Tim Lau works as a Clinical Supervisor and Clinical Pharmacy Specialist in Infectious Diseases at the Vancouver General Hospital. He is the Pharmacy Lead for ASPIRES (the Antimicrobial Stewardship Programme) at Vancouver Coastal Health and is involved in initiatives to promote rational medication prescribing based on best practices. Tim is a member of several committees, including the BC Antimicrobial Stewardship Clinical Expert (PACE) Working Group; BC COVID-19 Therapeutics Committee; Antimicrobial Stewardship and Resistance Committee with the Association of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Disease Canada; Canadian Sexually Transmitted Infections Expert Working Group; and BC Medical Assistance in Dying Oversight Committee. He is a Clinical Professor in the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Associate Member in the Faculty of Medicine at UBC.
Description of how they are a great mentor or has positively influenced you and the pharmacy profession:
My interest in hospital pharmacy was sparked by the vancomycin lecture that Tim taught in my first year of the E2P-Pharm.D. program. This was the first time I fully realized the important role of clinical pharmacists. Shortly after that lecture, I reached out to Tim inquiring about his day-to-day responsibilities, and he kindly invited me to his office to chat further. I still vividly remember how I struggled to navigate the maze-like hallways of Vancouver General Hospital before finding his office. As I sat down in his office chair, there was a confidentiality form waiting for me to sign. He mentioned that he was part of the infectious diseases consultation service and rounds will be starting shortly. Before I knew it, I was up on the ward observing the infectious disease team and providing care to patients.
From a clueless first-year pharmacy student without any clear career aspirations to now a PGY1 resident with Lower Mainland Pharmacy Services, Tim’s mentorship throughout my training was invaluable. I recall the numerous times where I felt unsure of my future and it was always his inspiring words of wisdom that assured me I had the potential to become a capable hospital pharmacist. His confidence in my capabilities drove me to strive for excellence and it greatly influenced the trajectory of my career.
When interacting with Tim, it does not take long to recognize his impact and dedication. His involvement beyond his daily responsibilities demonstrates his passion for the pharmacy profession and improvement of patient care. He continually advocates for pharmacists to prescribe in BC, conducts research to push the frontiers of medicine, and is involved in several additional initiatives. Irrespective of his busy schedule, Tim always finds the time to engage in conversation and mentor students even if this means he would be working late. His work ethic and compassion towards others is truly commendable.
I am very thankful to have been under the tutelage of Tim over the years, and I now hope to mentor learners to a similar degree as Tim did for me.