Embracing diversity in pharmacy: A journey of care and connection.

Kopila Kafle, a Pegasus Health Workforce Development Scholarship recipient, epitomises the impact of dedication to patient-centered care.

In our diverse and ever-growing society, it is crucial to have healthcare professionals who reflect the communities they serve. Kopila Kafle, a 4th-year Bachelor of Pharmacy student and recipient of the Pegasus Health Workforce Development Scholarship in 2023, is a shining example of how passion, perseverance, and a commitment to patient-centered care can make a significant impact.

Coming from Nepal at the age of eight, Kopila was the oldest child in her family, entrusted with finding her own path. She describes it as a blessing to be a role model for her younger siblings, illustrating her determination to create change and make a positive impact. As she discovered her passion for connecting with people, Kopila realised that pharmacy would allow her to not only serve her community but also develop personal relationships with patients.

“Pharmacists really do patient-centered care. Unfortunately, doctors don’t have the same opportunity to spend long periods of time with a patient. Pharmacists are always there. We’ll find the answers for you. It’s the best way to connect with people,” Kopila said.

This dedication to putting the patient first, coupled with the accessibility of pharmacies, creates an environment for genuine connections to form. It is these relationships that make a real difference in people’s lives.

Belonging to the Nepalese community in Christchurch, Kopila appreciates the personal relationships that exist within local pharmacies. Looking ahead, she is excited to foster connections within her community. With around 900 Nepalese individuals living in Canterbury, Kopila understands the significance of spreading awareness about health and well-being among her community members.

“All the pharmacies here have such a personal relationship with patients. I’m looking forward to creating relationships,” Kopila said.

Kopila’s journey exemplifies the importance of supporting students from Māori, Pasifika, and CALD backgrounds pursuing health qualifications. The Pegasus Health Workforce Development Scholarship has enabled her to further develop her skills, expand her knowledge, and ultimately make a difference in the lives of her community.