It has been an incredible year of adventure in 2018. I had the privilege to work in the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) as a project coordinator of the Young Pharmacist Group (YPG). The work took a lot of energy and time, but nothing can compare to the experience of working with enthusiastic pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists around the globe.
It all began in the 2007 world congress of International Pharmaceutical Student Federation (IPSF) in Taipei, Taiwan. It was my first international conference and the congress inspired me to participate in public affairs. In an international conference like this, I had the chance to know the differences of pharmacy education system in different countries and how they were developed. Some of the information became answers of my questions later in school. I attended only one more congress in 2008 afterwards but kept stay involved in public affairs in school back in college days.
Fast-forward to 2012, the FIP Centennial Congress in Amsterdam was my first FIP congress. There I found a bigger stage where enthusiastic pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists were making changes in pharmacy practice and pharmaceutical researches. Present were all kinds of topics from community pharmacy, emergency pharmacy to biotechnology, and regulatory sciences. It is a conference that brings together specialists from different aspects and brings about innovative ideas. Also, seeing many old IPSF friends and EPSA members actively involved in the congress, I felt like this is where I could connect with the world. There I went to one more congress in Dublin, Ireland in 2013. Although I missed a few congresses later, I still follow FIP news closely and had a chance to be elected in 2017 as the FIP-YPG project coordinator. The interesting thing is that all steering committee (SC) members, John Ly, Yuri Chung and I all attended the IPSF congress in 2008. Although we didn’t know much about each other back in 2008, we agreed that people with similar minds will be brought together some time.
YPG is a special section in FIP which includes all members under 35 or graduated in 5 years. The purpose is to create a platform for young members to build a global network, participate in FIP activities, events and projects. FIP aims to bring in more young members and creative ideas into the organization through YPG. In YPG, we want to provide a group where young members of FIP can develop their interest, get to know people, get involved, and even develop their creative ideas into sustainable projects.
We have some of the exclusive events such as World Pharmacists Day campaign and YPG night during congresses. There are also cooperative events with other sections like webinars, sessions in the congress, and the Leadership Development Workshop.
Last year in 2018, we made some changes based on the establishments from former SC. First, we created positions of subcommittees. Through building subcommittees, YPG has better connections with each Section and Special Interest Group (SIG) in FIP and improves productivities of YPG. These positions also create opportunities for YPG members to be more involved in FIP, both YPG and the fields one is interested in. The other new activity is the Leadership Development Workshop (LDW). LDW is a pre-congress satellite workshop aims for people who wants to know more on how FIP operates in daily basis and is interested in becoming future steering committee members. In the workshop, we invite former SC members and FIP staffs to deliver talks and organize teamwork activities. After the workshop, the attendees will know more about how FIP operates, what projects, events and activities are currently enrolling. Also, they can meet FIP staffs in person and get to know them. We really hope that this workshop can create better collaborations across FIP if attendees become YPG SC members in the future.
FIP-YPG can be more than a stepping stone to the international pharmacy and global health. It is also a stage created for young pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists where you can find resources and make things happen. We realize that there are many talented and enthusiastic students making impacts and changes in local, national and international student organizations. But these people disappeared from public affairs after they graduated. One of the reasons could be lacking of stages for newly graduated pharmacists and scientists. FIP-YPG is the next stage for people who wants to keep involved in public affairs. We would like to invite everyone who’s interested in the global health professional network and wants to provide better pharmacy practice and pharmaceutical research that leads to better global health in the future to join us.
This article was written by Tommy Chen