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46. #50YearsofTransplant: Cindy Luo

Cindy is a clinical pharmacy specialist in renal transplant at Vancouver General Hospital. She works closely with renal patients to ensure they are taking their medications, while monitoring side effects and changing medication as required.
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What is your role as a clinical pharmacy specialist?

"Patients who receive a kidney transplant are often on multiple medications to prevent organ rejection and transplant complications. My primary role is to ensure that patients are on the best medication regimen possible and help them to understand how to use their medications.

In addition, I am involved in research projects aiming to streamline prescribing of medications that have potentially serious side effects and to help patients take their medications as prescribed. I also work closely with our research group on clinical trials for use of novel medications for transplant recipients, and provide teaching and training of students and residents in multiple health professions."

Can you explain what a day in the life of your job looks like?

"On most days, you will find me rounding with the renal transplant physicians at Vancouver General Hospital and discussing medication options for our patients. Once a plan is made, I provide teaching to patients about their new transplant medications before they leave the hospital. You will also find me in the post-transplant clinic where we see kidney transplant recipients who live in the community. I work with these patients to ensure they are taking their prescribed medications appropriately, monitor for side effects, and adjust medications based on lab and microbiology results."

What is the most rewarding part of being on this team?

"It is a privilege to be a part of our transplant team because very few people are given the opportunity to be a part of someone's transplant journey. The aspect I enjoy the most is being able to hear about all the activities our patients can do after their transplants, such as a family vacation or a golfing trip.

I work with a wonderful team of physicians, nurses and other professionals who always strive to provide the best care to every patient. We are a very close knit team with a common goal of keeping our patients and their transplants as healthy as possible. It is an honour to be able to contribute to this goal through my perspective on medications as the renal transplant pharmacist for our team."

What are some common myths and misconceptions you've come across about organ donation?

"One common misconception is around the ease of finding a suitable donor. We have an entire team dedicated to finding suitable organs for each patient, as this can be a complicated process based on the patient's medical history and limited organ availability. With more donors, there is a higher possibility we can find a suitable match for our patients."

What is your perspective on BC's milestone of 50 years of donation and transplant?

"This is such an incredible milestone! I am very lucky to be working in a team that works so hard to improve the lives of British Columbians. I look forward to many more years of success with our transplant team!"

50in50; BC Transplant
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