Jonathan Lu wins for Public Protector at the Pharmacy Practice + Business Awards
What do you most enjoy about what you do?
I’ve been able to make my work part of my life, or to borrow a term, ikigai. My day-to-day tasks are varied and engaging, whether it’s direct patient care or IT development. While working in pharmacy has been hard these past years with strains on funding and staffing, there is still work to be done and I’ve been lucky enough to have some amazing colleagues and a stellar team that make it happen.
Is there someone who mentored you, or served as a role model?
It’s hard to pick a single role model because I’ve been shaped by a diverse community of people. The ethics of daily life provided by my family inform my work and continuous learning. Colleagues and preceptors have shaped my professional practice. My friends ground me in life, and some motivate me to be a better person.
What is your biggest challenge?
Lately, it’s determining the boundaries of a sustainable and scalable pharmacy practice. The past three years have highlighted the importance of work-life balance and the limits of individual excellence, so it has been a question of how to sustain and foster excellence in a pharmacy practice, whether it be through procedures, culture or technology.
Name something you’re really good at, that has nothing to do with pharmacy.
I’ve always had a soft spot for the arts. I used to teach violin and I’m a competent enough multi-instrumentalist.
What’s one piece of advice you’d give a young pharmacist who wants to make a difference in their career?
Sometimes there is a difference between hard work and smart work.
What’s your favourite way to spend time outside of work?
Every day after work I do a workout to be in my body and take a break from my head, which I think has helped me become more resilient, healthy and balanced.
Otherwise, I really enjoy communal activities—I grew up with Italian neighbours and my family have carried the tradition of tomato passata since I was eight years old. One of my favourite annual events is hosting a dumpling- and lantern-making party for my friends.
What’s next for you—any goals or dreams you hope to achieve in the future?
I’m trying to improve my Mandarin and keep my indoor plants alive.