The real people in a virtual pharmacy: Jason Dong, PharmacistMedication management · Apr 8, 2022
Meet pharmacist Jason Dong, Richmond, B.C.
Jason Dong found himself working behind a counter from an early age.
Not as a pharmacist though. “My first job? I was a barista when I was in grade eight!” Jason says with a big smile. It was great training in creating a relaxed connection with customers. He didn’t know at the time how handy that would be.
Skip ahead a few years and Jason, originally from Victoria, B.C., found himself at the University of British Columbia. Originally studying for a degree in zoology, Jason switched to the pharmacy program. He graduated with his BSc (Pharmacy) in 2005.
Years in retail locations means he loves getting to know patients.
Jason’s degree first took him to Seattle, Washington, just for the experience of living in a new place. Then it was back to Vancouver Island, where he worked in pharmacies from Victoria to Campbell River. His first 15 years in the field gave him the face-to-face experience he now draws on working in a virtual pharmacy. He joined TELUS Health Virtual Pharmacy just before the pandemic began.
Now, Jason works in a team of four pharmacists at TELUS Health Virtual Pharmacy.
They’re part of a much larger team working on fulfilling prescriptions and getting them out to patients quickly. There’s a quality control process with checkpoints, including one for another pharmacist to confirm the prescription, dosage and order is correct.
On top of dispensing prescriptions, Jason spends much of his day counselling patients, either by phone or by video conference. That may be answering questions, helping a patient understand side effects, or advising them of things to watch out for with their health condition or medications.
Jason loves virtual pharmacies’ convenience for people of all ages.
He enjoys making life easier for his patients, so their health outcomes are better. And he still gets to know patients by name, whether he meets them by phone or by video.
Jason’s taking care of others outside of pharmacy hours, too.
When he isn’t on duty at the pharmacy, Jason spends his time with his two small sons. Amidst their activities, Jason finds time to cultivate two of his passions: photography and cooking. He’s a big Asian noodle fan and now he’s now learning the art of charcoal barbecuing, too.
It’s been a long journey from boyhood barista to the pharmacy.
But Jason’s in a spot where he feels he’s making people’s lives better. “I like that this job makes a difference in people’s health. I love that I can take the time to talk to them. There’s no rush when they call me or book a consultation and I think that makes for great outcomes.”