Dr Shirin Abadi shares her journey of learning and growth: A profound perspective on success

October 31, 2023

Dr. Shirin Abadi has extensive experience in the health sector, most recently as the Pharmacy Clinical & Education Coordinator for BC Cancer in Vancouver. With her enthusiasm and collaborative approach, she has inspired the expansion of clinical and educational pharmacy services, all while fulfilling her role as a Clinical Professor for the Faculties of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Medicine at the University of British Columbia (UBC). At the University, she teaches and communicates to aspiring healthcare professionals. In addition, Dr. Shirin Abadi’s career includes six years of executive leadership involvement with the Canadian College of Health Leaders, BC Lower Mainland Chapter. She has participated in strategic planning for patient and staff engagement initiatives throughout the past few years while attaining extensive board experience.

Dr. Abadi’s dedication to research shines through her diverse portfolio of over fifty academic papers and posters. Her insights have also earned her recognition as an invited speaker at more than a hundred local, provincial, national, and international events, where she eloquently addresses topics spanning clinical practice, research advancements, and effective leadership strategies. Dr. Abadi’s contributions have garnered an impressive array of more than thirty esteemed awards, reflecting her unwavering commitment to patient well-being, exemplary service, and transformative leadership. Among these accolades, she proudly holds a Fellowship with the Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists, solidifying her status as a respected figure within the field at home and on the global stage.

Shirin’s journey to her current position has been long and transformative. Throughout her career, she has dedicated herself to continuous learning and personal growth, which has shaped her into the accomplished professional she is today. She started her education by earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in Pharmacy with Honours at UBC. Afterward, she started gaining work experience as a Research Pharmacist at BC Children’s and Women’s Hospital for a year; then completed an Accredited Hospital Pharmacy Residency Program at Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver. She gained more experience by working as a Clinical Pharmacist at Vancouver General Hospital and Lions Gate Hospital to further her professional career. Next, she continued her education by attaining her Doctor of Pharmacy Degree from the University of Toronto. Dr. Abadi became a Clinical Manager at Toronto East General Hospital for a year and a half, where she helped manage the pharmacy department. However, Dr. Abadi soon returned to Vancouver to become the Pharmacy Residency and Education Coordinator at Lions Gate Hospital. Her interest in cancer care led her to BC Cancer–Vancouver Centre, where she led exciting initiatives in clinical pharmacy practice and education. Alongside her new role, she became a Clinical Professor at UBC, teaching for the Faculties of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Medicine. Additionally, to further her education and career even more, Dr. Abadi completed a Pharmacy Leadership Academy Diploma at the ASHP Leadership Center, and an Executive MBA Degree, and a Graduate Certificate for Conducting Business in the Americas at Simon Fraser University.

When Dr. Shirin Abadi was asked to reflect on her journey as a healthcare professional, she found it challenging to single out a specific achievement that she is most proud of. Instead, she shared her motivating factors by saying “I am very passionate about improving patient health outcomes and patient safety, and that has been my primary professional focus and the lens with which I do much of my work. This intention has been the motivation behind much of my professional accomplishments, including clinical programs, as well as research and teaching involvements.”

Dr. Shirin Abadi has greatly benefited from her active engagement with the Canadian College of Health Leaders. She dedicated six years to the CCHL-BCLM Chapter Executive Committee, during which time she provided guidance and leadership to the Member Engagement Working Group, as well as offering support to the Program Planning Working Group. Additionally, she played an integral role as a founding member of the Justice, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Working Group. Her involvement extends further as she served as the BCLM representative and liaison for the Canada West Health Leaders Conference Planning Committee, while also being a valued member of the National Awards Advisory Committee. In recognition of her efforts and engagement, Dr. Shirin Abadi was selected by the BC Lower Mainland Chapter as the recipient of the 2023 Chapter Award for Distinguished Service.