When first deciding which direction to take his career, Ryan always knew he was interested in healthcare. He decided on pharmacy, graduating from the Bachelor of Pharmacy in 2009. After completing his intern year, he explored community pharmacy but had always had his sights set on health policy and working in the government.
In 2012, he took on a project pharmacist role at the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, which he describes as a “period of intense learning.”
He then enrolled in a Master of Public Health (Health Economics and Policy) and graduated in 2015, glad that the flexibility of the degree allowed him to work and study through distance education.
Pharmacy is a springboard; clinical training is highly valued … when I first enrolled, I never thought I’d end up here!
After this, Ryan joined the NSW Ministry of Health where he worked in a number of different roles until he landed a job working on national negotiations to develop a pricing and funding approach that reflected the safety and quality of healthcare delivered in public hospitals.
The role piqued his interest in safety and quality areas of policy, but he knew he didn’t have a strong understanding of the practical implications of providing these services. Looking for a challenge, when a job at Sutherland Hospital popped up, he applied and was accepted.
Now in his role as Manager - Quality, Patient Safety and Risk at Sutherland Hospital he enjoys seeing his work being immediately applied and how the improvements he makes to clinical practice benefits patient care.
In his day to day, he leads and provides advice to a team of senior managers and executives on strategies and approaches so that the hospital maintains its accreditation to national safety standards. He oversees the hospital’s system of quality auditing, and works with clinical staff to get them to participate and see value in it, informing their own quality improvement projects.
Looking forward, he hopes that he can use his growing operational experience at a senior executive level to drive organisational and system-level change.
Ryan recommends young people thinking of a career in pharmacy keep their options open. "Pharmacy is a springboard to so many different things. Clinical training is very highly valued, and it opens many doors. When I first enrolled, I never thought I would be here! Always take opportunities to challenge yourself."
Since conducting this interviewed Ryan has taken up a new position as Principal Policy Officer, Policy Funding Reform for NSW Health.