As part of our Pharmacy Leaders of Malaysia series, we spoke to Dr. Mohamed Elnaem, who is currently an assistant professor at the Department of Pharmacy Practice, Kulliyyah of Pharmacy, at the International Islamic University Malaysia. Dr. Elnaem was raised in Alexandria, Egypt where he received his Bachelor’s degree in pharmaceutical sciences, and then later obtained a postgraduate degree in clinical pharmacy (PharmD). Dr. Elnaem also earned a post-graduate certificate in clinical research from Harvard Medical School in 2012, and then became certified as a pharmacotherapy specialist from the American Board of pharmacy specialties in 2014.
His impressive academic credentials are matched by his passion and enthusiasm for pharmacist-led interventions and pharmacy education in developing countries. When asked about the future of pharmacy in Malaysia, Dr. Elnaem expressed high hopes: “In Malaysia, pharmacists are doing a great job in all settings. However, they are still claiming their dispensing separation rights. I also believe that the community pharmacy practice in the country has the potential to be expanded and upgraded, particularly with the involvement of the hundreds of young pharmacists graduating every year.” As such, Dr. Elnaem has been very involved in empowering Malaysian pharmacists to deliver even better and more advanced care. In fact, he authored a CPD module on the Introduction to Vaccination for Pharmacists in collaboration with the Malaysian Academy of Pharmacy and SwipeRx. Given the proper training and regulations, Dr. Elnaem esteems that Malaysian pharmacists could play a huge role in delivering immunization services, which would be highly beneficial to community and public health outcomes.
Dr. Elnaem is indeed a strong advocate for pharmacists across Malaysia. He chose to enter the field of pharmacy precisely because of the unique responsibility that pharmacists have in their communities, and their position as some of the most accessible health care providers. Although Dr. Elnaem plans to continue his research and support for the proper recognition and involvement of pharmacists, he also urges pharmacists to advocate for themselves by pursuing continuing education and training.