2024 Future of Pharmacy: Dr. Lawrence Woo

Dr. Lawrence Woo
Founder, Medi-scribe

The Future of Pharmacy Award is presented to up to three pharmacists per year who exude a passion for pharmacy and offer extraordinary promise to the profession. Nominees will exhibit strong leadership skills and the initiative to become one of the profession’s role models.  

One of this year’s Future of Pharmacy award winners is Dr. Lawrence Woo.

 From his early days as a pharmacy student to his current role as the founder of Medi-scribe, Lawrence has demonstrated exceptional leadership and a profound impact on the industry through his educational and technological initiatives. His work not only benefits pharmacy practice and patient care across Canada but also represents a commitment to changing the status quo in healthcare delivery.

Lawrence’s technical and digital prowess was well-known in pharmacy school. As a student council member, he was involved in various initiatives, including the Pharmacy Awareness Month videos, Pharmacy Quarterly magazine (PQ+2), and the Alberta Pharmacy Student website, which showcased his leadership skills and dedication to advancing pharmacy practice through education.

Lawrence joined an inner-city Edmonton pharmacy as a pharmacy student, providing compassionate care to marginalized individuals. His dedication to continuous growth and learning was evident as he delved into pharmacy clinical best practices, workflow optimization, and business strategies. Lawrence’s broad perspective extended beyond traditional pharmacy roles, emphasizing the interdisciplinary nature of patient care and community engagement. As a student, he secured a grant to consolidate social resources into a web portal for pharmacies—an early indication of his vision to leveraging technology for positive change.

Upon graduation, Lawrence returned to this pharmacy as an Intern and Pharmacist, quickly obtaining additional prescribing authority. His commitment to patient care extended to mentoring fourth-year PharmD students, showcasing his dedication to student mentorship and coaching. Lawrence later became a Pharmacy Manager and Director, showcasing an incredible step toward personal growth and learning. Lawrence continued to build on his skills, knowledge and leadership. His ability to gain wisdom rapidly is evident through his authorship of a nationally accredited course through the Canadian Council on Continuing Education in Pharmacy (CCEP) in 2023. Lawrence applied his experiences to enhance pharmacists’ understanding of change management, workflow optimization, interprofessional strategies, and business and performance goals. This course has received praise and positive feedback from hundreds of pharmacists, pharmacy operation leaders and academic leaders. 

That same year, Lawrence served as the pharmacy practice specialist for the launch of Pharmacist Prescribing in British Columbia. His contributions to policy advising and the development of training courses had a widespread impact on thousands of pharmacists, ultimately benefiting millions of patients.

However, Lawrence’s most remarkable achievement to date is the founding of Medi-scribe. This pharmacy technology start-up provides an online documentation tool. Despite numerous challenges, he remained committed to addressing pharmacists’ needs, earning praise for personally visiting pharmacies, providing hands-on training, and offering ongoing support. The official launch of Medi-scribe in June 2023 marked a significant milestone, with Lawrence presenting the technology at national forums and conferences.

His nominators had this to say, “In Lawrence, we find the embodiment of the “Future of Pharmacy.” His forward-thinking approach, leadership, and dedication to pushing the boundaries of pharmacy practice make him a true visionary. Beyond his professional achievements, Lawrence’s positive attitude and optimistic spirit, even in the face of complex challenges, set him apart as a role model for aspiring pharmacists.”