Scott Rutherford has been elected as the first president of the Pharmacists’ Defence Association’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT+) pharmacists’ network.
The LGBT+ pharmacists’ network was launched last year in April as part of the PDA’s work on equality as well as to meet the demands of a growing and diverse membership.
Under the leadership of Scott, the network will aim is to raise awareness around issues impacting LGBT+ pharmacists, represent pharmacy amongst LGBT+ organisations, and help LGBT+ pharmacists to achieve equality in their workplace.
As newly elected president of the network, Scott who is a third-year pharmacy student at the University of Manchester, said: “I believe that the student voice should be represented within the Network and this is mainly to combat prejudice and discrimination against LGBT+ people, whether they are the public, our patients, or pharmacists.”
He added that as stakeholders within universities, pharmacy students have the power to influence the Initial Education and Training of pharmacists in order to raise awareness of LGBT+ health inequalities, and how they intersect with ethnicity, gender, disability, and class, fostering more understanding and respect towards LGBT+ people.
Promising to work towards highlighting the issues of state of transgender healthcare and mental health of LGBT+ people, Scott shared: “From experience and my own research, the issues that impact LGBT+ people are underexplored, misunderstood, and widely not cared about. Highlighting these issues in general, and working towards fixing them is important. This new position will surely help me to play my part in this now.”
Scott, who has also spent the past academic year as an inclusion officer for the Healthcare Alliance Society, seeks to support inter-professional education at the University of Manchester.
Passionate about ‘inclusion and diversity’, Scott was led to get involved in the PDA’s ‘Our Values’ group, which aims at making Manchester’s MPharm programme more inclusive in order to benefit its staff, students, and most importantly, the diverse set of patients to which pharmacists provide care.
Scott’s duties as a president will include chairing network meetings, being a key spokesperson for the PDA LGBT+ network and serving on the PDA equalities council alongside the presidents of the other PDA equality networks (Ability, BAME and NAWP).