Bruce Williamson, after a less than impressive academic record studying pharmacy at The Western Australian Institute of Technology (WAIT), registered as a pharmacist in 1972. Following a period in retail pharmacy in Perth, he travelled to the UK in July 1973, registered as a pharmacist and worked there before returning to Perth in April 1974 and then managing a rural and regional retail Pharmacy in Carnarvon for 18 months. Bruce then returned to the UK and managed pharmacy services that were focused on the introduction, implementation and maintenance of “Ward Pharmacy” Services to 600 beds in a small District Hospital Group for the next 6 years. Returning to Perth he commenced work at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital as a “Ward Pharmacist” in March 1982. His interest was in clinical practice and apart from one or two short stints as a service manager in Aseptic Services I worked in the clinical environment. Over the next 30 years he worked in most clinical areas of hospital pharmacy practice but had the longest clinical associations with Geriatric Medicine, Psychiatry and Respiratory Medicine.
It was during this time that Bruce developed an appreciation of the biopsychosocial aspects of clinical care, its importance for good clinical outcomes and how often trauma can act to sabotage that positive outcome. As his working life was entering the final phase, he tried for a period of time to initiate increased pharmacist clinical responsibilities. These included prescribing and patient clinical management with a medical consultant. Despite the medical consultant’s agreement to the model proposed, it was not possible to overcome the logistical road blocks of the time. Bruce therefore took on the job of Lecturer and co-ordinator for a Postgraduate Pharmacy Course at Curtin University for 2 years, enabling him to spend the last three years of his working life as part of a diverse clinical team dealing with the social and medical complexity of patients who had problems navigating the health care system.