Sam Peng is a holistic pharmacist who uses traditional western medicine together with naturopathy, with a view to getting the best outcomes for patients.
How did you come to be a pharmacist?
I get a lot of satisfaction from helping people, and being a community pharmacist I’m able to help those in need on a daily basis. Everyone knows when you don’t feel so good you can always go to your local pharmacist for some free professional advice. This provides me with the best opportunity to promote better health and wellbeing in my community through a preventative, holistic approach.
What do you love about your job?
I’m passionate about my job and always eager to find new and better ways to help my patients. My favourite part of the day is when I get to work with the community and other health professionals to look for innovative ways to incorporate new research or ways of doing things. For example, we are providing rheumatic fever screening. This provides free treatment to high-risk patients in our community. In this way, I can see a real impact on people’s lives - what more can you ask for in a job?
What do you find challenging?
The most challenging part of my job is all the time spent on the bureaucracy surrounding the funding of medicines. To help with this, we are working with the Ministry of Health and doctors on electronic prescriptions. This will reduce paperwork, and ultimately free up valuable time better spent with patients.
How do you differ from other pharmacists?
I focus on an holistic approach to health. In my experience, Western medicine can be great for acute conditions, but can be limited at treating chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes. Chronic conditions often benefit from an integrated approach looking at lifestyle and long-term solutions. This often leads to taking fewer medicines rather than more.
Can you share an anecdote about a case?
I have a patient who struggled with type 2 diabetes for a long time. They were taking a range of medicines including Metformin for diabetes, Simvastatin for cholesterol, and Candesartan for blood pressure. They continued to struggle with their diabetes and their doctor eventually put them on insulin injections (Lantus). Wanting a longer-term solution, we sat down for an integrative consultation looking at what was working, what wasn’t, and their goals. We drew up a plan that focused on nutrition and exercise, together with medicine management involving their doctor. After just four months they had a dramatic turnaround and were able to stop most of their medicines. They looked and felt great, and were no longer a type 2 diabetic!
What do you do to care for yourself?
A whole food based lifestyle with plenty of water, and minimal processed food. This doesn’t mean no sugar, meat, or carbs - everything should be in moderation. Fad diets don’t tend to last, and cutting out entire food groups can sometimes do more harm than good. And simple is the key. If you need a calculator to work out what you’re eating, it’s too complicated.
During winter, if I get any niggles I take my high dose vitamin C and immune booster - this formula has saved me many times over!
What’s your advice to people seeking pharmacy treatment?
Pop into our pharmacy anytime, we’re open seven days. We can have a quick chat to determine whether we can address your concerns quickly or book you in if you require a full consultation. We specialise in treating eczema, psoriasis, blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, stress and sleep, and supporting auto-immune conditions.
HOME PHARMACY GREY LYNN, 280 Richmond Road, Grey Lynn (next to Fruit World), T: 09 281 2812, www.homepharmacy.co.nz