Patricia Poulin

Pharmacist owner affiliated with Proxim and Uniprix

“It’s a personal challenge that I took on to push past my own limits. I also think this challenge has its place in our society. A woman’s hair is so important you’d think it was the very definition of femininity and beauty. We need to prove the contrary.” 


Patricia completed her studies in pharmacy in 2020. Two years later, she became a pharmacist/owner affiliated with Proxim and Uniprix. In 2019, while a doctoral student, she received the GSK/CSPS National Undergraduate Student Research Program Award (organized by the Canadian Society for Pharmaceutical Sciences) for her research project on the “Evaluation of Dalteparin and Enoxaparin Accumulation in Renal Impaired Patients.” Now, aged 27, she’s the youngest to have ever taken part in the Audacieuses project. Patricia Poulin said YES to Les Audacieuses to encourage other women to define themselves in ways other than through the eyes of others.  

This challenge is a great opportunity to convey an important message to women of all ages. “It’s a personal challenge that I took on to push past my own limits. I also think this challenge has its place in our society. A woman’s hair is so important you’d think it was the very definition of femininity and beauty. We need to prove the contrary.” 

In her daily life as a pharmacist/owner, Patricia speaks with many patients. Some of them will recognize themselves in this project. “Questions about appearance and femininity are very much a part of my work. Several of my patients have cancer, and for a while now, pharmacists have been able to dispense chemotherapy drugs. Hair loss is one of the most well-known and feared side effects. I listen to and support these patients. That’s why I decided to support Leucan’s mission and, by extension, children with cancer and their families.” 

Patricia exemplifies courage and audacity. “I was bullied in elementary and high school. It often had to do with my physical appearance. I learned to be strong. For me, taking part in Les Audacieuses is a way of taking a stand—looks aren’t everything. I want to send a message to girls and women that we shouldn’t let ourselves be defined by how others see us. Also, I really wanted to push my boundaries. It’s an exciting challenge and I can’t wait to do it!”  

The courage to let yourself be vulnerable  

Patricia embodies courage, determination and honesty. “Courage includes accepting that you don’t fit society’s beauty standards. Despite everything I’ve been through, I keep pushing forward. I use these trials to grow and evolve. It takes courage to accept yourself as you are and be bold. Deciding to jump into the void makes you vulnerable, but that’s how you show your true self.” 

People get to know themselves when faced with adversity. It helps you to see what really matters. “To feel comfortable in your own skin, you have to know yourself and be in touch with your values. You need to be clear on what’s good for you and set your limits. I recognize my value—and that makes me more beautiful and unique. I’m happy with myself!” 

A passionate young leader 

“I influence people in my own way. After two years of working in this field, I became a pharmacist/owner of two pharmacies. In my short career, I’ve learned to stay true to myself as well as to be open to others, to listen to their needs and give them my full attention. Every day, my patients are my priority! I want to set an example by being empathetic and, especially by doing my job well. I’m passionate about my work, and I’m doing it 60 hours a week. Helping others is second nature to me.” 

“I manage two self-sufficient teams. My aim is to make healthcare more accessible to my patients and present information in simple terms. I’ve cultivated relationships with my staff that are respectful and positive. I guide them and I’m always available to give them a helping hand.” 

“I believe that the qualities of a good leader are the same as those of a good pharmacist: you have to be empathic, a good listener and able to build strong ties.” 

Hair – a mandatory accessory 

Patricia is aware that she will soon be making a big gesture of solidarity, but she’s trying not to think about it too much. “I haven’t given too much thought about the actual shaving or how I’ll look afterwards. I’ve made my decision and I’m letting it sit for now. I’ll deal with it when the day comes. I’m comfortable with the decision and ready to live with the consequences.” 

Patricia feels that people place too much importance on hair. “I have a love-hate relationship with my hair! Of course I want it to be nice-looking and well styled, but I find that for women of my generation far too much emphasis is placed on hair. Like it’s a mandatory accessory that defines a big part of who we are. In an effort to better accept my body, I have to learn to let it go.” 

“My brother is getting married this summer, and my mom asked me to think about my decision carefully—that it may not be the right time now. I just said, ‘Mom, nobody chooses when they get cancer. We can’t tell it to come back another day.’ There might never be a better time. I’m going to do it this year.”  

Winning the lottery of life 

Having good role models makes all the difference. Says Patricia: “I’m lucky to be so close to my family. My mother is my greatest role model—and my best friend. She influences me a lot. My patients’ resilience has also had an impact on me. I’m a young pharmacist, I’m still learning a lot from others, from my teams and those around me. I’m growing, thanks to them.” 

Dedication is what got Patricia so far, despite the hardships she has had to overcome. “Who could have known that the girl who had nobody to talk to for part of high school would be the one to face society’s perception of beauty head-on, all in the name of Leucan? I got through all of that. I worked really hard.” 

Patricia is exactly where she needs to be. “I won the lottery of life! I help people every day and build real relationships. I’ve been with my partner for over 10 years and love him deeply. I also have a wonderful family. Today, I’m proud of my relationships, my pharmacy and my patients. But I’m especially proud of myself. I can’t wait to see what comes next!”