Maher Al Mouselly


Pharmacy owner

Maher arrived in Calgary in July 2010 from Syria, along with his wife and son. They came to Canada "looking for better circumstances," says Maher. He had over seven years of experience in international markets as a pharmacist, pharmaceutical representative and product manager. Prior to his arrival, he did a lot of research on the Pharmacy licensing process. "I knew this journey wasn't going to be easy," expressed Maher.

A couple of weeks after his arrival he wrote the Evaluating Exam and successfully passed. In 2011 he came to Directions for Immigrants motivated to join the MCQ and OSCE study groups and he successfully passed both exams. In order to pay the bills, he got a job at Safeway keeping his goal in mind. "I applied as a cashier with a retailer that had a pharmacy where I could be hired in the future," Maher recalls.

After 7 months of working as a cashier he obtained a Pharmacy Intern position at Safeway, which allowed him to complete his internship hours. By January of 2012 he finally became licensed and was hired as a Pharmacist. One year later he advanced to the Pharmacy Manager position and by February 2013 he became a Pharmacy Owner of a Shoppers Drug Mart in Calgary.

Maher is thankful to the people and organizations who helped him along the way: Directions for Immigrants, Bredin, the managers at Safeway, his internationally educated pharmacist peers, facilitators, and above all, his family "who supported me along the way," says Maher.

Maher advises any internationally pharmacy graduates who are in the process of becoming licensed: "I recommend Directions for Immigrants to meet pharmacists who are in the same boat. The career coaches and facilitators can also guide you in this process and help you save time."

When asked about his plans for the future, Maher responds with a humble smile: "I have achieved more than I expected in a short time. I will continue to provide health care to Canadians to live their lives in a healthy way."

Directions assists participants to gain accreditation through the delivery of exam preparation study groups, one-on-one career coaching, and access to a library of pharmacy textbooks.