Introducing Liam Murphy – The Roaming Pharmacist

Nationality:

Australian.

Current position:

Pharmacist at Perisher Pharmacy throughout the winter months. Perisher is the largest ski resort in the southern hemisphere, which means I’m usually snowboarding on my days off. For the rest of the year I work as a locum pharmacist in community pharmacies all over Australia. Recent locum stints have included working in Stradbroke Island, Torquay, Elliston and a spot on the Murray River where my boss took me wakeboarding a couple of days after work. I’ve also started a concept called the Roaming Pharmacist where I’ve been talking to a variety of students around Australia and working alongside other health professionals to advocate for mental health, harm reduction and promoting rural pharmacy.

Favourite surf destination:

Mexico.

There’s so many good set ups to explore all along the Pacific coast, it’s relatively cheap and most of the locals are legends. It was a great place to learn and practice Spanish too.  

Heaviest experience while traveling:

Being pulled over in our van at gunpoint by local cartel members in Michocan, Mexico. We knew we weren’t supposed to drive at night but got caught out one night after dropping a friend off in the city an hour from where we were staying. It would have been less than a minute between my mate saying ‘driving in Michocan at night ain’t no big thing hey…’ and then getting high beamed, thinking we were getting overtaken and having rifles pointed at the car. In the end we weren’t too badly harassed and managed to talk ourselves out of harm’s way, but it was pretty tense for a little while there.

photo © @flynnworksofficial

Home break:

I spent my holidays growing up at Phillip Island and Smiths Beach was where I learnt to surf. Now I’m living out of a van cruising about Australia whilst I’m between houses so the local break changes pretty regularly.

Favourite board:

A few years ago I had a 5’8 Hypto Krypto which was such a fun board to ride in most conditions. I’m not surprised that they’re so popular.

Education:

Between 2007 and 2013 I studied a Bachelor of Pharmacy and a Graduate Diploma of Education. My pharmacy studies took place in the central Victorian city of Bendigo and I did my intern year and teaching studies on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. I spent a year learning Spanish whilst in Central America and although I didn’t do any formal study, between some audio lessons, Duolingo and talking to locals I was able to get a pretty good grasp of the Spanish language. I had a couple of years of guitar lessons when I was a teenager and have continued to teach myself the fundamentals of music. After travelling around with an acoustic guitar the last ten years I recently bought a loop pedal, an effects pedal, a portable amp and brought my electric guitar out of storage and have been learning how to make funky sounds with it all. It’s great because it’s battery powered so I can set it up in the bush too.  

photo © Simone Schot

What is the best thing about the life you have chosen?

Working as a locum gives me the opportunity to explore and live in amazing places all over Australia, while also allowing me a flexible work life balance where I have plenty of time for activities, road trips and other projects.

What is your favourite medical joke at the moment?

It’s not so much a joke but the other day it was hard work trying to keep a straight face when an elderly patient with a sore throat kept telling me she had “inflamed nymph loads” on her throat.

Favourite surfer: 

Clay Marzo, some of the things that guy does on a surfboard defies all logic and he is far from your conventional pro-surfer.  

 

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