Keeping it in the family

men's health

When not running men’s health clinics at the family pharmacy, NSW Early Career Pharmacist of the Year Angus Koerstz MPS helps upkeep the family farm. 

What led you to pharmacy?

My father, Tim, who has been a dedicated community pharmacist in Dubbo for over 30 years, inspired me. Growing up surrounded by his positive impact on the community and the trust people placed in him motivated me to follow. Choosing pharmacy gave me the opportunity to return home, after a stint interstate as an intern, to make a meaningful impact in our community. 

Tell us about your path to pharmacy ownership? 

My pharmacy journey began with an internship at Cooleman Court Pharmacy in Canberra. This experience ignited my passion for men’s health through exposure to Men’s Health Downunder, founded by my preceptor Brad Butt MPS. Returning to Dubbo in December 2020, I implemented this knowledge in my local community – joining the family business after my intern year. In July 2022, I became a partner in two Dubbo-based community pharmacies: Dubbo Grove Pharmacy and Tim Koerstz Pharmacy. 

What men’s health services are on offer? 

I currently operate men’s health clinics under the title ‘Mens Health Downunder Dubbo’ at Tim Koerstz Pharmacy, and with Greater Western Urology at Dubbo Private Hospital. The pharmacy-based clinics are available by appointment and typically last 30–45 minutes. Patients are referred by health professionals or they self-refer. The Greater Western Urology clinic runs fortnightly, addressing various urological health issues. My consultations can include post-prostatectomy rehabilitation, primary erectile dysfunction treatment, and managing complex conditions like Peyronie’s disease. I collaborate with allied health, nurses, doctors and specialists, as well as the local Prostate Cancer Support Group. This collaborative approach extends to assisting with issues such as incontinence, ensuring comprehensive men’s health care. 

Why become involved in urological health as a pharmacist? 

Urological health within pharmacy presents an opportunity to help patients beyond the traditional scope of practice. Recognising the rising prevalence of prostate cancer and the challenges men face in discussing such sensitive health issues, I wanted to make a difference and bring attention to men’s health concerns. 

For example, a farmer’s wife reached out about her husband’s post-prostate cancer surgery incontinence. The husband, hesitant to venture into town due to concerns about changing pads, had not accompanied his wife for years. Through a phone consultation, I discussed the use of penile clamps for incontinence and successfully convinced him to try them. This simple yet pivotal solution restored his confidence to attend family events and shop with his wife. Witnessing the subsequent improvement in his overall mental health was incredibly rewarding. 

Thoughts on pharmacists in multidisciplinary teams? 

With specialised knowledge in medicine management, pharmacists are a vital component of multidisciplinary teams. I have collaborated and built relationships with local health professionals, notably our local prostate cancer nurse, physiotherapists and urologists. The ability for us all to work collectively optimises patient outcomes, while pharmacists’ accessibility in community settings enables effective communication, patient education, and a holistic approach to health care – enhancing overall outcomes. 

Advice for other ECPs to upskill? 

Pick an area of interest and hone in on it. I surrounded myself with and learned as much as possible from highly experienced mentors and my father in community pharmacy. It’s also important to sharpen your knowledge in specialised health areas by making use of professional development resources and training opportunities with the goal of becoming an expert in the field.