Member Spotlight: Fanny Li, BCCCP, PharmD

By Amy Kuyken posted 07-31-2023 10:00


Fanny Li, BCCCP, PharmD, is the critical care pharmacy supervisor at the University of California Medical Center in San Francisco, California, USA. She joined the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM) in 2006 and stays active in the Society by regularly submitting and reviewing abstracts for Critical Care Congress. In her free time, you will find her gardening and painting. Her clinical interests include cardiovascular, pharmacology, and quality and patient safety. Dr. Li shares her love for critical care and her achievements in the field.

How did you get into critical care?

My initial goal post pharmacy school was to be a cardiology pharmacist. However, after my first ICU rotation, I was hooked on the fast-paced environment and the many different disease states we work on in the critical care environment.

What is your biggest professional achievement?

My biggest professional achievement is establishing a second-year (PGY2) critical care residency program at my institution in 2015. It was a steep learning curve. However, collaborating with our critical care pharmacist preceptors, who brought experiences and tips from their respective external PGY2 training programs, to form our own program was a gratifying experience. Our PGY2 graduates continue to join the critical care workforce; some have become residency program directors themselves!

Why do you love being in critical care?

I enjoy the challenging and fast-paced critical care environment. Every day, I put on my thinking cap to problem-solve and learn from my teammates, learners, and patients. I love applying my pharmacist knowledge and skills to participate in the care of patients to help them recover from their critical illnesses.

What advice do you have for those starting their critical care careers?

Continue to have an open mindset. When starting your career, absorb and learn the many ways in which practices and care are delivered. Compare it to your previous understanding and then help refine your own practice.

What are the top advances in critical care since you started your career?

The top advances include changes in the pain, agitation, and delirium (PAD) and now pain, agitation/sedation, delirium, immobility, and sleep disruption (PADIS) guidelines. It’s also amazing to see how initiatives such as ICU Liberation can have an impact on every ICU patient every day. Moving from paper to electronic health records and medication management have also improved safety in so many aspects.

What industry trends have you excited about the future?

Artificial intelligence is a hot topic, and I’m very interested in seeing how it can be applied to critical care. At our institution, we recently launched the Clinical Pharmacogenomic Program, where we are now offering genetic testing for 15 genes involved in the metabolism of 56 medications. We hope this will pave the way forward for more precision medication management!

What do you see as the most challenging issue facing critical care?

The most challenging issues are time, resources, and retention. We are seeing a new wave of clinician burnout and different mindsets on how to face approaching challenges. The nonstop drug shortages continue to put stress on patient care and our team members mitigating them.

What do you love about SCCM membership?

SCCM membership allows me to participate in various online SCCM Connect communities (e.g. Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacology and Emergency Medicine sections). I’ve stayed connected on current critical care subjects while hearing solutions and thoughts from colleagues nationwide. Having access to the LearnICU portal also offers additional resources for ICU topics that are helpful to my learners and me.

Connect with @Fanny Li on SCCM Connect!