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Poor Pharmacist Career Prospects? What do Universities tell you? Watch

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    As a Bath 2010 MPharm graduate who worked as a community Pharmacist, then as a Clinical Pharmacist before now working for a local CCG, I ended up at an unnamed Pharmacy school whilst it was doing one of it's tours to prospective students.

    The information that was being presented to students was completely inaccurate regarding the current state of the job market, especially for newly qualified Pharmacists.

    When I started as a fresher in 2006, the new Pharmacy NHS contract had just been introduced which shifted money away from dispensing and towards 'services', the idea being that Pharmacists would swoop in and take a huge amount of workload off the NHS. This was sold heavily to me as a student, and at the time I believed that Community Pharmacy (which is where most graduates end up, if you're reading this the odds are you will be working in a Boots rather than a hospital, and very, very unlikely to be 'industry') would become an increasingly clinical environment.

    That hasn't happened, and I've seen the growing realisation amongst the profession over the last 5 years that the future is not bright for Pharmacy as a whole. This culminated recently with this pretty stark bit of news -

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-35418556

    http://www.theguardian.com/healthcar...w-jobs-at-risk

    The Government intends to close 25% of Community Pharmacies by 2020 (i.e. just when you'll be graduating). For a raft of reasons I wont get into unless anyone here asks, it's widely agreed that the vision of Pharmacy providing 'services' is now pretty much dead. Remote dispensing via robotics is almost certain to become the norm in the next two years (again, this is the governments stated plan for Pharmacy) and so the reality is likely to be 25% of Community Pharmacists unemployed by 2020, and quite probably a change in the law surrounding the 'Responsible Pharmacist' legislation to mean that in the 75% of remaining locations, a Pharmacist will no longer need to be present.

    To cut to the point, I was interested to hear about the Pharmacy school member of staff would answer questions regarding the future of the profession. It's so uniformly bleak, with anyone who is able to fleeing the profession, and without a hint of the unity and determination shown by the BMA and junior doctors - that I felt sorry for this person who would have to try and address what I assumed would be some pretty tough questions about why anyone would invest £40,000 in a Pharmacy degree, only to graduate in 2020 and find themselves competing with people with a huge volume of experienced Pharmacists desperate for work.

    I was shocked to say the least to hear her answer some fairly bland questions about the role of Pharmacists in the future with the same bland, vague promises of a 'clinical future' that I had heard 10 years ago, and which were now very much dispelled. I was even more staggered to hear some of the prospective students talking about how 'You'd start on £45k' (you wont, you'd start on £33k IF you got an offer after pre-reg at all. This is down from £40k 5 years ago when I graduated, which in turn was down from £44k when I signed up. Don't forget that with inflation salaries are supposed to INCREASE. Adjusted for inflation starting salaries for a graduate who has just finished pre-reg training have dropped 25%, thus was simply due to over supply from graduates alone, at a time when the number of Pharmacies opening was increasing rapidly. It will drop MUCH harder over the next 5 years)

    Are you potential, future Pharmacists aware of the future of the profession you're investing so heavily into? Do you read websites like the Chemist and Druggist, where there are forums of current, practising Pharmacists, or is the only information any A-Level student has what they receive from a University prospectus? I don't want to alarm or upset anyone, if anything the unfortunate ones are people like me who started their careers at exactly the wrong time. Just as the profession was going over the precipice, just in time for us to start having financial obligations which make retraining much more difficult.

    I can believe that someone might want to go into Pharmacy today despite having their eyes open to their likely career prospects. However you don't need to spend too long with most Pharmacy applicants until you get to the 'How much money do you earn?' question, and rightly so. It was something I was concerned with, I wanted the middle class lifestyle for my children that my parents offered me, and I imagine that was the desire of almost all of my peers. Pharmacist is unlikely to be a middle class profession by 2020 - everyone who is applying is at least aware of this projected future, right?
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    (Original post by RealisticPharm)
    As a Bath 2010 MPharm graduate who worked as a community Pharmacist, then as a Clinical Pharmacist before now working for a local CCG, I ended up at an unnamed Pharmacy school whilst it was doing one of it's tours to prospective students.

    The information that was being presented to students was completely inaccurate regarding the current state of the job market, especially for newly qualified Pharmacists.

    When I started as a fresher in 2006, the new Pharmacy NHS contract had just been introduced which shifted money away from dispensing and towards 'services', the idea being that Pharmacists would swoop in and take a huge amount of workload off the NHS. This was sold heavily to me as a student, and at the time I believed that Community Pharmacy (which is where most graduates end up, if you're reading this the odds are you will be working in a Boots rather than a hospital, and very, very unlikely to be 'industry' would become an increasingly clinical environment.

    That hasn't happened, and I've seen the growing realisation amongst the profession over the last 5 years that the future is not bright for Pharmacy as a whole. This culminated recently with this pretty stark bit of news -

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-35418556

    http://www.theguardian.com/healthcar...w-jobs-at-risk

    The Government intends to close 25% of Community Pharmacies by 2020 (i.e. just when you'll be graduating). For a raft of reasons I wont get into unless anyone here asks, it's widely agreed that the vision of Pharmacy providing 'services' is now pretty much dead. Remote dispensing via robotics is almost certain to become the norm in the next two years (again, this is the governments stated plan for Pharmacy) and so the reality is likely to be 25% of Community Pharmacists unemployed by 2020, and quite probably a change in the law surrounding the 'Responsible Pharmacist' legislation to mean that in the 75% of remaining locations, a Pharmacist will no longer need to be present.

    To cut to the point, I was interested to hear about the Pharmacy school member of staff would answer questions regarding the future of the profession. It's so uniformly bleak, with anyone who is able to fleeing the profession, and without a hint of the unity and determination shown by the BMA and junior doctors - that I felt sorry for this person who would have to try and address what I assumed would be some pretty tough questions about why anyone would invest £40,000 in a Pharmacy degree, only to graduate in 2020 and find themselves competing with people with a huge volume of experienced Pharmacists desperate for work.

    I was shocked to say the least to hear her answer some fairly bland questions about the role of Pharmacists in the future with the same bland, vague promises of a 'clinical future' that I had heard 10 years ago, and which were now very much dispelled. I was even more staggered to hear some of the prospective students talking about how 'You'd start on £45k' (you wont, you'd start on £33k IF you got an offer after pre-reg at all. This is down from £40k 5 years ago when I graduated, which in turn was down from £44k when I signed up. Don't forget that with inflation salaries are supposed to INCREASE. Adjusted for inflation starting salaries for a graduate who has just finished pre-reg training have dropped 25%, thus was simply due to over supply from graduates alone, at a time when the number of Pharmacies opening was increasing rapidly. It will drop MUCH harder over the next 5 years)

    Are you potential, future Pharmacists aware of the future of the profession you're investing so heavily into? Do you read websites like the Chemist and Druggist, where there are forums of current, practising Pharmacists, or is the only information any A-Level student has what they receive from a University prospectus? I don't want to alarm or upset anyone, if anything the unfortunate ones are people like me who started their careers at exactly the wrong time. Just as the profession was going over the precipice, just in time for us to start having financial obligations which make retraining much more difficult.

    I can believe that someone might want to go into Pharmacy today despite having their eyes open to their likely career prospects. However you don't need to spend too long with most Pharmacy applicants until you get to the 'How much money do you earn?' question, and rightly so. It was something I was concerned with, I wanted the middle class lifestyle for my children that my parents offered me, and I imagine that was the desire of almost all of my peers. Pharmacist is unlikely to be a middle class profession by 2020 - everyone who is applying is at least aware of this projected future, right?
    Very interesting! I've been saying this for a while now. But no-one seems to be taking any notice. Look at my post history for examples of locum rates.
    The whole 'clinical thing' is a joke. The chains have hijacked it all with targets. You get nowhere near enough staff for the workload you have, and the pay is falling and the stress is rising.
    It's a shame really as a pharmacy degree is interesting and varied. You could always do it and then apply to Aldi as an Assistant manager on 25/30k. Similar salary to community pharmacy and better prospects!
    I would be interested to hear from prospective and current pharmacy students what, you are told/promised about the future of community pharmacy from your Unis and work experience placements?
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    (Original post by mrlittlebigman)
    Very interesting! I've been saying this for a while now. But no-one seems to be taking any notice. Look at my post history for examples of locum rates.
    The whole 'clinical thing' is a joke. The chains have hijacked it all with targets. You get nowhere near enough staff for the workload you have, and the pay is falling and the stress is rising.
    It's a shame really as a pharmacy degree is interesting and varied. You could always do it and then apply to Aldi as an Assistant manager on 25/30k. Similar salary to community pharmacy and better prospects!
    I would be interested to hear from prospective and current pharmacy students what, you are told/promised about the future of community pharmacy from your Unis and work experience placements?
    "'ve been saying this for a while now. But no-one seems to be taking any notice"love the way you think this is new news, it is not.
    this song has been sung over and over again.
    also, i love the fact you think this will actually help current pharmacy students leave their course.
    why didn't you leave your course half way through, knowing full well that more pharmacy schools are opening?
    did you have your head in the sand?
    more logical answer is that you have spent 2-3 years of hard graft during your degree, that you dont want to throw it all away.

    "You could always do it and then apply to Aldi as an Assistant manager on 25/30k."
    So why are you not working in aldi as an assistant manager. it has "Similar salary to community pharmacy and better prospects!"
    why are you staying in your pharmacy job and not applying to aldi?

    op i am not denying what your are saying is the truth. what rubs me up the wrong way is people like yourselves making silly childish comments telling students to quit pharmacy and apply to aldi/mcdonalds/burger king etc. when you yourself wouldn't do it.
    you think your are helping, but your are not. you are only causing more worry on top of students who are already worried half to death.
    i know you are letting off steam. in the future if you want to let off steam go run in a park or go to the pub. DO NOT come on forums and irritate people who are already irratated.
    however if you want to help, please come up with some useful solutions
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    (Original post by kabolin)
    "'ve been saying this for a while now. But no-one seems to be taking any notice"love the way you think this is new news, it is not.
    this song has been sung over and over again.
    also, i love the fact you think this will actually help current pharmacy students leave their course.
    why didn't you leave your course half way through, knowing full well that more pharmacy schools are opening?
    did you have your head in the sand?
    more logical answer is that you have spent 2-3 years of hard graft during your degree, that you dont want to throw it all away.

    "You could always do it and then apply to Aldi as an Assistant manager on 25/30k."
    So why are you not working in aldi as an assistant manager. it has "Similar salary to community pharmacy and better prospects!"
    why are you staying in your pharmacy job and not applying to aldi?

    op i am not denying what your are saying is the truth. what rubs me up the wrong way is people like yourselves making silly childish comments telling students to quit pharmacy and apply to aldi/mcdonalds/burger king etc. when you yourself wouldn't do it.
    you think your are helping, but your are not. you are only causing more worry on top of students who are already worried half to death.
    i know you are letting off steam. in the future if you want to let off steam go run in a park or go to the pub. DO NOT come on forums and irritate people who are already irratated.
    however if you want to help, please come up with some useful solutions
    Please take your aggression out on someone else.
    How do you know I'm not in the process of applying for other jobs/careers? The Aldi example was selected as the wage is comparable to a newly qualified pharmacist.
    If you are that, then I suggest, if you want to remain in pharmacy, you do a diploma, then become an IP. If you want to leave pharmacy, then may I suggest fast-track medicine. If you enjoy retail, and have experience in community apply to Aldi. On their website, they have an optician as an example of a person who changed career.
    If you are at the start of your career, then you are lucky. Hopefully, you aren't married and don't have a mortgage. You can move anywhere in the country for work possibly.
    What people like me and the OP are trying to do, is encourage people in the 6th form to fully investigate a career in pharmacy before you spend 36k in fees. I'm not against pharmacy, I enjoyed my degree. It's the situation at the end that you encounter that concerns us.
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    (Original post by mrlittlebigman)
    Please take your aggression out on someone else.
    How do you know I'm not in the process of applying for other jobs/careers? The Aldi example was selected as the wage is comparable to a newly qualified pharmacist.
    If you are that, then I suggest, if you want to remain in pharmacy, you do a diploma, then become an IP. If you want to leave pharmacy, then may I suggest fast-track medicine. If you enjoy retail, and have experience in community apply to Aldi. On their website, they have an optician as an example of a person who changed career.
    If you are at the start of your career, then you are lucky. Hopefully, you aren't married and don't have a mortgage. You can move anywhere in the country for work possibly.
    What people like me and the OP are trying to do, is encourage people in the 6th form to fully investigate a career in pharmacy before you spend 36k in fees. I'm not against pharmacy, I enjoyed my degree. It's the situation at the end that you encounter that concerns us.
    it is good you are persuading 6th formers to pursue other careers, but how was i meant to know that was your aim?
    i am sick and tired of people getting the same dusty violins out and playing the same song on this forum and other forums. "get out of the sinking ship that is pharmacy" GROW UP!
    i fully support what your doing and in your new post you are providing solutions to problems. in your original post your were just higlighting problems.
    so continue.....
    ps i wasn't having a go. it is just that i have had to read negative posts on these forums, back when i was a student, time and time again with people telling pharmacy students to "jump ship" and apply to aldi mcdonalds etc.like that is going to help pharm students. it is only going to drive them to despair and untill you experience this feeling you will never know. looking back at your own original comment surely you can see that it was negative and useless. however now that you have futher explained your point, things are a bit more clear.
    lets go back to gcse english
    PEE
    Point
    Example
    Explain
    goodnight
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    (Original post by kabolin)
    it is good you are persuading 6th formers to pursue other careers, but how was i meant to know that was your aim?
    i am sick and tired of people getting the same dusty violins out and playing the same song on this forum and other forums. "get out of the sinking ship that is pharmacy" GROW UP!
    i fully support what your doing and in your new post you are providing solutions to problems. in your original post your were just higlighting problems.
    so continue.....
    ps i wasn't having a go. it is just that i have had to read negative posts on these forums, back when i was a student, time and time again with people telling pharmacy students to "jump ship" and apply to aldi mcdonalds etc.like that is going to help pharm students. it is only going to drive them to despair and untill you experience this feeling you will never know. looking back at your own original comment surely you can see that it was negative and useless. however now that you have futher explained your point, things are a bit more clear.
    lets go back to gcse english
    PEE
    Point
    Example
    Explain
    goodnight
    well... are you applying to aldi????
    i doubt it, i just think yor are trying to let off some steam.
    Better off at ALDI or retraining as a plumber.
    when you work at ALDI or as a plumber, you will wish you had finished your pharmacy degree/ continued working as a pharmacist.
    To anyone reading this, you wil get negative people in all walks of life. just let them talk to themselves.
    although i agree with both posters that pharmacy is not a good degree to go for if you are a 6th form student, no arguements here.
    however if you are halfway into your degree and are incredibaly worrried as to completing your course or not this is a totally different situation. having been in this situation my advice is simply this: it is very difficult to throw 2-3 years of hard graft and tuition fees away as if it was nothing. there will be something holdng you back from doing so, whether parentall pressure or yourself stopping you. all i can say is, if you want to quit you will find a way.
    if you dont really want to quit, but dislike the course and frustrated you will be like mr.littlebigman "i am better off at mcdonalds" drving yourself insane in the process.
    either quit or get on with it. just make your decision and stick with it, no half measures.
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    (Original post by kabolin)
    well... are you applying to aldi????
    i doubt it, i just think yor are trying to let off some steam.
    Better off at ALDI or retraining as a plumber.
    when you work at ALDI or as a plumber, you will wish you had finished your pharmacy degree/ continued working as a pharmacist.
    To anyone reading this, you wil get negative people in all walks of life. just let them talk to themselves.
    although i agree with both posters that pharmacy is not a good degree to go for if you are a 6th form student, no arguements here.
    however if you are halfway into your degree and are incredibaly worrried as to completing your course or not this is a totally different situation. having been in this situation my advice is simply this: it is very difficult to throw 2-3 years of hard graft and tuition fees away as if it was nothing. there will be something holdng you back from doing so, whether parentall pressure or yourself stopping you. all i can say is, if you want to quit you will find a way.
    if you dont really want to quit, but dislike the course and frustrated you will be like mr.littlebigman "i am better off at mcdonalds" drving yourself insane in the process.
    either quit or get on with it. just make your decision and stick with it, no half measures.
    I have never told anyone to drop out, or to not do a pharmacy degree. All the OP and I are saying, is think very carefully and do your own research before you apply for pharmacy. The OP makes some very good points.
    The days when you could coast along in pharmacy and move easily from job to job are gone. You need to have a plan of action, decide where you want to be in 5 or 10 years and then decide how you are going to get there. For example, if you are about to qualify, then you need to decide what direction you are going to take, (if you plan to stay in pharmacy). Are you going to do retail or hospital? Do you aim to be a Practice pharmacist? Do you want to work for a chain or a small group? Can you get any odd days to 'try out' Boots or Tesco, or where ever. Looking a year or two down the road, a clinical diploma would be a good idea as would an IP qualification after that, especially if you intend to try for GP work. Or you could look at applying for a Physicians Associate course if you want to escape pharmacy and be more clinical.
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    (Original post by kabolin)
    well... are you applying to aldi????
    i doubt it, i just think yor are trying to let off some steam.
    Better off at ALDI or retraining as a plumber.
    when you work at ALDI or as a plumber, you will wish you had finished your pharmacy degree/ continued working as a pharmacist.
    To anyone reading this, you wil get negative people in all walks of life. just let them talk to themselves.
    although i agree with both posters that pharmacy is not a good degree to go for if you are a 6th form student, no arguements here.
    however if you are halfway into your degree and are incredibaly worrried as to completing your course or not this is a totally different situation. having been in this situation my advice is simply this: it is very difficult to throw 2-3 years of hard graft and tuition fees away as if it was nothing. there will be something holdng you back from doing so, whether parentall pressure or yourself stopping you. all i can say is, if you want to quit you will find a way.
    if you dont really want to quit, but dislike the course and frustrated you will be like mr.littlebigman "i am better off at mcdonalds" drving yourself insane in the process.
    either quit or get on with it. just make your decision and stick with it, no half measures.
    Neither the OP or myself have suggested anywhere that any current pharmacy students drop out. Nor do I suggest you go and work at McDonalds!
    You seem to have a very negative opinion of retail outlets! This is worrying as 60-70% of pharmacy graduates end up in community pharmacy!
    Would I be right in thinking you are an asian male who sees this as below him? If so, you need to look at hospital.
    Also, I find your posts quite aggressive, so perhaps you should look at the Code of Ethics and particularly the point " Show respect for others" Particularly with regard to your posts on other threads concerning religion and homosexuality. As a health care professional you can't be seen to judge your patients!
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    (Original post by mrlittlebigman)
    Neither the OP or myself have suggested anywhere that any current pharmacy students drop out. Nor do I suggest you go and work at McDonalds!
    You seem to have a very negative opinion of retail outlets! This is worrying as 60-70% of pharmacy graduates end up in community pharmacy!
    Would I be right in thinking you are an asian male who sees this as below him? If so, you need to look at hospital.
    Also, I find your posts quite aggressive, so perhaps you should look at the Code of Ethics and particularly the point " Show respect for others" Particularly with regard to your posts on other threads concerning religion and homosexuality. As a health care professional you can't be seen to judge your patients!
    I must commend you on your attention to detail asa you have just went through comments I made several years ago. Hopefully you can check prescriptions with as much detail.

    Having worked in fast food restaurants as a delivery driver working both inside and outside, no I do not think its below me, nor do I think I am too big for aldi or plumbing, in fact given the chance I would quite like to become a plumber. Maybe I can fix your pipes.

    Listen, I have never disagreed with what you are saying. I only disagree with your methods in getting your points across. All I have done was tried and mirror your methods. Hopefully you can see how irritating it really is, regardless of what your original intentions were.

    From the code of ethics "act professionally during your course of practice, both inside and outside of your work place". Many of your comments are not only rude but even worse, very unprofessional as well as racist, assuming someone is an asian with a big head, judging my some comments they have made many years ago.

    Difference between me and you is that I can accept who I am. BUT Can you admit you are a racist?

    Probably not.

    Good luck in your back up career as a career advisor. My advice to you is DONT QUIT YOUR DAY JOB..... As a pharmacist
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    Kabolin,

    Can I just enquire what your experience with Pharmacy is? Are you a registered Pharmacist, or a student? Whilst I appreciate what is being said might be difficult to accept if you are a Pharmacy student who has planned a life based around a career and income that will not exist, but it's almost certainly better than you bite the bullet now and make some hard decisions than find yourself later in life with more obligations when things really start to fall apart. You mention that 'You're not applying to Aldi, are you?' - no, I didn't. I did however take a fairly hefty salary cut to leave community Pharmacy (although not as hefty a cut as it would have been making the same move three years ago) so I personally have 'put my money where my mouth is' and effectively left the profession. Whilst my title still has Pharmacist in it, I have very little to do with 'Pharmacy' and my role could be done by a non-Pharmacist. My future career progression is moving away from Pharmacy completely. I also know fellow graduates who have really left the profession all together, those who could stomach the costs take a crack at graduate entry Medicine, but others have leveraged their Pharmacy degree and studied computer science, accountancy and law. This is just my fairly small group of friends, people who qualified from a good university five years ago.

    Just because people aren't leaving the profession in droves, don't mistake that as being that everything is fine. It'll be difficult to get the stats, because universities don't release them (and Pharmacy schools definitely wouldn't want this information coming out I don't suppose) but look at where the students from the better schools are ending up. These are the people who can leave early, they can retrain and they tend to have other skills and experience which make it easy to leave. I can promise you though - people are leaving, and a straight up retail job like managing a supermarket isn't being sneered at. The salary will soon be comparable and the career path is much better elsewhere.

    You also criticised me for suggesting no solutions, only pointing out problems. Firstly, the message was addressed to students who were either still at University, or those who were still thinking of applying. My intended audience aren't people who will have an appreciation of how Pharmacy works on a business/funding/contractual level, I certainly didn't, and so any suggested 'solutions' will mean nothing to them. What they should be aware of is the salary which is obviously important to Pharmacy applicants given how much it's asked about, is about to drop hard. It's not a matter of speculation or opinion that 25% of Community Pharmacies will close by 2020, that is the stated aim of the Government, and the Pharmacy Minister Alistair Burt has stated that this is a done deal, and is 'going to happen'. You really should accept that around 15% of the total Pharmacist jobs are going to disappear as a result of one set of cuts announced this year. This is ignoring the impact that remote and off-site dispensing will have, and the effect that the funding cuts will have in solidifying the position of the large multiples. Boots, Lloyds, Well et all are the ones most likely to be able to weather the upcoming cuts. The government is not targeting them at Pharmacies which are too close to one another, rather simply cutting the funding and seeing who breaks first. This is overwhelming likely to be independent and smaller companies who don't have the economies of scale and control the entire distributon network like Boots and Lloyds do.

    So in 2020 there will be 25% less community Pharmacist roles, and it's likely to be a sector even more dominated by the large multiples, who will also make the greatest use of off-site, hub and spoke dispensing models, thereby further reducing the number of Pharmacists needed. It really isn't a stretch to imagine a third of Pharmacist roles in their current form not existing in 10 years time. Hang on though....'in their current form' - that means there's a chance for Pharmacists to change their role! They'll become clinicians, they'll be involved in patient care, it'll be just like the nice lady said during my induction day in 2016!

    Except that this has been said for the past 10 years, ever since the 2005 Pharmacy contract renegotiation. As a quick whizz-through summary, for years there was increasing concern that Pharmacists were being overpaid for their work, there was close to no preparation of medicines any more and it really was in a lot of cases sticking stickers on a box. The 2005 renegotiation was pretty major in that it reduced the amount that Pharmacies would be paid for straight-up dispensing and would instead move money to the provision of 'services'. This was widely welcomed by the profession at the time as there was a belief that the current role we had was unsustainable, and that we would inevitably have to take on more of a clinical role if we wanted to remain the well-paid professionals we were at the time. These fabled 'services' were talked about endlessly during my studies, and we were told that we'd have such an important role to play in patient care in the future....Three major things have hampered this effort of the past decade.

    Firstly, GPs are the Lords of Primary Care. Moreso now maybe than back then, but even after 2005 the majority of money was still in dispensing, not the provision of services. If you had a local GP who decided they didn't like your Pharmacy for some reason then you could find your life becoming very difficult, and script numbers would inevitably drop. Lots of Pharmacies therefore were very cautious in the way they introduced servies so as not to step on the surgery's toes. It was always assumed that GPs would be delighted with Pharmacists taking up the responsibility for checking up on patients who had been started on a new drug, and meeting with patients yearly to assess compliance and address any issues they might have had. This wasn't the case, GPs off the record will admit that having the odd 'easy' consultation during a surgery makes the job much more rewarding and gives them a brief mental respite. However the main objections were that there was no real channel for Pharmacists to report back to the GP, and they had very real concerns about the clinical ability and competence of some Pharmacists. I think the latter is largely unfair, but the former is a correct and understandable concern. As a result of GPs lukewarm response to this new Pharmacist role mainstay, central services like the famous 'Medicines Use Review' and the more recent 'New Medicines Service' are largely pointless, and simply duplicate work that the GP will be doing anyway. GPs are very good at doing follow up appointments after a new drug is initiated, given that the Pharmacist cannot do anything to change your treatment without speaking to the GP first, and you're going to go and see your GP anyway, why waste ten minutes speaking to a Pharmacist? That's not to say that Pharmacists aren't doing good consultations where they can, but even if they do spot a meaningful issue they can do effectively nothing about it.

    Secondly, the leadership of Pharmacy as a profession is, as far as I have experienced, absolutely pathetic. You have the PSNC who are supposed to be the ones negotiating with the Government on behalf of Community Pharmacy, but who for the past five years have agreed to every single demand the Government has had and then turned around to 'sell' the cuts to the profession. It's become little more than a puppet of the government, with the most spineless leadership you could ever imagine. Even they were shocked at the severity of the cuts suggested in December 2015 and the plan to close 25% of Pharmacies, but they still agreed to it....albeit later sending an email expressing their 'shock' at how awful the terms were (I'm not making this up!). The PSNC were also instrumental in the decline of the profession by endlessly trotting out this vision of 'services', which remained largely unchanged since 2004. At first it seemed plausible, we knew as a profession we were up to it, this was going to be our new future. Except the PSNC would never negotiate the terms of a single worthwhile service. Pharmacists have never been paid extra for taking on the extra responsibilities, when a new service is introduced (say NMS most recently) the money to fund this comes from the money you used to receive for doing everything else - they just reduce that. The net result is you now have more work to do without any extra money to employ staff. Gradually Pharmacists began to see this as the fraud it was, the PSNC had absolutely no vision for the future of Pharmacy, and seemed to be too lazy to even think of a new pie in the sky dream to replace the 2005 'services' one. The lowest point for the PSNC came just a few weeks ago with their plan for the profession going forward. It called for....unspecified 'services' to be offered by Pharmacy, and not a single mention of how these would be funded. Friends and colleagues, some of whom were still somewhat sold on the idea of a 'service driven future' seemed to lose all hope at this point, and you only need to read the forums and comments of the Chemist and Druggist etc to see how disgusted the entire profession is.

    [For any Pharmacists who think I'm exaggerating, please read Pharmacy news. Articles on BBC News are often factually correct but miss nuances and details which will be of vital interest to you as a Pharmacist, I'd suggest reading the Chemist and Druggist, or the website of the Pharmacist Defence Association for news which is related to you. The C+D particularly has a very active user base, and the contributions there are often as enlightening as an article. If you really want a view of how the profession has lost faith in the future promised in 2005, read a current article and feel the near universal contempt for the services future, then look at 'related articles' two or three years earlier and look at the user comments there, you'll see a mixed bag of views, go a few years earlier again and you will likely see the majority of Pharmacists on board. You can actually see the disillusionment growing through the years]

    Thirdly, it's the Pharmacies themselves, and Pharmacists. We've never been a 'united' profession. In fact, we're largely unique as a profession in that we're dominated by a few huge, multinational companies who are heavily retail driven. You don't see solicitors, or doctors, or accountants working for huge retail chains, and if they are part of a larger company (Accenture etc) then they are still 'lead' by managers and senior staff who are part of their profession. Pharmacy hasn't had that for thirty years. The management at most larger companies contains the odd 'token Pharmacist' throughout the management chain of command, but is largely made up of MBAs, as you'd expect of a company that is basically a retailer, and so behaves like a shop, and not a professional business. Consequently if you work for Boots, Lloyds, Well or one of the supermarkets you will almost certainly have a manager who isn't a Pharmacist, doesn't understand Pharmacy or healthcare, doesn't give a damn about 'the profession' and approaches everything like they are trying to sell packets of crisps. Pharmacists are routinely bullied by 'area managers' to hit targets - nothing wrong there, right? It's a business after all. Except the targets are almost always the maximum of an allowed service as per the NHS service specification. For MURs for example, the NHS will not let any one site do more than 400 MURs in a year. Any Pharmacist will tell you that even in the busiest store, finding 400 meaningful MURs which in their professional judgement were warranted, can be difficult. In many stores it is literally impossible, and so the whole service has spiralled into getting 400 of your patients to sign a form each year saying everything is OK. Thing is we're being paid for doing this - £28 a go. This is repeated across every single service that Pharmacy offers. It happens every single time, whether it's MURS, NMS, Cardiovascular Risk Assessments, flu vaccinations, weight management services, smoking cessation, Pharmacists are pressured massively to game the system to hit targets that could not be hit if you had any pretence of offering the service based on actual need.

    For anyone who is studying, or thinking of studying Pharmacy - if you are being told that you will have a clinical role in community Pharmacy, that the profession is 'changing' and that you will soon be delivering all of these wonderful services to your patients, then you are being misled, or maybe even lied to. I was told the exact same things 10 years ago when I began studying, except when I was being told it there was a degree of optimism that it may happen, it was after all a new vision for Pharmacy and had the support of the profession. Since then, for the reasons above and others, Pharmacy has blown every single service that we managed to get commissioned. Some were good in theory, MURs and NMS are good on paper, they were just neutered by a failure to get GPs on board, but there could have been a benefit to patients and the NHS. Some were OK but were poorly funded, or which we were even expected to do for very little. However in every single instance Pharmacy has shown that it is unable to resist the temptation to churn out low quality, high volume consultations. We perform ridiculous MURs which are of no benefit to the patient, and charge £28 to the NHS, because if we don't we may be sacked by a manager who six months ago was selling mobile phones. We got away with it for a while, but we're not going to any more. The government has simply had enough of us - they don't want to pay for it any more. Doctors, and the rest of the NHS provide much better value AND have excellent PR, they want to take the money they give to us currently and spend it elsewhere in the NHS. The start of it has already happened - if you're starting this year you will likely have a lot of difficulty getting a pre-reg place, as 25% of stores will be closed. This 25% figure is not a scare story, it is the stated aim of the government - to keep cutting Pharmacy until 25% of locations are unprofitable. This is just the start, future cuts in 2016/17 and 2017/18 are also promised - the target of these will almost certainly be 'services' that we currently offer. We will not be getting any new ones.

    If your Pharmacy school is still selling you a future based on services, and assuring you that you will have a career in the future because of this, then you may find yourself in your late 20s struggling to find a job on half the salary you thought you'd earn when you applied. Ignore the dreamers on this forum who still seem to be talking in 2010 money for things like starting offers and locum rates (newly qualified you will be getting £31k today - anyone who pretends otherwise is delusional. Look at some jobs listings to get an idea what sort of salary an experienced Pharmacist will get). Read up and understand how your chosen profession has destroyed itself, how we've had the last 10 years to 'turn it around' and singularly failed to, and how no-one, not even the people paid to come up with these visions, has anything viable. They're not even pretending any more, because they know as well as those of us working in it that it's over in Community Pharmacy.

    If you want plans for the future-

    1) Get out - seriously move to something else. You'll be intelligent, young and motivated, and without any heavy financial obligations. DO NOT rely on Community Pharmacy for your future, you invariably don't need to. If you get 'stuck' in the profession because you believed the assurances of a Pharmacy School (who has every interest in getting your tuition fees, and unlike Medicine, Dentistry etc Pharmacy school numbers are not in any way limited by the GPhC, so they'll keep churning out students regardless of the effect it has on the rest of the job market)

    2)Try an get into hospital, a CCG or some other NHS organisation - again, this is something people who are too old to study something else have been doing for a while. It's something I myself have recently decided to copy them by doing - if you've got the additional skills to meet the needs of one of these organisations you'll have a much more rewarding future, as well as a much more stable and predictable one.

    3) Maybe see if you can apply for a GP Pilot Scheme type role - there are a few, small scale initiatives at the moment to get Pharmacists into GP surgeries. This is small scale, and is not going to be around for long. The NHS is paying 60% of the salary for Pharmacists under this scheme for the next 3 years. It's a token thing and designed to scare the GPs a bit more than anything - if somehow you're a current Pharmacist, with some experience and you've seen the writing on the wall but are stuck for ideas, look into these schemes. It's a route out.

    4) Start a Pharmacist Union - the PDA are great, but they're very much concerned with fighting for individual Pharmacists who are being unfairly targeted by the GPhC (the fact that we have such an organisation should again tell you something). There is no other body which does anything to further Pharmacy as a profession. If you have the skills and talent to get this right, and you can get it off the ground whilst there is still a profession to represent, then you could well save the day.
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    [QUOTE=RealisticPharm;63263083]Kabolin,

    Can I just enquire what your experience with Pharmacy is? Are you a registered Pharmacist, or a student? Whilst I appreciate what is being said might be difficult to accept if you are a Pharmacy student who has planned a life based around a career and income that will not exist, but it's almost certainly better than you bite the bullet now and make some hard decisions than find yourself later in life with more obligations when things really start to fall apart. You mention that 'You're not applying to Aldi, are you?' - no, I didn't. I did however take a fairly hefty salary cut to leave community Pharmacy (although not as hefty a cut as it would have been making the same move three years ago) so I personally have 'put my money where my mouth is' and effectively left the profession. Whilst my title still has Pharmacist in it, I have very little to do with 'Pharmacy' and my role could be done by a non-Pharmacist. My future career progression is moving away from Pharmacy completely. I also know fellow graduates who have really left the profession all together, those who could stomach the costs take a crack at graduate entry Medicine, but others have leveraged their Pharmacy degree and studied computer science, accountancy and law. This is just my fairly small group of friends, people who qualified from a good university five years ago.

    Just because people aren't leaving the profession in droves, don't mistake that as being that everything is fine. It'll be difficult to get the stats, because universities don't release them (and Pharmacy schools definitely wouldn't want this information coming out I don't suppose) but look at where the students from the better schools are ending up. These are the people who can leave early, they can retrain and they tend to have other skills and experience which make it easy to leave. I can promise you though - people are leaving, and a straight up retail job like managing a supermarket isn't being sneered at. The salary will soon be comparable and the career path is much better elsewhere.

    You also criticised me for suggesting no solutions, only pointing out problems. Firstly, the message was addressed to students who were either still at University, or those who were still thinking of applying. My intended audience aren't people who will have an appreciation of how Pharmacy works on a business/funding/contractual level, I certainly didn't, and so any suggested 'solutions' will mean nothing to them. What they should be aware of is the salary which is obviously important to Pharmacy applicants given how much it's asked about, is about to drop hard. It's not a matter of speculation or opinion that 25% of Community Pharmacies will close by 2020, that is the stated aim of the Government, and the Pharmacy Minister Alistair Burt has stated that this is a done deal, and is 'going to happen'. You really should accept that around 15% of the total Pharmacist jobs are going to disappear as a result of one set of cuts announced this year. This is ignoring the impact that remote and off-site dispensing will have, and the effect that the funding cuts will have in solidifying the position of the large multiples. Boots, Lloyds, Well et all are the ones most likely to be able to weather the upcoming cuts. The government is not targeting them at Pharmacies which are too close to one another, rather simply cutting the funding and seeing who breaks first. This is overwhelming likely to be independent and smaller companies who don't have the economies of scale and control the entire distributon network like Boots and Lloyds do.

    So in 2020 there will be 25% less community Pharmacist roles, and it's likely to be a sector even more dominated by the large multiples, who will also make the greatest use of off-site, hub and spoke dispensing models, thereby further reducing the number of Pharmacists needed. It really isn't a stretch to imagine a third of Pharmacist roles in their current form not existing in 10 years time. Hang on though....'in their current form' - that means there's a chance for Pharmacists to change their role! They'll become clinicians, they'll be involved in patient care, it'll be just like the nice lady said during my induction day in 2016!

    Except that this has been said for the past 10 years, ever since the 2005 Pharmacy contract renegotiation. As a quick whizz-through summary, for years there was increasing concern that Pharmacists were being overpaid for their work, there was close to no preparation of medicines any more and it really was in a lot of cases sticking stickers on a box. The 2005 renegotiation was pretty major in that it reduced the amount that Pharmacies would be paid for straight-up dispensing and would instead move money to the provision of 'services'. This was widely welcomed by the profession at the time as there was a belief that the current role we had was unsustainable, and that we would inevitably have to take on more of a clinical role if we wanted to remain the well-paid professionals we were at the time. These fabled 'services' were talked about endlessly during my studies, and we were told that we'd have such an important role to play in patient care in the future....Three major things have hampered this effort of the past decade.

    Firstly, GPs are the Lords of Primary Care. Moreso now maybe than back then, but even after 2005 the majority of money was still in dispensing, not the provision of services. If you had a local GP who decided they didn't like your Pharmacy for some reason then you could find your life becoming very difficult, and script numbers would inevitably drop. Lots of Pharmacies therefore were very cautious in the way they introduced servies so as not to step on the surgery's toes. It was always assumed that GPs would be delighted with Pharmacists taking up the responsibility for checking up on patients who had been started on a new drug, and meeting with patients yearly to assess compliance and address any issues they might have had. This wasn't the case, GPs off the record will admit that having the odd 'easy' consultation during a surgery makes the job much more rewarding and gives them a brief mental respite. However the main objections were that there was no real channel for Pharmacists to report back to the GP, and they had very real concerns about the clinical ability and competence of some Pharmacists. I think the latter is largely unfair, but the former is a correct and understandable concern. As a result of GPs lukewarm response to this new Pharmacist role mainstay, central services like the famous 'Medicines Use Review' and the more recent 'New Medicines Service' are largely pointless, and simply duplicate work that the GP will be doing anyway. GPs are very good at doing follow up appointments after a new drug is initiated, given that the Pharmacist cannot do anything to change your treatment without speaking to the GP first, and you're going to go and see your GP anyway, why waste ten minutes speaking to a Pharmacist? That's not to say that Pharmacists aren't doing good consultations where they can, but even if they do spot a meaningful issue they can do effectively nothing about it.

    Secondly, the leadership of Pharmacy as a profession is, as far as I have experienced, absolutely pathetic. You have the PSNC who are supposed to be the ones negotiating with the Government on behalf of Community Pharmacy, but who for the past five years have agreed to every single demand the Government has had and then turned around to 'sell' the cuts to the profession. It's become little more than a puppet of the government, with the most spineless leadership you could ever imagine. Even they were shocked at the severity of the cuts suggested in December 2015 and the plan to close 25% of Pharmacies, but they still agreed to it....albeit later sending an email expressing their 'shock' at how awful the terms were (I'm not making this up!). The PSNC were also instrumental in the decline of the profession by endlessly trotting out this vision of 'services', which remained largely unchanged since 2004. At first it seemed plausible, we knew as a profession we were up to it, this was going to be our new future. Except the PSNC would never negotiate the terms of a single worthwhile service. Pharmacists have never been paid extra for taking on the extra responsibilities, when a new service is introduced (say NMS most recently) the money to fund this comes from the money you used to receive for doing everything else - they just reduce that. The net result is you now have more work to do without any extra money to employ staff. Gradually Pharmacists began to see this as the fraud it was, the PSNC had absolutely no vision for the future of Pharmacy, and seemed to be too lazy to even think of a new pie in the sky dream to replace the 2005 'services' one. The lowest point for the PSNC came just a few weeks ago with their plan for the profession going forward. It called for....unspecified 'services' to be offered by Pharmacy, and not a single mention of how these would be funded. Friends and colleagues, some of whom were still somewhat sold on the idea of a 'service driven future' seemed to lose all hope at this point, and you only need to read the forums and comments of the Chemist and Druggist etc to see how disgusted the entire profession is.

    [For any Pharmacists who think I'm exaggerating, please read Pharmacy news. Articles on BBC News are often factually correct but miss nuances and details which will be of vital interest to you as a Pharmacist, I'd suggest reading the Chemist and Druggist, or the website of the Pharmacist Defence Association for news which is related to you. The C+D particularly has a very active user base, and the contributions there are often as enlightening as an article. If you really want a view of how the profession has lost faith in the future promised in 2005, read a current article and feel the near universal contempt for the services future, then look at 'related articles' two or three years earlier and look at the user comments there, you'll see a mixed bag of views, go a few years earlier again and you will likely see the majority of Pharmacists on board. You can actually see the disillusionment growing through the years]

    Thirdly, it's the Pharmacies themselves, and Pharmacists. We've never been a 'united' profession. In fact, we're largely unique as a profession in that we're dominated by a few huge, multinational companies who are heavily retail driven. You don't see solicitors, or doctors, or accountants working for huge retail chains, and if they are part of a larger company (Accenture etc) then they are still 'lead' by managers and senior staff who are part of their profession. Pharmacy hasn't had that for thirty years. The management at most larger companies contains the odd 'token Pharmacist' throughout the management chain of command, but is largely made up of MBAs, as you'd expect of a company that is basically a retailer, and so behaves like a shop, and not a professional business. Consequently if you work for Boots, Lloyds, Well or one of the supermarkets you will almost certainly have a manager who isn't a Pharmacist, doesn't understand Pharmacy or healthcare, doesn't give a damn about 'the profession' and approaches everything like they are trying to sell packets of crisps. Pharmacists are routinely bullied by 'area managers' to hit targets - nothing wrong there, right? It's a business after all. Except the targets are almost always the maximum of an allowed service as per the NHS service specification. For MURs for example, the NHS will not let any one site do more than 400 MURs in a year. Any Pharmacist will tell you that even in the busiest store, finding 400 meaningful MURs which in their professional judgement were warranted, can be difficult. In many stores it is literally impossible, and so the whole service has spiralled into getting 400 of your patients to sign a form each year saying everything is OK. Thing is we're being paid for doing this - £28 a go. This is repeated across every single service that Pharmacy offers. It happens every single time, whether it's MURS, NMS, Cardiovascular Risk Assessments, flu vaccinations, weight management services, smoking cessation, Pharmacists are pressured massively to game the system to hit targets that could not be hit if you had any pretence of offering the service based on actual need.

    For anyone who is studying, or thinking of studying Pharmacy - if you are being told that you will have a clinical role in community Pharmacy, that the profession is 'changing' and that you will soon be delivering all of these wonderful services to your patients, then you are being misled, or maybe even lied to. I was told the exact same things 10 years ago when I began studying, except when I was being told it there was a degree of optimism that it may happen, it was after all a new vision for Pharmacy and had the support of the profession. Since then, for the reasons above and others, Pharmacy has blown every single service that we managed to get commissioned. Some were good in theory, MURs and NMS are good on paper, they were just neutered by a failure to get GPs on board, but there could have been a benefit to patients and the NHS. Some were OK but were poorly funded, or which we were even expected to do for very little. However in every single instance Pharmacy has shown that it is unable to resist the temptation to churn out low quality, high volume consultations. We perform ridiculous MURs which are of no benefit to the patient, and charge £28 to the NHS, because if we don't we may be sacked by a manager who six months ago was selling mobile phones. We got away with it for a while, but we're not going to any more. The government has simply had enough of us - they don't want to pay for it any more. Doctors, and the rest of the NHS provide much better value AND have excellent PR, they want to take the money they give to us currently and spend it elsewhere in the NHS. The start of it has already happened - if you're starting this year you will likely have a lot of difficulty getting a pre-reg place, as 25% of stores will be closed. This 25% figure is not a scare story, it is the stated aim of the government - to keep cutting Pharmacy until 25% of locations are unprofitable. This is just the start, future cuts in 2016/17 and 2017/18 are also promised - the target of these will almost certainly be 'services' that we currently offer. We will not be getting any new ones.

    If your Pharmacy school is still selling you a future based on services, and assuring you that you will have a career in the future because of this, then you may find yourself in your late 20s struggling to find a job on half the salary you thought you'd earn when you applied. Ignore the dreamers on this forum who still seem to be talking in 2010 money for things like starting offers and locum rates (newly qualified you will be getting £31k today - anyone who pretends otherwise is delusional. Look at some jobs listings to get an idea what sort of salary an experienced Pharmacist will get). Read up and understand how your chosen profession has destroyed itself, how we've had the last 10 years to 'turn it around' and singularly failed to, and how no-one, not even the people paid to come up with these visions, has anything viable. They're not even pretending any more, because they know as well as those of us working in it that it's over in Community Pharmacy.

    If you want plans for the future-

    1) Get out - seriously move to something else. You'll be intelligent, young and motivated, and without any heavy financial obligations. DO NOT rely on Community Pharmacy for your future, you invariably don't need to. If you get 'stuck' in the profession because you believed the assurances of a Pharmacy School (who has every interest in getting your tuition fees, and unlike Medicine, Dentistry etc Pharmacy school numbers are not in any way limited by the GPhC, so they'll keep churning out students regardless of the effect it has on the rest of the job market)

    2)Try an get into hospital, a CCG or some other NHS organisation - again, this is something people who are too old to study something else have been doing for a while. It's something I myself have recently decided to copy them by doing - if you've got the additional skills to meet the needs of one of these organisations you'll have a much more rewarding future, as well as a much more stable and predictable one.

    3) Maybe see if you can apply for a GP Pilot Scheme type role - there are a few, small scale initiatives at the moment to get Pharmacists into GP surgeries. This is small scale, and is not going to be around for long. The NHS is paying 60% of the salary for Pharmacists under this scheme for the next 3 years. It's a token thing and designed to scare the GPs a bit more than anything - if somehow you're a current Pharmacist, with some experience and you've seen the writing on the wall but are stuck for ideas, look into these schemes. It's a route out.

    4) Start a Pharmacist Union - the PDA are great, but they're very much concerned with fighting for individual Pharmacists who are being unfairly targeted by the GPhC (the fact that we have such an organisation should again tell you something). There is no other body which does anything to further Pharmacy as a profession. If you have the skills and talent to get this right, and you can get it off the ground whilst there is still a profession to represent, then you could well save the day.[/

    I am a pre reg.
    Most of my criticism, well all of my criticism was aimed at mr.littlebigman, not at you.
    I have never claimed that pharmacy is a good profession at all.
    Neither am I deluded in believing the lies told by university, it does my head in as much as it does to you Nd mr littlebigman.
    My issue is people saying comments like "get out of the sinking pharmacy ship". "Apply to aldi, it has better working conditions" Whilst not suggesting anything in terms of proper alternatives.
    These type of people really wind me up cause they are telling you to do something they themselves would never do. Why hasn't mr littlebigman followed his own advice? Why is he not working in aldi?Why is it that people on this forum have actively promoted the degree and are now desperately trying to study medicine?

    I have felt frustrated by these comments and these people, and I know of class fellows/friends/ brothers who have shared these feelings with me.

    My point is anyone could talk and think they are giving quality advice and guiding people. In reality they are creating more anger amongst people who are angry enough.
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    (Original post by kabolin)
    I must commend you on your attention to detail asa you have just went through comments I made several years ago. Hopefully you can check prescriptions with as much detail.

    Having worked in fast food restaurants as a delivery driver working both inside and outside, no I do not think its below me, nor do I think I am too big for aldi or plumbing, in fact given the chance I would quite like to become a plumber. Maybe I can fix your pipes.

    Listen, I have never disagreed with what you are saying. I only disagree with your methods in getting your points across. All I have done was tried and mirror your methods. Hopefully you can see how irritating it really is, regardless of what your original intentions were.

    From the code of ethics "act professionally during your course of practice, both inside and outside of your work place". Many of your comments are not only rude but even worse, very unprofessional as well as racist, assuming someone is an asian with a big head, judging my some comments they have made many years ago.

    Difference between me and you is that I can accept who I am. BUT Can you admit you are a racist?

    Probably not.

    Good luck in your back up career as a career advisor. My advice to you is DONT QUIT YOUR DAY JOB..... As a pharmacist
    Sniping at me, because you don't like the truth, doesn't change it. And i really can't believe you called me racist when you are a blatant homophobe. (see your comments on the thread Uganda, kill the gays!)
    Now this person above has explained it all to you in detail and told you what to do, so either do it, or shut up moaning. I would also like to point out where she says no-one is snearing at a supermarket manager's salary! They earn more than you will as a pharmacist.
    The point we are trying to make is, I have invested 25 yrs in pharmacy, you are on year 1. It is much easier to change now. If anything I should be the angry one!! It's no good being angry at your parents and your sister doing optometry, or insulting fellow professionals ( i could be your pre-reg tutor!!) and you need to change your attitude. Because I can tell you, your belligerent aggression, homophobia and negativity won't be tolerated in a big company pharmacy chain. Personally I don't think you have the right attitude to be a health care professional. Playing your token race/religion card won't work in the real big world out there, certainly not in corporate chains. You have a massive chip on your shoulder and you need to lose it now.
    And if anyone is thinking i'm being unduly harsh on you, then I suggest they go and read your comments about gays in 2011. Hopefully you have grown up by now? And to be completely honest, I am surprised TSR didn't ban you.
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    (Original post by mrlittlebigman)
    Sniping at me, because you don't like the truth, doesn't change it. And i really can't believe you called me racist when you are a blatant homophobe. (see your comments on the thread Uganda, kill the gays!)
    Now this person above has explained it all to you in detail and told you what to do, so either do it, or shut up moaning. I would also like to point out where she says no-one is snearing at a supermarket manager's salary! They earn more than you will as a pharmacist.
    The point we are trying to make is, I have invested 25 yrs in pharmacy, you are on year 1. It is much easier to change now. If anything I should be the angry one!! It's no good being angry at your parents and your sister doing optometry, or insulting fellow professionals ( i could be your pre-reg tutor!!) and you need to change your attitude. Because I can tell you, your belligerent aggression, homophobia and negativity won't be tolerated in a big company pharmacy chain. Personally I don't think you have the right attitude to be a health care professional. Playing your token race/religion card won't work in the real big world out there, certainly not in corporate chains. You have a massive chip on your shoulder and you need to lose it now.
    And if anyone is thinking i'm being unduly harsh on you, then I suggest they go and read your comments about gays in 2011. Hopefully you have grown up by now? And to be completely honest, I am surprised TSR didn't ban you.
    25 years down the line and your middle aged, finished everything. job is dead end. waiting for your pension. becoming a cynic. probably been divorced. hate people for trying to better them selves. hate newbies for trying. want to see youth fail and berate them for any mistake they make. undercover racist and WONT admit it. mid life crisis. life going no where. i have seen it all before mate.
    one thing im not sure of is this: are you a have been or a never has been? in my local gym there are probably 20-30 carbon copies of you.probably drink 3-4 units of alcahol on weekdays and probably 20 units over the weekend. probably the only thing which keeps you ticking over. wife probably had an affair, decree absolute #4 on its way.
    if pharmacy was as competitive then as it is now, you would not be in a position to look down at any newbie and berate them, behind your keyboard. your atitude would make any big chain turn you down at interview stage. unfortunately then anyone with a pulse and the correct qualiification would get the nod. YOU are a perfect example of that.
    take your mindless views and mid life crisis away from a student forum. go back to the pub and drink your life away you pathetic old man.
    thats probably what your first 3 partners said to you.
    dont get mad at the youth for how your life turned out.
    love you loads!
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    (Original post by mrlittlebigman)
    Sniping at me, because you don't like the truth, doesn't change it. And i really can't believe you called me racist when you are a blatant homophobe. (see your comments on the thread Uganda, kill the gays!)
    Now this person above has explained it all to you in detail and told you what to do, so either do it, or shut up moaning. I would also like to point out where she says no-one is snearing at a supermarket manager's salary! They earn more than you will as a pharmacist.
    The point we are trying to make is, I have invested 25 yrs in pharmacy, you are on year 1. It is much easier to change now. If anything I should be the angry one!! It's no good being angry at your parents and your sister doing optometry, or insulting fellow professionals ( i could be your pre-reg tutor!!) and you need to change your attitude. Because I can tell you, your belligerent aggression, homophobia and negativity won't be tolerated in a big company pharmacy chain. Personally I don't think you have the right attitude to be a health care professional. Playing your token race/religion card won't work in the real big world out there, certainly not in corporate chains. You have a massive chip on your shoulder and you need to lose it now.
    And if anyone is thinking i'm being unduly harsh on you, then I suggest they go and read your comments about gays in 2011. Hopefully you have grown up by now? And to be completely honest, I am surprised TSR didn't ban you.
    may i suggest yoga as an alternative for stress relief.
    and work in aldi as a alternative career.
    might be healthy for you!!!!
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    Remember this?

    "perhaps all this hate comes from the fact that i hate gays and i hate people who think it's okay to be gay. i hate people who accept gays. if i was gay i'd ****ing hang my self. its revolting.im not in a minority. a lot of people i know hate gays."

    Kabolin 9/6/2011.


    Now look at your rambling illogical reply above.
    You're rather dense aren't you?
    If you do pass and become a pharmacist, (and personally, I hope you don't) then I hope the only job you can get is at a community pharmacy in Manchester or Brighton or as a hospital pharmacist on a HIV ward. It would be amusing to watch you slowly choke on your own vomit.

    A Dr was suspended last week for remarks made on Twitter about his A&E patients. A pharmacist, a couple of years back, was suspended for dispensing the morning after pill and telling the woman she was a murderer! I can only wait with bated breath for your appearance before the GPhC with your views!

    And basically this all boils down to the fact, that you got pushed into pharmacy, your sister is going to be an optician, have a better career than you, earn more money than you, and see everyone by appointment and have much less stress than you. And you don't like it. So you spew pure venom at anyone who says something you don't like. Your intolerance to other people is unbelievable. You call someone a "****** lover"; suggest gays become primary school teachers to brainwash children and preach the wonders of Islam against everything else. But the best thing is... you don't even apologise and say, ... " well, I was a teenager, young and stupid, and now i'm older and I was wrong.." You just ramble on about your gym and someone being on their third marriage, blah blah blah.
    If you're the future of pharmacy, I'm glad it's going down the toilet.

    I suppose you are going to try and tell us, 'Jihadi John' was a good bloke, that the Americans deserved 9/11 and as for those gays being hurled off buildings by ISIS.... well,... they deserved it, "nasty fag**ts". AND.... you're going to be a healthcare professional???!!! God! .. I hope not!
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    (Original post by kabolin)
    ad hominem attacks on mrlittlebigman
    I've already written enough, I'm not going to reiterate my point any further.

    Just to address your attacks on mrlittlebigman, Kabolin. I think they are completely out of line, and betray a lot about your insecurities and level of maturity.

    I was the one who started this thread, and I'm not middle aged. I'm 28 at the moment, going on 29 - so it's been 10 years since I've taken any interest in what's going on in Pharmacy, just as being young seems to be something you hold in high regard. Hopefully I still qualify.

    You don't seem to refute any of the points made about the future of Pharmacy, you'd just rather not hear them, and seemingly especially not from someone with much more experience than you. This is the worst sort of reaction you could have. Every year in Pharmacy is luckier than the year that went before it, you've probably still got 'some time' so long as you're realistic about what your future holds if you stay with community Pharmacy. The people who are really going to be in trouble are the people who are applying this year, the people who will be graduating into the market with 25% less community Pharmacies. They will really see their future whipped away, because it's the next 5 years when things will fall apart.

    Kabolin, I don't know where you're doing your pre-reg. I'm going to play the numbers game and bet probably for a large multiple, in community Pharmacy. It wasn't until I started locuming (briefly) that I realised just how sheltered and insulated Pharmacists who work inside these big chains are. Especially now the Drug Tariff is off the pre-reg exam, there seems to be little, if any understanding of how Pharmacy is funded, when for any business this is just as important as the clinical role. You can give out all of the first rate clinical advice you want, but if you're not making any money doing it you wont be giving it out for long. This seems to be completely lost on your average big chain employee, who in my experience doesn't give any thought at all to whether or not any money is actually being made.

    These people are probably the fodder that are getting left in the 'profession' - and when the independents start going bankrupt, conveniently all of the community Pharmacists will then be shielded from the nasty, confusing Pharmacy contract and all of the confusing payment....and they too wont have a clue when they're heading right for the iceberg. '6% cuts? I wonder how head office is going to absorb that! Lol'. If you work for a big chain (which I suspect you wont admit to now regardless, but anyway) you really should start trying to investigate how a community Pharmacy makes money. Think about why you are there - it's not for the patient, regardless of what that nice, slick poster in your breakroom says. You are there because a multinational company which has **** all to do with patient care is making money from you being there. If you don't know how much money is being paid for every single act you are doing in the dispensary then find out. What's a practice payment and what does it cover? What's the per item dispensing fee? How much do you get for an MUR? What about a CVD Risk Assessment?

    *****************

    I'll give you one thing though, Kabolin. Your pointless personal attack did make me smile, because you really do seem to be like a lamb to the slaughter. You criticise the 'moaning' and negativity of 'middle aged' Pharmacists and never stop to wonder why these people are so universally negative and middle aged. I'm not middle aged (yet, although ironically I do now look at university students and their predictable 'pub crawls' and cringey, predictable naievity about life in much the way you seem to view people who are older and more experienced than you! I loved it at the time though, and I thought I was someone special too....) and I have managed to work it out.

    They've seen more than us, so they know just how bad it's already got. You know what's the most stark difference between me and Pharmacists twenty years older than me? Just how well off they are. They almost always have a lifestyle that is very likely to be out of the reach of your average community Pharmacist, even extrapolating from how it was when I was there. They were middle class, they lived next to G.Ps and solicitors. Their children went to private school. Many of them owned their own business to do this, but plenty just seemed to have locumed, or managed a store and had a solid salary and bonus each year. If you stay in community Kabolin, you'll be living on a new build estate with a shared driveway, if you're lucky (hopefully your parents are wealthy and they can cushion the fall in your standard of living). These guys have noticed just how poor the prospects today in Pharmacy are, and I agree many of them are just looking to sit out their careers.

    Do you know why? They can afford to. It's not that they 'can't handle' this new clinical future that you seem to think they're desperate to avoid. They have spotted how **** the job is becoming, the salaries are falling through the floor, most will still be on old contracts and so have no incentive to move, and they know their pensions are untouchable and are, you're quite right, just waiting to retire. Retire on a pension that will probably equal a salary that you or I will end up working 40 hours a week for!

    You don't hear much moaning from this group, not really. Why should you? They've won. mrlittlebigman has won. He was the one being paid double what you were. He went to university for nothing, graduated into a land of affordable housing, and earned the equivalent of double what you'll be starting on. Pharmacy has treated him well, and with the pension he'll leave with (which you'll keep working to pay ) he has got nothing to worry about. He's sitting out the clock, just like I would be. So when you speak to a Pharmacist in their late 40s they tend to not care, they're past caring. They've got the experience to know what's about to happen, they know there are no 'solutions' to this. Most of them are selfish, they don't give a ****. They recognise that you're ****ed certainly, but they're not about to waste energy trying to get you to realise. The fact that MrLBM has actually bothered to point out to you just what an awful career move you are about to make is actually pretty generous of him, all things considered. I was lied to, and deceived, just the same as you were and I got away by the skin of my teeth before the whole thing collapsed. You? You might struggle a bit more (lets see what that starting salary offer is, eh?), MrLBM has won and is about to holiday 6 months of the year. Who's the one who should be moaning about Pharmacy?!

    I could go on all night, but it's perfectly clear that you don't want to hear it. That's fine I guess, the multiples need people with their heads in the sand, too proud to leave to a better paying job because 'I'm a professional' whilst turning their nose up at a manager of Aldi...just don't ask where your area manager studied Pharmacy, because he'll probably look at you blankly and then talk about how he started out managing a Carphone Warehouse, before threatening you with a performance review unless you get those 400 MURs done, and you'll do them as well because you're his *****, and there are thousands of other students getting churned out of university who would do your job for less, you'll just keep eating his **** so long as you have your ridiculous snobbery about being a Pharmacist.

    I mean really, a Pharmacist looking down on anyone! You're going to be a shopkeeper! I was a shopkeeper! You just stick the sticker on the boxes all day. Don't delude yourself that you're anything more, and in future a robot will be doing the things that you used to get up and put your tie and shiny trousers on in the morning to do.

    Do you know why no one has an 'answers' to this problem? It's because community Pharmacy has had it. We are never going to get paid good money to stick a sticker on boxes, and the 2005 'services' future was based around Pharmacy still being a 'profession' and run in a professional way by people who cared about the future of Pharmacy. Except by then it was run by retail groups who wanted to 'sell' as much of everything, including clinical services which the profession would have to use to justify its future existence. 2005 was the time for solutions, some were proposed, and they failed. We cocked it up. No one has an answers because there's nothing more we can do, except take a massive pay cut. Those who are intelligent, motivated and skilled enough will leave, as they are already doing (I was never a brilliant academic, and I am the last of 10 or so friends I graduated with who went into community to have left) - those who are too scared, or unable to leave will be stuck.

    Lastly, I don't know what your family background is, and consequently what you wanted for yourself and your own children when you got older. My parents weren't 'professionals', a Pharmacist in their day would have been way better off, but I grew up in a large detatched house with grounds, in a lifestyle WAY out of reach of a couple of community Pharmacists today. I want my children to have a better quality of life than I did, hence why I got out, and why I am going to continue to move away from that sinking ship. It's possible that you're someone who grew up in a less affluent family, and for you £25k/year is a great salary, and your family would be proud of how you'd done. In which case, good on you! Life is supposed to be about doing better each time.

    Just understand that Pharmacists used to be middle class, and so those pursuing it expected a certain lifestyle to accompany their hard work, hopefully a better standard of living than they had experienced growing up. This is something all of us Generation Y'ers are having to come to terms with, but in Pharmacy it'll be a particularly savage blow over the coming 5 years. Still Kabolin, you keep burying your head in the sand and bemoaning anyone who tries to warn others from charging off the same cliff as you. If the Conservatives end up reforming benefits you'll end up meeting that Aldi manager after all, whilst you collect the trolleys in the car park for your JSA

    To Mr LittleBigMan- enjoy your retirement! I hope you don't suffer from erectile dysfunction (or vaginal dryness, I suppose you can't assume too much from a screen name), and if you do try not to smirk at Kabolin's Primark trousers as he hands you that bag of Cialis that a robot packed up. Thank you for taking the time to pop in and at least try and add to what I said. I've got no doubt you've seen a lot more than I have in Pharmacy, you've been here 20 years longer than I have and so will have had much better insight as well as experience of back when it actually was a profession. Whilst you've clearly ruffled old Kabolin's feathers, I suspect he doesn't realise what middle age looks like when you've got the sort of income Pharmacy used to afford you, so I suspect his assumptions about you are way short of the mark. Plus I have some sympathy, I was a pre-reg not TOO long ago, and I remember thinking I knew it all, and thinking everyone older than me were dinosaurs holding the profession back. Then after a year or so realised that 'No, they have just been around long enough to know what works, what doesn't and recognise the danger signs'. I think it's universally agreed that the deluded fools who still believe there's a future in 'services' are the real pain in the arse in Pharmacy, fortunately I haven't had to hear a proper Pharmacist say that in a while, just our pre-reg friend here.

    To any current, or potential Pharmacy students - I'm not saying DON'T do Pharmacy, but you are almost certainly intelligent enough to do something else. I applied to university attracted by courses which had 'a career path', it seemed sensible at the time. Do something you are passionate about instead. Obviously be realistic, if your passion is shampooing dogs or reading about the history of Welsh feminism then Ok, you should probably grit your teeth through a more traditional degree instead, but if you are considering Pharmacy then studying Chemistry, or Biology or even Pharmacology will open up many more varied and interesting career paths than you will have as a Pharmacy degree (recruiters know what those are, unlike a Pharmacy degree!) and in the future the pay is likely to be even better.

    DO NOT FOCUS ON STARTING SALARY. Huge, huge mistake. Even ignoring the plummeting Pharmacist salaries, this was a bad idea. I fell for it. Pharmacist starting salary was, in the past, very good. £40k+ in some cases, 5 years ago. However that's it, odds are if you were good you'd retire on £48k. You'd never go anywhere, whereas the Chemistry graduate who started on £25k ends on £80k, and has flexible working, and a much stressful job. Pharmacy has always caught out the unwary like that, and in the future the starting salary you see today will be completely wrong.

    Lastly, if you do decide that a career in Pharmacy is for you, but then realise it's not but you're too far along to change - leave ASAP. It's only getting worse, as I said most recruiters (even within fields you'd assume would be 'close') simply wont know what to make of an MPharm degree. You will struggle to hop out of University into anything else. Try and get a years Pharmacist experience under your belt, take a managerial job if you can handle it it (you wont be able to, but grit your teeth and pull your hair out, just to get 'management' on your CV) and then start trying to take sideways steps in NHS roles. This is likely your only way out.

    For those determined to stay in - prepared for a future of £23k/year and fierce competition for that.

    Good Luck Guys!
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    (Original post by RealisticPharm)
    I've already written enough, I'm not going to reiterate my point any further.

    Just to address your attacks on mrlittlebigman, Kabolin. I think they are completely out of line, and betray a lot about your insecurities and level of maturity.

    I was the one who started this thread, and I'm not middle aged. I'm 28 at the moment, going on 29 - so it's been 10 years since I've taken any interest in what's going on in Pharmacy, just as being young seems to be something you hold in high regard. Hopefully I still qualify.

    You don't seem to refute any of the points made about the future of Pharmacy, you'd just rather not hear them, and seemingly especially not from someone with much more experience than you. This is the worst sort of reaction you could have. Every year in Pharmacy is luckier than the year that went before it, you've probably still got 'some time' so long as you're realistic about what your future holds if you stay with community Pharmacy. The people who are really going to be in trouble are the people who are applying this year, the people who will be graduating into the market with 25% less community Pharmacies. They will really see their future whipped away, because it's the next 5 years when things will fall apart.

    Kabolin, I don't know where you're doing your pre-reg. I'm going to play the numbers game and bet probably for a large multiple, in community Pharmacy. It wasn't until I started locuming (briefly) that I realised just how sheltered and insulated Pharmacists who work inside these big chains are. Especially now the Drug Tariff is off the pre-reg exam, there seems to be little, if any understanding of how Pharmacy is funded, when for any business this is just as important as the clinical role. You can give out all of the first rate clinical advice you want, but if you're not making any money doing it you wont be giving it out for long. This seems to be completely lost on your average big chain employee, who in my experience doesn't give any thought at all to whether or not any money is actually being made.

    These people are probably the fodder that are getting left in the 'profession' - and when the independents start going bankrupt, conveniently all of the community Pharmacists will then be shielded from the nasty, confusing Pharmacy contract and all of the confusing payment....and they too wont have a clue when they're heading right for the iceberg. '6% cuts? I wonder how head office is going to absorb that! Lol'. If you work for a big chain (which I suspect you wont admit to now regardless, but anyway) you really should start trying to investigate how a community Pharmacy makes money. Think about why you are there - it's not for the patient, regardless of what that nice, slick poster in your breakroom says. You are there because a multinational company which has **** all to do with patient care is making money from you being there. If you don't know how much money is being paid for every single act you are doing in the dispensary then find out. What's a practice payment and what does it cover? What's the per item dispensing fee? How much do you get for an MUR? What about a CVD Risk Assessment?

    *****************

    I'll give you one thing though, Kabolin. Your pointless personal attack did make me smile, because you really do seem to be like a lamb to the slaughter. You criticise the 'moaning' and negativity of 'middle aged' Pharmacists and never stop to wonder why these people are so universally negative and middle aged. I'm not middle aged (yet, although ironically I do now look at university students and their predictable 'pub crawls' and cringey, predictable naievity about life in much the way you seem to view people who are older and more experienced than you! I loved it at the time though, and I thought I was someone special too....) and I have managed to work it out.

    They've seen more than us, so they know just how bad it's already got. You know what's the most stark difference between me and Pharmacists twenty years older than me? Just how well off they are. They almost always have a lifestyle that is very likely to be out of the reach of your average community Pharmacist, even extrapolating from how it was when I was there. They were middle class, they lived next to G.Ps and solicitors. Their children went to private school. Many of them owned their own business to do this, but plenty just seemed to have locumed, or managed a store and had a solid salary and bonus each year. If you stay in community Kabolin, you'll be living on a new build estate with a shared driveway, if you're lucky (hopefully your parents are wealthy and they can cushion the fall in your standard of living). These guys have noticed just how poor the prospects today in Pharmacy are, and I agree many of them are just looking to sit out their careers.

    Do you know why? They can afford to. It's not that they 'can't handle' this new clinical future that you seem to think they're desperate to avoid. They have spotted how **** the job is becoming, the salaries are falling through the floor, most will still be on old contracts and so have no incentive to move, and they know their pensions are untouchable and are, you're quite right, just waiting to retire. Retire on a pension that will probably equal a salary that you or I will end up working 40 hours a week for!

    You don't hear much moaning from this group, not really. Why should you? They've won. mrlittlebigman has won. He was the one being paid double what you were. He went to university for nothing, graduated into a land of affordable housing, and earned the equivalent of double what you'll be starting on. Pharmacy has treated him well, and with the pension he'll leave with (which you'll keep working to pay ) he has got nothing to worry about. He's sitting out the clock, just like I would be. So when you speak to a Pharmacist in their late 40s they tend to not care, they're past caring. They've got the experience to know what's about to happen, they know there are no 'solutions' to this. Most of them are selfish, they don't give a ****. They recognise that you're ****ed certainly, but they're not about to waste energy trying to get you to realise. The fact that MrLBM has actually bothered to point out to you just what an awful career move you are about to make is actually pretty generous of him, all things considered. I was lied to, and deceived, just the same as you were and I got away by the skin of my teeth before the whole thing collapsed. You? You might struggle a bit more (lets see what that starting salary offer is, eh?), MrLBM has won and is about to holiday 6 months of the year. Who's the one who should be moaning about Pharmacy?!

    I could go on all night, but it's perfectly clear that you don't want to hear it. That's fine I guess, the multiples need people with their heads in the sand, too proud to leave to a better paying job because 'I'm a professional' whilst turning their nose up at a manager of Aldi...just don't ask where your area manager studied Pharmacy, because he'll probably look at you blankly and then talk about how he started out managing a Carphone Warehouse, before threatening you with a performance review unless you get those 400 MURs done, and you'll do them as well because you're his *****, and there are thousands of other students getting churned out of university who would do your job for less, you'll just keep eating his **** so long as you have your ridiculous snobbery about being a Pharmacist.

    I mean really, a Pharmacist looking down on anyone! You're going to be a shopkeeper! I was a shopkeeper! You just stick the sticker on the boxes all day. Don't delude yourself that you're anything more, and in future a robot will be doing the things that you used to get up and put your tie and shiny trousers on in the morning to do.

    Do you know why no one has an 'answers' to this problem? It's because community Pharmacy has had it. We are never going to get paid good money to stick a sticker on boxes, and the 2005 'services' future was based around Pharmacy still being a 'profession' and run in a professional way by people who cared about the future of Pharmacy. Except by then it was run by retail groups who wanted to 'sell' as much of everything, including clinical services which the profession would have to use to justify its future existence. 2005 was the time for solutions, some were proposed, and they failed. We cocked it up. No one has an answers because there's nothing more we can do, except take a massive pay cut. Those who are intelligent, motivated and skilled enough will leave, as they are already doing (I was never a brilliant academic, and I am the last of 10 or so friends I graduated with who went into community to have left) - those who are too scared, or unable to leave will be stuck.

    Lastly, I don't know what your family background is, and consequently what you wanted for yourself and your own children when you got older. My parents weren't 'professionals', a Pharmacist in their day would have been way better off, but I grew up in a large detatched house with grounds, in a lifestyle WAY out of reach of a couple of community Pharmacists today. I want my children to have a better quality of life than I did, hence why I got out, and why I am going to continue to move away from that sinking ship. It's possible that you're someone who grew up in a less affluent family, and for you £25k/year is a great salary, and your family would be proud of how you'd done. In which case, good on you! Life is supposed to be about doing better each time.

    Just understand that Pharmacists used to be middle class, and so those pursuing it expected a certain lifestyle to accompany their hard work, hopefully a better standard of living than they had experienced growing up. This is something all of us Generation Y'ers are having to come to terms with, but in Pharmacy it'll be a particularly savage blow over the coming 5 years. Still Kabolin, you keep burying your head in the sand and bemoaning anyone who tries to warn others from charging off the same cliff as you. If the Conservatives end up reforming benefits you'll end up meeting that Aldi manager after all, whilst you collect the trolleys in the car park for your JSA

    To Mr LittleBigMan- enjoy your retirement! I hope you don't suffer from erectile dysfunction (or vaginal dryness, I suppose you can't assume too much from a screen name), and if you do try not to smirk at Kabolin's Primark trousers as he hands you that bag of Cialis that a robot packed up. Thank you for taking the time to pop in and at least try and add to what I said. I've got no doubt you've seen a lot more than I have in Pharmacy, you've been here 20 years longer than I have and so will have had much better insight as well as experience of back when it actually was a profession. Whilst you've clearly ruffled old Kabolin's feathers, I suspect he doesn't realise what middle age looks like when you've got the sort of income Pharmacy used to afford you, so I suspect his assumptions about you are way short of the mark. Plus I have some sympathy, I was a pre-reg not TOO long ago, and I remember thinking I knew it all, and thinking everyone older than me were dinosaurs holding the profession back. Then after a year or so realised that 'No, they have just been around long enough to know what works, what doesn't and recognise the danger signs'. I think it's universally agreed that the deluded fools who still believe there's a future in 'services' are the real pain in the arse in Pharmacy, fortunately I haven't had to hear a proper Pharmacist say that in a while, just our pre-reg friend here.

    To any current, or potential Pharmacy students - I'm not saying DON'T do Pharmacy, but you are almost certainly intelligent enough to do something else. I applied to university attracted by courses which had 'a career path', it seemed sensible at the time. Do something you are passionate about instead. Obviously be realistic, if your passion is shampooing dogs or reading about the history of Welsh feminism then Ok, you should probably grit your teeth through a more traditional degree instead, but if you are considering Pharmacy then studying Chemistry, or Biology or even Pharmacology will open up many more varied and interesting career paths than you will have as a Pharmacy degree (recruiters know what those are, unlike a Pharmacy degree!) and in the future the pay is likely to be even better.

    DO NOT FOCUS ON STARTING SALARY. Huge, huge mistake. Even ignoring the plummeting Pharmacist salaries, this was a bad idea. I fell for it. Pharmacist starting salary was, in the past, very good. £40k+ in some cases, 5 years ago. However that's it, odds are if you were good you'd retire on £48k. You'd never go anywhere, whereas the Chemistry graduate who started on £25k ends on £80k, and has flexible working, and a much stressful job. Pharmacy has always caught out the unwary like that, and in the future the starting salary you see today will be completely wrong.

    Lastly, if you do decide that a career in Pharmacy is for you, but then realise it's not but you're too far along to change - leave ASAP. It's only getting worse, as I said most recruiters (even within fields you'd assume would be 'close') simply wont know what to make of an MPharm degree. You will struggle to hop out of University into anything else. Try and get a years Pharmacist experience under your belt, take a managerial job if you can handle it it (you wont be able to, but grit your teeth and pull your hair out, just to get 'management' on your CV) and then start trying to take sideways steps in NHS roles. This is likely your only way out.

    For those determined to stay in - prepared for a future of £23k/year and fierce competition for that.

    Good Luck Guys!
    You both think I disagree with what you are saying. I have never disagreed with it. What I have disagreed with is the personal attacks on me and the way a message has been delivered with no care for the reader. Anyways, I am tired of being abused by some guy who think he's a bigger person, better person, who can dish it out but can not take it. Funny and pathetic really.
    Whatever he has earn he's probably lost during his mid life crisis divorces so I am not too bothered
    Seen it all b4.
    Have a good life both.
    Tired of this
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    (Original post by kabolin)
    You both think I disagree with what you are saying. I have never disagreed with it. What I have disagreed with is the personal attacks on me and the way a message has been delivered with no care for the reader. Anyways, I am tired of being abused by some guy who think he's a bigger person, better person, who can dish it out but can not take it. Funny and pathetic really.
    Whatever he has earn he's probably lost during his mid life crisis divorces so I am not too bothered
    Seen it all b4.
    Have a good life both.
    Tired of this
    I'm not sure there was any personal attack on you? I genuinely didn't see one, although I can empathise in that I didn't like the panicked feeling I used to get when people would point out the future of Pharmacy to me 18 months ago. I felt trapped, and as though I had wasted my life. It feels horrible, I'll give you that, and I've been through it.

    Our more mature friend has escaped it, he got the golden days of Pharmacy and so doesn't need to worry too much which way the salary is going, or if it will even be possible to get any sort of Pharmacist role. You and I have to face up to it though - we ****ed up. Accidentally, I agree, and everyone our age is getting ****ed to some degree, by house prices, job security etc, unfortunately we have it particularly bad in that we boarded a ship that is sinking particularly fast.

    It doesn't make anyone stupid for getting caught out - when I signed up 10 years ago the future was bright and optimistic, on paper at least. When you will have applied, the direction would still not have been firmly established. Pharmacy had been getting knocked down over the years, but we'd always managed to get back up even if it was to carry on receiving a kicking. This time, with the recent cuts, I really think the government has decided to put us down for good. Not overnight, but over the coming decade, which is the timescale you and I would have to be worried about.

    It comes across as blunt but believe it or not I was sugar coating it. I haven't suggested any solutions because I genuinely don't think there are any - even the people whose job it is to be the cheerleaders for Pharmacy have no ideas. If there is going to be a rescue, it's going to be from the PSNC (hilarious!) - they're fantasists at the best of times, but even they can't come up with anything this time. We've spent the last decade trying to prove we could add value, and weren't just a very expensive professional 'spot the difference' machine. Any chance we had to be clinical we blew, and turned into a commercial farce.

    If was going to give it sans sugar, I'd be thinking if community Pharmacist would even exist in 20 years time. I suspect we're the 21st Century barrel makers or stagecoach drivers - there was a call for us 50 years ago when things needed compounding, but technology in the form of pre-packaged medicines and in the future the ability to dispense and accuracy check by machine will render us useless. We have clinical skills, no doubt about it, but without completely dismantling the structure of community Pharmacy, dominated by huge retail chains, we'll never be taken seriously as clinicians, by the public, by other health care professionals and by the government.

    Again, I'm sorry Kabolin, it's caught me out too. I took my £45k whilst it was there, took advantage of the (now closed) 'Ltd company/dividends' tax loophole as a locum, and made hay whilst the sun was shining, but I've had to get out now and suffer a 25% salary cut. Looking on the C+D, and reading locum forums, I'm shocked at how quick the community salary is falling after me.

    In short, to non-Kabolin Pharmacy students, and prospective students - don't plan a future based on community Pharmacy. I'm not old, or past it. I was a successful community Pharmacist whilst I did it, and was a very successful locum. I know my locum rates were good, but today you wont see more than £21/hr for regular work, anywhere. It's going down all the time. You simply will not have the lifestyle that I applied to Pharmacy wanting - you will never be middle class being a Pharmacist. How quickly that will happen depends on how aggressive the government are, but it is out of your control.


    Edit: One more thing I had to add - this idea that Pharmacy is 'competitive' isn't true in terms of university places. There are loads of schools, and there is no restriction on the number of Pharmacy students that these schools can produce each year. it's another criticism of the GPhC, and makes Pharmacy pretty unique amongst 'professions'. Medicine is extremely competitive, because the number of places are kept artificially limited. If Universities could open a medical school dozens would, but the GMC wont accredit any new courses, same as dentistry. Pharmacy entry requirements are almost done in reverse from the previous year - they look to see what the average of last years students was, and have that as this years 'requirement'. This is ever increasing only because medicine is ever increasing in competitiveness. In fact, if you want to see the extent to which Pharmacy 'mops up' the failed medics (I'm one!) check out the average entry scores on the league tables - the lowest medicine entry requirements are 81% of the highest (i.e. best school = 608 UCAS points, worst = 494), dentistry = 84%, Pharmacy = 66%. There's a huge spread in Pharmacy, this wouldn't exist if every place was highly contested.
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    Interesting stuff but these posts are way too f*cking long can you please condense your replies ffs.
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    (Original post by RealisticPharm)
    I'm not sure there was any personal attack on you? I genuinely didn't see one, although I can empathise in that I didn't like the panicked feeling I used to get when people would point out the future of Pharmacy to me 18 months ago. I felt trapped, and as though I had wasted my life. It feels horrible, I'll give you that, and I've been through it.

    Our more mature friend has escaped it, he got the golden days of Pharmacy and so doesn't need to worry too much which way the salary is going, or if it will even be possible to get any sort of Pharmacist role. You and I have to face up to it though - we ****ed up. Accidentally, I agree, and everyone our age is getting ****ed to some degree, by house prices, job security etc, unfortunately we have it particularly bad in that we boarded a ship that is sinking particularly fast.

    It doesn't make anyone stupid for getting caught out - when I signed up 10 years ago the future was bright and optimistic, on paper at least. When you will have applied, the direction would still not have been firmly established. Pharmacy had been getting knocked down over the years, but we'd always managed to get back up even if it was to carry on receiving a kicking. This time, with the recent cuts, I really think the government has decided to put us down for good. Not overnight, but over the coming decade, which is the timescale you and I would have to be worried about.

    It comes across as blunt but believe it or not I was sugar coating it. I haven't suggested any solutions because I genuinely don't think there are any - even the people whose job it is to be the cheerleaders for Pharmacy have no ideas. If there is going to be a rescue, it's going to be from the PSNC (hilarious!) - they're fantasists at the best of times, but even they can't come up with anything this time. We've spent the last decade trying to prove we could add value, and weren't just a very expensive professional 'spot the difference' machine. Any chance we had to be clinical we blew, and turned into a commercial farce.

    If was going to give it sans sugar, I'd be thinking if community Pharmacist would even exist in 20 years time. I suspect we're the 21st Century barrel makers or stagecoach drivers - there was a call for us 50 years ago when things needed compounding, but technology in the form of pre-packaged medicines and in the future the ability to dispense and accuracy check by machine will render us useless. We have clinical skills, no doubt about it, but without completely dismantling the structure of community Pharmacy, dominated by huge retail chains, we'll never be taken seriously as clinicians, by the public, by other health care professionals and by the government.

    Again, I'm sorry Kabolin, it's caught me out too. I took my £45k whilst it was there, took advantage of the (now closed) 'Ltd company/dividends' tax loophole as a locum, and made hay whilst the sun was shining, but I've had to get out now and suffer a 25% salary cut. Looking on the C+D, and reading locum forums, I'm shocked at how quick the community salary is falling after me.

    In short, to non-Kabolin Pharmacy students, and prospective students - don't plan a future based on community Pharmacy. I'm not old, or past it. I was a successful community Pharmacist whilst I did it, and was a very successful locum. I know my locum rates were good, but today you wont see more than £21/hr for regular work, anywhere. It's going down all the time. You simply will not have the lifestyle that I applied to Pharmacy wanting - you will never be middle class being a Pharmacist. How quickly that will happen depends on how aggressive the government are, but it is out of your control.


    Edit: One more thing I had to add - this idea that Pharmacy is 'competitive' isn't true in terms of university places. There are loads of schools, and there is no restriction on the number of Pharmacy students that these schools can produce each year. it's another criticism of the GPhC, and makes Pharmacy pretty unique amongst 'professions'. Medicine is extremely competitive, because the number of places are kept artificially limited. If Universities could open a medical school dozens would, but the GMC wont accredit any new courses, same as dentistry. Pharmacy entry requirements are almost done in reverse from the previous year - they look to see what the average of last years students was, and have that as this years 'requirement'. This is ever increasing only because medicine is ever increasing in competitiveness. In fact, if you want to see the extent to which Pharmacy 'mops up' the failed medics (I'm one!) check out the average entry scores on the league tables - the lowest medicine entry requirements are 81% of the highest (i.e. best school = 608 UCAS points, worst = 494), dentistry = 84%, Pharmacy = 66%. There's a huge spread in Pharmacy, this wouldn't exist if every place was highly contested.
    Hi Realistic Pha,I
 
 
 
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