jessop140
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So I've applied to uni to do pharmacy but now having read some stuff, people have been saying it's a bad career choice and there's a lack of jobs. I just wanted to know if this will get any better when I graduate in four years' time?
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Reality Check
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(Original post by jessop140)
So I've applied to uni to do pharmacy but now having read some stuff, people have been saying it's a bad career choice and there's a lack of jobs. I just wanted to know if this will get any better when I graduate in four years' time?
quasa Hope you don't mind my quoting you in, but you're very knowledgeable on the pharmacy profession. Any thoughts on this?
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quasa
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(Original post by Reality Check)
quasa Hope you don't mind my quoting you in, but you're very knowledgeable on the pharmacy profession. Any thoughts on this?
Hey, always happy to help people.


"So I've applied to uni to do pharmacy but now having read some stuff, people have been saying it's a bad career choice and there's a lack of jobs. I just wanted to know if this will get any better when I graduate in four years' time?"


here's my personal take/ experience on it jessop140


the degree itself is actually OK as you cover more medical (well drug-related) stuff than a lot of med students I know. what is really bad about it, like you said, is the job market. more specifically availability and job quality (community in particular is bad).

as a profession there are 3 main types: community, clinical and industry.

community is without a shadow of a doubt 1 of, if not the most horrible environments you can work in. during my pre-reg I had to clean toilets and empty sanitation pad bins, put up with an abusive pre-reg tutor who
tried getting me sacked within my 1st 3 weeks (including some illegal stuff and trying to blame me for it) and the workload can either be super dull or extremely chaotic. the worst parts are that if you try helping people out, the companies you work for hate it and if you don't your wasting all your clinical knowledge you accrued during your pre-reg.

clinical pharmacy is fun in terms of job aspect ie applying clinical knowledge. what this entails is counselling patients on medication, teaching nurses, junior doctors and other professionals about medication usage, consulting with consultants / senior prescribers about what to prescribe, running clinics for different conditions, and being able to prescribe stuff without a doctor. the major problems with this are that job availability is non-existent for those without major experience and a lot of hospitals only want to hire people who did their pre-reg in hospital / worked in hospital for a minimum of 6 months. GP surgeries are harder as they require a minimum of 2-3 years as a registered pharmacist.

Industry is literally pharmaceutical company stuff. this includes stuff such as QA (ie checking right stuff used to make drugs), pharmacovigilance (ie recording and developing strategies for adverse drug effects), and drug design / development. QA and pharmacovigilance are straightforward to get into but development you need a PHD in addition to MPharm.

Overall it isnt a bad degree as a backup to medicine. If you are after money, optometry is the way to go. if you want clinical knowledge, pharmacy and medicine (medicine does however allow you to diagnose patients but you have more physical contact with patients).

regarding the job market, who knows how it will be. when I was at your stage (cant believe its been 8 years since I finished my a levels) I chose pharmacy as I was unable to do medicine for personal reasons. the reasons I chose pharmacy were a) tuition fees were 3k/year so I knew that if that figure remained I could have done GEM; and b) there were tonnes of pharmacy jobs going around. sadly that isnt the case and despite being a registered pharmacist for 15 months, I have only had 67-68 days of paid work :|

in any case, best of luck with the future jessop140
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Reality Check
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(Original post by quasa)
Hey, always happy to help people.


"So I've applied to uni to do pharmacy but now having read some stuff, people have been saying it's a bad career choice and there's a lack of jobs. I just wanted to know if this will get any better when I graduate in four years' time?"


here's my personal take/ experience on it jessop140


the degree itself is actually OK as you cover more medical (well drug-related) stuff than a lot of med students I know. what is really bad about it, like you said, is the job market. more specifically availability and job quality (community in particular is bad).

as a profession there are 3 main types: community, clinical and industry.

community is without a shadow of a doubt 1 of, if not the most horrible environments you can work in. during my pre-reg I had to clean toilets and empty sanitation pad bins, put up with an abusive pre-reg tutor who
tried getting me sacked within my 1st 3 weeks (including some illegal stuff and trying to blame me for it) and the workload can either be super dull or extremely chaotic. the worst parts are that if you try helping people out, the companies you work for hate it and if you don't your wasting all your clinical knowledge you accrued during your pre-reg.

clinical pharmacy is fun in terms of job aspect ie applying clinical knowledge. what this entails is counselling patients on medication, teaching nurses, junior doctors and other professionals about medication usage, consulting with consultants / senior prescribers about what to prescribe, running clinics for different conditions, and being able to prescribe stuff without a doctor. the major problems with this are that job availability is non-existent for those without major experience and a lot of hospitals only want to hire people who did their pre-reg in hospital / worked in hospital for a minimum of 6 months. GP surgeries are harder as they require a minimum of 2-3 years as a registered pharmacist.

Industry is literally pharmaceutical company stuff. this includes stuff such as QA (ie checking right stuff used to make drugs), pharmacovigilance (ie recording and developing strategies for adverse drug effects), and drug design / development. QA and pharmacovigilance are straightforward to get into but development you need a PHD in addition to MPharm.

Overall it isnt a bad degree as a backup to medicine. If you are after money, optometry is the way to go. if you want clinical knowledge, pharmacy and medicine (medicine does however allow you to diagnose patients but you have more physical contact with patients).

regarding the job market, who knows how it will be. when I was at your stage (cant believe its been 8 years since I finished my a levels) I chose pharmacy as I was unable to do medicine for personal reasons. the reasons I chose pharmacy were a) tuition fees were 3k/year so I knew that if that figure remained I could have done GEM; and b) there were tonnes of pharmacy jobs going around. sadly that isnt the case and despite being a registered pharmacist for 15 months, I have only had 67-68 days of paid work :|

in any case, best of luck with the future jessop140
Well, the OP's going to be lucky to get a more thorough and comprehensive answer than that! Thanks
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crazy.chemist
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(Original post by quasa)
Hey, always happy to help people.


"So I've applied to uni to do pharmacy but now having read some stuff, people have been saying it's a bad career choice and there's a lack of jobs. I just wanted to know if this will get any better when I graduate in four years' time?"


here's my personal take/ experience on it jessop140


the degree itself is actually OK as you cover more medical (well drug-related) stuff than a lot of med students I know. what is really bad about it, like you said, is the job market. more specifically availability and job quality (community in particular is bad).

as a profession there are 3 main types: community, clinical and industry.

community is without a shadow of a doubt 1 of, if not the most horrible environments you can work in. during my pre-reg I had to clean toilets and empty sanitation pad bins, put up with an abusive pre-reg tutor who
tried getting me sacked within my 1st 3 weeks (including some illegal stuff and trying to blame me for it) and the workload can either be super dull or extremely chaotic. the worst parts are that if you try helping people out, the companies you work for hate it and if you don't your wasting all your clinical knowledge you accrued during your pre-reg.

clinical pharmacy is fun in terms of job aspect ie applying clinical knowledge. what this entails is counselling patients on medication, teaching nurses, junior doctors and other professionals about medication usage, consulting with consultants / senior prescribers about what to prescribe, running clinics for different conditions, and being able to prescribe stuff without a doctor. the major problems with this are that job availability is non-existent for those without major experience and a lot of hospitals only want to hire people who did their pre-reg in hospital / worked in hospital for a minimum of 6 months. GP surgeries are harder as they require a minimum of 2-3 years as a registered pharmacist.

Industry is literally pharmaceutical company stuff. this includes stuff such as QA (ie checking right stuff used to make drugs), pharmacovigilance (ie recording and developing strategies for adverse drug effects), and drug design / development. QA and pharmacovigilance are straightforward to get into but development you need a PHD in addition to MPharm.

Overall it isnt a bad degree as a backup to medicine. If you are after money, optometry is the way to go. if you want clinical knowledge, pharmacy and medicine (medicine does however allow you to diagnose patients but you have more physical contact with patients).

regarding the job market, who knows how it will be. when I was at your stage (cant believe its been 8 years since I finished my a levels) I chose pharmacy as I was unable to do medicine for personal reasons. the reasons I chose pharmacy were a) tuition fees were 3k/year so I knew that if that figure remained I could have done GEM; and b) there were tonnes of pharmacy jobs going around. sadly that isnt the case and despite being a registered pharmacist for 15 months, I have only had 67-68 days of paid work :|

in any case, best of luck with the future jessop140


Good answer mate.
To OP. DO NOT DO IT!!!! It will get worse!!

Can't believe only 67 days work in 15 months, when in a 5 day a week job, over 15 months it should be more like 300/330-ish !!! That should set alarm bells ringing OP !
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sachinisgod
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DO NOT DO IT!

Worst decision i made to do pharmacy but thank god Im not doing it after I graduate! If you want to do pharmacy do it to get a degree in order to apply to other grad schemes. Employers will value it more than someone with a Arts degree. But doing the degree to be a pharmacist is a bad idea!
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revrev
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(Original post by sachinisgod)
DO NOT DO IT!

Worst decision i made to do pharmacy but thank god Im not doing it after I graduate! If you want to do pharmacy do it to get a degree in order to apply to other grad schemes. Employers will value it more than someone with a Arts degree. But doing the degree to be a pharmacist is a bad idea!
I concur with the sentiments of this (as well as with the posters who commented on the community experience). Whilst I enjoy the subject of pharmacy, the industry itself is REALLY undervalued and the pay is declining. There is a complete mismatch between supply and demand. More and more students are being pumped out of the pharmacy schools into a very unattractive industry. Do your research! I didn't.
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sachinisgod
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(Original post by revrev)
I concur with the sentiments of this (as well as with the posters who commented on the community experience). Whilst I enjoy the subject of pharmacy, the industry itself is REALLY undervalued and the pay is declining. There is a complete mismatch between supply and demand. More and more students are being pumped out of the pharmacy schools into a very unattractive industry. Do your research! I didn't.
Thats the case with most A level students who are being sold lies about how great the pharmacy profession is so they apply on the hype. Only after 2 years of the degree they realise how utter shite the profession is and they are glorified shop keepers checking boxes all day long, and only using the clinical knowledge they learnt maybe 5% of the day in the whole day.
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trustmeimlying1
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(Original post by quasa)
Hey, always happy to help people.


"So I've applied to uni to do pharmacy but now having read some stuff, people have been saying it's a bad career choice and there's a lack of jobs. I just wanted to know if this will get any better when I graduate in four years' time?"


here's my personal take/ experience on it jessop140


the degree itself is actually OK as you cover more medical (well drug-related) stuff than a lot of med students I know. what is really bad about it, like you said, is the job market. more specifically availability and job quality (community in particular is bad).

as a profession there are 3 main types: community, clinical and industry.

community is without a shadow of a doubt 1 of, if not the most horrible environments you can work in. during my pre-reg I had to clean toilets and empty sanitation pad bins, put up with an abusive pre-reg tutor who
tried getting me sacked within my 1st 3 weeks (including some illegal stuff and trying to blame me for it) and the workload can either be super dull or extremely chaotic. the worst parts are that if you try helping people out, the companies you work for hate it and if you don't your wasting all your clinical knowledge you accrued during your pre-reg.

clinical pharmacy is fun in terms of job aspect ie applying clinical knowledge. what this entails is counselling patients on medication, teaching nurses, junior doctors and other professionals about medication usage, consulting with consultants / senior prescribers about what to prescribe, running clinics for different conditions, and being able to prescribe stuff without a doctor. the major problems with this are that job availability is non-existent for those without major experience and a lot of hospitals only want to hire people who did their pre-reg in hospital / worked in hospital for a minimum of 6 months. GP surgeries are harder as they require a minimum of 2-3 years as a registered pharmacist.

Industry is literally pharmaceutical company stuff. this includes stuff such as QA (ie checking right stuff used to make drugs), pharmacovigilance (ie recording and developing strategies for adverse drug effects), and drug design / development. QA and pharmacovigilance are straightforward to get into but development you need a PHD in addition to MPharm.

Overall it isnt a bad degree as a backup to medicine. If you are after money, optometry is the way to go. if you want clinical knowledge, pharmacy and medicine (medicine does however allow you to diagnose patients but you have more physical contact with patients).

regarding the job market, who knows how it will be. when I was at your stage (cant believe its been 8 years since I finished my a levels) I chose pharmacy as I was unable to do medicine for personal reasons. the reasons I chose pharmacy were a) tuition fees were 3k/year so I knew that if that figure remained I could have done GEM; and b) there were tonnes of pharmacy jobs going around. sadly that isnt the case and despite being a registered pharmacist for 15 months, I have only had 67-68 days of paid work :|

in any case, best of luck with the future jessop140
If I can help yeh out I will. Where exactly are yeh looking for a job?
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quasa
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(Original post by crazy.chemist)
Good answer mate.
To OP. DO NOT DO IT!!!! It will get worse!!

Can't believe only 67 days work in 15 months, when in a 5 day a week job, over 15 months it should be more like 300/330-ish !!! That should set alarm bells ringing OP !
in fairness, my situation is probably due to me being based in a highly competitive geographical location (beds, herts, bucks, london too much competition). most of my mates from london, luton, milton keynes, st albans have all had to relocate to places like merseyside, wales, devon, cornwall, kent due t higher demand for pharmacists. those who are staying at home are either in same position as me or only work 15-18 hours a week with a large chain who make them sign non-competes (ie can only locum for them). there are ways around the non-competes but it depends on area managers.

On top of that, Ive cancelled around 20 bookings due to personal / familial issues and have had to turn down a quite a few due to the locations being more than 70 miles from home (140 miles / day travelling) / extremely odd working hours that would require me to leave for work at 4am or arrive home at 1am

In my case I cannot afford to relocate due to personal/familial finances (also I refuse to work for places like lloyds and boots due to previous experience with them, in particular lloyds who only want to hire pharmacists for 15 hours a week at £11-13/hour (translation most you get during your initial time at lloyds is £195/week, which is less than I get in a day locuming).


what is weird however is that since I posted that initial response I have had 5 days work and have another 4 scheduled so far for march (such is the nature of locum work).

but yh, if going for pharmacy, aim for clinical or industry, but make sure you get experience else it becomes super hard
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quasa
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(Original post by trustmeimlying1)
If I can help yeh out I will. Where exactly are yeh looking for a job?
hey, thanks for the offer. in my case Im kinda having to bide my time as I need to be a registered pharmacist for a minimum of 2 years before applying for clinical courses / independent prescribing / work in GP surgeries as a clinical pharmacist. till then I am content locumming but will admit I wish I had slightly more locum work / more clinical experience
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quasa
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(Original post by crazy.chemist)
Good answer mate.
To OP. DO NOT DO IT!!!! It will get worse!!

Can't believe only 67 days work in 15 months, when in a 5 day a week job, over 15 months it should be more like 300/330-ish !!! That should set alarm bells ringing OP !
in fairness, it has averaged out at > £200 a week despite the lack of work
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MarketsMove
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Pharmacy is B U L L S H I T

It's like a factory, you stand all day, churning out prescription one after the other. Take customer bs. While at the same
time doing trays for customers, doing consultations ( fake MURs to get money), doing delivery and date checking.

The pay is bad as well, locums are on £19 an hour at ASDA. They used to get £25+ before 2009.
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quasa
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(Original post by MarketsMove)
Pharmacy is B U L L S H I T

It's like a factory, you stand all day, churning out prescription one after the other. Take customer bs. While at the same
time doing trays for customers, doing consultations ( fake MURs to get money), doing delivery and date checking.

The pay is bad as well, locums are on £19 an hour at ASDA. They used to get £25+ before 2009.
depends on which asda. the asdas Ive locummed at pay more than that but have seen locum notices for stores paying £15/hour. since sainsburys were taken over by lloyds, Ive stopped locumming for them as they wanted to make me work at £11/hour for 15/16 hours straight with no breaks :|

community pharmacy is a load of crap (and sadly that is where most of the work is). clinical is interesting but I'll admit I am looking into going into another field outside pharmacy. if I do stay in pharmacy however, I do not want to do community as it is a load of hogwash (minus MURS which I do not forge / make stuff up for as I genuinely care for patients . because fo this however I have had a lot fo complaints by staff/customers in supermarkets for taking my time on patients - if you have patients with psychiatric problems / on more than 20 friggin medicines, how can you be expected to do things in less than 5 minutes).
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quasa
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(Original post by MarketsMove)
Pharmacy is B U L L S H I T

It's like a factory,
Id say more like a fast food place like mcdonalds tbh, except you have less staff / have to do more work
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MarketsMove
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(Original post by quasa)
depends on which asda. the asdas Ive locummed at pay more than that but have seen locum notices for stores paying £15/hour. since sainsburys were taken over by lloyds, Ive stopped locumming for them as they wanted to make me work at £11/hour for 15/16 hours straight with no breaks :|

community pharmacy is a load of crap (and sadly that is where most of the work is). clinical is interesting but I'll admit I am looking into going into another field outside pharmacy. if I do stay in pharmacy however, I do not want to do community as it is a load of hogwash (minus MURS which I do not forge / make stuff up for as I genuinely care for patients . because fo this however I have had a lot fo complaints by staff/customers in supermarkets for taking my time on patients - if you have patients with psychiatric problems / on more than 20 friggin medicines, how can you be expected to do things in less than 5 minutes).
They don't care. They want money. ASDA wants money. They make you do MURs for money.

I'm not a pharmacist, I just work one day in a pharmacy. I'm a PhD student in finance but this is just some extra pocket money, I am quitting in March though because I can't stand the b u l l s h i t.

ASDA is crap, they overwork staff and screw over customers. I can't wait to quit.
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MarketsMove
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(Original post by quasa)
Id say more like a fast food place like mcdonalds tbh, except you have less staff / have to do more work
I totally agree.

Yesterday I worked for 5 hours non stop, like I didn't have time to get my head up. I feel like I've come from a gym session, the management for ASDA pharmacy should be shot. They are a complete joke.

I can't wait for ASDA to go bankrupt, WalMart stock price is already suffering as we speak.
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quasa
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(Original post by MarketsMove)
I totally agree.

Yesterday I worked for 5 hours non stop, like I didn't have time to get my head up. I feel like I've come from a gym session, the management for ASDA pharmacy should be shot. They are a complete joke.

I can't wait for ASDA to go bankrupt, WalMart stock price is already suffering as we speak.
mate 5 hours nonstop is nothing compared to 12-16 hours without a lunch/toilet break or sitting down minus MURs (which in supermarkets is pretty hard to do as most patients are out of hours, flu jab season is easier to sit down as I am the only locum in the area for ASDA who does vaccinations weirdly).

completely agree working in a pharmacy being harder than a gym session. in my case, if I spend 70 minutes each on x-trainer (on resistance of 25), exercise bike (resistance 6-7), 10 minutes rowing and doing weights in a 4 hour session, it still isnt anywhere as strenuous as a long stint in a community pharmacy
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MarketsMove
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(Original post by quasa)
mate 5 hours nonstop is nothing compared to 12-16 hours without a lunch/toilet break or sitting down minus MURs (which in supermarkets is pretty hard to do as most patients are out of hours, flu jab season is easier to sit down as I am the only locum in the area for ASDA who does vaccinations weirdly).

completely agree working in a pharmacy being harder than a gym session. in my case, if I spend 70 minutes each on x-trainer (on resistance of 25), exercise bike (resistance 6-7), 10 minutes rowing and doing weights in a 4 hour session, it still isnt anywhere as strenuous as a long stint in a community pharmacy
I'm lucky I can quit this bs, but seriously, why does it have to be this way. The problem is with the management, our pharmacy has 2 staff. That's it.

They have to do the trays, the date checking, the tills, the labelling, the checking, the finding medication, MURs and flu jabs and bloody Malaria appointments. It's a joke.
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quasa
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(Original post by MarketsMove)
I'm lucky I can quit this bs, but seriously, why does it have to be this way. The problem is with the management, our pharmacy has 2 staff. That's it.

They have to do the trays, the date checking, the tills, the labelling, the checking, the finding medication, MURs and flu jabs and bloody Malaria appointments. It's a joke.
tis a joke especially when most of the staff I have worked with are too lazy / have no idea what they are doing. without naming particular supermarkets or branches but 1 branch I locum at has staff who care more about whatsapping their mates and instagramming/snapchatting stuff (these guys are slightly older than me by a few years) and when I complain about it to their regular manager what happens, I dont get any shifts with the store anymore.

another branch I go to has staff who are so incompetent, they spend over an hour doing tasks most people can do in 3-5 minutes and complain about me to the managers for explaining to them about how to deal with customers...despite the fact the managers should have taught them how to do it.

the worst is that some managers are stupendously lazy at certain pharmacies in big chains and despite them doing incorrect (potentially illegal) stuff, because they have clout with the area managers / they work for big chains, they get away with it.
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