PharmacistAmita
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For those of you who are considering pharmacy as a career, I just wanted to share my story with you to provide my reflections so far.

A bit about me: I went on to study pharmacy having worked as an assistant at my local community pharmacy. If I'm being honest I didn't fully realise what it involved as much of the thinking and clinical assessment of medicines happens internally, with often the final step of actually physically handling the medicine being the main visual. I soon learnt it's much more than this and was (pleasantly) surprised to learn about physiology, disease states and communication skills throughout University.

Sectors to work in: Being a relatively fit and healthy individual growing up, my main interaction with pharmacists was in a community setting and I therefore thought this was the only option for me to work in. As I studied further I realised there were lots more opportunities! Pharmacists worked in hospitals going on ward rounds, some undertook research whilst others worked in mental health. Now pharmacists are working in GP surgeries, care homes and running clinics! I wish I had known this when I was applying and I'm sure many of my friends at school (and now) didn't know this.

Reflections: I am so glad I made the decision to study Pharmacy. I didn't anticipate how rewarding I would find the patient contact and working alongside different healthcare professionals have kept me learning every day. I am excited to see how the profession is developing and performing more clinical aspects which I hope will enable us to showcase more of what we really do!
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Claremont4ever
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Refreshing thread! I'm the same as you, enjoying the profession of pharmacy and earning a good pay.

Onwards and upwards!
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aamirs
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Hi All,

Could not agree more with what has been said already; I've worked as a pharmacist in community, primary care (ccg), academia and most recently in a private health business. The opportunities are there; we just need to be proactive and find them - this isn't any different to any other sector or job!I think the thing which has been the most eye opening for me is the value we add to teams we work in. As a pharmacist we have the opportunity to understand things from the patients point of view and also the clinicians point of view which often can be the sticking point when dealing with a health system. Being able to speak both the patients and clinicians language often proves to be invaluable.

I'm looking forward to the future of pharmacy and the opportunities that are yet to come!
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sumayass
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(Original post by PharmacistAmita)
For those of you who are considering pharmacy as a career, I just wanted to share my story with you to provide my reflections so far.

A bit about me: I went on to study pharmacy having worked as an assistant at my local community pharmacy. If I'm being honest I didn't fully realise what it involved as much of the thinking and clinical assessment of medicines happens internally, with often the final step of actually physically handling the medicine being the main visual. I soon learnt it's much more than this and was (pleasantly) surprised to learn about physiology, disease states and communication skills throughout University.

Sectors to work in: Being a relatively fit and healthy individual growing up, my main interaction with pharmacists was in a community setting and I therefore thought this was the only option for me to work in. As I studied further I realised there were lots more opportunities! Pharmacists worked in hospitals going on ward rounds, some undertook research whilst others worked in mental health. Now pharmacists are working in GP surgeries, care homes and running clinics! I wish I had known this when I was applying and I'm sure many of my friends at school (and now) didn't know this.

Reflections: I am so glad I made the decision to study Pharmacy. I didn't anticipate how rewarding I would find the patient contact and working alongside different healthcare professionals have kept me learning every day. I am excited to see how the profession is developing and performing more clinical aspects which I hope will enable us to showcase more of what we really do!
i got an offer from kings to do pharmacy but before committing totally I'm still thinking if medicine is the better option or not as they're relatively take the similar years to graduate, if you were in my position right now where i could apply for medicine next year or keep my pharmacy offer? what would you do
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PharmacistAmita
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(Original post by sumayass)
i got an offer from kings to do pharmacy but before committing totally I'm still thinking if medicine is the better option or not as they're relatively take the similar years to graduate, if you were in my position right now where i could apply for medicine next year or keep my pharmacy offer? what would you do
Thanks for this. Being a pharmacist I'm not sure I can comment appropriately on medicine but in my opinion these are two different careers, each having unique points depending on what it is you wish to do and where your preferences lie.

For me being a pharmacist has allowed me to expand and utilise my science knowledge.whilst applying this in a wider context to help patients with their health conditions. There has been a specific focus on medicines which I have found really interesting. I really enjoy the patient interaction aspect of the job, working in a team across different professional groups and the satisfaction I feel after the day.
This website may be helpful:
https://www.healthcareers.nhs.uk/exp...acy/pharmacist

I hope this is helpful and perhaps worth speaking to a medic for further information on their view.
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quasa
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(Original post by sumayass)
i got an offer from kings to do pharmacy but before committing totally I'm still thinking if medicine is the better option or not as they're relatively take the similar years to graduate, if you were in my position right now where i could apply for medicine next year or keep my pharmacy offer? what would you do
long run: medicine is the better option as graduating with a degree in medicine offers more opportunities in the future, you can do more regarding research, more involved in managing patients. Downside is that doctors dont really start to earn more than pharmacists till they are a few years into the specialist training / are consultants / GPs, or if they work mainly out of hours. Also medicine foundation training is significantly harder than pre-registration training but the plus side is that if you survive foundation training, it becomes better (from what I gather).

personally, Id choose being a GP over a community pharmacist any day of the week. Hospital setting, (inpatient) pharmacists are extremely competent but get paid half of what consultants earn...despite being responsible for running chemotherapy, renal, paediatric, diabetes, anticoagulation and a whole bunch of other clinics. Pharmacists only tend to earn more than doctors if they work in industry, or if they relocate to places where you are likely to be away from friends and family, or if you work riddiculously long hours (up to 16 hours a day with virtually no breaks during the day, extremely short staffed, and having to deal with prescriptions for over 200 patients a day).


1 thing to note however is that due to brexit, the UK government is essentially creating courses (Mainly targeted at pharmacists and phsyios), which are essentially conversion courses (so you can convert your pharmacy or phsyio degrees into medicine degrees). Downside is that this may not be implemented till somewhere between 2022-2024.
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aamirs
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It’s a very personal choice and one which needs to be thought about carefully!
My experience working within healthcare is that pharmacists are the experts in medicines, doctors are the experts in disease. They’re both professions in their own right. When you think about healthcare it’s important to think about what part you want to play in the healthcare system. We experience MDT (multi-disciplinary team) working whichever healthcare profession you go in and the challenges that community pharmacists, GPs etc face will all be different.

The government are indeed changing the model of care but it’s not due to the profession of pharmacy or medicine but more about the way in care needs to be delivered to a changing population, ie, ageing, complex illnesses and how we can meet these needs.

Lastly, with both pharmacy and medicine you can go into research with big pharma companies and academic institutes wanting both medics and pharmacists but for very different reasons!


It might be worth trying to arrange some work experience in both fields or speaking to an academic to help you decide!
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