Shafxx
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I was thinking of applying to Pharmacy and was wondering if anyone had any tips to help me with my application please or whether I'd be better off going for a dentistry or optometry degree?
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may_2003
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(Original post by Shafxx)
I was thinking of applying to Pharmacy and was wondering if anyone had any tips to help me with my application please or whether I'd be better off going for a dentistry or optometry degree?
i was also thinking of doing pharmacy due to my love for drugs and medicines but i did my research and in the end i've decided its really not worth going through 4 years and then essentially being called a 'shopkeeper'. theres so much training and memorisation that goes into it which i think you can benefit off another degree. the role of a pharmacist is so repetitive and doesn't seem like a career that would personally make me happy, which is why i decided to apply for pharmaceutical science instead. obviously you may like the idea of pharmacy so i'm not trying to stop you, but personally i wouldn't take it :3
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may_2003
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if you do decide to take pharmacy though, make sure you get work experience from a local pharmacy. and you probably take chemistry (and biology) so talk in your personal statement what interests you about pharmacy and relate it to your a-levels if you don't have any other experience!
maybe watch an online lecture on a pharmacy-related topic or read a book about something pharmaceutical-related so if you ever get an interview, you have something to talk about!
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University of Portsmouth Student Rep
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(Original post by Shafxx)
I was thinking of applying to Pharmacy and was wondering if anyone had any tips to help me with my application please or whether I'd be better off going for a dentistry or optometry degree?
Hey Shafxx!

I'm a current third year pharmacy student, so I can give you some advice

Pharmacy is all about how the drugs work, harmful interactions, and learning clinical skills to talk to your patient etc.

Pharmacy is moving forwards with the GPhC looking to try and make all graduates of Pharmacy in the future an independent prescriber at graduation. But if you don't manage to fall into this category of Pharmacy students then don't worry as there are independent prescriber courses that you can take

Being a Pharmacist doesn't just mean you're a shop keeper - you have a lot of responsibility in community pharmacy - and its a lot different in hospital, where you take drug histories, check interactions and counsel patients on their drugs to name a few things.

You can also go into aseptics - where you make specific medicines up in a lab with a fully protective suit on to keep all the drugs sterile. These will then be given to patients.

As for your A-levels I would recommend taking biology and chemistry with any other subject you enjoy.
And in your personal statement make it clear why you want to be a part of an evolving future - and to keep constantly learning about new developments.
As well as your interest for drugs and how they work, on top of learning clinical skills to assist patients

Feel free to ask me any other questions you may have!
Eloise - Official Student Rep
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Shafxx
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(Original post by University of Portsmouth Student Rep)
Hey Shafxx!

I'm a current third year pharmacy student, so I can give you some advice

Pharmacy is all about how the drugs work, harmful interactions, and learning clinical skills to talk to your patient etc.

Pharmacy is moving forwards with the GPhC looking to try and make all graduates of Pharmacy in the future an independent prescriber at graduation. But if you don't manage to fall into this category of Pharmacy students then don't worry as there are independent prescriber courses that you can take

Being a Pharmacist doesn't just mean you're a shop keeper - you have a lot of responsibility in community pharmacy - and its a lot different in hospital, where you take drug histories, check interactions and counsel patients on their drugs to name a few things.

You can also go into aseptics - where you make specific medicines up in a lab with a fully protective suit on to keep all the drugs sterile. These will then be given to patients.

As for your A-levels I would recommend taking biology and chemistry with any other subject you enjoy.
And in your personal statement make it clear why you want to be a part of an evolving future - and to keep constantly learning about new developments.
As well as your interest for drugs and how they work, on top of learning clinical skills to assist patients

Feel free to ask me any other questions you may have!
Eloise - Official Student Rep
I keep seeing posts on tsr on about how pharmacy isn't ideal for someone who wants to work in the community sector as it's dying out as Amazon etc. are taking over should that be something of concern?
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(Original post by Shafxx)
I keep seeing posts on tsr on about how pharmacy isn't ideal for someone who wants to work in the community sector as it's dying out as Amazon etc. are taking over should that be something of concern?
In a word, Yes. You should be very concerned about Amazon. Look what they did to independent bookshops in the late 90s.
And well done on doing your research. As the Portsmouth uni rep says, there are lots of opportunities, but there are also 3000 graduates a year which is too many. There is nothing wrong with a pharmacy degree. It is just the job at the end of it. Between 60 and 70% of graduates end up in community pharmacy. Keep in mind also, that the government has given community pharmacy a flat funding package 2019-2024, with no allowance for inflation, and they are also keen to get the number of pharmacies in the UK down from around 12,000, to around 10,000 or below. Whether this is a policy Boris continues to follow remains to be seen. Both Boots and Lloyds have, or are in the process of closing 200 each. Sainsbury's totally got out of pharmacy a few yrs back by selling all of them, lock stock and barrel to Lloyds! This looks to be a very wise decision, as most supermarket pharmacies don't make big profits.

You must get work experience in a community pharmacy. Preferably a chain, and even for just a day, so you can see what you will do. One day is really enough to be honest, as most pharmacists will tell you, it's pretty much Groundhog day! It's not difficult work, but there is way too much of it, not enough time or staff and very demanding general public, who expect you to sort out all of their problems and queries. And a lot of people don't know you have trained for 5 years. And those that do.... think you might have a degree in pharmacology!
These days I tend to treat it more as an anthropological observation into human behaviour! I used to be bored 25 yrs ago, now there is no time to hardly breathe, let alone be bored!
So...... many people in their late 20s have had enough of it, so do a clinical diploma and then train as an independent prescriber (IP), if you can find a GP to act as your tutor, and you have a spare 2 to 3k to pay for the course if you have no CCG paying for you. And at the moment, it seems like a viable career path, working for GPs in a surgery, sorting out all the repeat prescribing and hospital discharges etc. But...... the thing that defines the higher salary here is having done the IP course ( and a lot of surgeries and CCGs expect a clinical diploma too ), but if all of you are going to be coming out in 2025/26 as IPs then the salary will fall, and the demand for a job will be huge, as people my age, (around 50!), are all in these jobs to escape the nightmare of community pharmacy for the multiples! So there you have it Shaf, that's one opinion from someone who has clocked up over 25 yrs at the dispensing bench!
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