Clinical Psychologist vs Pharmacist

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Tulip9
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#1
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#1
Some background info: I have been doing my pre-registration training in pharmacy this year, and to sum it up, it has destroyed me. I was working 40 hours/week whilst trying to revise for the exams and it has not gone well. I’ve previously posted a question here a few years ago on whether or not to keep resitting exams to get the MPharm (I eventually passed and got a 2:1 :P), but it took me an extra 3 years to do so (7 years in total instead of the usual 4). I was off work for 4 months this year due to a relapse in severe anxiety and depression, and on top of that I was diagnosed as having ADHD and ASD.

Now I’m at a crossroads; do I apply for an extension (as I’m almost crossing the 8 year time limit to register as a pharmacist), find a new placement (my old contract was terminated), revise for exams and try to keep pursuing pharmacy as a career given all the time and effort it took me? Or should I just give it up?

I’ve been looking into alternatives; I have always had an interest in psychology, and was thinking of doing a MSc conversion course and later maybe pursuing clinical psychology as a career. I know getting into a doctorate in clinical psychology is super competitive, but does anyone know of the career prospects, workload, stress levels etc. it has? I’ve found out that I can probably only work part-time in the future (at least if I continue with pharmacy).

Would a career in psychology be a viable alternative? Plus with all my mental health problems and neurodevelopmental disorders, would I be a good fit? If not, any suggestions? Thanks
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Am3ie
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#2
I am currently doing an MSc in Psychology this year (full time - distance learning - with live lectures every Friday). You can get funding from the SFE company as a postgraduate loan.

Considering you have a degree in pharmacy that gives you superb benefit on the psychology course to then continue on with a PhD in Clinical Psychology to fully become a clinical psychologist.


Don't let your health put you down.
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Tulip9
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#3
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(Original post by Am3ie)
I am currently doing an MSc in Psychology this year (full time - distance learning - with live lectures every Friday). You can get funding from the SFE company as a postgraduate loan.

Considering you have a degree in pharmacy that gives you superb benefit on the psychology course to then continue on with a PhD in Clinical Psychology to fully become a clinical psychologist.


Don't let your health put you down.
Thank you what is the MSc Psychology like in terms of workload? And what’s the SFE?
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Am3ie
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Student Finance England (SFE) where you can apply for funding to take the postgraduate course - MSc Psychology.

I haven't yet started but the live lectures are every Friday and you do an assignment for each module.

and in Term 3 you work on your dissertation solely.

Universities are still taking applicants this year for MSc Psychology
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mrlittlebigman
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#5
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(Original post by Am3ie)
I am currently doing an MSc in Psychology this year (full time - distance learning - with live lectures every Friday). You can get funding from the SFE company as a postgraduate loan.

Considering you have a degree in pharmacy that gives you superb benefit on the psychology course to then continue on with a PhD in Clinical Psychology to fully become a clinical psychologist.


Don't let your health put you down.
From what the OP describes, then s/he must certainly consider their health, especially as they have taken 7 yrs to do a 4 yr course and just been off work ill for 4 months.
From my own personal health problems' experiences, I would certainly not recommend a career in community pharmacy to them as it can be incredibly stressful, mainly due to lack of support staff.
OP, you need to think very carefully about your future career path and seek specialist career advice and support, that takes into account your mental health problems. Could your former university offer any help here?
Obviously no job has zero stress, but I think it's really important that you find a job with minimal stress. Perhaps something you can do working from home, or on a flexible basis, to account for possible future relapses?
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Am3ie
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#6
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(Original post by mrlittlebigman)
From what the OP describes, then s/he must certainly consider their health, especially as they have taken 7 yrs to do a 4 yr course and just been off work ill for 4 months.
From my own personal health problems' experiences, I would certainly not recommend a career in community pharmacy to them as it can be incredibly stressful, mainly due to lack of support staff.
OP, you need to think very carefully about your future career path and seek specialist career advice and support, that takes into account your mental health problems. Could your former university offer any help here?
Obviously no job has zero stress, but I think it's really important that you find a job with minimal stress. Perhaps something you can do working from home, or on a flexible basis, to account for possible future relapses?
But, why should mental health stop you from pursuing your dreams?

Everyone suffers from mental health in many different ways, there is always a way around it and there is always something or someone that triggers it. That doesn't mean someone should stop living their life or pursuing their career path.

University in itself, especially as an undergraduate is stressful (we've all been there - feeling like we want to give up or we've picked the wrong path) Who knows what we want to do in life and this is what stresses everyone - not knowing.

Let the OP decide what they want to do, if they are asking for advice/help then we should try our best to advise or help. After which, the OP can decide for themselves.
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Arden University
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(Original post by Tulip9)
Thank you what is the MSc Psychology like in terms of workload? And what’s the SFE?
Tulip9
Hello!
I am just finishing off my MSc in Psychology (conversion course) online so I can give you an overview of the time it takes.

Typically I would spend about 10 hours a week studying, this can be a little misleading as by background is in Sociology so I was quite fluent in some areas such as research methods already. Some Unit’s I got through very quickly – behavioural neuroscience I was very surprised with as I am not a sciency person but got through that OK. Social Psychology I rushed a little.

Within online distance learning you have the opportunity to accelerate your progress and work at your own speed which is a big advantage. A lot of the online providers such as Arden and the Open University have very user friendly VLE’s (virtual learning environments).

I think it is best to pick up a dissertation subject which is really straight forward to operationalise with appropriate research methods, because an over ambitious project can take a lot of extra time

Marc
Arden University Student Ambassador
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mrlittlebigman
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#8
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(Original post by Am3ie)
But, why should mental health stop you from pursuing your dreams?

Everyone suffers from mental health in many different ways, there is always a way around it and there is always something or someone that triggers it. That doesn't mean someone should stop living their life or pursuing their career path.

University in itself, especially as an undergraduate is stressful (we've all been there - feeling like we want to give up or we've picked the wrong path) Who knows what we want to do in life and this is what stresses everyone - not knowing.

Let the OP decide what they want to do, if they are asking for advice/help then we should try our best to advise or help. After which, the OP can decide for themselves.
I would read the OP's first paragraph again.

I have given him/her advice.
I assume you have never worked in community pharmacy.

Sometimes dreams have to be moderated to the reality of the life we find ourselves living. You state that there is always a way around it.....I'm sure a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist may have a different take on that.
We all have limits, and sometimes, no, we have to accept ourselves and our lives as they are, not as we would like them to be. This is why they're asking for advice.

I can understand you wanting to try and offer encouragement, I was trying to be realistic, as someone who has had mental health problems myself for 30yrs and also am a community pharmacist. It is not the place for someone who has anxiety problems, I can assure you, which is why I myself now only work part-time so I can moderate the stress from the job.

I would encourage the OP to look into psychology if that is what they want to do now, I'm sure it would be a less stressful role than a career in community pharmacy, but you need to be mindful of the fact that the OP has just stated they have been off work ill for 4months, were terminated from their job, and they have 2 new diagnoses, in addition to their severe anxiety and depression. They state that the training year (where you work under supervision of a qualified pharmacist) has destroyed them.
Hence my advice at the end to seek specialist career advice from an appropriate source.

I would love to agree with you that you shouldn't let mental health problems hold you back, I really, really would and you can call me pessimistic if you want, but I am trying to be a realist.

Perhaps the OP would like to jump back in at this point, and give us his/her opinions as to what we have both said.
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Bonjour
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#9
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#9
Hello! I studied pharmacy and have worked in both community and hospital.. both are v. stressful! I feel you with the mental health issues. I'd say get out now while you still can..if you're not really passionate about pharmacy you won't enjoy it. I'm thinking of going back to uni myself to do something different.. feel free to dm me! x
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mrlittlebigman
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#10
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(Original post by Bonjour)
Hello! I studied pharmacy and have worked in both community and hospital.. both are v. stressful! I feel you with the mental health issues. I'd say get out now while you still can..if you're not really passionate about pharmacy you won't enjoy it. I'm thinking of going back to uni myself to do something different.. feel free to dm me! x
Agree 100%.
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Tulip9
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#11
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#11
(Original post by Am3ie)
Student Finance England (SFE) where you can apply for funding to take the postgraduate course - MSc Psychology.

I haven't yet started but the live lectures are every Friday and you do an assignment for each module.

and in Term 3 you work on your dissertation solely.

Universities are still taking applicants this year for MSc Psychology

Yeah, I’ve been applying for places, just waiting for unis to get back to me 😬

One of the courses I’ve applied for is distance learning, do you think it’s made a difference compared to face-to-face lectures/teaching etc?

Are you planning to apply for a postgraduate in clinical psychology after your MSc? 😃
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Tulip9
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#12
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#12
(Original post by Arden University)
Tulip9
Hello!
I am just finishing off my MSc in Psychology (conversion course) online so I can give you an overview of the time it takes.

Typically I would spend about 10 hours a week studying, this can be a little misleading as by background is in Sociology so I was quite fluent in some areas such as research methods already. Some Unit’s I got through very quickly – behavioural neuroscience I was very surprised with as I am not a sciency person but got through that OK. Social Psychology I rushed a little.

Within online distance learning you have the opportunity to accelerate your progress and work at your own speed which is a big advantage. A lot of the online providers such as Arden and the Open University have very user friendly VLE’s (virtual learning environments).

I think it is best to pick up a dissertation subject which is really straight forward to operationalise with appropriate research methods, because an over ambitious project can take a lot of extra time

Marc
Arden University Student Ambassador
Hello, thanks for your insight What are your plans after the MSc? I am planning on applying for a postgrad in Clinical Psychology and the application dates are a little confusing for me (https://www.leeds.ac.uk/chpccp/year.html)? As in, I'm not sure when I can start applying for a place, maybe I'm just too anxious lol

Did you start your course in September 2020? Which means you're finishing your course this month (Sep 2021), correct? When would your final results be released?

Thanks again!
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