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Make pharmacy a greater profession

I am Altaf Vaiya, a community pharmacist for almost 10 years. From a young age, I felt proud mentioning to my friends that my father was a pharmacist as the title of being a pharmacist felt like an honor to me. This inspired me to follow my dad’s footsteps and with this I just managed to pass my MPharm degree. Having struggled throughout my studies, I am sure many of my lecturers were surprised when I graduated. Nevertheless, on that day I felt I was being entrusted with a responsibility, the responsibility of being a pharmacist. Passing my registration exam and opening The Pharmaceutical Journal frantically to search for my name with a registration number made me forget my struggles reaching this point.

Over the years of working as pharmacist, I noticed the glamour of being a pharmacist has slowly disappeared and the value of our profession sometimes shun down at by other allied healthcare professionals. This has made me determined to help reshape the core image of pharmacy and to bring unity into our profession.

Pharmacists work under immense pressures to reach targets as community pharmacy has experienced deep cuts to funding that is effecting many of us pharmacy owners, staff, managers and locums. It is also evident that the government does not value pharmacies and the vast contribution pharmacists make to patients’ satisfaction. Additionally, the support pharmacist provides in improving healthcare, all given within a walk-in service, where no appointments are needed, is unrecognised.

Furthermore, I want to address the issues that pre-registration students are finding it difficult to pass the registration exam. I have tried to continuingly support a whole network of pre-registration students and newly qualified pharmacists by providing mentoring services using social media and messaging platforms such as Whatsapp. By understanding the needs of this group of pharmacists, I have also noticed they are looking for leadership that will help bring change. They want to see the Royal Pharmaceutical Society work alongside other pharmacy associations to support the profession and be a voice of support.

I have:

  • Used my experience in pharmacy to help write regular articles in pharmacy publications.
  • Worked as local pharmaceutical committee member to support pharmacist and pharmacy business
  • Participated in the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee Leadership Academy as well as run pre-registration and pharmacy support courses.

I want our profession to work together to make it a greater profession for tomorrow.

Altaf Vaiya

Election Candidate, English Pharmacy Board, Royal Pharmaceutical Society

The candidate letters for the RPS national pharmacy board elections have not been edited by The Pharmaceutical Journal

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2017.20202598

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