Posted by: Sara Valente7 FEB 2012
The question of ‘hospital or community’ is one that many pharmacy students in their final years start to consider and I am sure many of you just can’t decide which one to choose. We are always asked ‘so, which pre-reg will you be applying for? Hospital or community?’ It annoys me slightly that the question is not followed by ‘or what else are you considering?’ I can’t speak for other universities but I feel that our career advisors assume that we want a direct career as a pharmacist without allowing us to explore other options. A career in industry particularly, is overlooked. I would agree with having a limited option of placements if our degree was strictly vocational that involved learning a set of specific skills. But we need to remember that we are studying a four-year Masters programme that teaches us professional and communication skills as well as broad scientific knowledge that varies between pharmacology and use of HPLC equipment. Therefore, we deserve to be given a full choice of career options that we can use with our powerful MPharm degrees! This thought stems from recent blogs and online discussions about whether or not we would choose pharmacy again if we had the choice. It is virtually impossible to know at the age of seventeen whether a career in pharmacy is what you will want in the future but the MPharm is a good start to any career. The pharmaceutical industry is the next obvious career choice for a pharmacist as it involves the relevant chemistry and knowledge. The industry is particularly keen to hire graduates with pharmacy degrees as they will have clinical knowledge as well as a scientific background. If you thought that you maybe should have done a law degree instead, there is certainly options for pharmacists in the field of medical law which can involve anything from legal representation to patent attorneys. Of course, a law conversion and additional study would be necessary. There is also medical writing, journalism, research, pharmaceutical sales within businesses to consider that can all be possible careers. So if you’re struggling between the choice of hospital and community, remember that there are many other options out there for students with a pharmacy degree.