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Would I choose pharmacy again?

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I thought I’d better check in and let PJ Online readers know that I am still alive! Apologies for the blog deficit – I have been quite busy trying not to be overwhelmed by the enormity of reaching my final term at UEA School of Pharmacy! I’m not going to lie; I am genuinely surprised and quietly overjoyed to have come so far – my initial reluctance to embrace the profession has been gently pushed to one side and now I am even looking forward to pre-registration training! (This blog makes the outrageous assumption that with lots of hard work I will finish my degree well, graduate and eventually become a fully competent, confident pharmacist.) The final term is, for me, a whirlwind throwback to formulation, pharmaceutical technology and advanced drug delivery – modules studied in previous years. In the words of my housemate, I am now ‘practically married to a rheometer’ for the sake of adventures in drug-polymer miscibility. The theory behind my project work is mind-blowingly complex, or at least it is to me - I feel like I need to spend every spare minute asking ‘what on earth is going on?’.  I am tempted to feel daunted by the challenge, but I know that studying at this level is supposed to push my understanding to the edge – and I am certainly on the edge!  As a young (and probably slightly naive future) pharmacist, I must say that I am shocked to hear that 73% of those who voted in a recent PJ Online poll said that they would not choose pharmacy if beginning their career again. The comments from readers who voted were interesting, but didn’t make for the most encouraging read ever! The voices of those still in love with the profession seemed overpowered by the scepticism of those declaring ‘not a chance’, ‘a bleak future in retail pharmacy’ and even criticism of the MPharm degree course. I must defend the experience of pharmacy students – I’m not sure I could have picked a more broad, varied and challenging subject (and indeed a better school to study at!). However, on the cusp of a potential career in pharmacy, I’m withholding my own decision about whether I would choose pharmacy again. Perhaps it would be most fitting to agree with one commentator, who wrote: ‘I didn’t choose pharmacy; pharmacy chose me’! Would I choose pharmacy again? Watch this space...

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