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Confident, coherent and complete

And send. That’s it: my application to join the Royal Pharmaceutical Society Faculty was submitted. Electronic portfolio completed, peer testimonials received, curriculum vitae updated and fee paid. I began the wait for my submission to be assessed.

The process of applying to the Faculty prompted me to think about evidence of practice: how we present it and how we ensure that it reflects what we do accurately. My application needed to be positive, reflect what I do and be clear enough for my assessor to understand. Observational assessments are different: when I am being watched I have an opportunity actively to  demonstrate what I do. But in my Faculty submission, I can only be assessed on the information that I write down.

For me, this is difficult because like many other pharmacists I tend to downplay and underestimate what I do. When you have been doing something for a long time it starts to become second nature and you can often forget that you had to learn how to do it in the first place. Add in a natural tendency to be apologetic and you risk coming across as though you are incapable of doing anything.

But then I started thinking about how I come across to others when I am prescribing. When I am teaching junior doctors about prescribing in critical care I need to demonstrate confidence so they will trust my recommendations, remember them and put them into practice.

Similarly, when I am discussing treatment options with patients (which is a rare occasion because my patients are usually fast asleep) I need to ensure that the evidence I present to them is understandable and complete, and enables them to make a decision about their treatment.

This is the approach I took with my Faculty submission — confident, coherent and complete. And my efforts paid off. I have just found out (and you might have spotted the post-nominals) that I have been accepted as a Faculty fellow.

Citation: Clinical Pharmacist DOI: 10.1211/CP.2013.11129541

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