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Giving up on pharmacy

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“Pharmacist’s don’t do anything.”

“That’s not true, we do a lot more than you think.”

This is a conversation I overheard between twopre-registration students over lunch, the only input I could give to enlightenthe dim conversation was, “Guys- it’s payday in two days!”...I tried; and yes Imiserably failed. Two students at the same placement, theoretically gaining thesame experience, yet have completely different opinions. So what is goingwrong?! Does the pre-registration year have the potential to actually putstudents off pharmacy? Does the four-year slog seem pointless once you get aninsight on what it really feels like to be a real pharmacist?

Over my pre-registration placement I have met severalpre-reg pharmacists that have applied to graduate entry programmes such asdentistry and medicine. Their answer for such decisions was that they didn’tfind pharmacy as ‘rewarding’ as they initially thought it would be. Icompletely respect a person’s decision to change they career if they feel it’snot for them, after all, only if your passionate about your job will you trulyexcel. With the current state of NHS funding it is essential that individuals employedare driven and are willingly to expand their roles within the career and thiswould only be accomplished in characters enthusiastic about what they do.

Some pharmacy students have a misconception on what pharmacistsreally do, thus once they are pre-reg students and are gaining first handexperience, regrets start to develop. I believe schools of pharmacy should havea set criterion, where applicants must have at least 4 weeks of work experiencein a pharmacy setting. It may seem harsh on the students applying; however it shouldallow students to attain a better understanding of whether pharmacy is forthem. For individuals that chose pharmacy because they didn’t get into theirfirst choice e.g. medicine, they should be encouraged to reapply to their firstchoice, thus saving them from the potential of a possible 10 year study time shouldthey choose to go down the graduate entry route…not to mention the lovely fivefigure bill that is accompanied with higher education.

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