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Headline

Stop science focus for pharmacy degrees, chief pharmacist says

Comment

This shows a frightening lack of understanding on the subject of healthcare education from a senior civil servant: not only should he reconsider his position on pharmacy, but perhaps he should think more carefully about the nature of healthcare education in general. The human body is a biochemical machine. Any trainee healthcare professional can learn a fact or clinical skill; then just as easily forget it during the periods of their professional practice when it is not called upon. If one understands the underpinnings of a clinical event, then one can piece reconstruct the information required to deal with it from first principles and, equally importantly, figure out what is happening when presented with a situation not for which training was not specifically provided. I doubt, after many years in practice, whether I can recall the relative lipophilicites of β-blockers verbatim, but I am sure that I can work it out using my knowledge of chemistry together with information from the standard references found in any pharmacy. The uniqueness of our profession has been lost in recent years, as we join the scores of other generic healthcare professionals who diagnose, prescribe, counsel, etc., etc. Pharmacists have always been clinical scientists, and I strongly oppose any attempt to remove their scientific expertise in favour of “soft” skills that are more likely to be learned through experience, rather than through an increasingly expensive higher education.

Posted date

9 SEP 2014

Posted time

15:12

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