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  • Pharmacy prospects

    I'm new here and am unsure as to whether or not this is the right section but...

    I'm a hopeful medic but am beginning to seriously consider pharmacy as a notable back-up career.
    I'd just like some information detailing what each field of pharmacy involves. Be it clinical, community or industry. Are they monotonous and mind-numbingly boring as I've been led to believe, or is there scope for enjoyment and/or job satisfaction? I'd like some facts/links on how interesting/dynamic each field is and lastly, job prospects and salaries (especially for newly qualified pharmacists).

    Lastly, which universities (preferably London) would anyone recommend? Am I right in believing that pharmacy for an undergrad student like me (currently studying Chemistry, Biology, Maths and Spanish) is a 4 year course?

    Any help whatsoever would be appreciated.

  • #2
    Re: Pharmacy prospects

    Originally posted by #1_Wasteman View Post
    I'm new here and am unsure as to whether or not this is the right section but...

    I'm a hopeful medic but am beginning to seriously consider pharmacy as a notable back-up career.
    I'd just like some information detailing what each field of pharmacy involves. Be it clinical, community or industry. Are they monotonous and mind-numbingly boring as I've been led to believe, or is there scope for enjoyment and/or job satisfaction? I'd like some facts/links on how interesting/dynamic each field is and lastly, job prospects and salaries (especially for newly qualified pharmacists).

    Lastly, which universities (preferably London) would anyone recommend? Am I right in believing that pharmacy for an undergrad student like me (currently studying Chemistry, Biology, Maths and Spanish) is a 4 year course?

    Any help whatsoever would be appreciated.
    For the moment the Royal Pharmaceutical Society represents and regulates the profession.
    Take a look at this website : Rpsgb.org: A career in pharmacy

    The course is 4 years leading to an MPharm with 1 year prereg with a qualifying exam at the end of it.

    My background is community pharmacy. Yes it is repetitive and very tiring, but you have to be sharp and alert all the time.
    The job is also increasingly regulated with any number of agencies having requirements for you to dot every i and cross every t.
    Increasingly we are being limited to practice in the EU without having to effectively "re-train" to work in former commonwealth countries, and the EU regulations on pharmacies and the way they operate makes it difficult for UK pharmacists to work there even if you overcome the language problems.
    There is also the isolation of the job - you work as one pharmacist, not that you have any time to chat anyway.
    The next thing is that more technology will be applied to the work which will have us working at a greater pace. I don't mean that I don't keep up with technology or dislike it, but we are human and can't continuously work faster as systems become faster.
    The career prospects don't really stack up - you get on a good starting salary but generally stay there.
    Finally, the scope for owning your own pharmacy is reducing by the day, most of us will find ourselves working for pharmacy chain, possibly with a non-pharmacist manager in overall charge in the case of a supermarket.

    Putting myself in your position I would not choose pharmacy as a backup career. If you want to work in healthcare why not consider dentistry or ophthalmics. Otherwise, train as a teacher - the holidays are good.

    Hastha any bisto
    (Spanish for 'have you got any gravy')
    47 BC : Julius Cesar : Veni Vidi Vici : I came, I saw I conquered.
    2018 AD : Modern Man : I shopped, I clicked, I collected.
    How times change.

    If you find you have read something that has upset or offended you an anyway please unread it at once.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Pharmacy prospects

      Originally posted by #1_Wasteman View Post
      I
      I'm a hopeful medic but am beginning to seriously consider pharmacy as a notable back-up career.
      Most on line places are for old farts to grumble - before believing what is said on-line about pharmacy as a career by pharmacists do compare it with what the Docs have to say about medicine as a career

      Archives of [email protected]


      e.g.
      GP-UK Archives -- August 2007 (#250)

      and the classic reply

      GP-UK Archives -- August 2007 (#279)

      Jeff

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Pharmacy prospects

        Originally posted by Pharmanaut View Post
        Putting myself in your position I would not choose pharmacy as a backup career. If you want to work in healthcare why not consider dentistry or ophthalmics. Otherwise, train as a teacher - the holidays are good.
        First thing's first, you could never pay me enough to teach in this country. I couldn't imagine having to discipline the ill-mannered and disrespectful kids being churned out of the system - some of my friends included.

        The reason I'm looking into a career in pharmacy is because I've heard that it's a generally popular medical student back-up and unis are relatively lenient in regards to your admission, in that some do not mind your personal statement being based solely on medicine. I highly doubt that dentistry, on the other hand, is quite as understanding due to the competitiveness which pharmacy seems to lack. Unless you're advising I take a year off to whole-heartedly face dentistry? But to be honest that wouldn't be ideal.

        I'm although a little concerned about this staying on one salary business. Would you say that's due to competition at that level or a general lack of prospects?

        Thanks for the advice anyway.
        Originally posted by Jeff View Post
        Most on line places are for old farts to grumble - before believing what is said on-line about pharmacy as a career by pharmacists do compare it with what the Docs have to say about medicine as a career

        Archives of [email protected]


        e.g.
        GP-UK Archives -- August 2007 (#250)

        and the classic reply

        GP-UK Archives -- August 2007 (#279)

        Jeff
        Was a good read.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Pharmacy prospects

          Originally posted by #1_Wasteman View Post
          First thing's first, you could never pay me enough to teach in this country. I couldn't imagine having to discipline the ill-mannered and disrespectful kids being churned out of the system - some of my friends included.

          The reason I'm looking into a career in pharmacy is because I've heard that it's a generally popular medical student back-up and unis are relatively lenient in regards to your admission, in that some do not mind your personal statement being based solely on medicine. I highly doubt that dentistry, on the other hand, is quite as understanding due to the competitiveness which pharmacy seems to lack. Unless you're advising I take a year off to whole-heartedly face dentistry? But to be honest that wouldn't be ideal.

          I'm although a little concerned about this staying on one salary business. Would you say that's due to competition at that level or a general lack of prospects?

          Thanks for the advice anyway.

          Was a good read.
          A place for 'old farts to grumble'. I like that.
          The plus points about the job are that you can find work locally, even within walking distance - which cuts down the commuting time considerably - a definite positive when it can take you an hour to cross town these days.
          The main problem I find with the job is the sense of 'professional isolation' - there aren't any others around to bounce ideas off etc.
          Well that's it. Hope you make the right choice that suits you.
          47 BC : Julius Cesar : Veni Vidi Vici : I came, I saw I conquered.
          2018 AD : Modern Man : I shopped, I clicked, I collected.
          How times change.

          If you find you have read something that has upset or offended you an anyway please unread it at once.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Pharmacy prospects

            don't even think about pharmacy unless you want to use the degree to do other things by the time you qualify the profession will be dead in the water the big companies just want tech dispensing asap to boos their profits. Pharmacists in comunity will be superfluous and you will be fighting to get a job
            SMITHY

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Pharmacy prospects

              who are you going to listen to?
              an old fart or a newly released fart?
              don't do retail pharmacy because unless you like to suffer, the job satisfaction can only get worse over the next ten years with all the changes that are in the pipeline
              the other main consideration is job security
              pharmacists have tended to put up with the crap because they always knew they could get a gig but the advent of checking technicians, remote supervision and robots combined with the greed and stupidity of the multiples will wipe us out
              if i had my time again i would be an anaesthetist just so i could put the public to sleep when they start moaning
              and before you say anything i am not moaning now, i'm just telling it the way it is
              it's up to you whether you take any notice but i just hope in years to come you are not saying "if only i had listened to all the old farts"

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Pharmacy prospects

                This sucks I have to say that as these days go by, the more and more tempted I am to quit my degree. So far that'll be about just over two years wasted. Better than three or four...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Pharmacy prospects

                  Originally posted by snowy View Post
                  This sucks I have to say that as these days go by, the more and more tempted I am to quit my degree. So far that'll be about just over two years wasted. Better than three or four...
                  Your circumstances are different from the person finishing 'A' levels and wondering what to do.
                  I'd advise you to tough it out and get on the register.
                  You will then at least have a degree and a reasonably well paid job with career prospects ...
                  A position of strength to look into other things related to pharmacy and medicine.
                  Have a look in the back of the journal there are some nuggets there.
                  Inspection of Nursing Homes, Pharmacist at RxSystems all needing pharmacy qualifications, are just two things from last week (the one with the article on Wales on the front cover).
                  47 BC : Julius Cesar : Veni Vidi Vici : I came, I saw I conquered.
                  2018 AD : Modern Man : I shopped, I clicked, I collected.
                  How times change.

                  If you find you have read something that has upset or offended you an anyway please unread it at once.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Pharmacy prospects

                    Thanks for the encouragement Pharmanaut. I originally completed another degree but took on pharmacy partly for the better prospects that come with it so all this talk was making me question my decision again, as if I don't already on a daily basis!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Pharmacy prospects

                      Originally posted by snowy View Post
                      Thanks for the encouragement Pharmanaut. I originally completed another degree but took on pharmacy partly for the better prospects that come with it so all this talk was making me question my decision again, as if I don't already on a daily basis!
                      Quite understand. Don't limit your thinking to community pharmacy; it can institutionalise your thinking. Especially if there's someone in 'head office' who does all the creative thinking so that you are never expected to.
                      What's the other degree? Any skills you can transfer from one to the other?
                      47 BC : Julius Cesar : Veni Vidi Vici : I came, I saw I conquered.
                      2018 AD : Modern Man : I shopped, I clicked, I collected.
                      How times change.

                      If you find you have read something that has upset or offended you an anyway please unread it at once.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Pharmacy prospects

                        I took the plunge and opted for pharmacy.

                        I briefly considered dentistry but it's too competitive to be accepted into one of the few UK unis with a medical personal statement.

                        If any one knows, does the general quality/rank of your university have any bearing whatsoever on job prospects? I applied to a poor pharmacy uni (Kingston) as I thought I had a better chance of getting a place there than say...London School Of Pharmacy or King's College and it seems I was right as I've been accepted. However, will this hinder my chances in the future?

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                        • #13
                          Re: Pharmacy prospects

                          Not at all. A dunce with a certificate is regarded as ideal by the multiples.
                          johnep

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Pharmacy prospects

                            Originally posted by #1_Wasteman View Post
                            I took the plunge and opted for pharmacy.

                            If any one knows, does the general quality/rank of your university have any bearing whatsoever on job prospects? I applied to a poor pharmacy uni (Kingston) as I thought I had a better chance of getting a place there than say...London School Of Pharmacy or King's College and it seems I was right as I've been accepted. However, will this hinder my chances in the future?
                            I wouldn't be as cynical as some, but two points.

                            Kingston is a new school, not a poor one. Not so far as I know, anyway. The couple of students I've come across from there seem bright, inquisitive people, just the sort of people we wnat in the profession. No academic reputation as yet, but give the place time. You might yet find that you are, when you qualify, regarded as coming from an imaginative, progressive institution, not one hidebound by the traditions of the past!

                            Secondly, what you do in the future depends on you. Not on where you studied. This isn't Oxbridge and Law, and even then there are plenty of high flying lawyers who went to other universities.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Pharmacy prospects

                              At moment am at SOP London attending 50 year reunion. Been a great many changes since I was here last.
                              johnep

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