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  • OSPAP- Is it really a tough/good course?

    I am getting a bit annoyed regarding the ospap course. I feel this has got to be one of the most easiest ways to become a pharmacist in the UK. For a start, some of the students on the course have poor english. Secondly, in their countries they are not even taught the clinical side (e.g. nigeria, india). They are more focused on pharmaceutics.

    I just feel with this easy system of getting pre-reg places, this will contribute to an overload within the profession and a more rigorous system is required to test these overseas pharmacists.
    3rd yr pharmacy student - bath

  • #2
    Re: OSPAP- Is it really a tough/good course?

    Asterix, you seem to have lot of problem in life.

    Just look at the pharmaceutical business profile and you will find that most of the businesses are owned or run by these so called OSPAP pharmacists.

    Well, I just want to let you know that, whether you take a long route or short to register as a Pharmacist in England, once you have registered and start working as an Pharmacist, the working conditions, rules & regulations, responsibilities are all same irrespective of what course you have done. I don't think some one will relax any rules for the OSPAP pharmacist or offer higher salaries to them.

    About clinical knowledge, OSPAP students spend over 12k to 15k for just 9 months of the OSPAP course to understand the system in UK. Your past clinical knowledge will be of a little use as the system how any drug is prescribed or used in UK is totally different from how it is used in other parts of the world. Just an example, Diclofenac is an OTC medicine in most part of the world, including countries from the EU, but it has to be prescribed in UK Neproxen can be given OTC for menstrual pain in UK but not for dental pain There are many other things to point out but it will make a great Epic if I start writing. In a nutshell, Everyone has done there mandatory 4 years undergraduate course in Pharmacy and they know what human body is and what can help humans to get well (Medicines) So no point in questioning previous clinical knowledge as long it is only a taught knowledge and not a practiced knowledge.

    My sincere suggestions is If you know you are capable of succeeding in your carrier irrespective of competition then stop pointing at others and look at more serious problems that exist in the Health System and how we as responsible Pharmacist can contribute to solve them.

    Shan
    [url]http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=Eu2DA4I4TGw[/url]

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: OSPAP- Is it really a tough/good course?

      More serious problem could be knowledge of colloquial English.
      johnep

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: OSPAP- Is it really a tough/good course?

        I agree that English is the biggest problem. There is quite a tough English test the IELTS but you can be taught to pass this. European trained pharmacists don't even have to do this or pass pharmacy exams in English as OSPAP students do. As a native English speaker, I found the test quite hard apparently I can only just read and write but am able to talk quite well.

        The OSPAP gets overseas pharmacists up to the level of an Mpharm student and only to that level. IMO this is not entirely fair as some pharmacists need this while others are wasting their time. I can't say anything about the Nigerian or Indian programs but I know there are countries more clinically orientated than the UK. My pharmacy school was in the Medical faculty and we certainly had more interaction with the medics and clinical work than the undergraduate students at the university where I did the OSPAP.

        Asterix how would you feel if you fell desperately in love with a citizen of another country who was unwilling to live in the UK and for this reason (or any other) decided to live in another English speaking country only to be told that you have to start again from the beginning if you want to be a pharmacist. Perhaps this would be fair because although you know the clinical stuff required in the UK, you may be cluelesss about health insurance systems local laws, traditional muti and the practicalities of coping in a less than ideal conditions.

        Most of this you could learn without re doing your primary degree and most countries would allow you to do this.

        If you feel that pharmacy qualifications in other countries are not up to standard what are you doing about it. Have you joined the commonwealth pharmacists association or FIP? I guess the typical western attitude is to ignore other peoples problems until they blow up in our faces.
        Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time.
        (T. Pratchett)

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: OSPAP- Is it really a tough/good course?

          Originally posted by shan View Post
          Asterix, you seem to have lot of problem in life.

          Just look at the pharmaceutical business profile and you will find that most of the businesses are owned or run by these so called OSPAP pharmacists.

          Well, I just want to let you know that, whether you take a long route or short to register as a Pharmacist in England, once you have registered and start working as an Pharmacist, the working conditions, rules & regulations, responsibilities are all same irrespective of what course you have done. I don't think some one will relax any rules for the OSPAP pharmacist or offer higher salaries to them.

          About clinical knowledge, OSPAP students spend over 12k to 15k for just 9 months of the OSPAP course to understand the system in UK. Your past clinical knowledge will be of a little use as the system how any drug is prescribed or used in UK is totally different from how it is used in other parts of the world. Just an example, Diclofenac is an OTC medicine in most part of the world, including countries from the EU, but it has to be prescribed in UK Neproxen can be given OTC for menstrual pain in UK but not for dental pain There are many other things to point out but it will make a great Epic if I start writing. In a nutshell, Everyone has done there mandatory 4 years undergraduate course in Pharmacy and they know what human body is and what can help humans to get well (Medicines) So no point in questioning previous clinical knowledge as long it is only a taught knowledge and not a practiced knowledge.

          My sincere suggestions is If you know you are capable of succeeding in your carrier irrespective of competition then stop pointing at others and look at more serious problems that exist in the Health System and how we as responsible Pharmacist can contribute to solve them.

          Shan
          how exactly did you work that out?

          You refer to the point about drugs being otc in some places and here it is different. THIS IS EXACTLY MY POINT. How on earth will you gather all the information in 9 months?

          I just don't think there is much opportunity for a MPHARM student from UK to do what OSPAP do. e.g. let's say I wanted to go to america, many tests and hurdles to pass, ospap on the other hand: 9 months, pre-reg. As for your point about same clinical knowledge, that is rubbish. In a lot countries, there is bpharm and then mpharm. Within bpharm, it is very general, within mpharm you may not even specialize in a clinical field.
          3rd yr pharmacy student - bath

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: OSPAP- Is it really a tough/good course?

            Originally posted by paul2008 View Post
            I agree that English is the biggest problem. There is quite a tough English test the IELTS but you can be taught to pass this. European trained pharmacists don't even have to do this or pass pharmacy exams in English as OSPAP students do. As a native English speaker, I found the test quite hard apparently I can only just read and write but am able to talk quite well.

            The OSPAP gets overseas pharmacists up to the level of an Mpharm student and only to that level. IMO this is not entirely fair as some pharmacists need this while others are wasting their time. I can't say anything about the Nigerian or Indian programs but I know there are countries more clinically orientated than the UK. My pharmacy school was in the Medical faculty and we certainly had more interaction with the medics and clinical work than the undergraduate students at the university where I did the OSPAP.

            Asterix how would you feel if you fell desperately in love with a citizen of another country who was unwilling to live in the UK and for this reason (or any other) decided to live in another English speaking country only to be told that you have to start again from the beginning if you want to be a pharmacist. Perhaps this would be fair because although you know the clinical stuff required in the UK, you may be cluelesss about health insurance systems local laws, traditional muti and the practicalities of coping in a less than ideal conditions.

            Most of this you could learn without re doing your primary degree and most countries would allow you to do this.

            If you feel that pharmacy qualifications in other countries are not up to standard what are you doing about it. Have you joined the commonwealth pharmacists association or FIP? I guess the typical western attitude is to ignore other peoples problems until they blow up in our faces.
            Paul, I am not saying that pharmacists from other countries are not up to the level. I am trying to say that the focus of pharmacy is different in some countries. e.g. here it is clinical these days, in other places its focused on manufacturing and if that fails, it's a case of going to be a lecturer. I am not saying don't allow people through but I am saying make it more rigorous.
            3rd yr pharmacy student - bath

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: OSPAP- Is it really a tough/good course?

              Well, I don't deny there ought to be some problems in understanding the local style of spoken language. But look at the broader side. The OSPAPs are keen and quick in adjusting to the local environment than the local pharmacists. I have observed this when I worked as a dispenser before starting my OSPAP. The local pharmacists were rather rude to those customers who couldn't either pronounce some words or were from a low background (gypsys, Income Support patients) in contrast to the OSPAP locums who were better behaved. If fellow countrymen start treating the locals in this manner, then where is the question of whether you understand the local language better or not?

              As long as you can talk fluent ENGLISH (official Language) I don't think you are doing something wrong. By the way, the minimum band score to get in to OSPAP course is Band 7 out of 9 in all 4 subjects through IELTS. And I am sure achieving 7 score in itself is sure a testimonial that you have a better understanding of the language and IS THE STRICTEST RULE to begin with for an OSPAP student.

              Moreover, the pre-reg training and the final registration exams are same to all and are considered to be very tough. This is the exam that will test whether you are fit to practice in UK or not. Once you are through with the RPSGB registration that in itself is a testimonial that you have enough clinical knowledge to practice.

              I sincerely suggest Astrix to go through the curriculum of any of these OSPAP students, when they did there undergraduate course in Pharmacy and I assure you that you will feel so lucky you didn't have to go through such a tough course.

              To sum-up, it would be foolish to think OSPAP students are taking any short cuts to enter the Register and that having not practices clinical pharmacy makes them any inferior to any of the MPharm students in UK.

              Shan
              [url]http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=Eu2DA4I4TGw[/url]

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: OSPAP- Is it really a tough/good course?

                9 months, pre-reg.

                that is 2 years! such a long time compared with EU p'cists who do not have to do conversion courses nor pre-reg!

                bpharm of some countries is a 5 years course, not 3 years as in the uk , meaning they have covered much more clinically than an average UK student doing bpharm.
                [COLOR=Olive]xxxx They tried to break my back, but i survived. whatever doesn't kill you, will only makes you stronger xxxx
                [/COLOR]

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: OSPAP- Is it really a tough/good course?

                  Originally posted by shan View Post
                  Well, I don't deny there ought to be some problems in understanding the local style of spoken language. But look at the broader side. The OSPAPs are keen and quick in adjusting to the local environment than the local pharmacists. I have observed this when I worked as a dispenser before starting my OSPAP. The local pharmacists were rather rude to those customers who couldn't either pronounce some words or were from a low background (gypsys, Income Support patients) in contrast to the OSPAP locums who were better behaved. If fellow countrymen start treating the locals in this manner, then where is the question of whether you understand the local language better or not?

                  As long as you can talk fluent ENGLISH (official Language) I don't think you are doing something wrong. By the way, the minimum band score to get in to OSPAP course is Band 7 out of 9 in all 4 subjects through IELTS. And I am sure achieving 7 score in itself is sure a testimonial that you have a better understanding of the language and IS THE STRICTEST RULE to begin with for an OSPAP student.

                  Moreover, the pre-reg training and the final registration exams are same to all and are considered to be very tough. This is the exam that will test whether you are fit to practice in UK or not. Once you are through with the RPSGB registration that in itself is a testimonial that you have enough clinical knowledge to practice.

                  I sincerely suggest Astrix to go through the curriculum of any of these OSPAP students, when they did there undergraduate course in Pharmacy and I assure you that you will feel so lucky you didn't have to go through such a tough course.

                  To sum-up, it would be foolish to think OSPAP students are taking any short cuts to enter the Register and that having not practices clinical pharmacy makes them any inferior to any of the MPharm students in UK.

                  Shan
                  You have to consider how long the pharmacist has known these people. What about if the patients attitude is poor (this would usually be the case of a gypsy). I have seen the syllabus of some pharmacy courses in other countries and tbh it is not clinically oriented.

                  As for passing IETLS, it is a different ball game between speaking and writing english.

                  Not having clinical pharmacy may not make them inferior but it is one huge disadvantage. I think OSPAP's are extremely lucky to be getting pre-reg place so quickly at boots, lloyds etc. There is obviously a huge shortage within the profession still.
                  3rd yr pharmacy student - bath

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: OSPAP- Is it really a tough/good course?

                    Originally posted by Raoul View Post
                    9 months, pre-reg.

                    that is 2 years! such a long time compared with EU p'cists who do not have to do conversion courses nor pre-reg!

                    bpharm of some countries is a 5 years course, not 3 years as in the uk , meaning they have covered much more clinically than an average UK student doing bpharm.
                    Yes but EU p'cists have much more clinical knowledge and standards.Just take a look at Pakistan. They do not even have a pharmacist at a store, anyone can give out drugs. Bpharm of most countries is actually 4 years. It's quality, not quantity which matters. Doing a course for more years does not mean you have more clinical knowledge.

                    You take a look at most countries OSPAP's arrive from, not even 20% of them will have law within the profession.
                    3rd yr pharmacy student - bath

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: OSPAP- Is it really a tough/good course?

                      Originally posted by Asterix View Post
                      You have to consider how long the pharmacist has known these people. What about if the patients attitude is poor (this would usually be the case of a gypsy). I have seen the syllabus of some pharmacy courses in other countries and tbh it is not clinically oriented.

                      As for passing IETLS, it is a different ball game between speaking and writing english.

                      Not having clinical pharmacy may not make them inferior but it is one huge disadvantage. I think OSPAP's are extremely lucky to be getting pre-reg place so quickly at boots, lloyds etc. There is obviously a huge shortage within the profession still.
                      1. How long as a newly qualified Mpharm student will you have known patients in your pharmacy ? What about locums? Everybody starts some where and a lot of what you learnt at Uni, overseas pharmacists have had to learn by being thrown into the deep end.

                      2. IELTS in fact includes a speaking, listening(three accents) writing and reading test. Look it up on the internet.

                      3. Only the UK has the OSPAP as a practising UK trained pharmacist you can go to almost any country in the world and practise if you pass some exams and do a short period of supervision. True it is not easy but that is usually because you need a work permit: which is true in the UK except that because the OSPAP is usually a PGdip the UK governmernt offers a two year work permit.

                      I know you have strong opinions, I can't remember whether you are a student but learn to do a bit of research before you speak. I know that with your amazing clinical skills you would not provide such uniformed opinions in a professional setting.
                      Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time.
                      (T. Pratchett)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: OSPAP- Is it really a tough/good course?

                        Originally posted by paul2008 View Post
                        1. How long as a newly qualified Mpharm student will you have known patients in your pharmacy ? What about locums? Everybody starts some where and a lot of what you learnt at Uni, overseas pharmacists have had to learn by being thrown into the deep end.

                        2. IELTS in fact includes a speaking, listening(three accents) writing and reading test. Look it up on the internet.

                        3. Only the UK has the OSPAP as a practising UK trained pharmacist you can go to almost any country in the world and practise if you pass some exams and do a short period of supervision. True it is not easy but that is usually because you need a work permit: which is true in the UK except that because the OSPAP is usually a PGdip the UK governmernt offers a two year work permit.

                        I know you have strong opinions, I can't remember whether you are a student but learn to do a bit of research before you speak. I know that with your amazing clinical skills you would not provide such uniformed opinions in a professional setting.
                        1. he didn't mention if the this pharmacist who showed poor attitude to gypsys was either working there for years or had just qualified.

                        2. Yes it may include a speaking test, but that is just one setting, can most OSPAP's do adequate english communciation after this: I doubt it. I know of 1 woman who has spent 6 years in the UK as a technician as she didn't get the necessary score in IETLS. Now she is a pre-reg. So after 6 years, your English skills are being enhanced?. BTW she kept taking IETLS each year.

                        3; If I go to USA, it will take me atleast 3 years so no it is not just some exams like you say. You are only doing a few exams too in that sense, end of year exams (which isn't exactly hard to pass considering you have done a degree) and the pre-reg exam.

                        I lived with 3 OSPAP students, so I have done enough research thanks and I am sure a lot of UK pharmacists would adhere to my views.
                        3rd yr pharmacy student - bath

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: OSPAP- Is it really a tough/good course?

                          some general notes on all the posts:

                          1- let us all remember that the only reason the UK is letting foreign p'cists(even UK qualified pharmacists on a student Visa)practice here is the SHORTAGE of pharmacists present now. once this shortage is gone ( give it a couple of years) the doors will close.

                          2- foreign p'cists in general are willing to re-locate and settle down in an
                          area recommended by employers. employers usually will target areas that they could not hire a UK pharmacist or areas that survive on locums( again just because of the huge cost to run a pharmacy by a locum + store manager).

                          3- English language is a requirement, but you should never expect a foreigner whose English is 2nd/3rd language to talk fluently as a British person. in fact some of the British ppl themselves do not speak proper English but no one raises the issue, simply because they are British, foreigners are immigrants

                          4- if an international student with a UK degree, done couple of summer placements same as his English mates, once qualified get told ' we no longer need your service', then the overall policies should be reviewed. at least tell these poor students not to come and spend loads of money in the UK( 3xfolds higher fees than an EU citizen). i know this is not fair as we did the same course, same training and for some gained high scores as our British mates.

                          5- for universities who still send some leaflets about ' working in the UK after graduation' to all international students during the UCAS application process. STOP doing it or some mad guy will SUE you one day if he graduated from a UK university and get told' sorry we have surplus of pharmacists now'.
                          Last edited by Rafael; 23, December 2008, 07:43 PM.
                          [COLOR=Olive]xxxx They tried to break my back, but i survived. whatever doesn't kill you, will only makes you stronger xxxx
                          [/COLOR]

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: OSPAP- Is it really a tough/good course?

                            [QUOTE=Raoul;18765]some general notes on all the posts:

                            1- let us all remember that the only reason the UK is letting foreign p'cists(even UK qualified pharmacists on a student Visa)practice here is the SHORTAGE of pharmacist present now. once this shortage is gone ( give it a couple of years) the doors will close.



                            Don't get that. Why would UK qualifed pharmacists be on a student visa? do you mean european pharmacists from say Poland.

                            Secondly, the shortage will never go with remote supervision coming in.
                            3rd yr pharmacy student - bath

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: OSPAP- Is it really a tough/good course?

                              Originally posted by Asterix View Post
                              Yes but EU p'cists have much more clinical knowledge and standards.Just take a look at Pakistan. They do not even have a pharmacist at a store, anyone can give out drugs. Bpharm of most countries is actually 4 years. It's quality, not quantity which matters. Doing a course for more years does not mean you have more clinical knowledge.

                              You take a look at most countries OSPAP's arrive from, not even 20% of them will have law within the profession.
                              1- foreign pharmacist does not mean a pharmacist from Pakistan! NZ, Australian, Canadians have a better health system and equivalent ( if not more) clinical knowledge than other EU countries. a foreign pharmacist is any pharmacist who is not EU nationality. in the past the definition was limited to being a UK citizen.

                              2- did you forget that some foreign pharmacists have been practicing for years and gained clinical knowledge a way more than the average newly qualified UK pharmacist! a Chinese pharmacist practicing for 10 years knows about drugs/interactions. counseling....etc much more than a pharmacist who just been qualified recently.

                              3-"Doing a course for more years does not mean you have more clinical knowledge." yes but it simply means you have a HIGHER chance of gaining more clinical knowledge through out the course.

                              P.s i hate it when people generalize, please try to avoid generalizing......
                              Last edited by Rafael; 23, December 2008, 07:45 PM.
                              [COLOR=Olive]xxxx They tried to break my back, but i survived. whatever doesn't kill you, will only makes you stronger xxxx
                              [/COLOR]

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