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  • Pharmacists to become Drs with three years training

    Announced in the press this morning that paramedics, nurses and pharmacists could become Drs with 3 yeras trainng/
    At last Gordon can get his dream.
    johnep

  • #2
    Part of me thinks its a good idea and the other part thinks it could be a disaster. Although I'm all for Pharmacists upskilling and retraining, I think 3 years just sounds like its not enough time. It would normally take a GP 10-11 years to train from University all the way to GP. Sounds like the government trying to train other allied health professionals on the cheap?
    Having said all that, I would probably look into it too.

    Comment


    • #3
      It's a worthwhile exercise to see ourselves as others see us. I have copied the following post from Quora: (https://www.quora.com/Is-a-pharmacis...ing-profession) Is pharmacy a dying profession?

      It is only a dying profession in countries which have mismanaged pharmacy, limiting its responsibilities and shifting them to doctors, rendering it useless. I am referring here to countries like my own, the UK, where all pharmacists graduate with masters degrees in pharmacy, yet are nothing but sales clerks., standing behind the counter, mostly dispensing prescriptions written by doctors.

      In the UK the medical profession is given too much power and control over healthcare. Everyone within healthcare outside of medicine, their function is to act as support for doctors, who carry all the major responsibilities. This is not the case in countries like those found in the middle-east where pharmacists are capable of prescribing medicines. Patients who have illnesses visit their pharmacists for treatment as apposed to their doctors. Doctors in such countries are only ever paid a visit for specialist matters. In the middle-east pharmacist have huge responsibilities and are in great demand. Pharmacists in the middle-east are given the title of doctor. This case is similar to that found in other parts of the world like latin America, where again pharmacists have the capability and authority to diagnose and prescribe. In these parts of the world there is much less pressure on doctors and pharmacy is a thriving profession.

      The structure of healthcare found in some western countries like the UK is extremely flawed. power and authority are mostly concentrated in the hands of one group of professionals. This leads to catastrophes like those of Harold Shipman, one of the worst serial killers in human history. A doctor who murdered hundreds of patients before being discovered. Nobody questioned him and what he was doing, because he was a doctor. He had all the authority.


      I think that the British Gov't is becoming increasingly weary with the problems presented to it by the medical profession and is looking for a radical solution. The Pharmacy/Nursing/Paramedic + 3 years could be an absolutely wonderful answer.
      Last edited by Mutley; 31st, January 2020, 05:58 PM. Reason: Clarity

      Comment


      • jzd4rma
        jzd4rma commented
        Editing a comment
        I agree with you that's what the government should be doing allowing pharmacists who can demonstrate competence manage problems which really doesn't need the attention of GP. The GP should look after more complex cases which may need referral to specialist.

        Part of the reason why I am so against this conversion idea is because it takes on average 11 years to train as a GP including undergrad study and longer for specialism. If you can complete a med degree in 3 years it would still take another 5 years of clinical experience to get good at your job. The idea that pharmacist dealing with minor ailments or paramedics dealing with acute case qualifies them being clinically competent to bypass all those extra years of training is asinine.

        Perhaps thats what the government wants offer poorly trained staff forcing people to go private to get an actual medically qualified physician to look after you.

    • #4
      Well as you know johnep I have argued for pharmacists being able to move freely to medicine for many years. What is very disappointing is to hear the President of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society being cool about this idea. A huge proportion of the profession always really had their hearts set on medicine and a job with some prospects. Why do pharmacists always resist advancement for their pharmacist colleagues? It is very hard to understand.

      Comment


      • #5
        Originally posted by Gordon Mackenzie View Post
        Well as you know johnep I have argued for pharmacists being able to move freely to medicine for many years. What is very disappointing is to hear the President of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society being cool about this idea. A huge proportion of the profession always really had their hearts set on medicine and a job with some prospects. Why do pharmacists always resist advancement for their pharmacist colleagues? It is very hard to understand.
        Because the RPSGB does not want people moving out of pharmacy. This would mean that employers would lose a valuable pool of labour, forcing hourly rates up.

        Comment


        • #6
          Exactly. They do not want their pharmacists to get ideas above their station in life.
          johnep

          Comment


          • #7
            I think it's a really really bad idea! We already have a 4 year Med course which is open to pharmacists. Before I get shot down most pharmacists in Community lose a lot of the knowledge they acquired in Uni partly because due to the nature of the job it no longer requires them to know all the detailed physiology and biochemistry one would need in Med School to appreciate the clinical aspect. Therefore it wouldn't be practical to complete the course in 3 years.

            The other issue is competence. In the past getting into a Pharmacy school wasn't easy but now we have so many pharmacy schools with many willing to accept students who miss the conditional offer grades. I think at the moment lowest entry requirement is BBB for A-Level. In the pharmacy world entrance requirements is inconsistent some schools are more rigorous and others lax. Forgive me for saying this but I think both the GMC and BMA are unlikely to endorse this proposal for this reason. All around the world medicine demands the highest standard and this idiotic proposal by the government will diminish the medical professional and make mockery of the training scheme doctors normally have to go through.

            I think pharmacists who support this would be very naive to expect this to be executed with careful planning. Most likely it will be done on a haphazard manner which may compromise patient care. Yes we have a shortage but if we unleash thousand of "doctors" not competent to practice it can have a very detrimental impact. Also please bear in mind senior doctors merciless bully their junior doctors it feels me with dread what they would do to these new doctors.


            If the government wants to help plug the shortage of doctors they would be better off recruiting International doctors like they did when the NHS was first established and increase the number of places in Medical school.
            Last edited by jzd4rma; 4th, February 2020, 12:57 AM.

            Comment


            • #8
              I must agree. When a rep in the 60s, I met several young Drs who did not come from a medical background and went to Grammar schools instead of Public school. They were taken on as junior partners, paid a low wage and made to do the obstetrics work. In those days most births were at home as in "Call the midwife". Group practice and Medical centres were rare, as were receptionists. I tried to be the first "pt" and then the last. With appts I was often able to see 8 or more Drs in a morning. I would then visit the hospital to catch a consultant at end of morning clinic. A trip upto theatre to see a surgeon and perhaps an anaesthetist, then home. On a warm summers day, stretched out on a lounger with a pot of tea, I thought how much better this was then worrying over errors in dispensing.
              After I returned to repping in the 80s following redundancy, all had changed and often could only see two Drs a day.
              I concentrated on hospitals when a visit to a common room would yield a few more. Being a rep must be dreadful thsse days.
              johnep

              Comment


              • #9
                Originally posted by johnep View Post
                I must agree. When a rep in the 60s, I met several young Drs who did not come from a medical background and went to Grammar schools instead of Public school. They were taken on as junior partners, paid a low wage and made to do the obstetrics work. In those days most births were at home as in "Call the midwife". Group practice and Medical centres were rare, as were receptionists. I tried to be the first "pt" and then the last. With appts I was often able to see 8 or more Drs in a morning. I would then visit the hospital to catch a consultant at end of morning clinic. A trip upto theatre to see a surgeon and perhaps an anaesthetist, then home. On a warm summers day, stretched out on a lounger with a pot of tea, I thought how much better this was then worrying over errors in dispensing.
                After I returned to repping in the 80s following redundancy, all had changed and often could only see two Drs a day.
                I concentrated on hospitals when a visit to a common room would yield a few more. Being a rep must be dreadful thsse days.
                johnep
                I just worry that politicians are playing with peoples life. Hopefully the BMA and GMC will ensure the governments expediency to NHS staff crisis doesn't come at the cost of poorly trained staff. The other thing is if the market is flooded with "Drs" then the ones who went to med school might decide to emigrate as the pay is likely to plunge and the competent ones may vote with their feet.

                Comment


                • #10
                  This feels like a case of the lay-person looking for any easy fix.

                  Completely redefine the role of community pharmacists into managing long term conditions including prescribing rights.

                  Pharmacists are not inferior to GP's (except in salary). They still have a critical role to play as the gate-keepers in patient safety and experts in medicines. Working conditions in community are just as awful for GP's as pharmacists. It would be trading one problem for another with £100k debt and a pay-rise to compensate.
                  I remember when a blog was an individual boot.

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    It is almost impossible to comprehend the cool reaction of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society President and some correspondents in The Chemist and Druggist to this fabulous opportunity being mooted for serving pharmacists to become doctors of medicine. What's wrong with them? Firstly a REAL shortage of pharmacists, instead of international pharmacy chain imagined shortage, would dramatically increase their wages. Chains always lobby government that pharmacy is a shortage profession so supply can be increased and pharmacist wages reduced. Second pharmacy as a certain route into medicine would immeasurably lift the prestige of the profession and eventually attract more people into it if they know they won't be stuck forever being a pharmacist and can move on to a rewarding, interesting career with prospects.

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      Two from my year went on to study medicine funded by locums, another became a dentist
                      One of the Drs became a Medical director in pharma. The pharmacy degree gave you exemption from first MB,
                      johnep

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        I had a friend who worked as a locum while she did the four year medicine course (one year off for her pharmacy degree). I don’t think the university would have passed her unless she made the standard. Last I saw her she was working at our local hospital. I asked her if the medical degree was a lot harder then the pharmacy one. She replied “In all honesty it was easier”. I think if you can pass a degree in pharmacy you’re capable of doing a medical one.
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                        • #14
                          Originally posted by admin View Post
                          I had a friend who worked as a locum while she did the four year medicine course (one year off for her pharmacy degree). I don’t think the university would have passed her unless she made the standard. Last I saw her she was working at our local hospital. I asked her if the medical degree was a lot harder then the pharmacy one. She replied “In all honesty it was easier”. I think if you can pass a degree in pharmacy you’re capable of doing a medical one.
                          Would that be a BPharm or an MPharm?
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                          • admin
                            admin commented
                            Editing a comment
                            I’m not 100% as I haven’t seen her for years but I think it was just the batchelors degree, same as me.

                        • #15
                          Originally posted by admin View Post
                          I had a friend who worked as a locum while she did the four year medicine course (one year off for her pharmacy degree). I don’t think the university would have passed her unless she made the standard. Last I saw her she was working at our local hospital. I asked her if the medical degree was a lot harder then the pharmacy one. She replied “In all honesty it was easier”. I think if you can pass a degree in pharmacy you’re capable of doing a medical one.
                          Speaking from experience, whilst I was studying at Uni of Notts we shared the first year with the medicine course and had the same exams. In the second year, we shared some of the lectures but not all and therefore did some of the same exams as them. I think what I'm trying to say is that what we've studied at uni isn't completely different and so completing another 3yr degree to plug that gap may not be such a bad idea. Add in the F1 + F2 hospital rotations and specialist training I think pharmacists could make good GPs.

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