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Ways of Becoming a Pharmacist

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  • Ways of Becoming a Pharmacist

    Hi there.

    I have no plans to become a pharmacist but my younger cousin does. I've been looking on the net and I see that you have to do A-Levels and then do a four year university course and then another year after that before you become qualified. Well, my cousin is working at a pharmacy and she's been told that if she works for this pharmacist for five years and reads the books that he tells her to, she will become a pharmacist. It sounded pretty dodgy to me, and I am even more convinced of that now after finding that everything says you have to go to university. So, is there a) a route into becoming a pharmacist that is like what this guy has told her, only I haven't found info on it b) he is taking her for a ride so he can get cheap labour or b) could it be training for some other pharmacy-related thing and she has got confused about it? I'd appreciate responses to this as my cousin is planning to go full time at this place and not bother with sixth form because she's so convinced she's going to become a pharmacist.

    Thanks.

  • #2
    Re: Ways of Becoming a Pharmacist

    To become a pharmacist you have to do a four year master of pharmacy degree course which normally needs good science/maths A-levels to get into, although some mature students get admitted because of their experience. After you finish your degree there is a pre-registration year, where you spend a year in practice and can be in either community pharmacy or hospital pharmacy (and a few do it in industry). If you get through this ok and your tutor signs you off you also have to sit an exam (two three hour exams on the same day).If you pass that, then you can register as a pharmacist.

    Get your cousin to look at Pharmacy Careers This website has been produced by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, which is the body which regulates and represents pharmacists.

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    • #3
      Re: Ways of Becoming a Pharmacist

      Steve G is correct.
      A university degree is needed to become a pharmacist - along with a pre-registration year and a couple of entrance examinations.
      There is no other route that I know of.

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      • #4
        Re: Ways of Becoming a Pharmacist

        It sounds to me that what this pharmacist is describing to your cousin is the way to gaining an NVQ3 as a Pharmacy Technician, rather than a Pharmacist.
        Ze genuine Article, present & perfect!

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        • #5
          Re: Ways of Becoming a Pharmacist

          What we do need is a career path for technicians to become pharmacists. Fair enough it might not be an easy one, but there are people out there who did not get the opportunity to travel the normal route.

          In this case though if the cousin wants to be a pharmacist the A-Level-Degree-Pre-registration route is the only option.
          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.

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          • #6
            Re: Ways of Becoming a Pharmacist

            Well, my cousin is currently being paid off the books at a pharmacist at 16, the pharmacist told her that if she works for him and reads the books he gives her for the next five years, she will be a qualified pharmacist. She could have got this mixed up with being a pharmacy technician, only she's very definite about the five year thing. Because of this she is planning on not going to sixth form because she thinks this is an easy route into a good career. Thanks for your help everyone, I'll just have to tell her that there is no easy way and that she should go to sixth form!

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            • #7
              Re: Ways of Becoming a Pharmacist

              As a careers officer I attended evenings at local schools. Misconceptions of the public:
              1) You can become a pharmacist simply by working in a pharmacy.
              2) Pharmacists are medical students who could not get through the exams to be a Dr.
              johnep

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              • #8
                Re: Ways of Becoming a Pharmacist

                Bit out of date now Johnep, I suspect.

                Couple of points.
                In a story in a recent Guardian about the use of Clearing to get into Uni if one didn't get the grades one expected there was mention of a pharmacy student at Medway who had failed to get the two A's & and a B needed for dentistry, but was very happy with his BB & C doing pharmacy at Medway. As one who thought about dentistry, I'm very glad I chose pharmacy over that!

                Secondly, I'm concerned about the cousin of the originator of this thread. It's been going on for a bit now, and I may be wrong but it looks like s/he's gone back to the incorrect pharmacist and s/he's insisted that they're right. Is this so, because if it is it makes me wonder whether we have found a "cuckoo in our nest", and whether an Inspector should get round there pdq.

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                • #9
                  Re: Ways of Becoming a Pharmacist

                  I visited the website mentioned by Steve G and I've sent the information to my cousin. I am not sure if she'd believe me if I try and tell her that if something is too good to be true, it usually is, so I think that if she looks at this stuff she should (hopefully) realise that the set-up is off. I do feel angry though as it looks as if this guy is a bad apple who is using my cousin as cheap labour. :-(

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                  • #10
                    Re: Ways of Becoming a Pharmacist

                    Originally posted by QuestionA View Post
                    I visited the website mentioned by Steve G and I've sent the information to my cousin. I am not sure if she'd believe me if I try and tell her that if something is too good to be true, it usually is, so I think that if she looks at this stuff she should (hopefully) realise that the set-up is off. I do feel angry though as it looks as if this guy is a bad apple who is using my cousin as cheap labour. :-(
                    I'd be tempted to report the pharmacy and pharmacist. What area of the country is this in?

                    I agree it would be nice for there to be a route from reg tech/ ACT to pharmacist, a working training system would be good!

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                    • #11
                      Re: Ways of Becoming a Pharmacist

                      Originally posted by jamiegg View Post
                      I'd be tempted to report the pharmacy and pharmacist. What area of the country is this in?
                      Steady on it may be the young cousin who has misunderstood and the Pharmacist was talking about Technician, rather than a Pharmacist. But I must say I dont like the sound of this cash in hand which seems a bit odd and or unethical.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Ways of Becoming a Pharmacist

                        Originally posted by jamiegg View Post
                        I'd be tempted to report the pharmacy and pharmacist. What area of the country is this in?

                        I agree it would be nice for there to be a route from reg tech/ ACT to pharmacist, a working training system would be good!
                        The thread you've resurrected is almost 10 years old and the original poster hasn't been on the site for 8 years.

                        No more degree to become a pharmacist.

                        That would reduce the resistance from the public to the takeover of pharmacies by reg tech /ACT - give them a few pieces of extra training and label them new pharmacists.

                        Hmm...

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