Skip to content

Community pharmacy – expectation vs reality

COMMUNITY pharmacist, Mavin Munzu, on the reality of a career in community pharmacy.

Marvin Munzu is a superintendent pharmacist and pharmacy manager, media pharmacist, personal trainer & motivational speaker

Follow Marvin @marvinmunzu


9 thoughts on “Community pharmacy – expectation vs reality”

  1. I met up with my friend from uni yesterday and we talked about a lot of the topics in Marvin’s video. We studied 2007-12 and during that time community pharmacy changed considerably, such as the introduction of MURs and the number of schools doubling, so by the time we graduated our pre-reg sandwich degree pharmacy had different career prospects and locum rates, for example, have almost halved and it’s not as secure. My friend is a lot younger, being a school leaver when she started the degree and since qualifying has had some bad experiences with employers and she has become quite disillusioned about pharmacy. She feels we were trained to be able to do a more clinical role and although more clinical roles are coming through now a few years after we qualified. It’s quite sad to see a young person with a first class degree and obviously really keen initially become so disheartened. I think it’s easy for me to be keen because I’m watching from the sidelines in my current role and I’m lucky to be able to be creative and have variety in what I do. I also think the positive and encouraging pharmacy Twitter community really helps. I agree with Marvin that the more we put in, the more we get out of it but I think in practice my friend feels it is impossible with her current workload to add more clinical services. I’m encouraging her to join RPS, be active on Twitter and to go to more events so that she isn’t so isolated and feels more connected to the profession as a start.

  2. Oh my goodness so it was! Too many windows open. I do love your thoughts too though. I agree we have to try in adversity to find a way to practice our profession. Things change which can be hard for some but it’s not always bad for all

  3. I found Marvin’s comments very interesting. I practised as a community pharmacist on first registering in 1976 until 2002. During that time things changed dramatically (introduction of IT for one) and in the early years there was a fair amount of extemporaneous preparation of medicines which was fun. I enjoyed it including management roles, which in those days involved complete control of staff, stock choice and ordering.

    I think the problem with the availability of more clinical services is the decision not to go with any core national service(s) but to rely on local commissioning of these. The commissioning appetite for these is variable so for pharmacists who would like to do these roles they are few and far between.

    1. I agree Cathy, both as a pharmacist and a patient I would prefer services to be national. I sometimes write about pharmacy services for patients but it’s difficult to promote pharmacy services to the public if they’re not happening in a standard way everywhere, for example Minor Ailments Services. The newer clinical services are great if the company supports them but I think a lot of pharmacists already feel left behind.

      1. No system is perfect. I think the slightly more centrally managed Scottish system allows better delivery of projects. Flip side is that commissioning encourages innovation. Innovation of course is only any use if it is landed and maintained in a sustainable way.

  4. I too would have liked to have seen a national minor ailment service in England. There’s no reason why innovative local services couldn’t be replicated elsewhere, not all services would need to be national, local demand could guide location of these.

    1. True Cathy there is a blend in Scotland but the local services are underpinned by a reasonably robust core contract. Registration of patients is a key innovation in the last few years and has provided a platform to allow community pharmacists to begin to deliver clinical outcomes. Access to records still an issue up north though.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *