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RPS speed dating careers event – what’s it all about?

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I have never had cause to use a dating agency, and until Monday night I had never been involved with speed dating.

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) in Scotland recently held a number of career speed dating events. Sitting in small groups, the format was very simple. Some experienced pharmacists were matched with pre-reg or newly qualified pharmacists.

The instruction was: “Just talk to each other”.

This is exactly what happened. The groups rotated and we had the opportunity to chat to various newly qualified pharmacists and also some pre-registration students. The conversations were interesting and I got an understanding for how the younger members of the profession were feeling. A real sense of trepidation was evident, but also a quiet confidence in their ability to deliver pharmaceutical care in an ever changing world. It gave me great heart to hear how well they articulated where they thought the profession should go in the future.

speed dating

It was refreshing to spend some time with other members of the profession. I met pharmacists from various backgrounds including hospital, quality assurance, health board and community. It struck me that the simple act of taking time to just talk to and listen to other professionals’ views and experiences could benefit one’s own practice. It is easy for us as professionals to work in blissful isolation, but events like this evening’s career networking event are so useful to broaden your professional outlook.


Many thanks to Liz Kemp for devising and providing this excellent mindmap on the possible career paths that a pharmacist might take.

Being a pharmacist is not something you can do on your own. We need our dispensing team but we also need our peer networks to call on for help or support. My career has become so much more fulfilling since I chose to actively engage and contribute to the work of the RPS. This type of event is just one of the many advantages of being a member of the RPS.

Thank you to the LPF and especially Alison Thomson for organising.

Johnathan Laird is a community pharmacist independent prescriber with a special interest in asthma. He is based in based in Aberdeen.

Follow Johnathan @JohnathanLaird

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