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Career Spotlight: Advanced Pharmacist Practitioner, Catriona Macdonald

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Catriona Macdonald


What is your role now?
Advanced Pharmacist Practitioner in primary care.

I carry out medication reviews for all patients in the practice and set up CMS prescribing for those suitable, making sure appropriate monitoring is carried out at the practice. Also medicines reconciliation for patients discharged from hospital or attending outpatient clinics, and I handle special requests for medicines and have a dose titration clinic for patients with polymyalgia rheumatica who are on reducing doses of prednisolone.

What roles did you do to get to where you are now?

  • Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen.
  • Pre-reg at ABC pharmacy in London where I worked as a relief pharmacist after qualifying.
  • Rotational clinical pharmacist in Monklands hospital, Airdrie.
  • Pharmacy manager for a large multiple community pharmacy in Caithness.
  • Undertaking Independent prescribing at RGU alongside post-grad clinical pharmacy certificate.

What do you enjoy about your job?
It’s great to work in a role that I have been a part of developing; it can be exciting trialling new ways of working.

Having access to patient GP records allows me to see the whole story when carrying out medication reviews – it makes my job a lot easier compared to hospital or community where I had half the story and tried to fill in the blanks.

I really enjoy engaging with patients especially when carrying out dose titrations, getting to know them and encouraging them to stick to reduction plan. It’s very satisfying when patients are finally off their prednisolone as it can be difficult for some.

How much do you earn?
Band 7.

What do you not enjoy about your job?
Working constantly at the computer can be tiring but I just need to make sure I take breaks from looking at the screen and arrange patient reviews to break up the day.

Are you a member of any pharmacy organisations?

Who, if anyone, has influenced your career?
Everyone I’ve worked with has influenced me in one way or another. My professional lead, Clare Morrison, has really encouraged me to think outside the box and changed the way I think about the typical pharmacist role, she is full of good ideas! It’s been eye-opening to see the potential of pharmacists in primary care.

What would you like to do next?
I feel like I’ve now reached the stage I was aiming for when I first qualified – an independent prescriber working for a GP practice and running my own clinics. Now I am excited to see how I can help develop this role to keep improving pharmacy services in primary care. Not knowing what challenges we will be up against next is part of the excitement of this job.


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