What it means to become a pharmacist

Pharmacy is the study of medicine, looking at how drugs are created, their chemistry and interactions, dispensing and providing information on medicines.

For students who are interested in the field of medicine but do not want to become doctors, pharmacy can be an excellent alternative.

Pharmacists are increasingly important in frontline services as patients are encouraged to ask pharmacists for help with minor ailments before going to their General Practitioner or the Accidents & Emergencies department of any hospital.

This means a pharmacist can help in taking pressure off emergency services and contribute to saving lives in more ways than might seem initially obvious.

The job also has the advantage of more regular hours than many alternative healthcare careers, which may appeal to those who want to contribute to helping people medically but who also want a more structured lifestyle than medicine or nursing can offer.

Pharmacists are the last line of defence that approve of prescribed medications, confirm that they are safe considering the patient’s diseased state(s) and current drug regimen, make recommendations on which medications are best and a variety of other functions in a hospital setting.

Pharmacists are the go-to doctors that people can visit for advice and direction on their conditions and concerns.

They play a key role in helping patients feel better and get well as quickly as possible as they are competent healthcare providers who communicate effectively to evaluate many factors that affect a patient’s ability to take their medication.

Pharmacy is a diverse and rewarding career with opportunities for patient care, scientific research and innovation.

Pharmacists can work in a myriad of professional settings such as in an independent or retail chain community pharmacy and provide counselling to patients on the use of prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications, hospitals, nursing homes, managed care organisations, the pharmaceutical industry, colleges and many more.

Numerous studies have proven that the presence of a pharmacist on hospital rounds as a full member of the patient-care team has been shown to prevent medication errors and reduce costs.

The start of a degree in Pharmacy, which is usually four years is focused on giving students a solid foundation in the fundamentals of pharmaceutical sciences, covering medicine, chemistry, biology, ethics and training in professionalism.

In the later years, the focus of the degree shifts from theoretical foundations to practical, patient-orientated study, including looking at specific diseases and medicines.

Besides that, students will address the law and ethics of Pharmacy and they will spend a lot of time on placements of different kinds.

Students will look closely at good practice in real-life situations to develop their professional skills and maximise patient benefit.

Pharmacy seems like a relatively unexciting degree choice, However, pharmacists play a vital role in healthcare provision. They act as one of the most important checks on physician error, act as a backup or alternative to GPs and hospital visits, and generally provide an essential service in keeping people well.

Pharmacists are highly employable all over the world and often appear on governmental lists of professions to be given preferential treatment in immigration processes.

To round this off, pharmacists have excellent job security, making this a very appealing path to take for anyone with the aptitude.

There are a few top universities from Indonesia offering a quality education in Pharmacy. They are: University Sumatera Utara (Medan), Institute Teknologi Bandung (Bandung), University Airlangga (Surabaya) and University Gadjah Mada (Yogyakarta).

These universities are widely recognised by the World Health Organisation, Public Services Department, Malaysian Medical Council, Malaysian Dental Council and Malaysian Pharmaceutical Society.

The tuition fees in Indonesian universities are relatively cheap compared to private universities in other foreign countries because they are heavily subsidised by the local government.

These top ranking universities have top notch facilities and excellent study environments.

Article contributed by Medic Ed Consultant Sdn Bhd, Tel: 03-7981 1821, Website: