Student / Alumni Profiles
MPharm graduate, Patrick Moynagh from Co. Monaghan, Ireland.
Having been introduced to Pharmacy during work experience at an early stage in Secondary School, I nurtured an extreme interest in the profession. I really enjoyed the every day interaction with patients and also science so this career path was an obvious destination for me.
Deciding to come to Medway was not an easy decision to say the least, leaving home for the first time, coming to a different country at that, and the fact that Medway was a relatively new school of pharmacy were all factors that played heavily on my mind. However I can honestly say now that coming here was one of the best decisions I could have made. The course is very dynamic and clinically orientated linking to the pharmacy world from day one, from your inaugural dispensing lab and the presentation of your pharmacy ‘Bible’ the BNF to your work placements, no day is ever the same.
One of the most valuable aspects of the course at Medway is the diversity and quality of students enrolled in the course alongside you. There is a great mixture of graduate entry students and undergraduate students of varying ages and backgrounds who complement each other to a great extent. Everyone works as a team and you build what I consider lasting friendships very quickly.
In my first year I lived on campus in the new halls of residence, which I thoroughly enjoyed as it allowed me to maintain a healthy balance between study and socialising. The campus improves each year in terms of student life, with the setting up of many new societies and sports clubs. I also studied a part-time French language course in the University of Greenwich one evening a week as I hoped to undertake my Pharmacy research project in my final year in France through the Erasmus program which the school offers. (Patrick fulfilled his student exchange ambitions in Estonia, as he describes here).
Medway also has its own society unique to Pharmacy students, Medway Pharmacy Students’ Association. For one year I was the vice president of the MPSA which was a great privilege. I would say they were by far the most proactive and intuitive society on campus but then again I could have been slightly biased!
Overall Medway School of Pharmacy is a great place to study and to start your pharmacy career. The lecturers are extremely approachable and are always available to answer any questions be it course related or otherwise as most operate an open door policy. There is a great sense of community between students and staff alike with a highly personalised approach right down from the head of the school to the administrative and technical staff; no problem is ever too big or too small.
Health visitor and mum Patricia Stewart completed the Postgraduate Certificate in Supplementary Prescribing and Extended Independent Prescribing courses to enable her to treat a range of conditions especially dermatological treatments for children.
'I enjoy distance learning because I can set the pace and achieve a balance between work, study and family commitments.
The course materials were very user friendly and set at a manageable and appropriate level. The tutors were very friendly and helpful both personally and by email.
I did not look forward to the OSCE but it went well despite my anxiety. Undoubtedly the course has opened up my mind to expanding my professional role and given me the confidence to develop services within my area of practice.'
MPharm graduate, Hetal Dattani from Birmingham.
Before embarking upon a degree in pharmacy, I wanted to be aware of what I’d be potentially getting myself into for the rest of my life. Although my sister is a pharmacist, I didn’t really know what a typical day as a pharmacist was like, so I decided to spend a few days at work with her. It was a busy time, however I had enjoyed the aspect I had spent being directly involved in patient care and counselling. I had then confirmed that this was something I wanted to pursue as a career.
The main advantage of the course is that it is very much up to date. The school aims to provide a learning experience that is as close to the reality as possible, from practice based learning to hospital set environments for clinical sessions. The modules that are set are considerably in sync with the career, which no doubt contributed a great deal in helping me become a competent pharmacist.
Being a newer school, students are encouraged to be active in the development of the course and feel more involved with the school as a whole. The academic staff are approachable and offer their support throughout. They take every opportunity to enhance and encourage not only the students’ academic progression, but their professional development too.
Being a representative of the BPSA as well as an executive member of the Medway Pharmacy Student Association allowed me to contribute new ideas to the school as well as bring the school up to date with the happenings of pharmacy outside of Medway. It also allowed me to widen student participation in BPSA activities where they can interact with other pharmacy students, pharmacists and pre-registration students to exchange, explore and learn from each other’s experiences. It opens up great prospects for your future career and getting involved with Pharmacy on a European and International level.
There’s plenty going on for nightlife, with London only 45 minutes away and Maidstone only 20 minutes away you’re bound to find something to suit your taste! Living on campus benefited my time management between working for the University of Greenwich as a Student Ambassador, studying and social life. It was also great fun to blend with students from other backgrounds and faculties.
Studying at Medway School of Pharmacy was not a decision that I’ve regretted and due to its clinical nature it has provided me with a reputable foundation to build my profession on.
Shayma Acharya, graduate MPharm student from Canada.
There are so many reasons why my time at the Medway School of Pharmacy was so amazing, it’s hard for me to elucidate them all.
As a Canadian student, I had previously been enrolled at a 30 000 person university, pursuing my undergraduate degree in Life Sciences. Coming from a place where I was used to being known by my student number, I was both shocked and thrilled by what I encountered at The Medway School of Pharmacy. The teachers were as qualified as they were approachable; a concept I had yet to experience. I was genuinely amazed to see professors in every workshop, lecture and lab we had, happily instructing and helping out students as needed.
I came to further understand just how innovative The Medway School of Pharmacy is – the relationship between the staff and students at the school of pharmacy encourages students to be proactive in their learning rather than passive recipients of knowledge. While lectures provide background information, workshops are a reciprocal endeavour where students discuss matters between themselves and the teachers and engage in learning activities.
Furthermore, the integration of hospital and community placements into the curriculum helped me apply the clinical knowledge the school so amply provides and understand its importance – it took the lecture material out of obscurity and into real-life skills for the workplace. In my experience, pharmacists have been consistently impressed with the knowledge base our students carry!
Aside from the academic benefits, I also had a great time taking advantage of extra-curricular opportunities on the multi-university campus. I was the Entertainment/music editor for the campus newspaper, and had jobs as a student ambassador and as an IT assistant at the library.
Within the school, I sat on the Staff-Student committee for two years, and was the president of the Medway Pharmacy Student Association, a unique, student-run society that enriches the social life of students on campus.
In terms of my social life, the four years I spent at Medway were a blast. There were so many different kinds of people on our course – all age groups, races, you name it! I was also pleased to find that I was one of many international students.
I also enjoyed the close proximity to London – I had some of the most memorable nights of my life taking in the sights and sounds of London nightlife. Being an international student, I wasn’t able to resist the temptation of travel and was lucky enough to go to France, Spain, Morocco, Greece, and Italy. Traveling is definitely something overseas students should try and take advantage of!
Mostly though, I headed to the campus pub where there was an event nearly every night or one of the many clubs around Medway – there was never a shortage of things to do!
In my fourth year I went to Lille, France, to undertake my research project. The school was great in coordinating my exchange and it was another great experience added to my long list at Medway.
All in all, I would say it was definitely a risk coming overseas to a new country and a new school, but I can honestly say my life has been nothing but richer for it.
Anthony Samson (MPharm graduate 2008)
During my time at Medway School of Pharmacy I felt really supported by all of the academic team. They took time to make me feel welcome and to maximise my learning. My fellow students were an interesting and diverse group of people and made the learning and life experience that much more valuable.
The MPharm programme was at times challenging but a very enjoyable experience, and university life was brilliant. I made some very strong bonds with teachers, staff and fellow students. Since graduating in 2008 I completed my pre-registration year with Tesco, where I linked up with an excellent tutor. The whole pre-registration experience allowed me to take my skills and use them to their full potential while fulfilling the requirements of the professional body. At the end of the year I successfully passed the registration exam and also won the Tesco pre-registration student of the year award. As a result of this, I made some good friends, both at the Tesco store at Sheerness, where I continue to work, and with the senior pharmacy team at the Tesco head office.
My work as a pharmacist is very varied and challenging, but it remains a highly rewarding career which encourages continuous self-development. I would like to thank everyone at Medway School of Pharmacy and Tesco for their hard work that helped me to become the competent pharmacist I am today.