Most people see science as something that is done locked away in the ivory tower of the laboratory, but for pharmacists, science couldn’t be more practical, everyday and public facing. This is what attracts me to the field of pharmacy; seeing the tangible benefits of my work, helping my community and protecting the health of those around me. I love science, but I also love working with people, and a career as a professional pharmacist would allow me to do both.
The importance of pharmacy cannot be overestimated. It is no exaggeration to state that Louis Pasteur, with his ground-breaking work on what causes infection led to knowledge that has saved millions of lives. Yet sadly the advances made by scientists who developed antibiotics in the 1940s and 1950s are being eroded by the excessive and casual prescribing of these drugs, resulting in the rise of so called super bugs such as MRSA. I believe that the challenges facing the field of pharmacy in the coming years will be as great as those at the end of the 19th century, and I want to play my part in tackling those challenges.
I have always has an interest and an aptitude for science at school, both in formal lessons and in extra curricular activities. I was chairman of the school science club in my lower sixth year and organised trips to the world class Unilever research and development facility at Port Sunlight, the petrochemical labs at Ellesmere Port and the Bristol Myers Squibb medical research centre in Moreton. This summer I was proud to be selected for the Nuffield Science Bursary Scheme run by Bristol Myers Squibb, which allowed A-level students to undertake science projects at this industry-leading facility during the summer holidays.
I believe in taking science out of the lab and making it relevant to real people in their everyday lives. To gain some experience I have volunteered in a large local nursing home, spending time with the residents explaining how their drugs work and why they are taking them. This has involved researching the various drugs and their actions and finding ways to explain this in simple terms to elderly people. The home has told me that the residents are now less resistant to taking their drugs and feel better about the treatments they are on.
I have also been fortunate in securing a Saturday job at the local Sainsbury’s supermarket, where I have put in regular and reliable shifts over the past twelve months. Here I made a point of befriending the in-store pharmacist, who has become my mentor in pursuing my career goal. Although I do not work in this section, he has kindly allowed me to spend time with him, outside of my working hours, to see for myself the work that he does and the crucial role that he plays in the treatment chain between GP and patient.
I believe that I have the skills and understanding, interests and application required to make a good candidate for a pharmacy course at university. I look forward to playing my part in protecting and enhancing the health and wellbeing of my community.