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A few questions based on your job

From Miss S. Ganatra, MRPharmS

Does Farah Zaidi (PJ, 13 August, p193) realise that many of the questions posed in the “outdated, unrealistic and irrelevant” registration examination apply to the day-to-day practice of a pharmacist?

Does she realise that any pharmacy graduate who cannot perform simple pharmaceutical calculations should perhaps consider how they will do their job?

I do not mean to suggest that the registration examination is essential to the practising pharmacist, nor that it is well set out. Nor do I wish to condemn those who regretfully have failed it. But having read the debate in The Journal over recent weeks with increasing interest, I feel I must express my confusion over the issue.

I passed the examination three years ago, and I am wondering if it has changed so much that it is suddenly such a contentious issue. I found my university examinations far more challenging — perhaps other practising pharmacists today can say the same? From a community pharmacist’s point of view the questions are tricky, but anyone who has worked as a pharmacist or preregistration trainee should be able to answer them.

I also challenge Ms Zaidi’s comment about those “whose lives have been devastated” and “whose hard-earned degrees have been rendered useless”. Would she, then, want to register every student who had spent four years working for a degree only to fail their final examination? The registration examination is simply another chance to prove your knowledge. It consists of information that we already know. It is nerve-wracking, yes, and takes a lot of preparation. But, then, the same would apply to any examination throughout our five years’ training.

Perhaps the registration examination is unnecessary, and does not successfully weed out those who cannot and should not be allowed to practise. I would hardly call myself a model pharmacist and I constantly find gaps in my own knowledge. But, honestly, would you be happy employing someone as a pharmacist in your store, who cannot answer a few questions based on their job?

Sonal Ganatra
Chel Pharmacy
London W1

Citation: Electronicjuice URI: 10020415

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