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PJ Online homeThe Pharmaceutical Journal
Vol 273 No 7326 p748
20 November 2004

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· New contract (12)
· Apothecaries
· Overseas members
· Preoperative association
· Boots the Chemists
· Levothyroxine
· Complementary medicine
· Retention fee
· Preregistration exam

Letters to the Editor

Preregistration exam

Calculations paper in undergraduate programme

From Mr P. S. Doherty, MRPharmS

I agree with the majority of comments made in last week’s Broad spectrum (PJ, 13 November, p712). Maybe the registration examination is unfair because candidates sitting the examination have already completed a master’s degree. However, university courses are not fully standardised in their teaching. I obtained a first class honours degree but initially struggled with the calculation section of the examination; others found it easy. Since calculations are key to any area of pharmacy practice, it could be dangerous to allow pharmacists to practise without passing at least the calculations section of the examination. However, this could be addressed by the Royal Electronicjuice developing a compulsory calculation paper as part of the undergraduate programme. If a person failed the examination, they would have opportunities to resit. If they found it impossible to pass they could then be offered an alternative course.

Finally, as regards to the preregistration year, maybe pharmacy should look to other professions, such as nurses, for inspiration. Perhaps a series of competency-based work placements in different sectors of pharmacy built into a five-year degree would help to develop a new breed of pharmacists who would be better prepared to meet the changing and challenging new roles of pharmacists.

Paul Doherty
, Essex

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