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Most of the students in my year have been spending the past couple of months applying and securing their pre-reg placements. What struck me as strange was that many of them who showed little interest in hospital pharmacy in the past, applied and accepted places to do their pre-reg in hospital. In fact, I think many students have applied to hospital pharmacy in preference to community.
This could be because of community pharmacy having a lot of bad press at the moment due to self-selection of P medicines causing a lot of complaints and negativity. Including fears that large chains and supermarket pharmacies are ruling how community pharmacy is run.
Speaking to some students; they said that they were put off community pharmacy whilst spending their summers doing placements with them, particularly large chain pharmacies. They expressed how disappointed they were when told they had to meet certain sales targets in order to be sure of a pre-reg place. To me this seems completely wrong because students do the pharmacy degree with aspirations of improving public health, not to make sure that companies can meet their daily quotas.
Other students seemed to apply for hospital because they realised they could improve their clinical knowledge and use more of what they have learned at university. And finally, some students seemed to apply for hospital purely for prestige. Hospital pharmacy has less places than community and maybe being offered a place would be a well-deserved ego boost. But then does this mean the rest of the students who didn't get a hospital place are then 'stuck' with community? It probably won't help the situation if community pharmacy is alienating students and then being filled with those who don't really want to be there.