AJP chats with pharmacy intern Sam Flood about his exciting new role, following a difficult year looking for an internship
1. What is your current role?
I am currently the pharmacy intern at Capital Chemist Coburg North in Victoria.
I’ve been working there for just over three months.
2. Where did you study pharmacy, and when did you graduate?
I studied a Bachelor of Pharmacy at the University of Tasmania, and graduated in December 2016.
3. How have you found your pharmacy journey so far?
Everything has been great so far! I work in a great pharmacy with excellent, supportive staff which I think can makes a huge difference in an intern year.
Working full time and studying on top of that certainly makes life busy, and learning on the job provides a steep learning curve but it makes for an excellent intern experience.
4. What challenges have you faced along the way?
I graduated a Bachelor of Pharmacy in December 2016 but spent the majority of 2017 looking for an intern position.
I obviously can’t speak for every workplace but there was certainly a trend that whenever a potential employer realised that I used a wheelchair, their interest in having me as an intern would drop dramatically.
I think in a nutshell, the problem was ignorance – very few people would take the 30 seconds it would take to talk to me about how I’m perfectly capable in a workplace, something I had proved by completing all of my university work placements without assistance.
I’ve since been fortunate enough to have now found an internship with Jarrod McMaugh at Capital Chemist Coburg North and I’m glad I’m well into the next step in my career.
Since starting my intern year I’d definitely say studying on top of full-time work and trying to maintain a social life has been a huge challenge, as I’m sure every past intern can appreciate.
It definitely took the first few months to get into a real routine that I was comfortable in and make sure I had a good balance of each aspect of life, but I feel I’m handling everything pretty well now. Though my opinion on that might change around exam time!
5. What are you enjoying most about pharmacy?
Being able to apply everything I learned at university in such a stimulating environment has been really rewarding. It’s one thing learning the theory in a lecture theatre but actually using the information to help people out in the real world has been great.
I’m fortunate to have such a supportive staff at our pharmacy, especially the extremely knowledgeable pharmacists I work with every day. Having experts whose brains I can pick whenever there’s time at the pharmacy has made a huge difference to help me with studying everything I can.
As well as that, being able to see regular patients and build rapport, assisting in optomising their healthcare wherever possible has been great. Being able to see that you can make a difference in someone’s health is extremely rewarding and one of the biggest reasons I wanted to become a pharmacist.