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Podcast: How to have a portfolio career in pharmacy

From paediatric specialist hospital pharmacist to lecturer to podcaster - with a spell at pharmacy services for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix thrown in - multihyphenate pharmacy professional Anisha Patel discusses her unconventional path through pharmacy in this week’s ‘A Coffee With…’ podcast

Encouraged by her father, who owned a community pharmacy, Anisha Patel chose a career path in pharmacy because of the flexibility and diversity of opportunity it offered. Little did she know quite how diverse her career would turn out to be.

Having qualified as a pharmacist, Ms Patel decided on hospital pharmacy – more interested in the specialist clinical side of the profession than the leadership journey that entering community pharmacy would offer.

In 2013, she moved to the middle east and began working as a sole pharmacist with the emergency services in Abu Dhabi. “When I speak about it, its completely crazy because you’re going so far out of your comfort zone. But when I look back at that part of my life, it was the most incredible learning experience that I’ve had to date,” she tells C+D.


Not long after Ms Patel started her role in Abu Dhabi, the company was awarded the contract for providing all emergency services for the country’s Grand Prix. “We had to set up a pharmacy, a medical centre, we were hiring international medical consultants, GPs and physiotherapists for the drivers and the general public in case of emergencies or incidents on the track. All of that responsibility fell on to me,” she recalls.

“It was a massive learning curve because I went from a very early career, brand new band six pharmacist who was used to a hospital environment to suddenly being a woman in a leadership position which I would have never ever even dreamed of in my entire career,” Ms Patel tells C+D.


The Pharmacist Diaries


Having moved back to the UK and started a role as a senior clinical lecturer at King's College London, Ms Patel took a bold and unconventional step into entrepreneurship by creating the Pharmacist Diaries podcast.

The podcast has swiftly become a learning resource for pharmacy careers featuring diverse pharmacists sharing their unique stories. Over the past four years, it has become a testament to the diverse opportunities within the evolving landscape of pharmacy and thrown Ms Patel into an entrepreneurial role she had not imagined at the start of her career.

Read more: 'From job highs to personal lows – how my experiences have shaped my varied pharmacy career'

The podcast has been inspired by Ms Patel’s MPharm students. She recognised the fundamental nature of life skills for her students, not just textbook learning, and has brought in pharmacists onto the podcast to talk about their lives and careers.

“I’m genuinely passionate about understanding more about what you want out of life,” she tells C+D.

“What are your passions? What do you enjoy? What are you good at? What are you not so good at that you need to focus on? I’m raising that awareness with my MPharm students – they need to think about these things. They are really important to learn about so that when you walk into an NHS organisation as an employee you’ve got those tools so you do not go to the phase of burnout and stress and leaving a pharmacy career that you’ve worked so hard for, for the wrong reasons,” she says.

Listen to the podcast to learn about:

  • The challenges and opportunities working in an international pharmacy environment

  • How to move outside your career comfort zone

  • The joys of teaching the next generation of pharmacy students 


You can listen to the podcast above. Alternatively, follow C+D’s podcasts by searching “Chemist+Druggist podcast” on your preferred app or on Soundcloud.


Join C+D's Women in Pharmacy group for free by registering for free on the C+D Community



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