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Will the pre-registration year be different post-pandemic?

C+D spoke to Regan McCahill, president of the British Pharmaceutical Students’ Association, on how COVID-19 has affected pre-reg students


In C+D’s latest podcast, clinical editor Naimah Callachand speaks to Regan McCahill – pre-registration pharmacist and president of the British Pharmaceutical Students’ Association (BPSA). Ms McCahill, who obtained her pharmacy degree from Durham/Newcastle University, is completing her pre-registration year spilt over six months with the Northumbria Trust and six months in a GP practice.

Ms McCahill discussed the what the postponement of the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) registration exam has meant for pre-registration students. Pre-registration pharmacists, pre-reg tutors and students can find the latest COVID-19 updates and support on both the BPSA website and GPhC website.

In this unsettling time, a statement from Mark Voce, Director of Education and Standards at the GPhC, said: “It's an anxious time coming up to the pre-registration assessment, and we [the GPhC] are aware this has been exacerbated by the current situation. We have tried to work collaboratively with other bodies to have a more direct and pastoral role, giving pre-registration students advice and support during this time."

You can listen to the podcast below. Alternatively, subscribe to C+D's podcasts on iTunes or by searching “Chemist+Druggist podcast” on your preferred Android podcast app.

Please note, the sound quality of this podcast may be affected as it has been recorded remotely during the COVID-19 outbreak.

To keep up with the latest updates for community pharmacy visit our COVID-19 hub.


Soon-To-Be Ex-Pharmacist, Superintendent Pharmacist

If students can't cope with a bit of virus-induced chaos, I ain't so sure they are cut out for a career in pharmacy! Not that they'll have one for long the way things are going.

R A, Community pharmacist

Realistically speaking the UK health sector faces potential failure like in Spain and Greece. UK economy will collapse thanks to the splendid idea of furlough and social distancing and missmanagement by the UK goverment. 

Therefore if I was a fourth year pharmacy student I would take a very sober look at my future. Perhaps do the Pre-reg to get some cash and formal experience but do consider whether you want to be working in a sector let down not only by the goverment but senior managers and regulating bodies.

Soon-To-Be Ex-Pharmacist, Superintendent Pharmacist

Yep - sounds like my sort of plan. You can get some excellent experience and transferrable skills in pharmacy. Wish I'd twigged that years ago.

I do think, though, and I'm no government apologist, that there is no way they could have won in this situation. Damned if they do and damned if they don't kind of sums it up for me.

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