by Dilip Joshi FFRPS MRPharmS
Leading-edge practice, doing new and innovative things, pushing boundaries in our profession are all things that many would identify with and have always appealed to me, however, I have to admit I did not start my career with a grand plan to do any of these things.
When I first qualified – more years ago than I care to remember – community pharmacy was very much a ‘Cinderella’ branch of the profession. Industry was seen as glamorous; hospital as clinical and academia as innovative but community pharmacy had a ‘shop-keeper’ image with a focus on supply. Today, I am pleased to say, community pharmacy is at the forefront of the profession having had more developmental change than any other branch. The appeal for me has always been that you are able to directly see the result of your interventions and over time, I have seen the impact on patients, first-hand as a supplementary and independent prescriber, providing clinics within the pharmacy consultation room, performing medicines reviews and achieving excellence in care through collaboration with other healthcare professionals.
I have to say when I was asked if I would consider making a submission for Faculty assessment, I was somewhat reluctant. This was on a number of fronts: I have a dislike of form-filling and paperwork, I am not the best at recording what I had done previously and in spite of being on several interview panels over the years, I had not even drawn up a CV of my own – it all seemed like too much hard work!
With hindsight, I think this was probably one of the best things I did even though it was hard work. The framework is not as difficult as it first seems. As I was advised, the best thing to do is to dive in and make a couple of entries. This worked for me as things fall into place after the initial uncertainty. Working to a deadline helped and recording what I had done over several years is at some level a self-indulgence and strangely, I found it to be mildly therapeutic! It is a celebration but also, again with hindsight, it could be helpful to others that have embarked on their professional journey.
Whilst my association with the Faculty was initially retrospective, I believe most members will benefit from on-going involvement and self-evaluation as well as using the resources the Faculty makes available. It may seem daunting to begin with but engaging with the Faculty can be a rewarding experience through challenge, mentoring and communicating with like-minded colleagues.
I believe the Faculty is also the best way to engage in continuous professional development as it reflects the modern, rapidly evolving profession.