By Dayang Usop, PharmPress Summer Intern & incoming finalist at UCL School of Pharmacy
Call me dramatic, but I can still remember the day I received my much anticipated blue RPS membership card in the mail. I was a fresh-faced first-year Pharmacy student, trying my best to not get overwhelmed with everything the country, university and future profession has to offer. Having traversed 6000 miles away from everything I am familiar with to the UK for my degree, I was adamant in finding knowledge and opportunities that can set me apart from thousands of other graduates and my free student membership with the RPS have been instrumental in that journey.
Shaping my pharmacy education
One of the first things I used my membership for was to access the digital copy of the Medicines, Ethics and Practice (MEP) book. When I first started out, I had the vaguest idea about pharmacy practice in the UK, therefore having a singular and well-regarded professional guide in my fingertips helped me quickly get up to speed in navigating my pharmacy practice module. Apart from the MEP, I can also access many other valuable publications such as Pharmacy Guides and the Pharmaceutical Journal, treasure troves of learning materials to help me gain a better understanding of diseases and therapeutics and how everything ties in with my practice as a pharmacy professional.
Unique learning and networking opportunities
Furthermore, I am also fortunate enough to be in proximity of the RPS headquarters and major happenings. The highlight of my third year of university was joining the RPS Annual Conference, where I learned about major developments in medicines safety directly from leading experts and had enlightening discourse with experienced and aspiring pharmacists from all over the country. Moreover, I also had the opportunity to join BPSA conferences and participate in local practice forum events, each providing me with one-of-a-kind chance to learn and connect with other pharmacists outside my lecture halls.
All in all, the blue membership card is a mere physical manifestation of all the privileges and value my membership with the RPS has added to my life as a pharmacy student in the UK, and hopefully, throughout my future career as a pharmacist. I strongly urge all pharmacy students to get onboard and register as a student member, make the most out of the resources and participate in the events if you haven’t already.