From student champion to Scottish Pharmacy Board Member
I initially engaged with RPS during my undergraduate degree, working as a student champion. I was lucky enough to spend a summer placement with the team in the then office at Holyrood Park House. Little did I know that less than 5 years later I would be elected to the Scottish Pharmacy Board. Looking back there have been multiple opportunities, mentors and leaders who have encouraged me along the way. Being associated with the RPS has opened numerous opportunities for me which would have otherwise been missed. I always advise pharmacists and trainees to grab opportunities when they come along and to network, broaden their profile, understand others’ roles and appreciate the importance of professional belonging.
My Journey with RPS' Advisory Group
I was lucky enough to be the first Scottish member of the RPS’ Early Career Pharmacist Advisory Group, which delivered upon an unmet need for the professional body to have an expert advisory group consisting of early-career individuals. With many proposed changes to the initial education and training of pharmacists, it was paramount that the voices of early careers pharmacists were strong and clear.
The opportunity encouraged me to step up and speak up on controversial topics. It also gave me invaluable development sitting on a governed group and becoming familiar with the processes and etiquette of formal meetings. It enabled me to learn together with peers, network and create professional contacts which have not only benefitted me but also my service to the patients we care for. These are skills I have been able to apply to my current role and which have prepared me to sit on the Scottish Pharmacy Board. I now strongly encourage all early career colleagues to observe a meeting and consider applying to ensure their voices and the voice of other colleagues are heard.
Inspiration from other early career pharmacists and the future of pharmacy
I was lucky enough to become involved with the Early Careers Pharmacy Group on a recommendation of a member who was familiar with my work. This was my first formal involvement with the RPS and it was absolutely fantastic to meet a group of such inspiring early careers pharmacists who were all so enthusiastic about the future of our profession.
Through this group, I was able to be involved in a range of opportunities that I would not have experienced otherwise, including sitting on a panel for the Wolfson economic prize in 2021 which centred on the design of the hospital of the future. I was able to bring my voice as a healthcare worker and pharmacist, advocating for what is needed to ensure better services for both us and our patients.
My Journey from ECPAG to the English Pharmacy Board
Being involved in the board meetings of the ECPAG gave me the confidence to run for the English Pharmacy Board, for which I was elected in 2022.
Now not only have I been able to bring my voice into the future of pharmacy discussions, but I have also gained invaluable insight and knowledge from the other, more experienced board members. Together we have brought a range of viewpoints to the most pressing pharmacy discussions of today and I feel very privileged to be a voice in these.
I would not have been able to accomplish any of this without my involvement in the Early Careers Advisory Group and I would highly recommend any early careers pharmacists to get involved.
Learn more about our Early Careers Advisory Group.
Read more RPS blogs.