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An award-winning pharmacy student’s commitment to the profession

In order to shine a light on a pharmacy student who has gone above and beyond in his commitment to his studies and the profession, we find out more about PDA member, Jack Murphy and why he was awarded the 2021 Scottish Pharmacy Student Leadership Award.

Sat 9th April 2022 The PDA

The PDA recently caught up with Jack to find out his experience of studying pharmacy and his advice for first-year pharmacy students. Jack also discusses why he chose to study pharmacy and why he was awarded the Pharmacy Student Leadership Award.

The start of my pharmacy journey

A very close family friend introduced the idea of pharmacy to me whilst I was in high school, and I really liked the sound of it. I became interested and ended up getting a job in a local community pharmacy and the rest is history. My close family friend continues to be an inspiration for me!

Hospital pharmacy has always appealed to me and I’m really looking forward to starting in NHS Lanarkshire for my foundation training year. I am really excited to see more of pharmacy, in particular polypharmacy and the use of medicines in the elderly, this is something that really interests me.

I’ve always been interested in education and training and recently whilst on placement in NHS Highland and one voluntary session in NHS Lanarkshire I was exposed to immersive simulation. This was totally new to me and such an amazing experience! I would really like to see more of this in my undergrad and throughout my career along with other members of the multidisciplinary team (MDT) to really increase the amount of Interprofessional Education (IPE). This is something I think pharmacy needs as a profession to move forward.

University life

Moving away for university was a big adjustment for me but it has impacted on my life in such a positive way. I have become so much more confident and have made some amazing friends that have made a wonderful difference in my life. Whilst I have also learned so much academically at university, the social side has really made me grow as a person.

If I was to start my course again, I’d probably get more involved in non-pharmacy, sports societies. They’re a great place to meet people outside of your course and sports are good stress relievers for such a full-on course.

The Scottish Pharmacy Student Leadership Award

I received the Pharmacy Student Leadership Award for my role in leading the Pharmacy Society at Robert Gordan University. Here I have led projects to transform the society by increasing our online engagements through creating an academic series, ‘Pharmacy in Spotlight: LIVE’ as well as my current project to de-stigmatise people who misuse drugs. Recently the PDA came up to one of the Pharmacy Society events which I organised around the language used in the de-stigmatisation of people who use drugs!

Advice for first-year pharmacy students

I would advise first-year pharmacy students to get involved in activities. Whether that’s in a sports club, trying something new or with the Pharmacy Society. It’s a great way to make friends and meet loads of new people, which you’ll need for being at university. First-years should also seek out opportunities to learn, not everything will be handed to you on a plate. If something interests you, ask how you can get involved, the worst they can say is no!

Also, try to enjoy university, it’ll fly by, have a good time, and don’t be so hard on yourself. Before you know you’ll be in fourth year wondering where all the time went. A little bit of extra advice, start referencing early and as you go along when writing essays/lab reports or anything. Trust me it’s a life saver!

I was honoured to be awarded the Pharmacy Student Leadership Award and I am very thankful to all those involved.

Jack Murphy, Pharmacy Student Leadership Award winner and Robert Gordan University student. (Pictured with PDA Scotland’s Head of Policy, Maurice Hickey, and the University of Strathclyde’s Professor Anne Boyter)

The Scottish Pharmacy Awards took place on 24 November 2021. Categories ranged from Student Leadership, and Hospital Pharmacy Team of the Year, to Excellence In delivery Self-care Agenda in Community Pharmacy and The Management of Substance Dependency in the Community award

Each year, the PDA sponsors the Student Leadership Award category in the Northern Irish, Scottish and Welsh Pharmacy Awards.

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