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Being a Foundation Trainee Pharmacist

PDA Representative, Anjuli Bali shares her experience of the Foundation Training Year and beginning working in hospital pharmacy. She also speaks about the impact that the PDA has had on her time at university.

Thu 28th September 2023 The PDA

My experience of the Foundation Training Year was definitely one to remember. I remember being so anxious to not only move away from home but to then start a new job in a hospital after having two years of online university! However, the staff here at my trust were very welcoming and I was lucky to have such a good support system of fellow foundation pharmacists. This helped to remind me we are all in this together.

Having partaken in the Foundation Training Year, it has cemented my love of pharmacy. I know now for sure that hospital pharmacy is definitely my niche. I have had the opportunity to sit in on surgeries, and work on speciality wards such as neurology, cardiology, oncology and paediatrics.

The exam was definitely not an exam to take lightly, but I would strongly recommend joining WhatsApp group chats and practicing mock papers. Having peers sitting the same exam is definitely something to use to your advantage as I had always worked best in a group setting. I’d also advise you to not get overwhelmed with the workload; you would be surprised by how much you have actually learnt on the job. It all comes down to just pacing your revision, because you still want to enjoy the Foundation Training Year for what it is – and I am thankful to say that I have.

I have been a PDA Representative since I was in my first year of university and I have never looked back. The friends I made at the PDA conferences have been lifelong ones – we were even studying together for this exam! So for this I am grateful for the PDA. The PDA has also been extremely helpful in terms of providing emotional support and guiding me in the right direction to help structure my Foundation Training Year in a way which promotes my education and helps me to become a better, well-rounded pharmacist.

I have been able to apply to my dream hospitals ranging from London to Manchester and have been successful in every interview. This comes after me having to do a Foundation Training Year as I never got into pharmacy initially. Don’t give up!

By Anjuli Bali, PDA member and Representative

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