June 29, 2020, by khazsyn
Alumni Testimonial: Sue Wen Leo (2012)
On the 11 March 2020, World Health Organisation declared the outbreak of Covid-19 a pandemic. What followed on the next three months are a whirlwind of challenges on infection control measures, management of personal protective equipment and most importantly, treatment of patients coming to the hospital door.
As a Senior Antimicrobial Pharmacist, I have been involved in pre-screening suitability of treatment arms for patients who are enrolled into Covid-19 clinical trials. In addition to applying clinical knowledge, the decision-making process requires careful considerations on ethical ground and wider socio-economy impact. This is when I recalled the healthcare law and ethics lectures delivered by Professor Joy Wingfield back in my undergraduate days, and eight years later, how these principles have helped me to consider different perspectives when managing patients during this pandemic.
Our career starts in the university, long before we are aware of it.
In summer 2011, I attended a pharmacy career and placement fair organised by University of Nottingham and landed myself a one-week hospital placement. Little did I knew that this fair has connected me with my employer for the first eight years of my Pharmacy career. Today, I am passionate about solving problems within the healthcare setting, specifically in treatment access and health economics, and empowering pharmacists to integrate skill sets beyond the border.
Whilst the pandemic has presented challenges to higher education sectors on how content should and could be delivered moving forward, there are endless possibilities for MPharm students to make the most out of it. Many alumni have benefited from the UoN’s MPharm in different ways, be it the unique 2+2 course structure or the quality of education, every MPharm student has a blank canvas to paint their paths.
In contrary to common beliefs, Pharmacy offers more opportunities than the four commonly known options.
MPharm undergraduates often limit their career options to hospital, community, pharmaceutical industry, and academia. Whilst these are considered the common pathways and good starting points, we should be aware that the Pharmacy industry is changing quickly over the years and the skills you acquire in any of these settings will lead you to the next setting. Using hospital pharmacy as an example, a pharmacist’s role is not limited to direct patient care, but there are vast opportunities in IT development, budget management, training and education, as well as service development. All these aspects will lead to better outcomes for patients and the public, but they are not necessarily delivered in the conventional ‘bed-side’ methods.
If you are exploring your career prospects after the MPharm, it is often useful to align your goal with a purpose, so that you will add values to your chosen setting. Keep exploring along the way because you will find new perspectives and opportunities.
The industry does not define us, but we shape the industry.
Connect with me on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sue-wen-leo/