March 8, 2022, by Mei Kee Lee

Alumni Testimonial – Melody Kan (2011)

Melody Kan (MPharm 2+2 class of 2011) is currently working as a clinical pharmacist across 2 general practitioner (GP) practices running diabetes and hypertension clinics in the UK. She was one of the invited speakers for School of Pharmacy x Alumni and Donor Relations Office “Women in Healthcare” Webinar in Nov 2021.


What inspired you to choose your current career?

I have always been passionate in medicine and chemistry. I wanted a career with a healthy work life balance and pharmacy seemed like the best of both worlds!

What are the most challenging aspects of your career?

Finding my feet as a newly qualified pharmacist and every time I moved to a different hospital. Textbooks and exams do not prepare you enough for the real world. I felt like a fish out of water during my first few months as a pre-registration pharmacist and again as a newly qualified pharmacist in a different hospital. But I had very supportive and encouraging colleagues & mentors who helped me become the pharmacist I am today.

What are the most rewarding aspects of your career?

Seeing patients getting better under my care, building good rapport/relationships with patients and gaining their trust. Majority of patients are amazing at showing their gratitude.

What was your first job after you graduated from University of Nottingham?

Pre-registration pharmacist at Boston Pilgrim Hospital for 1 year and then I moved to Yeovil District Hospital after I qualified

How did it lead you to your current career?

I have always been interested in hospital work and clinical pharmacy. After 8 years of working in hospital pharmacy and rotating across multiple specialties, I wanted to try something different. I dabbled in the world of primary care by taking a 1 year secondment to run a Diabetes Treatment Target project across 86 GP practices in Bristol, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset. Through this experience I was fascinated at how much more a clinical pharmacist can contribute in primary care! It was then I knew that my next challenge was to venture into GP practice – I wanted to run my own diabetes clinic, make good use of my prescribing skills and have full autonomy of my work.

How would you describe your journey from your first job to your current career?

Exhilarating! I often look back and see how much I have grown from a clueless junior pharmacist to a diabetes specialist independent prescriber. The challenges and learning opportunities that have helped me gain the confidence and knowledge I now possess is invaluable.

Did you have to take any additional examinations or training to get to where you are in your current career?

Yes. I completed the:

  • Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip) in clinical pharmacy with University of Bath
  • Independent Prescribing course with University of Bath
  • Physical Assessment & Clinical Reasoning (PACR) with University of West England
  • Currently about to start another masters in advanced clinical practice also with University of West England

What are your career plans for the future?

My next challenge is to complete a Master’s Degree in advanced clinical practice to become an Advanced Practitioner. Continue to learn and develop my skills as a diabetes specialist, there’s always more to learn! Promote clinical pharmacy in GP practice as it is a relatively new role, it is sometimes less well understood.

How did your degree at University of Nottingham help you in your career?

Having never lived in the UK prior to my Master’s degree, the university/school of pharmacy has definitely provided significant help at introducing me to the healthcare system in the UK as well as advising suitable summer placement at both community and hospital settings, helping me to find my interest and career choice.

What made you choose to pursue your degree at University of Nottingham?

University of Nottingham (UoN) School of Pharmacy is well known for its high quality education and they are in the top ranking in the UK and in the world. It was a bonus having the opportunity to complete my Masters as a 2+2 programme! Both campuses (Malaysia and UK) are so beautiful and I have met so many talented and amazing people along the way.

What was your degree life like? May we have a recount of your fondest memory of it?

Going to UoN was when my life began! The camaraderie, the new adventures (I was given so many opportunities to try new things), meeting so many bright and interesting people – all these experiences have broadened my mind and gave me a taste of independence. I joined the university orchestra as a second violinist and performed at the Albert Hall in Nottingham. I also discovered salsa dancing through the Latin, ballroom & salsa society and I have not stopped dancing salsa since!

What do you miss the most about University of Nottingham? Do you have any advice for students who wish to follow a similar career path?

I miss being on campus a lot! The community that we built as fresh faced enthusiastic individuals were so memorable and valuable.

My advice is to take every opportunity to try something new! Meet new people, get out of your comfort zone! You won’t regret it I promise!

Posted in AlumniMPharm