Pharmacy as a career for women holds a lot of promise. The profession is an ancient one, closely linked with other branches of healthcare, and is now recognised as a science and biomedical discipline in its own right.
A vast number of job opportunities exist for pharmacists and other pharmaceutical professionals in India, and this trend is only estimated to keep growing over time.
How To Become A Pharmacist
Currently, three major routes exist to become a trained pharmacist:
• Bachelor of Pharmacy (B.Pharm) – an undergraduate four-year degree;
• Master of Pharmacy (M.Pharm) – a two-year postgraduate degree; and,
• Diploma of Pharmacy (D.Pharm/Dip.Pharm) – a two-year postgraduate diploma.
The eligibility for a B.Pharm and D.Pharm course is usually a 10+2 pass in Physics, Chemistry, Biology/Mathematics.
An M.Pharm degree usually requires a B.Pharm or a related allied medical sciences undergraduate degree, and leads an applicant to various postgraduate themes.
The highest educational level in the field is a PhD in Pharmacy for those interested in avenues of specific pharmaceutical research.
The main modes of entry into pharmacy courses are the AIEEE and state-wise entrance exams (for undergraduate degrees) and GATE (for master’s and doctoral degrees).
Registration with your state’s Pharmacy Council after your degree or diploma is mandatory in order to practice professionally. Registration may involve an additional examination and membership fees.
Diplomas & Degrees in Pharmacy:
Here is a concise list of colleges that offer diplomas and degrees in Pharmacy:
• Indian Institute of Pharmacy, Jamshedpur;
• New Delhi College of Pharmacy, New Delhi;
• *Hamdard University, New Delhi;
• College of Pharmaceutical Science, Manipal;
• Trivandrum College of Pharmaceutical Science, Thiruvananthapuram;
• College of Pharmacy, Indore;
• Bombay College of Pharmacy, Mumbai;
• Sri Jayadev College of Pharmaceutical Science, Puri;
• Annamalai University, Tamil Nadu;
• Madras Medical College, Chennai;
• Benares Hindu University, Varanasi;
• Jadavpur University, Kolkata.
Note that this is only an abridged list – there are several more institutes that offer Pharmacy courses in the country.
Job Openings for Licensed Pharmacists:
Job opportunities for licensed pharmacists have, so far, been constant and perpetual. The majority of jobs available exist in the government and public health sector; however, an equally impressive amount of opportunities can be found in the private healthcare sector: hospitals, clinics, healthcare complexes, and more.
Pharmacists can also set up businesses of their own and can run very profitably. A number of Pharmacy graduates and postgraduates opt to enter the realm of research as well, and can find themselves well-placed in universities’ and pharmaceutical companies’ research departments.
A certain number find success as medical representatives as well. As with every other major field, earning a teaching qualification such as NET can allow you the additional option of teaching at universities.
Historically, and up to the mid-20th Century, pharmacists were required to be able to create, mix, and compound medicines, in addition to dispensing them.
This still stands true today in the form of compounder pharmacists in the field of homoeopathy and Ayurveda; but in mainstream medicine, different pharmacists do different things.
Community pharmacists (sometimes called neighbourhood pharmacists) are independent pharmacists whose role is to primarily dispense medicine, and to advise patients on topical healthcare issues. These pharmacists are licensed to dispense over-the-counter (OTC) medication for minor issues which patients need not visit a GP for.
Clinic or Hospital pharmacists work within a hospital or clinic setting, and as part of a multi-disciplinary team with doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers. They can specialise in specific types of pharmaceutical care, such as cardiology, infectious disease, paediatric medicine, or critical care.
Industrial pharmacists work in pharmaceutical companies to research, develop, and test new therapies and medication for the future.
Academic pharmacists combine research and teaching in a university or research institute. They may additionally practice pharmacy independently or with a hospital at the same time.
What Remuneration Can You Expect?
In the public health sector, starting salaries range from Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 15,000 on an average. The private sector offers more, depending on skills and qualifications, in the range of Rs. 18,000 to 20,000.
Financial growth comes easily over time, and displaying a commitment to keeping up-to-date with accreditations, skills, and developments in the field can greatly increase the chances of higher bonuses and increments.
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