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Pathway to Becoming a Hospital Pharmacist from an IMU Bachelor of Pharmacy (Hons) Programme

02 Aug 2022

I am Amanda Tan Yee Mun from BP117, and I am currently a Provisionally Registered Pharmacist (PRP) at Sunway Medical Centre. During this programme, I have rotated between a few pharmacy departments which includes the inpatient pharmacy, outpatient pharmacy, oncology pharmacy, clinical pharmacy as well as the pharmacy store.


As a PRP, I am responsible to screen prescriptions, prepare medications (also includes making syrups for paediatric patients who cannot swallow tablets) as well as dispense medications to patients. On top of that, my role also requires me to provide medication-related information to patients, doctors and nurses to ensure safe and effective use of medication.


Looking back, I decided to pursue the pharmacy degree in IMU because IMU is an established private medical university that solely provides healthcare-focused education, which gave me confidence that IMU is well-equipped with the necessary resources and facilities. With that, I believed that IMU will equip me with the knowledge and skills that I need to become a competent pharmacist.

After working in a fast-paced environment for 6 months, I noticed that the pharmacy programme structure at IMU was designed in a way to allow us students to gain the essential knowledge and skills needed to be a future pharmacist. In Semesters 4 and 8 of the pharmacy programme, we had Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) sessions where we were expected to answer clinical questions related to medication, device and lifestyle modification counselling to patients.

During the OSCE sessions, we were only given a short period of time to think and come up with our answers. OSCE sessions has definitely trained me to think on my feet and come up with a structured and composed answer in a short period of time. With the ongoing pandemic, there has been a surge of patients at the hospital, and this requires me to work effectively and efficiently, in which IMU has trained me for.


During the 4-year pharmacy programme at IMU, we had the opportunity to learn and be exposed to the various career paths as a pharmacist, such as a hospital pharmacist, retail pharmacist, R&D pharmacist as well as a corporate pharmacist through the various modules. On top of that, IMU would invite their alumni from different industries to give us a talk on their journey and experience in their respective industries which allowed me to understand how the clinical knowledge that I have learned in the modules is applied in each pharmacy industry.


Other than the curriculum, IMU offers various extra-curricular activities which enable us to meet people from different courses. I had the opportunity to be in the TEDxIMU and cheerleading team where I met so many other talented individuals who were studying other courses such as Medicine, Chinese Medicine, Chiropractic, Dentistry, and others. Being able to meet various individuals studying different healthcare courses allows me to learn about their respective courses and have discussions on various healthcare topics. This enables me to stay updated on different healthcare trends and promotes lifelong learning which is vital for me as a pharmacist.

In Semester 7, my best friend and I (in the photo above) won 2nd place in an innovative healthcare challenge, the ‘Big I’ competition by the Malaysian Innovative Healthcare Symposium (MIHS). It was an inter-university competition and there were approximately 30 teams from various public and private universities which participated. We came up with Forget Me Not, an all-in-one e-health platform which aims to improve the overall wellbeing and sexual health of females in Malaysia by providing features essential to maintain/improve the sexual health and  wellbeing of women. Through this app, we aim to break the stigma of women’s sexual health and to provide a safe space for women to learn about and improve their sexual health.

After completing my Bachelor of Pharmacy (Hons) degree last year, I decided to join a 2-week University Leadership Development Programme by Axiata for young Malaysian undergraduates studying locally or abroad that provides its participants the opportunity to learn critical skills and knowledge required of a future CEO. The programme is well known for its competitiveness where only about 70 out of 2000 applicants get to be chosen each year. With that being said, I’d have to be in the top 3% who’d make it through their 3-tier assessments and interview to get into this prestigious programme. Fast forward to 2 weeks later, I made it through the very challenging yet exciting 2-week programme and managed to receive the top leadership award while being one of the finalists in the CEO Challenge despite coming from a non-business background.


The BPharm (Hons) curriculum was designed in a way which encourages evidence-based practice and lifelong learning as it is crucial for healthcare professionals to stay updated on current health trends. During the 4-year programme, we were encouraged to practice self-directed learning in most of our modules as a part of our curriculum. This has trained me to always stay on top of current health trends and to practice life-long learning.


With that being said, the BPharm (Hons) Programme has definitely provided me with a solid foundation at the start of my career as a Hospital Pharmacist and I highly recommended this programme at IMU for all those who are aspiring to serve the community as a pharmacist.


Related article: IMU Pharmacy Team is 1st Runner-up of Big ‘I’ Competition 2020

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