Simon Hii Lu Yong, an IMU alumnus from its 3-year pharmaceutical chemistry programme, was accepted into the Master of Pharmacy programme in University of Sydney, Australia (UNSY) in July 2013. Simon received credit exemptions from the University and this enables him to complete the programme in one and a half years instead of two years. Simon is currently doing well in his studies in University of Sydney scoring distinctions in the subjects taken. Here, he relates his experience studying the Master of Pharmacy programme in University of Sydney, Australia. “I am really glad that I decided to study the Master of Pharmacy programme at UNSY. I decided on this because I feel that my previous jobs in lab was not suitable for my personality. My experience studying Master of Pharmacy in UNSY was awesome and had met a lot of amazing people over here. The people here are nice and friendly. This course is good choice for a person who wants to further their studies or if they are unhappy in their current job. It is a very challenging programme yet enjoyable at the same time. Moreover, the facilities, services and studies environment provided are good and adequate enough for students. What I like about this programme is they do not just focus on academic results but also on how to build up your pharmacy skills such as communication, which is the most important.” Clinical placements are an important component of this programme. “This is part of the programme that I enjoyed very much. From the clinical placements, I have a clearer perception on the role of a pharmacist in the community and hospital. They train us on dispensing, counselling and communicating with patients. Besides that, we will be tested on our knowledge on medicines which is needed to provide counselling to patients. Most importantly is that the knowledge of where to look up for the information of a particular medicine. Not just for behind the counter medicines but also over the counter (OTC) drugs. Apart from that, we also learn how to manage a pharmacy, work as a team with our colleagues and employer, attend to customer’s concerns, medications review and so on.” “UNSY have a lot more resources for the students in terms of reading materials, facilities, libraries, subscribed online reading materials such as research, review and clinical articles and book. I can even study at home and the lectures are recorded so I can hear it over and over again. The University has a lot of space, lots activities and seminars and services to help students in their studies and future careers. All these really help a lot in building you up to become a very knowledgeable person.” “The most memorable moment in UNSY is the period when I am studying, playing and hanging out with my Sydney friends. Sydney is such a beautiful city and have a lot of entertainment and great foods. We also help each other in studying and so on.” “Studying the pharmaceutical chemistry degree certainly helped me at some points in my Master of Pharmacy programme. I had the advantage of easily understanding some of the subjects especially pharmaceutics and pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic. Most of the other subjects, I really need to study very hard and be good in pharmacology. The industry training during the pharmaceutical chemistry degree also helps in giving me an idea of what a pharmacist normally do in the industry and their daily routine at work. Basically, it is more on quality control and quality assurance of medicines before releasing a particular batch.” Simon’s plan for the future is to become a very competent and knowledgeable pharmacist so that one day he can own a pharmacy in Sydney. He hopes that eventually his degree is accepted and recognised by Malaysia Pharmacy Board as currently, graduates of this Master of Pharmacy programme can only register for practice as a pharmacist in Australia and Singapore.
IMU’s BSc (Hons) Pharmaceutical Chemistry graduates who meets the criteria, will be given credit exemption for certain modules of the Master of Pharmacy programme at the University of Sydney.