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Old 25-02-2015, 11:03 PM
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Default Pharmacy or Chemical Engineering

I am interested in pharmaceuticals but not sure what to choose?

Anyone can provide me with advice?

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Old 26-02-2015, 12:03 AM
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That's a huge difference in career path. Both are relatively attractive (compared to the other courses around) in terms of career path and stability.

You'll need to consider your passion, if not you may burn out over the long run. Do you like Biology, or, Physics/Chemistry more?

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Old 26-02-2015, 09:17 AM
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There's a huge demand for pharmacist due to the opening of more hospitals/polyclinics here in Singapore. In fact, we are facing a shortage right now. However, that would mean that your career is more or less fixed. I've heard from friends (who are pharmacists) that the competition in hospitals are stiff, as the older generations typically do not budge until retirement age. Good thing is you can do locum, and that's quite a nice and flexible job that offers decent pay. Which you can do on weekends (as a sideline) on top of your job.

Chemical engineering is a good course, but I assume would be harder to study as oppose to Pharmacy. Unless you're good with maths, physics, and some computing of course. Prospect wise I would say Chem Eng is more versatile with more options than Pharma. If your grades are solid, and you've secured internships during your study, you could be working for big O&G companies or in financial industry. But you need FCH plus solid CCA and internships.

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Old 26-02-2015, 10:51 AM
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I believe I am quite good in math and sciences, so im not too worried about the course workload. Both courses are quite difficult.

Im more interested in biology and chemistry but I also like physics. Therefore I think I may enjoy studying pharmacy more but would not mind studying chemical engineering either.

For pharmacy, I would prefer working in hospitals as I believe it would be quite meaningful. However, I have read that job scope for hospital pharmacists in SG are quite limited as they mainly dispense drugs (not too sure on this though). I am worried that I may not get enjoy my job after working for more than 5 years, especially if I am stuck doing the same things which are neither meaningful and challenging for more than 5 years. How do the role of hospital pharmacists change with work experience? Do they have the same jobscope for many years?

And how do people (other allied health professionals and patients) perceived pharmacists?
(I read that pharmacists in SG are not as respected than in other countries. )
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Old 26-02-2015, 11:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by summwater View Post
I believe I am quite good in math and sciences, so im not too worried about the course workload. Both courses are quite difficult.

Im more interested in biology and chemistry but I also like physics. Therefore I think I may enjoy studying pharmacy more but would not mind studying chemical engineering either.

For pharmacy, I would prefer working in hospitals as I believe it would be quite meaningful. However, I have read that job scope for hospital pharmacists in SG are quite limited as they mainly dispense drugs (not too sure on this though). I am worried that I may not get enjoy my job after working for more than 5 years, especially if I am stuck doing the same things which are neither meaningful and challenging for more than 5 years. How do the role of hospital pharmacists change with work experience? Do they have the same jobscope for many years?

And how do people (other allied health professionals and patients) perceived pharmacists?
(I read that pharmacists in SG are not as respected than in other countries. )
Its not how good you think you are, but how good you are RELATIVE to all the other straight A's students. Have you won any math/physics olympiad, or any other competitions that demonstrates your exceptional aptitude in those 2 subjects? If not, you will just be an average student in the cohort.
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Old 26-02-2015, 01:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
Its not how good you think you are, but how good you are RELATIVE to all the other straight A's students. Have you won any math/physics olympiad, or any other competitions that demonstrates your exceptional aptitude in those 2 subjects? If not, you will just be an average student in the cohort.
Grades and difficulty of the course is not a main factor in making the choice. I just want to study something I like and when I graduate, to work as something I enjoy. And doing well in those subjects in JC doesn't mean doing well in university. More importantly is the attitude towards the course and the amount of effort put into the course

I won an award in an olympiad and my ranking was in the top 10 percentile for math and sciences. So I believe im able to cope with the workload for both courses.
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Old 26-02-2015, 02:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by summwater View Post
I believe I am quite good in math and sciences, so im not too worried about the course workload. Both courses are quite difficult.

Im more interested in biology and chemistry but I also like physics. Therefore I think I may enjoy studying pharmacy more but would not mind studying chemical engineering either.

For pharmacy, I would prefer working in hospitals as I believe it would be quite meaningful. However, I have read that job scope for hospital pharmacists in SG are quite limited as they mainly dispense drugs (not too sure on this though). I am worried that I may not get enjoy my job after working for more than 5 years, especially if I am stuck doing the same things which are neither meaningful and challenging for more than 5 years. How do the role of hospital pharmacists change with work experience? Do they have the same jobscope for many years?

And how do people (other allied health professionals and patients) perceived pharmacists?
(I read that pharmacists in SG are not as respected than in other countries. )
Like what I've stated, work in hospital as a pharmacist would be routine, conventional, and.. stable. There's not alot of opportunities for career progression, as there's only so far you can go as a pharmacists, and most of your seniors won't budge. That being said, with the opening of more hospitals and polyclinics, there maybe more career progression now.

With respect to job scope, to be honest, there is a shift in how medicine are now being prescribed and distributed. What you've said is true; working in hospital is different than working as a locum. Well if you want stable job that's truly 9 - 5, then yes being a pharmacist in hospital is good. Work challenges wise, I think you will handle more office politics than actual work challenges. And yes, you will be handling the same job scope, unless you decide to venture into administration side. After all, it is a very niche profession.
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Old 26-02-2015, 10:01 PM
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Are there any pharmacists or chemical engineers around to provide me more insights? Thanks!


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Old 27-02-2015, 08:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
Like what I've stated, work in hospital as a pharmacist would be routine, conventional, and.. stable. There's not alot of opportunities for career progression, as there's only so far you can go as a pharmacists, and most of your seniors won't budge. That being said, with the opening of more hospitals and polyclinics, there maybe more career progression now.

With respect to job scope, to be honest, there is a shift in how medicine are now being prescribed and distributed. What you've said is true; working in hospital is different than working as a locum. Well if you want stable job that's truly 9 - 5, then yes being a pharmacist in hospital is good. Work challenges wise, I think you will handle more office politics than actual work challenges. And yes, you will be handling the same job scope, unless you decide to venture into administration side. After all, it is a very niche profession.
Thanks a lot for the help. You allowed me to have a better understanding of pharmacists.

However, do you mind elaborating on certain aspects? What is the shift in prescription and distribution of medicines and how will that affect the role of pharmacists? And I don't really get the part on office politics.
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Old 27-02-2015, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by summwater View Post
Thanks a lot for the help. You allowed me to have a better understanding of pharmacists.

However, do you mind elaborating on certain aspects? What is the shift in prescription and distribution of medicines and how will that affect the role of pharmacists? And I don't really get the part on office politics.
Well technology is one thing that will affect the roles of pharmacists. Afterall, the dispensing rights still lies with the doctor no? Essentially pharmacists in hospital/polyclinics merely weigh out the appropriate dosage to be given to the patients, according to what the doctor prescribed. Of course the pharmacist will serve as a check as well.

Office politics meaning how they "fight" for that limited career progression. Most pharmacists will stay in their job for donkey years, so very little opportunities to take on higher roles, unless they move on.
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