3 Aug 2021 Gaining Essential Pharmacy Management Skills with an IMU Master in Pharmacy Practice

I am Tan Yu Xin from MPP220, currently in Semester 2 of my Master in Pharmacy Practice (MPP) programme at IMU, specialising in Pharmacy Management. I am a part-time student.

With over 14000 pharmacists graduating every year into a Malaysian job market, finding a suitable position in a lucrative yet highly competitive field of pharmacy is extremely challenging. Even though the practice of pharmacy and pharmaceutical industry in Malaysia has been growing steadily for the past decades, the career outlook for fresh gradutes after their PRP is always competetive.

The question I had was “With so many applicants looking for a job, how could a fresh pharmacy graduate keep up to the challenges in the current job market?” When I met a a pharmacy manager in a private hospital during my Bachelor of Pharmacy final year attachment, she had shared on how business management helped her to stand out from the crowd. This highly enlightened me about the business aspects of community pharmacy. My exploration continues with one of my preceptors from community pharmacy as well. She suggested that equipping oneself with business and people management skills, will be helpful to administer the operation and employees’ behaviours in pharmacy outlets.

Realising the importance of having these skill sets, I made my decision to pursue postgraduate (PG) studies after the completion of my undergraduate studies. I decided then that it would be easier and productive for me to join a PG programme where there will be some supervisory support provided by the School along the way, whenever needed.

As an IMU alumnus, I was familiar with the learning system and the lecturers in IMU. These made IMU my first choice to do my postgraduate studies. I understood from the Programme Director that MPP programme provides much flexibility as I could register myself as a part-time student and decide on which module to take in each semester.

I found this to be very valuable because I am currently undergoing my Provisionally Registered Pharmacist (PRP) training at Hospital Tuanku Ja’afar Seremban. The online teaching method and flexible timetable allowed me to complete both commitments at the same time.

What Have I Learnt?
I have learned about pharmacoeconomic analysis, which may play a vital role in future disease management and healthcare decision-making. Besides, I learned how to develop a business proposal with comprehensive industry analysis, management plan, marketing plan and financial plan. The MPP programme enables me to strengthen my research skills, including critical evaluation of scientific literature and analysis of research data with appropriate statistical methods. During my undergraduate degree, I was involved in experimental research and now in post graduation, I am exposed to quantitative research, which introduced me to a different dimension of research. Now, I can do lab-based and survey-based research.

I believe that the skills and knowledge I gained from the MPP programme would transform me into a well-rounded future pharmacist accompanied by essential and desirable competencies. The MPP programme would broaden my horizons towards various aspects of pharmacy services in Malaysia and make a difference for the future health and wellbeing of society.

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