Ok so yesterday… a friend of mine asked me… “Should I still do IP??”. She’s been contemplating doing the course for a number of years now and she once again sought my view on whether it is a good idea or not.
This question got me thinking about the topic again… until now I have been quite keen on all Pharmacists undertaking the course but in recent months my view has changed somewhat.
As we all know there has been an NHS pilot aimed at introducing Clinical (IP or non-IP) Pharmacists into GP practice, with a funding arrangement that gradually reduces over a three year period. Demand has been very high amongst the Pharmacist community for these positions within GP practices and in recent months the NHS has announced a further extension of this scheme.
This is all good and well but where theres high demand, economics tends to come into play… driving down the salaries offered. Rumours would suggest the salaries are coming down below what the average Community Pharmacist would earn in a full time store based position. Now off course this is not always the case and many would argue when stepping into a new sector, a certain level of salary sacrifice is to be expected but this is where it comes down to the priorities of the individual.
So going back to the question… Should I still do IP?…. My answer to this was structured in a way that would force the person to think about what their priorities are. I told my friend that if they wished to do IP for personal development, then definitely do complete the course as I personally feel I have greatly benefited from it, but if the aim of completing IP is to gain any financial benefit, then do think again. As described above, there will be no guaranteed pay rise with the move into the world of prescribing but if they do decide to move into this sector, they may have other opportunities and will certainly have a significant amount of development.
Priorities are the key here… I hope this has helped all you readers in making your decisions… weigh up the pros and cons and decide if this is the right choice for you.