Pharmacist to scientist at 42??

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Pharmacist to scientist at 42??

Postby BMCC » Fri Oct 14, 2016 2:45 pm


I'm a qualified pharmacist with a few years experience in hospital pharmacy, currently doing a postgraduate diploma in clinical pharmacy.

I've always thought I would prefer to work in 'pure science', and have been looking briefly at courses in things like microbiology, genetics and immunology (BSc). Looks really interesting to me! I worked for a few years in antimicrobial pharmacy, and liked it a lot but it was the scientific part I liked most. Basically I work a lot better with information that can be figured out rather than learned off, if that makes sense.

The thing is, I'm 42!
So am I basically too old to consider BSc, PhD etc career path, is there any other options available - I know medical doctors do research degrees but don't know anything about that path, or whether I could get any credit for my pharmacy degree and enter a masters programme.

Another potential downside is that I live in Ireland, which is great for pharmaceutical industry but Doesnt have so many opportunities for scientific research, as far as I know.

Anyway I just found the forum and it's great so I thought why not ask!!

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Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2016 2:02 pm

Re: Pharmacist to scientist at 42??

Postby D.X. » Sun Oct 16, 2016 3:00 am


If i try to decifer your post, you have an interest in the "basic life sciences" with desire to go into discovery research.

An regarding pharma in Ireland, yes im aware of the commericial/medical communication hubs that are being put there. But i do hear there is still some research and i think there is dtill alot of manufacturing there. Try the lookimg at some biotects, im sure the Celtic Tiger era has a few suurviving.

Regarding you experience, you have hospital level pharmacy which is probably more formulary, despencing, and clinical/health economics, probably you are in a DRG hospital system. If i am right then little basic science. It will be hard to make a leap but at 42 i dont advise going back to school, it wont do much for you.

If you have time and want tomgo knocking, i receomend you look in the area of translational medicine. Here you might find something, albiet entry level at the interface of basic and clinical science, leveraging your knowledge of clinical pharmacology to include pharmacokintics may help you, as well as some of that formulating and despencing/travking knowlegde you have. There is alot of work and analysis to be done before that first dose goes into a human, including health authority approval, which can levarage maybe some of you expertise. Look for an internship or even probe your hospital setting to find any one invelove in phase I studies (ie First in Human) to start builiding your network or start information interviewing. Probe you pharmacy colleages or alumus department for networks.

Had you said you were interested in applied research and clinical level, then automatically i would have pointed you to the field of Health Economics and Heath technology assessment in govt or industry, i am sure you already have exposure here as a hospital pharmacist/budget holder on the payor side. So i'll leave that option as closed for you?

Keep your expectations managed and ask howmuch you want to reboot, hospital pharmacust is a nice stable job, maybe you can find intellectual stimulation elsewhere or differently?

Cheers and have a good day in the Land of Eire!

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