Category: Articles

Let’s Make The Scope Together !!

THERE IS NO SCOPE OF PHARMACY!!

This sentence has become a kind of a hallmark of our profession, and is quite famous in fresh graduates. In university, we see the world from the eyes of our mentors and we make plans and build dreams of working in clinical settings and making  breakthrough patent molecules, but when we enter the real world we get to face the bitter truth and the acidic reality. Our dreams vaporizes   taking with them our plans and hope and slowly we start questioning ourselves

” WHO AM I ?????”

Unfortunately, pharmacy education and pharmacist has failed to contribute significantly to the  healthcare system in our country. In 2004, the Higher Education Commission (HEC) revised the pharmacy syllabus and changed the 4-year bachelor of pharmacy (BPharm) degree to a 5-year doctor of pharmacy (Pharm-D) degree. The syllabus was revised but it still has shortcomings and does not meet international standards.The Pakistan Pharmacist’s Association and the Pharmacy Council of Pakistan  have shown negligence to the profession in the last few decades and have failed to establish standards of practice in our country. As a result, most of the pharmacy graduates are underutilized and have nominal roles in national healthcare policy.

YOU ARE A PHARMACIST!!! One of the most important part of healthcare system. We can all just sit, relax and criticize our council and government for not defining our roles and making a proper service structure or we can work together to make a difference!!!!

Before you read more, please ask your self a question,” Do I want to work to learn, earn experience,gain Knowledge, help a patient and make a difference or simply to earn money??” No doubt money is important but instead of running after money ,we should run after gaining knowledge, grabbing opportunities and trust me than money will run after you….

“IT IS TOO DIFFICULT TO THINK NOBLY WHEN ONE THINKS ONLY OF EARNING A LIVING” 

(Jean-Jacques Rousseau)

Make a difference, starting from today!!! If you are doing internship in a hospital its a golden opportunity to prove your worth. Attend rounds, follow up patients, take their histories, check up there charts,  try to find out mistakes in dose, dosing intervals and interactions. Pick up cases, study them, make your own patient file and than discuss it with physicians.

I know most of you will be laughing while reading it,saying who allows us to participate in rounds and check charts. Well you will have to take a step, YOU and only YOU can do this!! Do not expect for a miracle to happen giving identity to the role of clinical pharmacist. You can easily sit behind those counters and do procurement and mange stock or you could just take a step and get in. Only you can make them realize your worth no one else can do it. Interact with patients, empathize with them, guide them in how to take medicines, physicians usually don’t have time for this you can grab this chance and explain them. Monitor there signs for any possible side effects or adverse effects. Report an adverse effect to MOH, no one does that, but being there, the least you can do easily is to report one.Take patients contact numbers for followup, and check on them regularly on your own, no one is going to ask you for an explanation for that but by doing this you can earn patients trust, making them realize your importance.

A community pharmacy provides us with unique opportunities, while working there you can easily council patients on how to take a drug, what to take and what not to take, introduce a medical record keeping program, monitor patients blood glucose and blood pressure for free, run smoking cessation programs, weight reduction programs, instruct patients on how to use medical appliances, introduce new effective methods of dispensing, make sure the right drug reaches its customer, point out flaws in system and make changes to correct it.

There are a millions of things that one can do while working as a community/retail pharmacist, instead of just being there for the sake of maintenance of records, filling registers for the inspectors and because you are on call, you can make a difference in this field, all you have to do here is to

” THINK GLOBALLY , ACT LOCALLY”

There are so many other fields having potentials where you can work to brighten our scope, like research. Clinical research is another  neglected field , you can become a part of a clinical research and trials and save millions of life, but to make difference demands to be a part of  an evolutionary change and that change can only be brought about if we are willing to work together  to make this happen.

“Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal”

(Henry Ford)

There are a lot of people out there who will be telling you that it cant happen and will pull you down, choice is yours whether you are going to listen to them or going to show them that yes, it can happen!!

You may be what others say you are…but you can become whoever you choose to

Punjab government has recently announced huge number of seats for pharmacist, the rumor of starting a paid house job is also in air, taking it as a positive sign, if we are wise enough than it is the time for us to show them all, our importance to the healthcare system.

“THERE’S NO POINT TO LIVING LIFE UNLESS YOU MAKE HISTORY AND THE BEST WAY TO MAKE HISTORY IS TO HELP OTHERS”

(Demi Lovato)

By: Mishal.

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Smoking … A Silent Killer !!!!

SMOKING IS INJURIOUS TO HEALTH.… We all know this, a special thanks to all those TV adds that used to remind us. A lot of effort has been made to curb its use such as increasing the tax on cigarette and tobacco products, making new laws to restrict its use in certain places and organizing campaigns to increase the awareness of all the hazards associated with it such as cancer, heart diseases and even death.

A CIGARETTE  IS THE ONLY CONSUMER  PRODUCT WHICH WHEN USED AS DIRECTED KILLS ITS CONSUMER

(Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland)

According to World health organization, 1 in 10 adults dies every day due to smoking related illness and in Pakistan 276 people die of smoking every day according to a report by Tobacco Control Cell in Pakistan. Despite all of the scientific evidence of tobacco’s health dangers, and in the face of millions of dollars worth of public health advertising, smokers continue to smoke and nonsmokers are still being persuaded to take that first drag that can lead to lifelong addiction. In Pakistan 1200 children go to smoke every day (Tobacco control cell report 2011).

Most of the people starts smoking when they are in there teens and get addicted and hence it becomes difficult for them to quit. There are a lot of reasons why people actually start smoking, some main reasons are, to look cool, mature “DUDE” kind of person so they can easily fit in there social circle, to look like there friends, to do experiment, for the sake of fun and pleasure, under pressure and stress which can be work or studies related, or going through a bad relationship thinking it might help to calm there nerves or give them energy to pass that hard and rough time and they might be alcohol or cocaine addicts, the list goes on……

GIVING UP SMOKING IS THE EASIEST THING IN THE WORLD. I KNOW BECAUSE I HAVE DONE  IT A THOUSANDS OF TIMES.

(Mark Twain)

The major reason behind smoking addiction is nicotine, which has an anti-depressive effect, at least in the short run, and it makes a person feel more awake. A person suffering from nervousness or from depressive symptoms may feel that the smoking helps him to overcome these symptoms. However, gradually there will be a need for steadily higher doses of nicotine to give these good effects, and if there is a lack of nicotine in the body, the nervous or depressive feelings will be greater than before.

So all you out there willing to quit smoking should first of all select a quit date and stick to it, than list out all the reasons why you want to quit, analyze and keep a record of yourselves  such as why you smoke, what time do you usually smoke and how many cigarettes do you consume on daily basis? There are a combination of drugs and program’s that can help. Many over the counter nicotine replacement therapy products are also  available in  gums, patches and lozenges form and  nasal sprays can also be used on doctors prescription, that can help  you to deal with the withdrawal symptoms.

When you feel tense, try to keep busy and remind yourself that smoking won’t make it any better, and go do something else.Let others know that you have quit smoking. You will find that most people will support you. Many of your smoking friends may want to know how you quit. It’s good to talk to others about your quitting.If you somehow lose control and smoke, don’t be discouraged or give up and return to your smoking habit.

Helping someone to quit smoking is not easy, every smoker has a story so before you start by saying it to him/her that smoking kills, you need to know that something is already killing him/her. Don’t doubt there ability to quit, because there strength in quitting rely’s a lot on your faith in there ability to quit. Only talk about the issue if they are willing to talk about it. If they are willing take them to doctors that can prescribe some medications to help quit. Understand the withdrawal symptoms, they will appear in them and most of the quitters get afraid of them and give up on quitting, therefore don’t take the quitter’s grumpiness personally during their nicotine withdrawal. Tell them that you understand the symptoms and that they are real and remind them that they won’t last forever. The symptoms usually get better in about 2 weeks.

In the end it all comes down on the quitter and there strength to quit smoking, the choice is theirs either to quit or not to. To take there life back from tobacco companies and live a more healthy and wealthy life.

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It’s nice if you’re the kind of smoker who smokes outside away from others. You’re even careful not to let your smoke blow in other people’s faces out there. At least you, the polite smoker, are not inflicting it on others. But, you are inflicting it on others if you allow children to see you smoke. You’re giving children the idea that smoking is OK by your example. If you’re trying to quit, let children know about it and tell them why. If you’re not trying to quit, how about starting now? It’s about time. –

(Duane Alan Hahn)

by: Mishal

Exams, A Nightmare ???

EXAMSSS!!!!!Yes the one word that we are all afraid of and I wont be exaggerating if I say that exams are a nightmare!! As the Exams come near we all start suffering from Pre Exams Syndrome that is diarrhea, nausea, acne, hair fall, headaches etc.One night before the actual test, we often lay awake in bed for hours, worrying about all possible occurrences during the test, including the possibility that we would blackout during the test or leaving a blank piece of paper behind. Our mental pressure start increasing the minute we step in the examination hall.

I know Pharmacy finals are coming, the atmosphere is getting tensed day by day and soon most of you would be sitting on an old strange dusty chairs , in a cold hall, with paper infront of you and you will be scanning the whole paper and saying ” Oh God!! we are big time screwed”. You will hear your friend breaking the silence of the hall by screaming out “I NEED AN EXTRA ANSWER SHEET !!!” , hearing your friends voice at that time is always neither comforting nor helping because it makes you wonder “WHAT IS SHE/HE WRITING ITS JUST BEEN AN HOUR HOW COME SHE/HE NEED IT THAT SOON :/ ” And CONGRATULATIONS you just wasted 10 important minutes of your life by going in deep thought about what might your friend be writing.

Exams as much as the word is terrifying ,are not that bad. Art William said “I’m not telling you it is going to be easy — I’m telling you it’s going to be worth it” .Change your attitude towards exams, they are just exciting challenges nothing else. Fear of failure and exams tensions are not gonna take you anywhere trust me, because in the end the most painful thing to experience is not defeat but regret!! Regret that we didn’t worked that hard, we wasted our time watching television , chatting with friends on social networks.

The most important thing is to be prepared for your upcoming exams and invest enough time to study for it. If you have studied enough then there is no need to be fearful or rather to get panic about exams. Its never too late to start your preparation “The best way to finish an unpleasant task is to get started.” but leaving it for just before the exam night, is simply foolish. No pain no gain is the rule fellows. Time management and getting your self organized is the key!! Here is what you can do to prepare yourself for the exams.

You only have 24 hours a day and it should be used in the most efficient way. EVALUATE  the amount of time you can invest for your studies. Divide your syllabus on the number of days before exams, give at least 2 hours to each subject, students often make this mistake that they start with preparing for one subject only and by the time they are done with it, exam are just a week away if they are lucky and if not, then well you can imagine…..

Make key points they are always helpful in the last minute preparation and also for viva. PRACTICE MAKES A MAN PERFECT .Practice as much as you can specially of those difficult structures and there synthesis they are always confusing. Don’t be depressed to see your mistakes,correct them and learn from them. Don’t quit, you are never a looser till you quit trying. Keep trying and by the time its your big test day you would have nailed it.

GET HOLD OF PAST PAPERS . A lot of student find it difficult to understand the type of questions that can come from a topic, so looking at the past papers always help to understand the relationship between the question and course topics.Don’t assume that those past paper questions can appear on your paper again.

Always wear a wrist watch during your exams, TIME MANAGEMENT is important.Be aware of what you can realistically do in the allotted time. If you have 30 minutes per question, you should give around 5 minutes to compose your self, make a rough sketch in your head of your answer and then 25 minutes writing time.

As soon as one exam is over, move swiftly to focusing on the next one. DWELLING on an exam that you have completed wastes energy and time, and will drive you crazy. Remember, be positive, stay calm, and mobilise your energies to do the best job possible on the day.

Recipe for success

” Study while others are sleeping; work while others are loafing; prepare while others are playing; and dream while others are wishing.”

William A. Ward 

by Mishal.

Rain Or Sunshine, Life Goes On…….

OH LIFEEEEEE !! WHAT A LIFE !!
Just as a coin has two sides, life has two sides too, pleasure and pain , but unlike the coin it never has one side apparent all the time it’s always a mixture of both. Sometimes one side becomes strong and dominant hiding or suppressing the other but still the other side is always there.
Why me?? What have I done? Life is so unfair!! Why am I always the target ? These are the situations one might find oneself in…. some times or a lot of time. Life is not a piece of cake ,sunshine or flowers and dealing with the hardships of life is quiet difficult. But one thing about life is

“IT GOES ON”

People will try to break you, rate you hurt you and shake you, but how you stay strong is what makes you “YOU” . Life is full of ups and down, that’s the indication of ones being alive just like an ECG ups and down indicate life, but when it goes flat everything ends.
Life can be as bitter as alum or bitter gourd but never allow the bitter times make you a bitter person. Just like seasons come and go, difficult time will pass too. Yes, the memories remain, but with passage of time they fade away and one can always make new one and replace the old ones with them.
Life will give you many reasons to cry and even if you have one reason to smile no matter how small the reason is just hold on to that reason, let it give you strength, courage and heal you. Always keep it in mind no one can really hurt you or degrade you, but only if you allow them too.
In Japan, there was a village near the capital, where a wise old samurai lived.Once, when he was training with his students, he was approached by a young soldier, known for his brutality and cruelty.
His favorite technique was provocation: he used to provoke the enemy, blind the enemy with rage, hence make the enemy accept the challenge. Once this happened the enemy usually made mistakes after mistakes, and as a result always lost the battle.

The Young soldier began to insult the old man, he threw stones at him, spitting and swearing bad names . But the old man remained calm and continued training. At the end of the day irritated and tired the young soldier went away.The students were surprised by the fact that their master did not even fight back or say anything on being insulted, they approached the wise old man and asked.

– Master why did you not fight the young soldier? Were you scared that he would defeat you?

The Wise Old Samurai said:

– If someone approaches you with a gift and you do not accept it, who then owns gift?- The one who was gifting it – said one of his disciples.- The same goes for envy, hatred and profanity. As long as you do not accept them, they belong to the person who brought them.

Hardships and difficulties are a part of life, they are there to make you strong.Diamonds are always made under pressure and oaks grow strong in contrary wind. One should never lose hope and always keep faith.
“There were times of hardship when people forget the courage they need to keep fighting; and survive. But I think as long as we have something to believe in; to keep close in our hearts, courage will never truly leave us. We only have to reach deep in our heart to find it.” Sakura

We all have read the story in our childhood “DO GOOD HAVE GOOD, DO BAD HAVE BAD” if you are right and doing good and people are pulling you down, making every breath of your life a hell , LET THEM!! Because they are the one whose conscious will never let them have peace, while you might cry yourself to sleep but you will have an inner peace.
Life is an echo, everything come back to its original place. So make sure no matter what kind of situation you are in, you keep loving, caring and helping so that one day its echo come back finding you!!
Life is a choice of being happy or sad and depressed . One after the other many time difficult time comes. Sometimes one problem doesn’t end when other starts, but its up to you what you choose to be, either let yourself become a victim or a survivor the choice is yours.
You cant change anything but you can change your self!! Have you ever seen an eagle in rain?? All the birds go for shelter when it rains except eagle, in order to avoid rain it starts flying above the cloud.
When you start keeping distance from all the negative things, beautiful things will start happening. Life is a rocky road but it can become a sweet chochalaty rocky road only if you keep believing. There is no need to cry for those who don’t know the value of your tears and emotions because people will target you, use you, manipulate you and some time you will be a door mat, but that doesn’t mean that you should give up of your sweet and caring nature. Let them judge you, because in reality they are not judging you but themselves. They are only there to polish you and make you shine.
Life is too short to waste time and energy on being depressed and always trying to make others happy. Take chances, meet new people, make new friends, make new dreams, have patience and faith and most importantly

  “BE YOURSELF BECAUSE THE REST ARE ALREADY TAKEN ;)”

“To laugh often and love much; to win the respect of intelligent persons and the affection of children; to earn the approbation of honest citizens and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to give of one’s self; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived—this is to have succeeded.” Besie Anderson

“That’s Life”  🙂 

by: Mishal

Problems And YOU!


When i was in school, like any other normal kid I used to hate maths. I didn’t understand a word of it. I was devastated to find out that there is this magical device called “calculator” that can solve maths problem and directly give you an answer within fraction of a second, I literally cried and didn’t eat for 8 hours. My mother only understood my problem as she is from a non engineering field and she always used to encourage me by saying “If you will not face your problem now they will continue to follow you till you are ready to face them”. Little did we both knew how absolutely right she was as I had to embrace Mathematics and Statistics in Pharmacy later (for the rest of my life). The same problem i faced in inter with chemistry. One day my teacher, may Allah bless him, after giving me a C for the 7th time in a class test called me in his office and said ” I can see that you are having some hatred issues so here is what I want you to do, from today onward you will think of chemistry as your younger sister, you will love it as much as you love your sister, you will talk to it as if its your best friend and you will read it as if its your favorite novel on earth” . Shocking as it may seem but i secured an A in finals after following his advise.

Life is not easy and it is not problem free, I realized it while looking for x in algebra and learning the periodic table by heart. Now that I’m mature and have two or three grey hair I know that their are much bigger problem than finding x in life , but one thing I know is that my mom’s formula is applicable in almost all the situations. As long as I have the courage to face my problems and the sooner I confront them the quicker they will go. There are a million ways to solve problems because like someone said, with authority comes responsibility so does with problems comes solutions. The most important step is to accept the reality that problems exist and as long as we are breathing they are not going to leave us alone at all. To all those people who think this article is about a secret ancient recipe to get rid of problems for the rest of your life, I’m sorry to burst your bubble because you are mistaken. To those who want to stop running away from their issues and face it here are some ways (all tried and tested) to do so.

1. Accept the fact: Your problems are not a fictional character like Loki, they exist accept this fact and face it. Don’t run away from it. That pile of paperwork you have been hiding because you have no clue what to do with it, take it out from under your bed those papers exist accept it don’t dwell on it and start working on it.

2. Be a man and don’t give up: If you are a guy you must have heard this sentence a lot in your life. Specially when you hurt your self while playing  cricket or hockey or football or baseball or list goes on.Your problems are just like your opposing team on a cricket field , be a man and face them. Don’t be a coward. Don’t be afraid of failing but be terrified of not trying.

3. Know your problems: You must figure out the nature of your problem. What category does it falls in. To win its better to know who you are fighting. Know about your problems write it down on a piece of paper if it helps, and it will take you to your next level to solving it. Collect all the info you can and analyze it. The more info you have the better.

4.Stop worrying and stay positive: Worry is a total misuse of time, its not going to take you anywhere. We know this line, Right?? but little do we take it seriously. No use to take those anti depressants and getting in a grumpy mood. Stop worrying and start focusing!!

“Life is not the way it’s supposed to be, it’s the way it is. The way you cope is what makes the difference.” – Virginia Satir

5. Move on: Its not important to win every time, but the important thing  to remember is to learn from your mistakes and to let go. Do not waste your time by living in the past and wondering what went wrong you can’t change your past but you can change your future.

6. Stop the blame game: Don’t point fingers on others and give your self that tiny ounce of an assurance and satisfaction that because of him/her it happened. Your problems exist because of you! they are linked with you and not with others. Take accountability and take appropriate actions.

7. Do not over think: Imagine you are writing a piece of an article and you suddenly start thinking what if nobody likes it, but what if somebody does? what if people make fun of me for writing such a piece or what if I don’t do justice with  the title? Thinking too much will ruin your work and it will shift your focus from the main issue. So chill on procrastinating.

8. Take help: Let others help you and ask for their help when needed. Let go of your ego and pride that you can do it on your own. Just like doctors need lab test to diagnose our disease similarly sometimes we need others like our friends, colleagues or family members to help us diagnose our problems and help us to tackle them. So take your juniors help the next time you face a problem in office.

9. Have faith: Last but not the least have faith, some times the greatest challenge and problem in your life leads you to the greatest moment of your life, they are there for a reason.

“There are moments when troubles enter our lives and we can do nothing to avoid them.
But they are there for a reason. Only when we have overcome them will we understand why they were there.” 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                           ( Paulo Coelho )

Remember it will all be worth it in the end because some one said life has an odd way of making things work out in the end! 🙂

Mishal Zaman