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‘I love working in the pharma sector thanks to my professors’

The alumna of Apeejay Stya University, who pursued a DPharma says that the university has excellent faculty



She always wanted to be a teacher and had chartered out a career plan for herself. But destiny had something else in store for Nirmala Sharma who is working as a pharmacist at Mata Roop Rani Maggo Hospital in West Delhi for the last two years. So, how did she end up working at the hospital?

“I had already made up my mind to be a teacher even though I had taken Science in class XI. It was my grandfather’s wish that I work in this sector. Just to please him I decided to pursue a programme in DPharma. And I am glad that I am working in this field. I have been working for two years now and love every minute of it,” Sharma said, who passed out of Apeejay Stya University (ASU) in 2020.

Excerpts from an interview.

Why did you choose ASU?

Once my grandfather expressed a desire that I pursue a career and work in the hospital I started looking for courses that would take me there. I was clear that being a doctor was not what I wanted to do. Someone then told me to look for programmes in Pharma. In my search for colleges, I came across ASU. I filled out the form and submitted the same.

What kind of help did you get from the counselor before you enrolled?

I got a call from Swapnil ma’am telling me that she got my details from the form that I had filled out. She asked me to visit the campus. What I saw impressed me. I met and we chatted a bit. I then met Manoj sir.

He was the one who told me what the course entailed – what were some of the areas where I could work once I completed the programme. What he said impressed me and sparked something in me and I enrolled. During the enrollment too, the people made the whole process so easy.

What is the best part of working in the pharma industry?

There is a saying in our field – Doctors prescribe medicines to save lives; a pharmacologist makes medicines and dispenses them through our skills. I feel very proud and happy when I am at work; the fact that the medicine that I have dispensed either saved a life or made them get better fills me with pride.

What are the dangers of self-medication?

There are so many. Yes, most people self-medicate and save money on doctor’s fees. This is extremely dangerous. A doctor prescribes a medicine only after a thorough investigation. He asks pertinent questions – any allergies, lifestyle diseases, and other issues that a patient may be suffering from. Only then does he write down the medicine.

If a person self-medicates, he/she doesn’t know how a medicine will react. Symptoms may appear to be the same but viruses keep mutating. Also, a person can develop dangerous multi-drug resistance. 

How was the faculty?

I would say Manoj sir was the best. Even two years down the line, I am in touch with some of the faculty. Full credit goes to Manoj sir; it is because of him that I love working in this sector. He is the one who created interest in me.

“I feel very proud and happy when I am at work at the pharmacy; the fact that the medicine that I have dispensed either saved a life or made them get better fills me with pride”

Nirmala Sharma, Pharmacist at Mata Roop Rani Maggo Hospital, West Delhi

What was the teaching methodology?

My area of specialisation was in dispensing medicines; so most of the learning was theoretical. But those who specialised in pharmacology got to do a lot of projects and their learning was practical.

Can you recount your college days?

I had a lot of fun. The good part was that I completed the course just before the lockdown took place – only the exams we left. So I did have a lot of fun. My friends and I even participated in a T-shirt painting competition. We designed and painted the RX that you see in all doctor prescriptions. Unfortunately, we didn’t win but I had loads of fun.

What advice would you like to give to present pharma students?

To be a good pharma, it is important to bring whatever you have learnt into the job. Ensure that you apply all the skills and knowledge you gained in college practically. A single mistake in dispensing the medicine can wreak havoc on the patient. Second, do your job diligently.

Shalini is an Executive Editor with Apeejay Newsroom. With a PG Diploma in Business Management and Industrial Administration and an MA in Mass Communication, she was a former Associate Editor with News9live. She has worked on varied topics - from news-based to feature articles.

Poetic गुफ्तगू – With हुमेरा खान @poetsofDelhi