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Pharmacy Careers
NHS Health Education England

Min Teo - Clinical Directo

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Clinical Director Pharmacist, Min shares his day-to-day life of the role and his experiences of a career in pharmacy.

Transcript

00:00:00:02 [Speaker 1]: So my name is min. I work in a general practice as a pharmacist, and I do have multiple roles on a day to day basis. I'm a clinical pharmacist dealing with patients, seeing patients, uh, dealing with the medication and triaging patients for minor illness. And on a site, I do have a responsibility as a co clinical director of our local primary care network.  

00:00:28:18 [Speaker 1]: So being a clinical director, I shared a job with a GP and both of us lead the direction of the, uh, primary care network. So it's more about strategy training, right? So it's more of a strategy setting, uh, population health, and trying to make the January practice more resilient, finding ways to work together as a multiple practices to 

00:00:56:06 work together, to be, to be trying to better care for patients.  

00:01:01:05 [Speaker 2]: Yeah. How did you find yourself taking that role? Because I understand it's not very common for a pharmacist.  

00:01:08:23 [Speaker 1]: Yeah. Being a clinical director in a primary care work. Of course, it's not that common. I think there's about four or five of us in the country at the moment. Maybe more now I may be wrong. Uh, how I actually ended up there is I got involved in the primary care network, the PCN playing of work, uh, such suggesting about different ideas, giving different ideas about recruitment, how to use pharmacies. And at the time the clinical director was like, okay, so you've got call it a lot of different ideas, uh, will be nice if you can actually help me out. So that 

00:01:41:01 actually got to where I am today. So it's just being able to help, even if it's not your responsibility, just helping.  

00:01:51:05 [Speaker 2]: Am I right in thinking you had a lot of ideas of what you can do to improve the health system from a pharmacist point of view?  

00:01:58:22 [Speaker 1]: Well, I wouldn't say a lot of ideas about a health system. I wouldn't dare to say that. Um, I will say it's more about at that point in time, we were talking about recruitment of pharmacists. So how we can use pharmacists for different practices and being a pharmacist. I do have experienced in what the pharmacist does. So sharing that idea and then things just roll on from there. There may be different projects that's coming around and different things that's going on. So you just use your experience as a clinician, as well as the pharmacist to, to, to share with 

00:02:33:12 my colleague. Yeah.  

00:02:35:16 [Speaker 2]: Can you give me an example of maybe how something you've done in your clinical lab informed something you've done?  

00:02:44:19 [Speaker 1]: Right. Okay. I may need to think about it. Yep. So clinical role on a day to day basis, and it leads to the clinical director site, um, well being the clinical director of a PCN, you need to know what's going on on a day to day basis. So what is the challenges that patients are facing? What are the challenges that the, the workforce, the, the people that work in general practice is actually facing? So it is very, 

00:03:20:13 I can give you an example of exactly how it translates, but knowing what's going on in the ground, what are the challenges? What is the need of the population is really important? So you can actually set direction that helps the, the workload for the, uh, the practices. And at the same time, you know, what is needed by the patient. And you can start planning to make 

00:03:43:24 life and care better for patients.  

00:03:47:15 [Speaker 2]: We're already editing that into the video. Is there anything that particularly frustrates you about how the general public thinks  

00:04:04:16 [Speaker 1]: A lay person like public point of view? If they look into pharmacy, I mean, pharmacy is well known to just be working in a shop, counting tablets, I think a few years back that somebody just saying that you're just counting smartest, um, in the press. And some people call it a glorified, uh, shopkeeper, but that is not true. I mean, we are not glorified shopkeepers. We are expecting medicines. So even if some pharmacy working in a community pharmacy setting, if anybody has any problems with 

00:04:35:21 their medication, that should be the first port of call because they know all about medication, more than a nurse, a doctor, because four years of university and many years of experience of working with medicine, drugs, that's, that's what pharmacists are expert in medicines.  

00:04:58:19 [Speaker 2]: Why didn't you see the pharmacy  

00:05:02:01 [Speaker 1]: Right. Pharmacy? I, why did I do pharmacy? I did not. I did not actually chose pharmacy. Not quite, not quite so I know what I didn't want to do. And I know that I would like to be in a road that is quite flexible, that has element of business element of management, element of science, element of helping people. And pharmacy seems to be one that has a bit of everything. So you can say that I didn't have, I did not meet 

00:05:35:23 up. I did not. Well let's re re redo that you can say that I haven't actually made up my mind back in my ear level is time. That is that really what I want to do, but it just falls in place that this is a course that I eventually ended up with and may do with it. And it was an exciting journey since  

00:06:00:24 [Speaker 1]: It does. Uh, particularly with the more recent progression of in my rows. It does actually widen my scope. Uh, I'm not just a pharmacist. Again, a lot of pharmacists meeting that they are just a pharmacist, but you are part of a wider health care community. You are a clinically trained person. You you're part of the NHS team. So I wouldn't say, um, has he got the best art for me at this point in time? I may feel 

00:06:34:01 yes, but tomorrow I may feel not yet because when you look back, Oh, that's easy. I could have done more then, but people grows and expand. Yes, That? Uh, is there anything that surprises me about myself? Stereotypically 

00:07:19:02 pharmacists are more black or white, um, because when you receive a prescription, you follow the instruction or the prescription you are trained that way in university, that's always a right or wrong. And that's 

00:07:31:14 how I taught. I will be. But being coming into general practice, the whole world is gray. Everything is subjective. There's no right or wrong answer. Uh, and it also relies on what the patient actually says. You need to take the patient's context into consideration. So having to work in a very great environment, it's not something that is comfortable for pharmacists as a whole, but it's quite surprising that I got into this role and I feel I get 

00:08:03:05 more and more comfortable with myself making decision in a area where there's no right or wrong answer, as long as you can actually defend what you're doing. And that, that knowledge, that experience is also very useful when it comes to, uh, my clinical director role as well, because a lot of physician is not black or white, and you're actually dealing with a lot of uncertainty dealing with a lot of, uh, senior executives from the hospital 

00:08:32:05 and senior executives from other organization.  

00:08:40:23 [Speaker 1]: Right. So dealing with all the different scenarios as a creative is you it's about negotiating as well. So the negotiation skills we patient comes into play as well. As a person, what skews as a person or a right by being a pharmacist, you 

00:09:35:21 mean  

00:09:44:22 [Speaker 2]: okay.  

00:09:48:08 [Speaker 1]: Okay. So being a pharmacist, uh, the skills that I've learned as a pharmacist is attention to detail. Uh, making sure everything is right and just being Torah, uh, those, uh, key skews that you need to be, to be a pharmacist. And you don't need to have that beforehand, but you, you will be able to set up your, uh, in an environment that you will have those skills. When you continue with your career. Being a 

00:10:19:06 clinical director side of things is slightly different. You need to be assertive. You need to be able to negotiate with different people, being able to work with conflicting personalities. Um, and I've just lost one thing there that you need to be able to just thinking. Uh, Well, so one 

00:10:49:09 other thing as well, being a clinical director is you need to be able to take risk and because a lot of things are uncertain. So yeah, it's basically about taking risk and when there's not enough information, and that is contradicting to being a pharmacist, because you being a pharmacist, you have all the information at hand, you make your tarot of your decision. Whereas being a clinical director, you have not enough 

00:11:20:07 information and you just need to make a decision based on the available information. Okay,  

00:11:46:01 [Speaker 1]: Being a healthcare professional. I mean, since graduation, you need to take an oath that whatever you do, you're doing it for the good of the patient. So no matter how busy it is, as long as the thing that you're actually doing something good for the patient, whether you are in a shop in the community, pharmacy in a general practice, um, making a position as a clinical director, or even if you work for the CCG, uh, the clinical commissioning group, you are making decisions for the better of the patients, wherever your portfolio is. So as long as you hold 

00:12:18:24 onto that, uh, and making sure that you don't burn out, making sure that you actually take care of yourself as well. I think that's the key reminder is for the patient. And as long as you take care of yourself, you will be able to care for your patient.  

00:12:35:04 [Speaker 2]: How can you be so nice? How'd you find it? Cause I know everyone can do that, right? It's a pretty compassionate thing to do. If you make a few sacrifices to help, how do you find,  

00:12:49:21 [Speaker 1]: I don't think any person finding it, you may have a bit of it in yourself. We are all human and we are not born to be difficult with anyone, but being in a team, being in a team that everyone had the same mentality, whether is it nurses, healthcare system, uh, GPS, colleagues from hospital, everyone, everyone shares the same passion. And when you're in such an environment, it passes on from one person to the 

00:13:19:00 next and you support each other.  

00:13:29:14 [Speaker 2]: If someone is say they're on their health education in the website and they think that sounds okay, but I'm not quite sure. Is there anything that you would say to them?  

00:13:50:21 [Speaker 1]: So anybody that wants to anybody that wants to that, they're not too sure whether they want to be pharmacists or not in the future. You're still thinking, okay. I will say this is a very versatile role. You, the knowledge is extremely versatile. You have scientific knowledge. You can go into research. You, you have the people skill. So you, you can deal with patients. You, you 

00:14:21:02 learn how to deal with different healthcare professionals. And this is basically everyone in the world because patients come from all walks of life, uh, anywhere in the world. And what's key as well is that these people have skill. You can take it out of healthcare. You can go into any career anywhere, any field, and you'll still be able to use it. Don't just take it. That pharmacy degree is just a pharmacy degree. It's a degree is a 

00:14:52:03 science degree. So you can, it's very versatile. Is there  

00:15:06:24 [Speaker 2]: Anything that you wanted to say? Nope, I haven't. You're going to wake up in the middle of night. I wish I said that. So what else do I want to say? You wouldn't regret. I mean, be a pharmacist if you wouldn't regret because the sector is changing so rapidly, there's a need for pharmacists everywhere in the world, in the UK. There's so many new sector and that that's an exhaust. Okay. So yeah, let's start that over 

00:15:42:03 again. So it is, you know, but you, if you become a pharmacist, you wouldn't regret it. There's so many roles coming up. The sector is opening up. So from community pharmacy, from general practice, uh, the industry and the healthcare reform is coming and we're talking about different roles and that's just not enough healthcare workers in the entire NHS. So pharmacists 00:16:11:06 is key as well because our skills are very versatile. You know, about medicines, you you've got a people skills. I can reiterate that any more than what I've done, that you've got people skills and this is needed in the NHS. So if you think this is something you'd like to work with, people definitely come into pharmacy. You won't regret it.

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