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With little scare about job opportunities and ruling out all anxieties for future prospects, the passed out graduates of the first batch of the doctoral pharmacy programme, Pharm D, in Kerala have shared the impression that immense scope for placements is awaiting them in leading hospitals and ADR monitoring centres in the state.

More than sixty per cent of the 110 passed out graduates from three self financing pharmacy colleges and one deemed university have got responsible placements within three months of their completion of the course. Appointments have been made in the same line as envisaged in the core curriculum of the clinical pharmacy course. The Pharm D holders were absorbed by the secondary and tertiary sector hospitals and ADR monitoring centres in Kerala.

Responsible positions with handsome salaries have been offered to these graduates of the doctoral pharmacy by the managements of healthcare institutions with a view to ‘improve the quality of patient care’, a concept that was hitherto alien to the patient care part of the healthcare management. The post offered to the Pharm D holders in hospitals is ‘Clinical Pharmacist’ and in the pharmacovigilance side they are assigned as ‘ADR Reporting Coordinators’.

The remaining passed-out graduates of the first batch will also be placed in good positions in various healthcare institutions and in agencies before long. Large numbers of offers are coming from various parts of the state and the job placement opportunities are more than expected, said Dr. Augustin Robert Xavier, convener of the Pharm D Graduates Association in Kerala. Augustin Robert has been posted as clinical pharmacist at the MIMS Hospital in Kozhikodu. He said they are using the word ‘doctor’ as prefix to their names.

Although Pharm D programme was launched in India in the year 2008, the course was started in Kerala two years later. The first batch came out in September this year. One hundred and ten students from four institutions, Al Shifa College of Pharmacy in Malappuram district, KMCT Pharmacy College in Kozhikodu, Sree Krishna College of Pharmacy in Thiruvananthapuram and from Amritha College of Pharmacy in Ernakulam, have successfully completed the programme in the first batch.

Reacting to questions stemmed from the perspective that the doctors at the hospitals would normally keep a distance from the doctoral pharmacy professionals while on duty, Dr. Augustin Robert said doctors in all the departments are very much supporting and encouraging the professional areas of the clinical pharmacists so as to heighten the quality of the patient care. Besides, he added, by improving the patient-care quality the credit will go to the doctors only. He said the Pharm D graduates association in Kerala is trying to launch some programmes to convince the hospital managements about the services of clinical pharmacists because still the hospital authorities are not interested fully to absorb Pharm Ds to the clinical pharmacy side.
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