Dear fellow colleagues,
Today I would like to take you on a journey and share my experiences of enrolling onto PMST and going through the pharmaceutical medicine curriculum.
So, if you come with me on this ride I will need you to fasten your seatbelts as it will be a bumpy one… We will need to go back to 2016 when I got my first job in the industry as a medical advisor and my manager advised me to enrol onto PMST.
The only information I had at the time was what my manager was able to tell me, and what was available on the FPM website (this was ‘bump one’ – there’s a lot more information available now thankfully). Although I didn’t know exactly what I was getting into, I decided that my passion for learning was reason enough to take the leap of faith and become a PMST trainee.
it might seem like you have a tough road ahead of you, but by tapping into the help and support that is available through FPM I am sure that the journey will be easier and more memorable
So, to the early days. As there was no formal peer-to-peer support in place when I started PMST (bump two), and I didn’t really have anyone to guide me through how to manage the training alongside my work, I had to find my own way as I went along which included working on weekends and sometimes beyond working hours (bump three). All this was conducted alongside managing a young family too (
bump an infinite joy)!
After a few months on the programme I spotted an advertisement to join the FPM Trainees Committee and I thought that would be a good opportunity to speak with fellow trainees and learn from their experiences. Also, as I was new to the industry, this seemed like a fantastic opportunity to network and create new relationships beyond my work colleagues. So, I applied and was accepted onto the committee, and I have to say this gave me a place to understand a lot more about PMST. I learned how others captured their reflections, how other educational supervisors supported the trainees and much more.
Participating on the committee also gave me an opportunity to help my fellow trainees by shaping the resources and information that is available. One of the big comments made by all trainees was about how (best) to use the e-portfolio. I took on the role of e-portfolio lead and was involved in updating it a few years on into my role as trainee. We also created many forums for trainees to understand bit more about PMST, how to capture reflections on e-portfolio, and similar topics were presented at various events such as FPM Education Days. I’d like to think that my contributions to the committee would have helped the 2017 version of myself!
FPM has now updated their website with a lot more information for trainees, including information on the Diploma in Pharmaceutical Medicine (DPM) exam and other PMST topics, which I urge new trainees to use as it is definitely helpful. FPM also holds training sessions specifically for the trainees on topics for the DPM and PMST which are also very useful.
Fast-forward to 2022, and after getting an extension of six months due to personal reasons, I finally managed to complete my PMST. Tough at times but it was a worthwhile journey which has led me to becoming a Member of FPM (MFPM) and given me the opportunity to maintain my involvement in FPM as an active member of the Careers working group.
So, what about the future? Well, exciting times are ahead of us. FPM is rolling out a new mentoring scheme called FPM Connect which help trainees to get career support from more experienced pharmaceutical physicians.
If you have just joined the PMST programme it might seem like you have a tough road ahead of you, but by tapping into the help and support that is available through FPM I am sure that the journey will be easier and more memorable.
I wish you all my fellow pharmaceutical physicians the very best in all your future endeavours.
Dr Mayura Deshpande
MBBS PGDip MSc MFPM