Pharmacy graduates meeting needs of regional communities

June 3, 2010

Rosie Majid and Melody Mugari

Two Master of Pharmacy graduates are doing their bit to stem the shortage of pharmacy staff working in remote and regional Western Australia.

Murdoch University graduates Melody Mugari and Rosie Majid have moved from Perth to Broome and now work fulltime for the Broome Pharmacy Group, who have outlets in the Broome city centre, China Town and Cable Beach.

Associate Professor Robert Coltrona, Dean of the School of Pharmacy, says there is a real shortage of hospital and community pharmacists in Australia, particularly in remote and regional areas where pharmacists are relied upon for essential services.

“Pharmacists are increasingly consulted as primary health providers, particularly for the treatment of chronic illnesses, because they are so accessible and able to integrate their health knowledge,” he said.

“This trend will grow as Australia’s population continues to age and solutions are sought.”

Melody first went to work in Broome as part of her five-week student placement in 2008.  Her experience was made possible by the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, which provides a placement allowance to cover accommodation and travel costs.

While completing her placement Melody was offered a chance to return to Broome and complete her pre-registration, which requires a pharmacy intern to complete 2000 hours before they can become registered.

“I have wonderful bosses,” Melody said.

“From the moment I arrived they made me feel like part of the team and welcomed me to the family.

“When I finished my internship, the group took me out to dinner at an exclusive Broome restaurant and on my first day as a qualified pharmacist they sent me flowers to wish me luck.”

Melody is attracted to the Broome lifestyle, describing it as very laid back, and because it is a small community, she has the chance to get to know everyone.

“Working in Broome we get the opportunity to go on road trips and provide treatment in the remote communities of Lombadina, One Arm Point and Looma,” she said.

Rosie responded to an advertisement for a fulltime pharmacist by Broome Pharmacy group and moved to Broome last September.

“Broome appealed to me because it offered me a different experience,” she said.

“With fewer pharmacists working in regional areas you tend to get more experience and that gives you greater confidence in your skills.”

To apply for entry into the Master of Pharmacy at Murdoch, students need to have a bachelor degree in a science or health discipline, or complete a Graduate Certificate in Pharmacy.

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Media contact: Hayley Mayne
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