Newly-minted pharmacists commit to no compromise for mediocrity

Twenty-four pharmacists on Saturday evening recited the pharmacist’s oath after donning their white coats and being awarded their licenses to practice.
The event, known as the White Coat Ceremony for Pharmacy Interns, was held at the Herdmanston Lodge, Lamaha and Peter Rose Street, Queenstown, Georgetown.

Pharmacists donning with their white coats

According to the Department of Public Information (DPI), the newly-minted pharmacists would have acquired a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from the University of Guyana (UG) and served a one-year internship at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC). This is the second consignment of pharmacists who would have undergone a medical training period of one year.

As is customary, after being geared with white coats, each pharmacist lit a candle from a single flame borne by Chief Medical Officer, Dr Shamdeo Persaud. This, according to the Pharmacy Council, symbolises the transition of leadership from the policy level all the way down to practice.

Chief Medical Officer, Dr Shamdeo Persaud

Speaking on behalf of this batch of pharmacists, Mark Persaud reflected on his time spent as an intern. He shared some of his personal experiences along with others he shared collectively with his fellow colleagues. Persaud noted his confidence that he and his fellow pharmacists will uphold their vow to be ambassadors of the profession.
“I would say, this batch of pharmacists is leaving here determined not to compromise for mediocrity. This batch is one I see standing firm and adhering to the rules and regulations that govern them and won’t support poor governance from superiors and won’t compromise with malpractice …. in this healthcare system.”

Pharmacist, Mark Persaud

Persaud boldly declared that the commitment being made by the pharmacists to the health sector, whether locally or otherwise, is one which must be recognised.
When it comes to the values of each individual in this batch, Persaud remarked, “I rest assured that we are that batch that will make pharmacists recognised in healthcare for what we are called to do”.
Dr Persaud, who delivered the feature address on behalf of the Public Health Minister, outlined the history of the pharmacy profession in Guyana noting that locally, the profession was started by expatriates from the United Kingdom when the country was still a colony. He explained that more widely, the profession dates back even further.
“You are now officially joining a noble profession that dates way back… you may not know but the practice of pharmacy started way back maybe 2000 years Before Christ, in the Samaritan period. In ancient documents, there are actual records of how it was put together, what was given and the frequency with which it was given.”
The recital of the pharmacist’s oath was led by Director of Pharmacy Services, O’Neil Atkins while the charge was given to the pharmacists by the immediate past Chairman of the Pharmacy Council in Guyana, Carl Bacchus, who encouraged the professionals to emulate the “trailblazers” who went before them as it is “an exciting journey but a serious career”.
In 2018, Guyana welcomed 17 clinically trained pharmacists into the fraternity. This is now set to be an annual feature as the University of Guyana continues to educate persons in the field of pharmacy.
Before the pharmacy internship programme was launched in March 2017, persons who would have studied the pharmacy theory went on to practise without hands-on knowledge. Today, those completing the UG programme can benefit from full-time training and practical exposure.
Also in attendance was Chairperson of the Pharmacy Council in Guyana, Levante De Santos and Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Elizabeth Gonzalves, preceptors who facilitated this batch of interns and other staff of the GPHC.