The Lagos State branch of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) has kicked against the get-rich-quick trend among young pharmacists, noting that such orientation would prevent them from making a meaningful impact on their profession and the society at large.
The timely counsel was given by elders of the profession at the induction ceremony of over 70 new pharmacists, who were posted to the state for their internship.
The veterans took turns to emphasise the supremacy of commitment to service over greedy tendencies.
The keynote speaker, Pharm. Harry Ikechukwu Nnoli, who spoke on the topic: “Enter the future”, made it clear to the inductees that their future would be shaped by their preoccupations, urging them to maximise their time on productive activities, rather than cutting corners to get to the top.
Nnoli, who cautioned the pharmacists against sharp practices, highlighted the qualities of a great professional to include integrity and personal development, adding that greatness in a chosen career is determined by the ability to get relevant knowledge, as well as the right application of such knowledge to the practice.
He further added that the ultimate difference that they would make would be determined by their relationship with God, encouraging them to embrace God and let Him guide them in all that they do.
“The God factor must not be forgotten, because except the Lord builds the house, they labour in vain that build it.”
Continuing, he said, “People must be humble to know that the journey of a thousand miles begins with a step, it doesn’t start with hundred steps. For as long as they are honest with themselves, and conscious of being relevant to the society, not trying to enrich their purses, they will be able to avoid the pitfall of corruption.
“History has shown that most of those who engaged in fraudulent acts, often ended up miserably. Thus, young pharmacists should know that their call to service is not about stealing money, because no one remembers the money you stole, but the impact made on the lives of people. So as pharmacists, my advice to you is to make a difference in the lives of poor Nigerians, and in the society at large. In the process of impacting others positively, your own lives will also be transformed”, he counselled.
Also speaking at the occasion, Pharm. Gbenga Olubowale, chairman of Lagos PSN, explained the essence of the induction ceremony, stating that it was a way of integrating the new pharmacists into the culture of the PSN.
“We use that avenue to talk to them, as some of our senior colleague offer advice and share experiences”, he said.
The chairman noted that it had come to the notice of the PSN that most of the new pharmacists on the field are not well versed in what the profession is all about, saying that some of them graduate from school with wrong notions, which easily makes them get conscripted into wrong practices – “register and go”, get-rich-quick syndrome, and so on.
He also mentioned the importance of mentoring, which he said is prerequisite for making real impact on the field.
Fielding questions from the inductees on how best to resolve the recurrent bottlenecks in getting internship placement, Pharm. Augustine Ezeugwu , PCN Lagos zonal coordinator, said the PCN was working on the expansion and accreditation of community pharmacies in the state, urging the young pharmacists to also be prepared to work in the community , as not all pharmacists would have the privilege of serving with federal government institutions.