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Reflections on a career in paediatric pharmacy

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I was very honoured when asked by EJHP and the editor in chief to ‘pioneer’ the first themed issue in EJHP focusing on paediatrics, as this is a subject very close to my heart. Please allow me to give you a bit of background as to why and to persuade you to read this edition whether you're a paediatric pharmacist or not.

Monday, 1 September 1986 was the start of a ‘new career’ and, in a way, a ‘new life’ for me. That was the day that I took up a post as ‘staff pharmacist’ at a small Victorian children's hospital in the East Midlands area of England (sadly now demolished). Until that time I had been a ‘resident’ pharmacist at a busy general hospital, and after 3 years was frankly fed up of being bleeped in the middle of the night and getting out of my bed to supply drugs and sort out problems. My thoughts when I was told that I had been successful in getting the children's hospital job were “great, no more bleeps, no more living in the nurse's home (though that had been fun!) and … I don't really like kids but I'll do this job until something better comes along”!

In 1986 the pharmacy department was in the basement of the hospital; we could just see people's feet walking past the window high above us. It was freezing in winter and hot in summer (so hot one year that we had to hire portable air-conditioning units as I was concerned that the drugs would deteriorate in the heat). We saw the occasional rat, cockroach and a regular visiting tramp outside the back door (and once a rat in the waiting room—yuk!). It was a bit scary on dark winter evenings being down there alone when …

Correspondence to Dr Sharon Conroy, Department of Child Health, University of Nottingham, School of Medicine, Royal Derby Hospital, Uttoxeter Road, Derby DE22 3DT, UK; Sharon.Conroy{at}nottingham.ac.uk

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