UBC Reports | Vol.
51 | No. 5 |
May 5, 2005
Pharmacy a “Piping” Hot Career Choice
By Hilary Thomson
After eight years of post-secondary education, Craig Plain
figures he’s finally found the prescription for success.
The 25-year-old picks up a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy
degree this month, capping a previous four years studying
kinesiology and human health at Simon Fraser University.
Pursuing pharmacy started as a light-hearted suggestion
from his father, a practicing pharmacist and UBC alumnus.
Once Plain researched the pharmaceutical sciences program,
he realized it would be a good fit.
A veteran at hitting the books, he says his third year in
Pharmacy, “where they throw everything at you”
was the toughest.
To keep life balanced, he skiied and blew off steam with
his music. A virtual one-man band, Plain plays classical,
blues and jazz piano and has been known to do a mean Jerry
Lee Lewis imitation.
In addition, he was inspired by SFU’s famous pipe band
to learn how to play the bagpipes and has played professionally
at a variety of high-profile events. He also plays guitar
and has recently added the harmonica to his repertoire.
He admits his apartments have often resembled a music store
He believes his previous education and understanding of
body mechanics will help him because pharmacists also counsel
patients on how to use medical appliances such as neck braces
Canada’s aging population, retirement of “baby
boomer” pharmacists and the introduction of a multitude
of new medications have turned a pharmacy degree into a hot
ticket. Plain and his classmates have been courted by major
employers offering big salaries and signing bonuses. He prefers
to keep his options open, however, and plans to work in a
community pharmacy in Vancouver until the right opportunity
And what about some vacation time after all these years
“I’ll take a couple of weeks off, but I’m
eager to use my knowledge and get started,” he says.
“But I did give myself a great graduation present --
a new car to take me to work.”