In October 2016 I quit my full-time job as a hospital pharmacist and began preparing to write the Pharmacy and Poisons Board of Hong Kong pharmacy registration exam. Pharmacists who’ve passed these exams will tell you the best prep is to work through past papers.
That’s why I spent the next two months dissecting and reviewing all the topics covered in recent past exam questions. As a guide to help those who are thinking about taking the registration exams, I want to walk you through my prep timeline so that you know what to expect.
Gather Necessary Documents
Just to be able to register and sit the exam, I had to complete the application form and get numerous documents certified by a notary public. You are also required to get a reference letter and a letter of good standing from your local pharmacy regulatory authority (board/council/college).
My suggestion is to begin this process six months prior to your target exam date. This will ensure your document requests can be processed well before the application deadline.
Triple Check Your Application
Carefully review all parts of your application using the checklist provided by the Pharmacy and Poisons Board of Hong Kong. Pay special attention to your name. Even though I don’t have a legal Chinese name, some of my documents include my middle name or my middle initial.
If your name has ANY differences amongst the submitted documents, make sure you submit a declaration attesting that all the names are one and the same. I discovered this problem after submitting my initial application and had to make a second trip, and payment, to a notary public. If you are residing in Hong Kong, check with the Pharmacy and Poisons Board about making the declaration at their office in Wanchai. It may be easier, and cheaper, to go submit your documents and make the declaration in person, so that the staff can verbally confirm that no further documentation is required.
Submit Your Application
After mailing all my required documents to Hong Kong prior to the August 31, 2016 deadline, I finally heard on October 7, 2016 that I was approved to sit the December exams. I choose to sit all three exams at the same time This now left me only two months to obtain, and study from, the exam past papers.
Get Registration Exam Past Papers
Not only do you have limited time to get the registration exam past papers, but you (or your representative) also have to physically purchase copies of the past examination papers from the Pharmacy and Poisons Board of Hong Kong. The Board charges a photocopying fee of about 2 HKD per page. This process can be quite cumbersome especially if you are not in Hong Kong.
Save Valuable Prep Time
If you want to maximize the time available to review past exam papers, there is now a better solution. You get exclusive early access to the past exam papers and expert peer reviewed model answers. The detailed answers, with references, will accelerate your exam preparation and help you identify gaps in your knowledge.
The Hong Kong pharmacy registration exam is the most difficult professional exam I have written. And I have written the national licensing exam in Canada and Board of Pharmacy Specialties Pharmacotherapy Specialist exam. Had this service been available, I would have taken full advantage since it would have saved me plenty of stress, time and money.
The two months of full-time intense focus paid-off since I passed all three pharmacy registration exams on the first try. Yet most people, will not have the luxury of such a long break from their work.
Helping You Succeed
Because of how challenging these exams are, I’ve partnered with Dr. Sharon Tang of Hong Kong Pharmacy Registration Exams Tutorials. The online tutorials clearly guide you through each exam question and include practical exam tips and information about drugs in Hong Kong.
Dr. Sharon Tang is a former community and hospital pharmacist. She is passionate about education and has taught nursing and pharmacy technician students in Hong Kong. Since 2010, she has been helping pharmacists pass the Hong Kong pharmacist registration exams by sharing strategies on her Facebook page. She is a registered pharmacist in Hong Kong and the United Kingdom.
I am a clinical pharmacist, who has worked in a large teaching hospital and community pharmacy. My experience includes being a mentor, teacher, and researcher, and I enjoy helping pharmacy students achieve their goals. Currently I am a registered pharmacist in Hong Kong and Alberta, Canada.
Sharon and I have created several exam prep courses for pharmacists writing the Hong Kong pharmacy registration exams. As a way to show you the benefits of these online courses, you can start with a free tutorial on searching for drug information in Hong Kong. As a bonus, we’ve also included free questions and answers from several past papers.
Pharmacists have told us that these tutorials are very helpful. Save your valuable prep time by starting with our registration exam tutorials today!
My dad got a terrible cold this winter. His cough was so bad he couldn’t sleep for days and a cough suppressant could have made him feel better.
If you have a cold like my dad, you really want the best cough suppressant, and you want it now!
I’ve already discussed why I recommend pseudoephedrine, a reliable decongestant medicine. This week I’m going to discuss the use of cough suppressants, which are also known as antitussives.
Cough suppressants are an ingredient in many cold and flu remedies at your pharmacy. These drugs should not be used in children since they are mostly unproven and can be dangerous, so the information below only applies to adults.
Common Questions About Cough
Why Do We Cough?
Cough is a normal reflex to protect our lungs and upper airways from irritants such as smoke and infections. As we cough, we try to get rid of the bad things that have been inhaled into our lungs. A respiratory tract infection like a cold or the flu is the most frequent cause of cough.
What Is A “Normal” Cough When I Have A Cold?
You can get a dry cough soon after getting a cold. This may usually worsen over 1-3 days, but will then begin to improve. You may have a lingering cough for up to two weeks. If your cough doesn’t start to improve as described above, it is a good idea to get checked out by a doctor since a cough can be a symptoms of a more severe problem like pneumonia.
When Should I Use A Cough Suppressant?
Cough suppressants can be tried if you have a cold with a dry cough. On the other hand, if you are coughing up a bunch of phlegm or mucous, then you don’t want to stop coughing because your cough is productive and is helping to clear the phlegm. Typically I only recommend a cough suppressant for a dry cough when you are really struggling to cope such as having a lack of sleep.
What Is The Best Cough Suppressant?
In my experience, many people respond well to over-the-counter dextromethorphan, often abbreviated as DM. The effectiveness of dextromethorphan can be modest, so make sure you are using an adequate dose and follow the package instructions. If dextromethorphan doesn’t help your cough after a few days of treatment, it is best to see your doctor for a full assessment of your cough.
To learn about how to best use dextromethorphan in adults, including details on dosing, side-effects, and drug interactions, check out my Ultimate Guide to Curing Your Cold. In this easy to read e-book, I simplify the essential information about how to best treat all your cold symptoms. Finally, after a few sleepless nights, my dad’s cough started to improve. Next time he gets such a bad cough, he’ll go chat with his pharmacist about dextromethorphan.