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Wonder Women in Pharmacy – Rose Marie Parr

Since 2001, there have been more women than men on the Register and their role in the profession has been firmly established. In celebration of International Women’s Day this year the charity approached a number of women working in the profession today about their role models and experiences.

Here we speak to Professor Rose Marie Parr, Director of Pharmacy, NHS Education for Scotland


Rose Marie Parr HeadshotHi Rose Marie – Did you have any role models and can you tell us a bit about them?

At the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow my role model was Professor Bill Bowman, now unfortunately no longer with us, who established the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Strathclyde. He was an inspirational teacher, a brilliant lecturer, a walking encyclopaedia of pharmacology and a mentor to numerous pharmacists and pharmacologists around the globe. Indeed, a much loved and well-thumbed textbook Bowman and Rand became the standard textbook of pharmacology worldwide.

My main role models in Pharmacy life include:  Professors Graham Calder and Bill Scott and Pamela Warrington- all of whom have held the Scottish Governments Chief Pharmaceutical Officers (or Deputy’s) post for many years, and indeed for almost all of my professional career.  All three have had a huge positive influence on my career and work choices to date.

What has been the defining moment in your career so far?

I think moving into Education in Pharmacy has been the defining move in my career – I have a passion for pharmacy and education and love the fact that it is really all about Lifelong Learning.

I love the Mahatma Ghandi quote:

Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”

What does it mean to be a woman in the profession?

Nothing in particular – I haven’t really thought about it – and haven’t felt any differences in how I have been treated in the profession because I am a female.

Although I do like the Groucho Marx comment:

Only one man in a thousand is a leader of men – the other 999 follow women.

Do you have any wellbeing tips or coping mechanisms that might help others in the profession?

I have been very fortunate in that I have been blessed with a happy and hearty appetite for life and pharmacy and hopefully don’t take myself too seriously. I think that many things are really hard and complex in life but the last quote is a good one – and puts some problems into perspective:

Umberto Eco’s remarked:  “As the man said, for every complex problem there’s a simple solution – and it’s wrong.”


We were delighted to talk to some of the other women working in pharmacy today. Click to read their stories:

Sue Sharpe, Chief Executive of the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee and co-founder of the Listening Friends Scheme; Thorrun Govind, pharmacy student and Pharmacist Support fundraiser and Helen Gordon, Chief Executive of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society.

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