An interview with Tanya Miah - CPhO Clinical Fellow, UKHSA

An interview with Tanya Miah - CPhO Clinical Fellow, UKHSA

Please could you start by telling us a bit about your career and journey so far?

I studied pharmacy at the University of Sunderland and qualified as a pharmacist in 2014 after completing my pre-registration training year in hospital. Since then, I’ve had very little time away from education! I believe a career in pharmacy is a commitment to lifelong learning and have been fortunate to complete the Clinical Pharmacy Diploma, Certificate in Independent Prescribing for Pharmacists, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Medical Education. Last year, I completed a master’s degree in Clinical Research; my dissertation involved carrying out a project studying the effect of language barriers in the provision of clinical pharmacy services

Throughout my career, I’ve worked in the Northeast of England and have been through the ranks as a Junior Rotational Pharmacist, a Specialist Pharmacist in General Medicine and Medical Education Teaching Fellow, and then as a Senior Clinical Pharmacist in Gastroenterology. I developed a key interest in service improvement and patient centred services and have had opportunities to contribute to and develop projects designed to improve clinical services and patient care. Last year, I joined the Chief Pharmaceutical Officer’s Clinical Fellow Scheme and am currently being hosted by UKHSA; a wonderful opportunity that is allowing to gain significant experience working in a national role and continues to remind me there is always more to learn.

What are you most proud of?

I am proud of a lot of things that I’ve achieved in my personal and professional life as my achievements have often been the result of a transformative journey. Early in my career, I struggled with confidence, imposter syndrome, and generally feeling ‘part of the team’. My proudest achievements have been learning how to reflect, develop and believe in myself. I was exceptionally pleased to be successful in joining the Chief Pharmaceutical Officer’s Clinical Fellow Scheme last year as a younger me would have thought that was beyond my reach!

What has been one of your biggest professional challenges and how did you overcome it?

One of my biggest professional challenges was related to dealing with a change in motivation. I reached a point where I was struggling to inspire myself to make a difference and embrace my role as effectively as I had in the past. What I had to do was be honest and authentic and have important conversations with my line manager. This dialogue helped identify new motivating ways I could work and opportunities for professional development. Reaching out to managers and mentors and having that conversation is a vital step towards a more satisfying career.


What piece of advice would you give your younger self?

I would tell my younger self to not be afraid of dreaming big and going for those opportunities that are frightening or seem too exclusive because everything is a formative experience in one way or another. I would remind myself that it’s okay to fail sometimes or suffer the ‘bitter sting of rejection’; this is only setting you up for something bigger and better and allowing you to grow personally and professionally. You’ll always end up where you are meant to be. Someone once told me ‘get comfortable being uncomfortable’ and those words have always stuck!


What is something you would like others to know? For example, a piece of advice you would like to give women that are at the start of their pharmacy career.

A piece of advice I would give to those at the start of their pharmacy careers is to avoid comparing yourself and your career to others. You are your own person, and you should always do what is right for you. It can be difficult, especially as women, to not become fixated on where we are ‘supposed to be’ at various stages of our lives and this can often seep into work life too. Take your time, enjoy the ride, and make sure you get out of your career what you truly want and not what everyone else is chasing.