Prescriptions and prejudices: Pharmacy students’ experiences of racism

Pharmacy students detail their encounters with over-the-counter racism

Like Comment

“Many of my colleagues are kind, generous, sincere people but I wouldn’t expect them to understand racism the way that it is experienced by people of colour.”

Inspired by the #BlackLivesMatter movement, I recently interviewed eleven other pharmacy students of colour in Ireland and published an article detailing the racism they have faced, and are still facing, in college, placement, workplace and beyond. The article also highlighted some systemic and policy challenges within the pharmacy profession and the bigger healthcare picture in Ireland that need to be overcome to achieve racial equity.

Since the publication, it has received significant tractions from students, practitioners, academics to leaders, especially within the pharmacy community in Ireland. As racism is an issue that is, and should be, of interest to the Laidlaw community, I thought I would share this piece of work with you. It is an achievement of a collective effort, which I hope you will find interesting and thought-provoking. For those of you who are also from a minority background, I sincerely hope that the article will resonate with you. I hope that you will find some comfort in it and that you will be inspired.

Published in Trinity News, an independent newspaper of Trinity College Dublin, you can read the article here:

Let me know what you think! I would love to hear your thoughts. Drop a line too if you would like to have a chat! :)

All good wishes,


Aaron Koay

M.Pharm. Student; Intern Pharmacist; Incoming Population Health PhD Scholar, Trinity College Student

I am a Master of Pharmacy (M.Pharm.) Student at Trinity College Dublin with a strong interest in global/population health, health services, preventive medicine, natural products, and sustainable development. For my Laidlaw research project, I investigated the therapeutic potential of a natural-occurring vitamin called ergothioneine, mostly found in mushrooms, on the development of idiopathic and bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis in vitro; PI: Prof. Carsten Ehrhardt. Beyond that, I have had extensive research experiences across multiple fields, including medical humanities, digital archival research, plant metabolomics, travel health and pharmacy practice. In Sep 2020, I will embark on an interdisciplinary Population Health PhD between Medication Management and Organisational Psychology at Trinity. The PhD project will aim to explore medication practices and safety vulnerabilities in lay people through the lens of system-based thinking. During my free time, you'll most likely find me practising yoga and meditation in my room! If you're interested to have a chat about anything, don't hesitate to drop a line! Look forward to hearing from you! :)

No comments yet.