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Snape Everyone Goes Away

weasleyfan in hp_britglish

University and career path - is anyone still here?

Hello? I hope someone still looks at this community now and then. The first page, at least, is full of spam. :( I need some Brit-picking help! I'm a nurse in the U.S. and like to incorporate medical type stuff into my fanfic as much as I'm able.

I'm working on a fanfic in which Severus has always kept one foot in the Muggle world, so to speak. He went to (where?) University - funded by his D.E. ties, the financial incentive and admissions-qualifications help for which was the final promise that seduced him to their side. Snape is, at the time of my story, a fully licensed and capable pharmacist is the word we use in the U.S.

Here in the U.S., the pharmacists have as much or sometimes more schooling than medical doctors, and they're the ones who are employed in research and development of new medications and/or the compounding and dispensing of existing ones. There is a bit of a professional rivalry between Pharmacists and Doctors, here at least, because Pharmacists are supposed to double-check doseages and things, laboratory interactions with folks with kidney failure, on blood thinners, etc., etc., and catch/correct physician errors before they occur. Physicians, being the somewhat narcissistic people they can often be, don't much like being corrected, and so there is some friction there.

What is a pharmacist called in the U.K.? Chemist? Druggist? If Snape works for a pharmacy where people go to buy their medicine, is it the Chemists? Where would be a fairly prestigous/difficult to get into University where he could have obtained this degree? Is it a PhD there? How many years, roughly would he have gone to school to obtain this degree?

What are some common, over-the-counter medications that an ordinary British Muggle might keep in the house? Here, we have things like tylenol/acetaminophen (a pain reliever/fever-reducer that is not an anti-inflammatory), ibuprofen/Advil (pain-reliever/fever-reducer that is an anti-inflammatory), various cold remedies like NyQuil, Benadryl (useful for seasonal allergies or intermittent allergies like sniffles/sneezing from exposure to cats if one is allergic), etc.

Any information you have time/interest to provide to me would be most welcome! Thank you!!


The mods have abandoned this list to its fate. I contacted them months ago to ask about the spam and why whenever I try to post a question myself my question never appears - but I never got an answer.

The first thing to remember here is the thing you haven't asked, because it didn't occur to you that it was a problem. University is university. Even Medical School is university. "School" is what you go to between the ages of 4 and 16 or 18, depending on whether your school has its own sixth form or not. If you have to go to a spearate Sixth Form College from ages 16-18, it is so far as I know always called college. Higher education after 18 is called university or in some cases college, never school.

Something else you need to watch out for is that an "MD" in the US is a general medical degree, but here it's a doctorate (equivalent to a PhD) in medical research. A general medical degree here is an "MB BCh" (or sometimes "MB ChB") which stands for "Medical Bachelor and Bachelor of Chirurgy" - chirurgy being an old-fashioned word for surgery. There also used to be an alternative medical degree, involving a bit less theory and a bit more on-the-job apprenticeship, called an "LRCP and LRCS" - that is "Licentiate of the Royal College of Physicians and Licentiate of the Royal College of Surgeons". This degree was abolished I think about 16 yeaqrs ago, so any doctor who holds it will be middle-aged or older.

The person who is licensed to dispense prescription medication is a pharmacist. A shop which does this is called either a pharmacy or a chemist's shop, and it always has at least one pharmacist on the staff.

A medical dispensary inside a hospital could be called either a dispensary or a pharmacy. Not all chemists' shops dispense - some, like Superdrug, just sell things like shampoo and sanitary towels and over the counter, non-prescription drugs. Note that most non-prescription medication is *much* cheaper than it is in the US - in some cases as little as a fifth of the cost.

Prescriptions in England currently cost something like £8.50 but would have been cheaper in the past. If you are a child, an OAP or on certain benefits they are free and even if you have to pay, you can buy a pass which covers the cost of all your prescription medication and costs around £100 a year (or you can get one for just four months for a third the cost). Prescriptions are free to everybody in Scotland and Wales and I think also Northern Ireland, and have been for some years.

Pharmacists are allowed to diagnose and prescibe for minor ailments themselves without the patient seeing their GP, but this is a fairly recent development.

If you go here http://www.pharmacyregulation.org/education/pharmacist/MPharm you will see a description of a pharmacy degree, which seems to be a four year master's degree followed by a year of pre-registration training. Near the bottom you will see a link to a list of British universities which offer this course.

I'm not sure what you would call a medical researcher specialising in pharmacy but I have to pick up a prescription tomorrow, so if I remember I'll ask the pharmacist. Your main problem is all the qualification Snape will need before he even starts on the pharmacy masters - although there's a link on there for a sort of primer course called a foundation degree for those who don't have enough A-Levels.

Common medicines you might find around the home - ibuprofen, paracetamol, aspirin, voltarol (it's a cream you rub into sore muscles and joints), Olbas Oil (a decongestant), Benilyn (cough syrup), anti-histamines, Arret or Immodium (both brands of loperamide, to treat diarrhoea), Buscopan (to calm gut spasms), Lemsip - this last is a powder containing fruit flavouring (usually but not always lemon), paracetamol and a decongestant, which you make up into a hot drink to treat the symptoms of 'flu'

Note btw that it is illegal to advertise prescription-only medication here, and illegal for a medical person to accept any kind of favour from a pharmaceutical company - not even a free biro.
I'm glad you specified England for prescription charges - prescriptions are free here in Wales.
Although many branches of Superdrug now contain an in-store pharmacy, where prescriptions can be dispensed unless the pharmacist is off-duty, which is what always seem to happen if I wish to speak to one.

I have always gone to a pharmacist for help with, say, bandaging a minor cut, and was certainly doing so in the 1980s. One has always been able to ask them for advice.
Very true. But it's only recently - about six years? - that they've been allowed to prescribe medication (which here in Scotland means give it to you free) without reference to your GP.

Edited at 2017-02-12 09:58 pm (UTC)