Stockholm at night, Sweden
Photo No. 27: Stockholm at night, Sweden (Open in new window), Author:, Date: September 8, 2011
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Pharmacy: the Art and Science of preparing and dispensing drugs

I have been always fascinated by pharmacy and healing and I dreamt about owning a herbal apothecary since I was a child. One of my favorite activities at grammar school was reading about medicinal plants and "alternative" medicines. In 2006 I started to attend the Faculty of Pharmacy at Charles University in Prague, situated in the city of Hradec Králové (Czech Republic). During five years of the master programme I never doubted it was the right choice. I simply enjoyed everything I could learn there!

I have been attracted by the work in a pharmacy; keen on helping patients, preparing medicines, talking to and co-operating with the medical doctors. (I still adore the genius loci of the old pharmacies!) I spent some time working in a pharmacy: summer student jobs galore, six-month practical placement, and three-month employment between my master and doctoral studies. And I did enjoy the work!

However, a general disappointment from the pharmaceutical environment, where the pure joy of healing has been overtaken by economic profits, overwhelmed me. I knew a lot about medicines, I wanted to share the knowledge with the patients and I wanted to offer them the best therapy they could get. But they were not as interested as I had expected. The most frequently asked questions became "How much do I pay for these pills?" and "Did you really study university to do this job?" That and the ubiquitous business and money motivated environment did not inspire me very much.

I decided to follow a different path for a while: the journey of Research and Science. However, healing and medicinal plants remained the matter of my heart. After completing my PhD in Analytical Chemistry at the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences in the Netherlands, I came a full circle and I founded a business - Herbae Thylacini - which connects my life-long passions for pharmacy, medicinal plants and research & education.