Guilhem Mansion - Dr Pharmacy

I started my studies in pharmacy a long time ago, in Montpellier, by a beautiful day of September 1986, to complete them in December 1993, still under a radiant sun!

Seven years filled with many moving memories!

  • The first year and its terrible selection (150 students admitted amongst 800... I finally ended up at rank 23)
  • The second year where one proudly displays one’s white lab coat, an outward sign of a recent victory over the dreadful contest
  • The third and fourth years, relatively quiet, at the cruising pace of examinations and student life
  • Finally, the fifth and sixth years, with a draconian split between the different specialties (dispensary pharmacy, industry, hospital...), many practical trainings and, last but not least, the defence of your thesis!

In the end, I was a pharmacist with a worn-out coat... I should rather say a devastated coat, after the many hours spent in the chemistry labs! Indeed, pharmacy is all about chemistry, all kinds of chemistry - analytical, organic, mineral, therapeutic, synthetic, phytochemical, to cite just a few. A multitude of acidic, aggressive, caustic compounds you should know how to tame and recognise. So many colours, smells and other sensations strongly anchored in your memory! One never forgets the strong odour of ammonia or the bitter almond one prefiguring cyanide, the green, rust, or turquoise tints of various copper precipitates, the scorching bite of caustic soda that insidiously gnaws all areas of skin not covered by the coat, and so on.

If many of my friends have chosen the dispensary (the city pharmacy if one prefers), others have also taken the paths of industry, hospital or commercial representation. Only a few have tried research, but never in botany… It must be admitted that the age of pharmaceutical botanists is long over. Yet, I decided to embark on this tortuous path!

Last edited: 24/01/2020