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!

I was finally a pharmacist with a worn 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 and caustic compounds you should know to tame and recognise. So many colours, smells and other sensations deeply rooted in your memory! One never forgets the strong odour of ammonia or the bitter almond one prefiguring cyanide, the green, rust and turquoise tints of various copper precipitates, the scorching bite of caustic soda, which insidiously gnaws all areas of your skin not covered by the coat, and so on.

Pharmacy leads to everything, provided you can get out”, said once a famous journalist of Montpellier! Indeed, many of my colleagues chose the dispensary pharmacy while others took the way of industry, hospital or trade representation... some have even tried research, but no one ended in botany. The age of pharmaceutical botanists is long gone! Yet, I decided to follow this windy path!

Last edited: 31/01/2018