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Atif Saddiq 

Pharmacy MPharm with Sandwich Year and MSc Advanced Practice (Clinical Practitioner)

  • Works for various organisations, including Health Education England, Farrow Medical Centre and Medicare Chemists Huddersfield
  • Is co-founder of Primary Healthcare Development, an independent healthcare and training organisation
  • Decided to study at postgraduate level as he felt it would help him to achieve his career aspirations

You can follow Primary Healthcare Development on the below social media channels:

Atif Saddiq, Pharmacy MPharm with Sandwich Year and MSc Advanced Practice (Clinical Practitioner)

My current role

"I work as a Portfolio Pharmacist and therefore cover a range of roles. Responsibilities for my roles vary from diagnosing, treating and putting management plans together for patients, through to educating and providing strategic direction for educational and training policies for current and aspiring healthcare professionals.

"I chose to pursue a career in pharmacy as I have personally been on the receiving end of excellent healthcare and wanted to give something back. The clinical, professional and social diversity in this area of practice was and still is very welcoming.

"My biggest achievement so far has been co-founding Primary Healthcare Development, an independent healthcare and training organisation. This organisation has allowed me to combine my passion for healthcare and education, with the benefits of putting me and my business partner in the driving seat of choosing how we decide to innovate and engage in this sector.

"Since the company’s emergence two years ago, we have worked on projects with HEI organisations, professional bodies and the independent sector.

"During the outbreak of COVID-19, the clinical part of my portfolio career of working in General Practice has been put on hold as services have been stripped back to practice social distancing. The benefits of having a portfolio career have meant that I have been able to provide more focus to other areas of my portfolio and these have somewhat benefitted  through the new ways of working; accessibility to and developments in technology have really been a silver lining to the pandemic, particularly in education and training since changes here have meant that boundaries which would never have been crossed before are now being explored."

Whilst undertaking my undergraduate programme at the University of Bradford, I found a new passion for education, training and strategic leadership through opportunities that the course and the University had provided for me.

Pursuing postgraduate

"My motto in life has always been to be the best version of myself and after graduating from my MPharm course, I realised that although this set me up nicely to earn a good salary, to truly achieve my career aspirations I would need to engage in postgraduate study.

"I often advise current students that if they want to stand out and be the best version of themself, undertaking postgraduate studies is no longer ‘optional’ add on and should be seen as more of a mandatory requirement. This doesn’t mean that students should jump into postgraduate studies straight after undergraduate studies - my advice would be to take your time, recognise why and what you need postgraduate studies for, and be aware that peers may pursue postgraduate studies much earlier or later than you based on their personal circumstances.

"I would also advise students to ensure they think wisely about where they wish to study since although my undergraduate and postgraduate courses have equipped me with the core clinical and academic skills for undertaking roles in my area of practice, the University of Bradford in particular has been important in making me believe that no matter what my social, cultural or religious background is, I can achieve and succeed."

Due to the socially inclusive nature of the university, my experience of studying at Bradford has been integral in allowing me to have the confidence to take on the roles and challenges of my portfolio career so far.

Finding work

"After graduating, my key aims were to develop my professional decision making and clinical skills in relation to healthcare, and to experience and be aware of the fundamentals involved in education and training. For this reason, my approach to work was to be really flexible to ensure that I could take on multiple responsibilities.

"A key way that I adopted a flexible approach was to remain as a freelancer for the majority of my work, so that I could accept responsibilities with minimal commitment. Getting used to the insecurity involved with freelancing encouraged me to not be afraid of taking on new roles and challenges.

"A key piece of advice for current students is to try to not get too comfortable in a job early in your career, as this will limit your options very quickly. Always look at the next project that you could want to work on and prepare yourself to be in a position to take on such a challenge in the months and years to come.

"Remember you’re not in this alone so build your network, work with colleagues, and have both personal and collaborative goals. If you find that an organisation does not allow you to achieve your goals, don’t be afraid to move or set up something of your own."

Atif Saddiq, Pharmacy MPharm with Sandwich Year and MSc Advanced Practice (Clinical Practitioner), with a friend at graduation

Atif with a friend at his graduation.

Inspiring me

"The biggest inspiration to my career has been my mother who has had the mammoth task of bringing up four boys as a single mother on the welfare system.

"I often remind myself that if my mother was able to put all four of her children through higher education and transform them into being independent adults, nothing would be impossible if I was to try and adapt a similar level of resilience and determination."