Sumayyah Khalid 

Pharmacy student, University of Manchester
Image with the Women to Watch 2023 logo and Sumayyah Khalid

Now in her third year of an MPharm degree, Sumayyah Khalid already has a long list of accolades and achievements next to her name. She has hit the ground running and taken on several projects and leadership roles, but it is her writing credits she is most proud of. 

Khalid won the University of Manchester Student Union’s Writer of the Year Award in 2023 and her work has already been recognised within medical publishing. In 2022, Khalid won the International Pharmacy Students’ opinion piece competition for an article entitled: ‘The importance of narrative practice in relationship-based pharmacy care’, which was subsequently published in The Australian Pharmacy Students’ Journal on 1 July 2022. She won again earlier in 2023 for her take on maximising the benefits of pharmacy independent prescribing in England. 

I want to continue to write articles after I qualify and after I’ve had some more experience, hopefully that will allow me to develop that further

“I will be a qualified prescriber when registered and part of the first cohort to do that and I wanted to give my perspective on that,” she says. 

Journalism is important to her and she has completed a placement at the British Medical Journal (BMJ). She was involved in designing a new type of article at the BMJ and she says it was “an amazing opportunity to learn more”. 

“I want to continue to write articles after I qualify and after I’ve had some more experience, hopefully that will allow me to develop that further.”  

Most recently, Khalid has been accepted to write for the European Pharmaceutical Students’ Association’s (EPSA) magazine, EPSA Science! Monthly, and she also works as a student reviewer for the Australian Pharmacy Students’ Journal where she supports others to develop their writing. Twice a year, Khalid joins a global community of pharmacy writers in completing the #RxWritingChallenge on Twitter. 

Inclusion and diversity is also incredibly important to Khalid who, over the past year, has collaborated with students and faculty to create a Muslim Pharmacy Students’ Guide. Her experiences have informed “a body of work that will support and empower future cohorts of Muslim pharmacy students at my university”, she says. 

As inclusion officer for the University of Manchester’s Healthcare Alliance Society, she worked with healthcare students from different disciplines to organise inclusive, accessible events. In December 2022, she became a member of the British Pharmaceutical Student Association’s (BPSA) equality, diversity and inclusion committee, providing feedback around issues such as the BPSA conference being held during Ramadan.  

However, it was becoming involved in organising peer-assisted study sessions at the university that gave her particular satisfaction, she explains. When she first started helping with the study sessions, it was the first year they were being held in person since the COVID-19 pandemic and she felt students really needed that social connection.  

“It meant engaging with students, helping each other and working together to solve any difficulties they were having with the material,” she says. “My job was to make sure that they were really benefiting from having that face-to-face support and that they felt comfortable to ask the leaders of the sessions questions, discretely if they needed to. I was helping to manage that transition.” 

Throwing herself into university life has also meant taking part in social activities. Being from Birmingham originally, she appreciates being in another vibrant and diverse city where there is always something going on. In her free time, she may be found in the university’s Baking Society cooking up something delicious. She also volunteers at the ‘Once a Month’ society, packing period products that are sent to charities and shelters to help reduce period poverty in the community. Collectively, they pack over 200 sets of supplies at each session. 

Her goal at the moment is just to make the most of all the opportunities available to her. It’s an exciting time to be a pharmacy student, she believes, because the possibilities of what you could do with your degree are expanding even further. “Especially with prescribing being implemented, the scope is so broad,” she says. “I would like to work in a patient-facing environment but beyond that I would like to keep my options open.” 

Panel comments 

“Outstanding young pharmacy student. Clearly passionate about equality, diversity and inclusion.” 

“This pharmacy student’s blend of academic excellence, writing prowess and compassionate volunteerism indicates a future filled with promise, leadership and positive change.” 

  • Meet the rest of The Pharmaceutical Journal’s Women to Watch 2023 here
Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, December 2023, Vol 311, No 7980;311(7980)::DOI:10.1211/PJ.2023.1.202769

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