Pharmacy and maieutics sectors are desperately looking for students

“At the start of the 2022 school year, we already had nearly 20% vacancies in midwifery, and that could go up to 37% in Île-de-France! Loona Mourenas, spokesperson for the National ociation of Midwifery Students (ANESF), details in a loud voice the number of vacant places in this sector in the second year.

But midwifery is not the only one to suffer from this phenomenon: during the same period, the pharmacy sector recorded a student deficit of 30%, or about 1,027 places nationwide. Alarming figures which testify to a crisis to come for professionals who are nevertheless essential to the proper functioning of the health system.

How to explain such a lack of students? Since the 2020 reform, young people who want to pursue health studies have the choice between the Specific Health Access Course (P) and the License with “Health Access” option (LAS), both of which allow access to the second year. If the medical sector still attracts so many favors from students, pharmacy and midwifery still suffer from a lack of information and lasting stereotypes.

“There is a kind of sacralization of medicine”

For Loona, the shortage of students is partly due to the reform: “It is no longer just the competition that counts, you have to validate your entire license. An observation shared by Loïc Josseran, dean of the UFR Simone Veil at the University of Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines. “Before the reform, a student who failed in the first year repeated a year, and was eventually redirected to the courses where there was still room. A default choice, of course, but which trained professionals. “For him, the minor integrated into the new training allows to keep a way out in case of failure, “on other subjects that interest them. They can retake medicine in the second or third year of LAS if they wish. »

Natan Goulin, vice-president in charge of tutoring for entry into health studies at the National ociation of Pharmacy Students of France (ANEPF), notes a general lack of information about his sector. “The reform has highlighted the lack of attractiveness of the pharmacy sector: in high school, people don’t know this environment at all. They think of doing medicine, whereas in pharmacies, there are plenty of opportunities, not just work in pharmacies! »

Because if these studies can lead to keeping your own pharmacy, they also allow you to work in the laboratory, in the pharmaceutical industry, or even in the hospital. For Renaud, a 5th year pharmacy student in Nancy, this is a sector with “exciting” courses, even though he had no idea of ​​integrating it at all when arriving in PACES.

In midwifery too, clichés die hard. “Private preparation organizations do us harm, because they suggest that medicine is the best course. Many of the skills of midwives are not known to the general public: gynecological follow-up, vaccination…” explains Loona Mourenas. The medicine sector would therefore win the bet with the students?

For Loïc Josseran, the very image of health studies poses a problem: “There is a kind of sacralization of medicine, there are many fantasies, which are particularly nourished by the series where we only see doctors or surgeons save patients. In reality, the medical professions are very diverse! We can very well make prostheses and save someone’s life, it’s not just the medical sector that has this monopoly. »

Orientation and upgrading of statuses

One of the solutions put in place to counter the phenomenon is the mive use of guidance systems, in particular through tutoring. According to the ANEPF, only 2.6% of pharmacy students consider that they were well informed about these studies during high school. Intervention in establishments, presentation videos, mini-games: all means are good to inspire and encourage vocations among the youngest.

“We have a great recognition of the action of tutoring, that’s positive,” says Natan Goulin, who was present at the official presentation of approvals organized by the Ministry of Higher Education and Research on June 26. last.

More broadly, students point to a problem of recognition in a sector characterized by sometimes difficult working conditions. “In our survey, we see that more than 20% of midwifery students say that the Covid-19 crisis has had an impact on their training experience,” explains Loona. Lou-Anne, who will return to 3rd year next September in Reims, notes for her part an insufficient development, “whether in terms of remuneration, or the fact that our status is not as recognized”.

“There is always the question of underpaid internships, and the reform of the 3rd cycle which has come to nothing for 7 years” adds Natan. Listening to the demands of these students therefore seems essential, while Loïc Josseran warns of a structural deficit: “In 4 years, we are there. The crisis is imminent. »

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