View Full Version : Foreign 4-year B.Pharm. degree USELESS???
03-14-2003, 01:15 AM
I have a friend who's studying pharmacy in Australia and she wants to come to the US and work (she told me she's in the process of getting a green card).
But there's a problem... the NABP has changed regulation this year so that if your foreign pharmacy degree is less than 5 years in length, you simply cannot write the Foreign Pharmacy Graduate Equivalency Examination (FPGEE). :(
Without FPGEE, a foreign B.Pharm. graduate simply can't register as a pharmacist anywhere in the US.
Unfortunately, her B.Pharm. degree is a 4-year degree and she's in year 3 now. She doesn't want to do a Pharm.D. in the US, saying it is too much pain to redo her studies.
What a pity if she can't work in the US after all these years of training to become a pharmacist. Any suggestions for her?
03-14-2003, 06:01 AM
i'm not sure if i'm qualified to give her advice in this domain. but i wanted to ask a question on the amount of intern hours? do you have to do this in US?
03-14-2003, 09:20 AM
Is that really the case throughout the US? I'd call a state board of pharmacy and inquire about it. I do know that there are a number of practicing pharmacists (with an old school BS) that earned their pharmd through extension evening courses. I realize this doesn't really address your friends concern, but there is options for them to earn their pharmd w/out returning to school full time.
I was thinking she could try and transfer into the remaining us school that still has a bs program, but since that is phased out in 2004 and they'd need two more years that's probably not an option.
This seems like a problem that could be resolved though.
03-14-2003, 06:31 PM
Is that extra year for the PharmD. really that bad? Not only would she have the PharmD and be competitive with the newest crop of graduates, but I'm sure it would help her to pass the FPGEE or any other tests that they make her take. A move from halfway around the world is a pretty drastic move, I would think that the extra 1 year would not be such a concern.
Just my $0.02,
03-14-2003, 07:45 PM
Hi, jdpharmd? and Triangulation
Thanks for your inputs. I have shown her this website and hopfully she will come here more often :D
As for the degree goes, she said she'll finish her degree in Ozzie first because she's still an Ozzie citizen and not yet a Greencarder, and the tuition she pays down-under is dirt cheap (compared to the US figures).
And if she ever changes her mind and decides to embark on the Pharm.D. degree, all I hope is that she can get advanced standings/credits from her B.Pharm. subjects so she won't be spending another 4 insane years. This would also clear her way to sit only the NAPLEX because by then she'll be an authentic US Pharm.D. graduate and need not write FPGEE.
She hasn't completed her degree yet, and internship won't kick in until she got her paper diploma. I am not sure if the US would honor Ozzie intern hours, and vice versa. If you got more info please post it here.
03-14-2003, 09:42 PM
Check out this linkcalifornia board of pharmacy for foreign grads (http://www.pharmacy.ca.gov/faq_foreign_graduate.htm)
I think your friend will be able to practice here (CA if the most rigorous as far as licensure, so if she can work here she can probably work anywhere.)
It says 150 semester units must be completed (that doesn't sound much over four years)
03-15-2003, 07:34 AM
I can see why the changes were made to the US law, it is to prevent an oversupply of pharmacists by immigrants. Look what has happened to the tech sector - it is cheaper for big companies to hire people from Asia and allow them to live in the US for a few years than to hire Americans. The result - many high paying tech jobs are no longer around......
So do we want the same thing happening in pharmacy where companies go overseas to find cheap labor?
Business people are ruthless - they would love to fill your job with someone who demands less money.....
03-15-2003, 09:09 AM
Sorry, but you are completely misinformed. I lived in Seattle for 5 yrs and now the SF Bay Area for 5 yrs (both tech sector heavy markets). If you've paid any attention to the actions of Bill Gates Foundation of Microsoft at the junior high, high school, and college level you would realize that they are making every effort to get more Americans into Tech. Sun Microsystems, Oracle, and Microsoft during the tech boom were opening complaining to federal and state legislatures that the universities were not producing enough talent of any background American or not to fill their needs. They cited the need for additional programs and additional schools for the California State system because they had more projects than software engineers to fill them. The simple problem and why many are lobbying to extend international visas is they need employees and they'll take them from wherever they get them. Bill Gates made his pitch to congress because, legitimately, there weren't enough software engineers and he needed to recruit from other parts of the world to meet the demands of his company. We're not talking about a factory business, we're talking about a company that makes its money off the ingenuity of its product and that requires intellectual talent. Salary considerations are not their concern, but quality product. Most tech CEOs are making efforts to implore American schools to improve education in terms of preparing American students to fill the need. That's what all of these efforts are about: They will take whomever can perform the job because they need to deliver the product. If there aren't enough Americans they will look elsewhere.
The US at present isn't producing enough pharmacists. Is that the fault of Walgreens recruiting from outside the US?
No, it's because America isn't producing enough pharmacists. That's what we need to focus on. Not fingerpointing at business of "Asia"
And for the record in my years of being around tech (Virtually all of my friends from the University of Washington are working in software) I have never heard that you recruit from Asia for the ''cheap software engineers'
03-15-2003, 01:19 PM
You really have your head buried in the sand - you think because you live on the west coast you have a corner on what is happening in the tech sector. Did you know that there are people outside of Washington state and California that have high tech sector jobs?
So to help you out I went back and found an article that touched off my response. Here is the link: http://www.washingtontimes.com/commentary/20030314-76669173.htm
The article sites Business Week which says 350,000 foreigners on L-1 visas have displaced high paid American jobs. And another 400,000 Americans have been displaced because of H-1B visas. That is a total of 750,000 jobs lost to foreigners. I don't call that misinformed......
Now given the choice of employees - an American who went through six years of college to earn a pharm d and demands big bucks versus the foreigner who only has four years of college and demands 80% of the pay, which do you think the pharmacies want to hire?
I have a prof from Sweden and according to him there pharmacists make 35-40K a year. I am sure if you offered them 60 they would love to come to America.
Maybe it is a good thing America doesn't produce enough pharmacists - it gives job security and the leverage to the employee.
03-15-2003, 02:29 PM
Maybe it is a good thing America doesn't produce enough pharmacists - it gives job security and the leverage to the employee.
Holy Crap!! You're content to have the health and safety of the citizenry compromised due to a shortage of pharmacists so you keep your salary up!?! We see it differently out here. I'm in this business to improve health care, that means more pharmacists are needed. Don't worry about your job as a pharmacist. You'll get one (there's that whole speaking english thing they kinda like for pharmacists)
I'll have to read your article, but I trust my experience. Everyone of my friends what every the country of origin was getting hired. You would think that being at the center of the tech boom, I would've read about a complaint lodged about this, but yet I never heard a peep. On every page i've read about people complaining about NAFTA and GATT where jobs were lost to international competition, but yet this wasn't voiced from the college educated?
03-15-2003, 03:10 PM
I think you're kind of missing the point. If there's a shortage of pharmacists, then that means there aren't enough in the country to fill the position. Therefore hiring foreigners is not going to be taking jobs away from anyone, but instead filling jobs that are empty. Besides, I don't know what type of history background you have, but immigration into this country has been what has always fueled innovation and major booms throughout the history of the US. Yes they work for less, but more importantly, they create competition which is vital to improvement within a system. As for a shortage being a good thing, I have to ask a good thing for whom? How would that benefit anyone? Who would you have control over? Setting your salaries higher isn't the point. Having less than an adequate number of pharmacists isn't going to increase your influence over the healthcare market, but instead just have fewer people who make a little more money. That means less qualified pharms will be getting these coveted positions, creating less competent pharmacists, and the profession as a whole suffers. New blood means competition and the best people, not the cheapest(salaries are usually set). This means the field as a whole can improve. Those hundreds of thousands of jobs displaced are not referring to field such as pharmacy. When citing a source, at least make sure it's relevant. And study history and economics a little too. Then come back and talk with the grownups.
03-15-2003, 04:45 PM
I really don't think that the pharmacy shortage is degrading patient health. I guess the question is - do we want pharmacy to be like law? In law their is an abundance of JD so unless you graduate at the top of your class or from a prestigous school you will have a hard time finding a good paying job. In pharmacy you can be at the bottom of your class and as long as you get licensed you should have a good job awaiting you. That is not true for many professions and it would be nice to keep it that way.....
Nite, The issue I brought up is not that of immigration alone. But of immigrants with four year degrees (the title of this thread BTW) versus Americans with 6 year degrees. It doesn't take long to realize that if you can get an overseas degree in 4 years and still have the same job as the American with 6 years that someone is at a severe disadvantage. Hence why I believe it is right to require the same for graduates as Americans.
You are right - that article I referenced never mentioned pharmacy! I was looking for similiarities between tech and pharmacy. :rolleyes:
When you have worked in business for a while you will begin to understand what it is all about......
03-15-2003, 06:03 PM
Cool tlh. We just see this differently. No worries.
The Pill Counter
03-15-2003, 06:40 PM
Tlh, I'm assuming you're concerned with the profession of pharmacy maintaining and upgrading standards of practice, and not using the new five year degree rule to impede immigrant pharmacists wishing to go to the US. That's fine and all, but I still think the NABP is full of sh!t. By mandating a five-year degree, a wholly arbitrary and unnecessary move, NABP is attempting to influence pharmacy education worldwide and get other countries on board to implement an All-PharmD curriculum. I bet Walgreens et al. are probably going crazy now that their job has been made that much harder.
I graduated from University of Toronto a few years back, so I'm exempt from this move, but new grads would not be. Here's how it works in Toronto: Minimum 1 year of a B.Sc., 4 years of B.Sc.Phm and after a year of practice those that wish for advanced training (ie. those working in the downtown teaching hospitals) can do a two year PharmD. Less than 10% of the class would opt for the PharmD as it does not make sense for the vast majority of the class. I think our system works, but the new NABP rules will undoubtedly put enormous, unnecessary pressure on UofT to change its curriculum!
Lastly, why did NABP mandate a five-year program, rather than stipulating said graduate should have had x number of years of undergraduate study before start of pharmacy school? Simple, they want to impose their nonsensical concept of 'PharmD only' education model on the rest. An all PharmD workforce is overkill, the requirements of the typical job in a community drugstore doesn't warrant the extra education.
I'd love to see a new graduate of a PharmD program struggle to fill 300 scripts, pause for a moment, and try to figure out why it took six years to train for that day.
03-16-2003, 05:08 AM
Very well said, The Pill Counter. I would agree that for the most part the MANDDATORTY pharmD. is completely overkill, however there are still about 40% of pharmacy grads who chose not to go into retail (46% went into chain stores last year, from MWU-CCP). For those who chose a hospital, residency, advanced community setting, or Ph.D or MD, the PharmD. is certainly an asset. In my opinion it should not be required, and I'm still scratching my head as to why it is when we are in the midst of a huge pharmacist shortage that's only getting larger. I would like to imagine that even if a PharmD. wasn't required, I would be pursuing one, but I suppose I will never be certain, seeing as I have no choice. Also, even in a chain-store setting, a pharmD. can make a difference. Even if that difference occurs only very seldomly, it is usually to the benefit of everyone. I've worked chain-retail through several years of my undergrad and was frequently impressed with the PharmD.'s that I encountered.
03-16-2003, 05:13 AM
By the way, is it very difficult to get into Canadian pharmacy schools? There was a time when I considered appying, but I know several Canadains who came to the U.S. for their pharmacy school. Some of our pharmacists even live in Canada and practice in the U.S. (I live in Michigan so it's not THAT difficult to commute, but certainly a pain if you ask me)
03-16-2003, 08:44 AM
Sorry I should search your posts, but I'm late for coffee so....just out of curiosity, what are the options for pharmacy schools out your way?
03-16-2003, 02:56 PM
Well, I'm from Michigan. If I wanted to stay in state there are three: Ferris State University, Wayne State University, and University of Michigan. WSU and UofM both have class sizes of about 60, so most in-staters go to Ferris (class size 130). I applied to 3 out of state schools. If you wanted to just stay in the midwest there is Purdue, Butler, UIC, Midwestern CCP, Ohio State, Ohio Northern, U of Toledo, and a few more. I applied to Midwestern University in Glendale, AZ; so I don't really care to stay in state. So far I've been accepted to MWU Chicago College of Pharmacy so I'm planning on going there (as of today). I also applied to Ferris State (MI) and LECOM (in addition to MWU Glendale) but I'm waiting to hear from all of them, and I interviewed at MWU, Glendale on 3/10. I should hear from most by the middle of April, but LECOM could take longer. It's ok, since I'm not planning on going there. By the way Michigan State University does NOT have a pharmacy school. Lots of people seem to think that they do, but they don't. I'm sure, I did my undergrad there.
05-25-2003, 01:08 AM
There's a bit of history behind that. It really has to do with what educational system you went through.
We Americans used to have the BS degree as the entry and terminal practioner level. When the Pharm. D. was introduced, it became the new terminal degree. The Pharm. D. degree was only made mandatory my entrance year.
Those who went through the British system (United Kingdom, Australia, and English Canada) are granted license right after high school to study pharmacy. From practically day 1, candidates admitted to the programs study pharmacy related topics. Four years at the terminal BSc level was considered superior training to the American 4 and later the 5 year BS. (I won't get into the argument over whether BS or PharmD makes a superior candidate).
The French educational system terminates in a licence that is strictly equalvalent to the American BS. Only Quebec normally exports licence candidates to us.
The systems that I think NABP is trying to target are Mexico and India. In India, the B. Pharm. is not considered to be independent practice. The US doesn't respect the Mexican pharmacy degree (due to regulatory issues).
I'm pretty sure that even though that clause will be there, there will be an opportunity for foreign grads to get a examining degree like the M. Pharm. (kind of like the LLM for foreign graduates of law). I respectfully disagree with The Pill Counter that Toronto is under pressure to change, because their educational priority is to train Canadian pharmacists. Those who wish to see a position in the United States can work on that portion separately.
The issue here is supply of pharmacists. I think NABP wants to act like the 1950s-1960s American Medical Association and restrict supply. I hope our leadership recognizes the fact that the restriction became so critical that mid-level practioners such as NPs and PAs were created to pick up the slack. I really don't want a super-tech to put me out of work.
*BTW, to those out there who think Canadian B. Sc. Pharm.'s are inferior, Canadian grads (excluding Laval and the other French-speaking pharmacy school) have easily the highest passage rates for the NAPLEX and CA licensing. I believe CA passage is over 80% for that group. Even though I'm from the US, I'm going to challenge myself to make high pass on the PEBC.*
05-25-2003, 01:15 AM
BTW, to the original poster.
Even in the days when national reciprocity were not granted to anyone, petitions were still accepted, meaning your Australian friend may be allowed to sit for the FPGEE and NAPLEX. I've seen it allowed when the candidates pursue an MS + clinical residency program like the one at Madison or Twin Cities. Don't lose hope...
05-25-2003, 07:12 AM
Wow. Way to resurrect a thread.