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Decision between medicine and pharmacy

Discussion in 'Pre-Pharmacy' started by Oscurece, 04.03.12.


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  1. Oscurece

    Oscurece

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    Hi all,
    I’m a pre-med student, accepted to med school for next fall, but I’m thinking about switching to pre-pharmacy. I’m interested in hospital/clinical pharmacy. I’m thinking of switching for two reasons:
    1) I feel like the workload in pharmacy school and as a pharmacist, while still considerable, will be less than medicine. I’m hoping to have a 40-50 hour workweek and to be able to go home and get away from my job, and I’m afraid that won’t be possible with medicine.
    2) While not adverse to it, I’m not a huge fan of patient interaction, and I feel like as a hospital/clinical pharmacist I will have less patient interaction than as a physician in most specialities.
    That sums up the gist of the two reasons. I’d like feedback from you guys on whether my thinking is accurate in these areas. I realize the job market for pharmacy isn’t great but that doesn’t concern me too much. I appreciate any input you guys have.
    Thanks so much.
  2. ImmunoPharmD

    ImmunoPharmD

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    Please don't ask life-making decision advice on a anonymous forum. You should talk it over with your close ones, advisers, and anyone important to you. Take my advice.
  3. Parklife

    Parklife

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    ^

    Become a PA. Enjoy college, go to school for two years, find a nice cozy physician's office and work from 8-6 everyday making around 90k. We don't need anymore shmucks who are just in medicine for money. The system is good at weeding people like that out, but if you're smart you can get through.

    Don't go into anything for money. You're considering two of a thousand factors. Think about what you want to do in life.

    Pharmacy is probably not for you if you don't want to work hard. People like that end up going into retail and retail is more than most can handle- MD, DDS, PharmD, MBA or other.
  4. amox

    amox

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    If your accepted to medical school, GO.

    Make the decision while you attend. Pre-med reqs should satisfy pre-pharm, just take the PCAT and boom.

    If it's not in the US, then stay and go pharm.

    Like the above said, talk to people!! Go shadow, talk to PharmDs, MDs, etc.

    Good luck
  5. diastole

    diastole

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    You should allow for the possibility that even if you go the pharmacy route, you might not be able to get a clinical position. It is getting harder to get a residency every year. The match is weird and sometimes applicants who seem really competitive don't match for whatever reason. I get wanting a good work/home balance but understand that going to pharmacy school and then getting a clinical position is not a sure thing. It's possible that you might end up working retail or some other branch of pharmacy.
  6. xtsukiyox

    xtsukiyox Moderator Emeritus

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    Why the change so close to Med school? Are you just having cold feet? I think everyone has cold feet before they jump on the professional school "train."

    Before you make a switch, I would strongly suggest shadowing a pharmacist, not only in a clinical setting but also a hospital in-patient and retail setting, if you can. If you haven't, shadow a physician or two as well (maybe surgeon & primary care?). Gather as much information as you can before you switch. I have to think that you were convicted as a medical student until now - I would hate for you to regret your decision.

    What don't you like, specifically, about patient interaction? Is it an issue that's likely to go away as you get further into your studies (and you're able to actually help more)? This might be an opportunity to talk to a physician mentor on the subject, if you can.

    You might also find it helpful to search for other threads in this forum & maybe the Pharmacy forum as well on this topic. Others have posted much more eloquently & educated-ly than I can on this very subject. :)
  7. Jackie B

    Jackie B

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    if you've been accepted to med school just go! the md is so versatile, you dont have to work in a clinic if you dont want to.
  8. rxlea

    rxlea Unicorn in training Moderator Emeritus

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    Med school
  9. owlegrad

    owlegrad Uncontrollable Sarcasm Machine Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator

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    It's normal to have cold feet. Go to med school.
  10. Oscurece

    Oscurece

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    I'm not doing it just for the money. (I didn't even mention anything about money in my original post). As long as I make around 50-60k, I'll be happy at whatever I do. I just want a job with good hours but that remains intellectually stimulating. Also, I have shadowed in medicine extensively and a few times in pharmacy, and am working on shadowing more in pharmacy. And I have talked to loved ones, mentors, teachers, etc. about the decision; this post isn't the first time I've asked anyone else about the dilemma. Sorry if I didn't make these things clear. Med school seems to be the prevailing opinion, anyone else have any input?
  11. bw6

    bw6

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    Well money isn't the most important factor but it certainly needs to be considered. If you are happy with jusy 50k then a pharmacist's salary will be a nice surprise. As will the salary of an MD.
  12. SHC1984

    SHC1984 Removed

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    If you are a guy get an MD. Don't do general practice try to specialize or do something that makes more $$$.

    If you are a girl and just want to have a family then pharmacy is fine. The only drawback is the career prospects for pharmacy is very poor. For MD its really good.

    Good luck!
  13. Jamie561

    Jamie561

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    Pharmacy > > medicine, OP. Listen to your heart.

    Sent from my HTC Sensation Z710e using Tapatalk
  14. ineed2stpsmurfn

    ineed2stpsmurfn

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    did you seriosuly just say retail is harder to be successful at than attaining the education level of a physician? Oh that's right, because there are soooo many more salesmen than physicians. :rolleyes:
    on what planet exactly?

    I feel like coming in the pharm forums is like entering an alien world where people don't know economics or care that they can only really do 1 thing after 8 years of education... Count the red pills and blue pills.

    OP, please stop trolling btw. Nobody gets accepted into med school and then has second thoughts to the point where they would switch not to something totally different like PA, but another 4 years of school that costs relatively something similar only for less pay and not much fewer hours than some medical specialties.
  15. owlegrad

    owlegrad Uncontrollable Sarcasm Machine Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator

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    I have always found counting red pills harder than counting blue pills. I had hoped pharmacy school would teach me the trick to counting the different colors of pills, but so far - no luck. :(

    If anyone has any tips, please let me know. I find the opaque caps almost impossible! I lose track right around 12. :(
  16. NYCGuy86

    NYCGuy86

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    Wait, pharmacy school doesn't help with that?!? Damn, if pharm school doesn't help with the one thing pharmacists do, forget that.
  17. ineed2stpsmurfn

    ineed2stpsmurfn

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    hey, don't blame me. One of the specialist guys I shadowed told a pharmD that to his face after the guy messed up and almost gave his pt a fatal drug reaction. He was totally perplexed how the guy went to school for 8 years to not know anything. Probably this doesn't apply to all pharmacists.
    Last edited: 04.13.12
  18. lisinopril

    lisinopril

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    PharmD= no jobs
    MD= plenty to choose from.

    If you are a girl : go for pharm.D if you are hot. Else, stick with MD.
    If you are a guy: one choice: MD.

    End of discussion.
  19. seaswim

    seaswim

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    I thought the hot girls were supposed to be pharma reps?
  20. SHC1984

    SHC1984 Removed

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    Damn that's exactly what I said! :thumbup:

    OP need to follow this advise!
  21. rxlea

    rxlea Unicorn in training Moderator Emeritus

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    Once this physician put in an order for q12 ertapenem for pseudomonas. Don't blame me if I think physicians don't know anything about treating their patients :rolleyes:

    So you're going to model behavior that is disrespectful? Charming. I'm sure your patients will love that. I'm sure the institution will truly value your commitment to a collaborative practice environment too.

    People do make mistakes. You will too, one day.
  22. ineed2stpsmurfn

    ineed2stpsmurfn

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    yea, except unlike you there are ppl that go to school for 8 years post-high school who should catch mine.
  23. johnnydrama

    johnnydrama I'm no Superman

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    How future proof are PharmD jobs? I'm sure there will always be a place for real pharmacologists in the hospital, but something like retail strikes me as a prime opportunity for automation. If more prescriptions were electronic, I would think it wouldn't really require a human presence at all.

    Not 5 years out, but 10-20 is a distinct possibility.
  24. johnnydrama

    johnnydrama I'm no Superman

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    q12 isn't the recommended dosage, but as long as it was a split dose and not an extra dose it would have done no harm (not sure, but doubt an extra gram of ertapanem is that toxic either). Being able to dose q24 is a nice marketing perk, but if it's inpatient (as I'd assume this was), this seems like one of the tamest examples of a physician prescription mistake I can imagine.

    The real bad ones are where interns accidentally order lethal injections of KCl, but any hospital with electronic ordering has safeguards in place for that (even if the pharmacologist missed it too).
  25. rxlea

    rxlea Unicorn in training Moderator Emeritus

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    Of all agents, for pseudomonas, you'd pick ertapenem?
  26. johnnydrama

    johnnydrama I'm no Superman

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    Wouldn't be my first choice, but antibiotic preferences vary greatly from hospital to hospital and I know nothing about the sensitivities for that particular case, etc etc. It is a valid choice.
  27. SHC1984

    SHC1984 Removed

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    ID sucks! I hope I never see it again after I graduate!

    OP if you are smart (and HOT) go into pharm sales! They make six figures without all this BS!

    Good luck!
  28. hsb1104

    hsb1104

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    I don't get why people are recommending a drug rep as some dream job. You do realize you don't start off at 6 figures. A new rep is going to start in the 40's or 50's. The reps who make 6 figures are experienced reps who've made lots of sales. Most people aren't cut out for sales. And you make it sound so glamorous... having to drive all around your assigned region (which can be hours of driving every day) kissing doctor's a**, having to jump through hoops just to get in many places that have very strict rules about drug reps. My state (I don't know how other states are) has made it illegal to hand out any goods so none of those pens, bags, and all that other bs to give out now either.
  29. fluorometholone

    fluorometholone

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    This horse has been beaten worse than those at the Grand National (too soon?). I'm very fortunate to work at stores that have built up excellent relationships with local medical practices where physicians use us as a real resource when prescribing. It's a two-way street, all of you future doctors and pharmacists- healthcare can be a team sport. Computers by nature lack common sense for cooperation.
  30. chemguy79

    chemguy79 New Member Moderator Emeritus

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    What a fallacy, SHC. LOL They're also readily replaceable if they're not pulling in sales. There's absolutely no stability in the field and the "6 figures" requires an ample amount of BS on it's own. Finally, it's not guaranteed WITHOUT EPIC sales.
  31. All4MyDaughter

    All4MyDaughter SDN Mommystrator Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor Partner Organization

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    I was chatting with a drug rep last week who is on her third position in two years because the field is so crappy right now. The best drug reps are the ones who are smart and can summarize the literature for you relatively accurately, and know how to get their expensive ass drugs covered for your patients. The vapid hot bimbos are useless.
  32. All4MyDaughter

    All4MyDaughter SDN Mommystrator Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor Partner Organization

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    Incorrect.
  33. rxlea

    rxlea Unicorn in training Moderator Emeritus

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    I almost forgot about this thread.

    johnny, I think you should check your source... ertapenem no es bueno for pseudomonas.
  34. All4MyDaughter

    All4MyDaughter SDN Mommystrator Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor Partner Organization

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    Yeah, so it's hardly the "tame mistake" he suggested it was. Your patient dying b/c you picked a drug that doesn't cover their infection? Sort of the opposite of tame...
  35. rxlea

    rxlea Unicorn in training Moderator Emeritus

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    Yeah and that was my point.not so much the dosing but it was a real life example so ya know...it happens. I can't recall the pharmacist telling the physician that put it in that he was an idiot, though :p
  36. Jamie561

    Jamie561

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  37. xtsukiyox

    xtsukiyox Moderator Emeritus

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    Sweet, iPad.
  38. cycloketocaine

    cycloketocaine

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    But but but....it's a carbapenem. Carbapenems cover EVERYTHING!!!
  39. johnnydrama

    johnnydrama I'm no Superman

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    Yeah, must have hallucinated that one, my apologies.

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