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Pharm.D. or M.D.

Discussion in 'Pharmacy' started by FLPreMedGuy, 08.03.11.

  1. FLPreMedGuy

    FLPreMedGuy

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    Hello all,

    A little bit about my background, I used to be a Transporter in a big hospital and was exposed to all of the different departments. I was dropping off a Patient in the Interventional Radiology Department. At that moment, I realized that I wanted to do just that. I started to become friends with them and got to know them which led me to sit in during an operation and see what it is that they really do. Since that day I have been working towards becoming a doctor and becoming that type of doctor. Well recently I moved to another city and have tried looking for a job and have not been successful, so I enrolled in a Pharmacy Tech program. So far I have loved everything that I have learned and am looking forward to working at a hospital as a Pharm Tech and mixing I.V's, etc.

    Im not a traditional Student in regards to what my major is. I am studying Information Technology.

    So here comes the question..

    I am now torn between a M.D. or Pharm.D. degree. I know that the M.D. will be a longer path until im able to do what I want, and that I will be on call. While compared to a Pharm.D. I would have set hours and can start working right out of pharmacy school.

    Any input or thought and ideas would be greatly appreciated.
  2. PharmaTope

    PharmaTope

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    i know where you are coming from. however do not worry about taking call as a physician if that is what you want to do. depending on the type of practice you are in, your call can be so minimal and you can have PA's do admits at night for you.

    as far as pharm goes, yes it can be shorter. however, it is not a guarantee. do not use pharm to be a band-aid for what you really want. you will end up regretting it if you do.
  3. Rockefella

    Rockefella

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    yeah, dude, idk. Pharmacy and Med are totally dif things even though a lot of people substitute one for the other in terms of picking careers. I do not blame you, I entered college thinking I'd go straight into pre-med. I even borrowed MCAT books from the library to get an idea of what I should look for in the coming years. Turns out I got into the 0-6 pharmacy program at my school. Right now I'm doing an externship at a community pharmacy and still think about med school.

    I don't think I would ever consider med school after pharm school just because I'm already burned out and lacking major passion, but the community pharm environment is very different from a doctor's office or hospital. I have never done hospital pharmacy, but really your focus is drug therapy. You deal with the drugs and watch out for side-effects etc. The doctor is primarily involved with diagnoses and treatment...the pharmacist is involved purely in treatment and usually the details of treatment that you would obtain from knowing about drugs and drug interactions. I know somebody could probably explain that better than me, but that's the jist of what I got from pharm school. If you think you can deal with that, then go pharmacy. If you want to do more diagnosing and dealing with disease states, general therapy, etc. go med. good luck.
  4. konkan

    konkan coup de grace

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    You PRACTICE as a physician, and you WORK as a pharmacist, despite what newly "baked" PharmDs and especially residency trained folks say.
  5. tungsten87

    tungsten87

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    +1. I was in a similar situation as the op and went to pharmacy school. Even though I am at a top program I'm still miserable and filled with regret. I will most likely be applying to medical school next summer (after second year) or just finish my PharmD and then go to medical school. What a waste of time and money.

    If you want to dedicate your life to your career, I think medicine is the way to go.
  6. FutureDoc07

    FutureDoc07

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    If I had known better and researched pharmacy school before applying, I would have definitely gone to med school.
  7. IndustryPharmD

    IndustryPharmD Here to Help SDN Advisor

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    You really should base your decision on what you want your day to day job to be, not on how long it will take you to get there. Compared to 30+ years you will spend working, 2-3 years of time difference won't matter that much.
  8. Praziquantel86

    Praziquantel86 Moderator Emeritus

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    Somebody's bitter.

    To the OP: they're different careers serving different purposes. You have to decide what you want to do with your life, we can't help you there.
  9. fauxden

    fauxden

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    med school
  10. WhiteSnows

    WhiteSnows Think Right and Grow Rich Gold Donor

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    med school.
  11. moissanite69

    moissanite69

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    Ask me this question 3 years ago or before, my answer would be "Pharmacy school". Right now, definitely, "medical school".
  12. Requiem

    Requiem Senior Member Moderator Emeritus

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    I'm surprised to see so much pro-medicine on a pharmacy forum. But then, I meet a ton of bitter pharmacy people so perhaps it's not that surprising. Anyway, doesn't matter.

    What does matter is what do YOU want for YOUR life.

    You didn't give a single reason to be a pharmacist. You like mixing IVs as a pharmacy tech. I mean if that's your motivation...

    Pharmacy and medicine are VERY different. Actually, so very different the only thing they often have in common is they're sometimes under the same roof. But so are janitors and x ray techs.

    Try shadowing doctors, watch them interact with patients, etc. Then shadow hospital pharmacists.

    You'll be doing TOTALLY different things. One is not "better" than the other. But one is better FOR YOU.

    The pharmacists I've met who are happy with their job like catching mistakes, like being organized, etc. They aren't out to save the world, if you know what I mean.

    I was miserable in pharmacy, because my personality, my goals and my motivations weren't suited towards the profession. I worked with people who did like their job. I didn't meet anyone who loved their job. A lot of people complained about their job. Again, this is my experience in a hospital pharmacy.

    Pharmacy is a job you can leave behind you at 4pm.

    There are jobs in medicine where this may be the case, but it's quite rare. A lot more is demanded of your time and energy as a doctor. This isn't good or bad. It's a reality, and you need to decide if you're suited for that.

    I've tried to make my post as objective as possible, because there are a lot of pros and cons for each field. But, remember, they are quite different. I'm absolutely blown away by the opportunity to do some of the things I'll get to do for people in medicine. But that's me. If you don't need that, find out what you do need.

    Best of luck with your choices. Taking some time to work and figure it all out for yourself isn't a bad thing.

    Not everyone starts professional school at 23.
  13. konkan

    konkan coup de grace

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    And somebody is very touchy. What a surprise that it's coming from a resident:laugh: I personally like what I do, and absolutely have no problem that I WORK as a pharmacist.
  14. EmuPro

    EmuPro

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    My job will not define my life, and I'm not out to seek respect from it. Raising kids in a stable environment with me in the picture will be important to me, even if I don't want it to happen for another several and many more several years:)
  15. spacecowgirl

    spacecowgirl brr

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    Agreed. I find it hard to compare the two.

    Work in a hospital pharmacy and love my job. My coworkers also love their job.
  16. CUpharmD2013

    CUpharmD2013

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    I would feel the same way if I were a unicorn like you.
  17. spacecowgirl

    spacecowgirl brr

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    Indeed. It's a fuzzy puppy, rainbow fart world here.
  18. Cloud 9

    Cloud 9

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    :thumbup: Awesome post Requiem. I feel this is a non-biased approach to the whole thing. Really summed it up pretty well...it really comes down to your personal preference. A huge thing that turned me off to medicine was the time commitments, and I'm not just talking about school, but for the rest of your life. I didn't want to be married to my job, I wanted to be married to my husband. He even says he's secretly glad I didn't choose medicine, even though he was open to whatever I wanted that would make me happy, because he said he'd never get to see me. The negatives outweighed the pro's for me, but it really comes down to you as a person and what do you want out of your job.
  19. PharmaTope

    PharmaTope

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    well that whole "never get to see you" is bull**** blanket statement. i know docs that work 8:30 am (1st patient) to 4:30 pm (last patient leaves), then do an hour and half of paper work and leave. so they got 8:30am to 6pm monday thru friday. their call is not heavy and involves a resident. they also have no patients on wednesday afternoon and friday afternoon. she makes over 200,000 a year as well. those hours don't sound different from ANY realistic job in this country these days
  20. pfaction

    pfaction

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    Pharmacy is a great stepping stone. And I, like others, am in your footsteps.
  21. croquemonsieur

    croquemonsieur

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    let me condense the parts i highlighted above:

    pharmacists are bitter but organized mistake catchers who don't love their jobs, aren't out to save the world, and who stop caring about their professional lives at 4pm. also, they complain about their jobs.

    doctors spend a ton of time and energy interacting with patients and doing mindblowingly awesome things to improve those patients' lives. the job of a doctor is as similar to that of a pharmacist as it is to that of a janitor.

    that's how this post reads if you cut out the fluffy "to each his/her own" stuff added to temper the poster's one-sided, negative and unfair attitude toward pharmacy. (a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down.)

    omg! omg! i meet pharmacists who complain about their jobs!!

    i don't think the poster succeeded in being objective...but that's just me.
  22. RxMTM

    RxMTM Class of 2013

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    People go into pharmacy for the money. I dare anyone to prove me wrong.
  23. owlegrad

    owlegrad Uncontrollable Sarcasm Machine Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator

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    What an odd thing to say. Mother Theresa probably wasn't motivated by money. She was one in a billion, approximately. Most of the rest of humanity does what they do for money. I dare anyone to prove me wrong.
  24. RxMTM

    RxMTM Class of 2013

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    Let me rephrase. I have not met many people that go into pharmacy for passion. Rather, it is the most economical choice among the health professions. Regarding the "one in a billion" comment, there are a lot of people that do their dream job. I would say it's more like 1/100 or better.
  25. owlegrad

    owlegrad Uncontrollable Sarcasm Machine Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator

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    I never said that one in a billion people love their job, I said that one in a billion are not motivated by money. Granted even that is hyperbole, but I would suspect that it is very, very rare.

    And I actually agree with you. Not many people are "passionate" about pharmacy, it is simply a job. A darn good one, but still just a job.
  26. RxMTM

    RxMTM Class of 2013

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    It is a stable, predictable, and high-paying job. Not to prove you wrong, but there are many people out there (musicians, artists, professors, writers, etc) that chose their job based on satisfaction. They may not be well off but they sacrifice money for personal fulfillment. It all depends on what makes you happy.
  27. LazyMooch

    LazyMooch

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    Boats make me happy. Go Pharmacy!
  28. NAVY DDS 2010

    NAVY DDS 2010 Proud Daddy

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    My wife didn't become a pharmacist for the money. When she started pharmacy school, the average salary was $54K. There were plenty of other career fields she was interested in that she could have pursued had she decided to pursue money. She likes working in the hospital setting, but hates blood. Going the Pharm.D. route was a good way for her to get some patient contact without dealing with the blood side of things. This is why she chose to be a pharmacist. Prove me wrong.
  29. RxMTM

    RxMTM Class of 2013

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    fail
  30. RxMTM

    RxMTM Class of 2013

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    She is a blood-hater so she became a pharmacist. Cool story bro...
  31. NAVY DDS 2010

    NAVY DDS 2010 Proud Daddy

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    How did I fail? Her reasoning disproves yours that people go into pharmacy for money. She didn't. Plain and simple. So, you are wrong!!!
  32. PharmaTope

    PharmaTope

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    she is a woman. in all liklihood she probably planned to have some kids and leach off her husband. most women dont plan around career too much but want enough money to have fun with then let the guy pick up the rest.
  33. RxMTM

    RxMTM Class of 2013

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    win
  34. xiphoid2010

    xiphoid2010

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    ^ that and this. :laugh:

    [YOUTUBE]9QS0q3mGPGg[/YOUTUBE]
    Last edited: 08.09.11
  35. PharmD1988

    PharmD1988

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    so are there any medical students/doctors on this thread who say you should go for a Pharm.D over a M.D., seems like all the negative posts are by pharmacy students/pharmacists themselves. just saying
  36. rxlea

    rxlea Unicorn in training Moderator Emeritus

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    How about we lay off the women bashing, eh?

    I would like to say that it is almost amusing how bitter and jaded some of you pharm people are. Then I remember you are taking care of patients...that makes me sad. I guess the lesson here (for you) is to not go into a career for the money. It must suck really bad to have realized that so far in. You could always go back to school or just drop everything to be a musician, artist, whatever... It would certainly be more constructive than coming onto an internet forum whining/complaining with the same song over and over and over again...it's sad to watch.
  37. chemguy79

    chemguy79 New Member Moderator Emeritus

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    qft!
  38. firework

    firework Junior Member

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    To the OP:

    Read this book before you make the decision: A Prescription for Retail Pharmacy

    http://books.google.com/books?id=1d...ook_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CD8Q6AEwAA

    If you still want to be a pharmacist after reading this, go for it. Just remind you the reality: pharmacists are being yelled at by patients 2 to 3 times on an average working day.

    If you happen to use NOOK, I can lend you this book for 14 days.

    The author does not exaggerate. Everything he said is day-to-day reality.
  39. PharMed2016

    PharMed2016 Eternal Scholar

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    Medical School
  40. Digsbe

    Digsbe

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    Excellent post :)

    I'm also amazed and shocked to see how many people are bitter towards their profession. Sure, many people do go into pharmacy for the money, but there are others who genuinely want to peruse pharmacy out of passion and a desire to help others.

    My goal is to become a BCPS in oncology/hematology. Those two years of post grad residency don't pay well, and being a clinical pharmacist specializing in oncology/hematology doesn't really pay as well as retail. I want to do it because I have a passion for helping cancer patients. When I look at the healthcare model I see a great need to BCPS in this field who can monitor patients and advise oncologists on the best drugs out there to treat patients. Within my family we have 2 cancer survivors and my brother had a bout with a benign cancer. I'm doing cancer research for my university and my passion is to help patients suffering from cancer. Not everyone wants to do pharmacy for the money. If you are going into pharmacy purely for the money then that's your choice, but don't ever let your bitterness or disdain for your job to impact the quality of service that you provide to your patients.
  41. All4MyDaughter

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

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    If you want to be a pharmacist go for PharmD.
    If you want to be a physician go for MD.

    It's pretty simple, I think.
  42. aznhomieboi1689

    aznhomieboi1689

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    I'm sorry to hear that. It's kind of sad to see a lot of people here regretting going into pharmacy school. Makes me kind of wonder if people just go in for money and what kind of expectation they have? If they regret, that means they never had real passion for it in the first place.
  43. owlegrad

    owlegrad Uncontrollable Sarcasm Machine Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator

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    There are also those of us who go into it for the money, but still manage to enjoy the work of helping others. It's a false dichotomy that you either went into pharmacy for the money or to help people. It's possible to do both.
  44. Digsbe

    Digsbe

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    I understand that, and I recognize that my post made it seem like a black and white way of thinking. People can go into pharmacy for the money and because they enjoy helping others through their profession.
  45. RxMTM

    RxMTM Class of 2013

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  46. xiphoid2010

    xiphoid2010

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    There is naturally going to be a certain % of time when thing don't pan out. Job descriptions, economy, life priority, expectations all change over time.

    I went into pharmacy school with the plan of going back to pfizer to do clinical trials. But as we all know, all the big Pharmas just took a nose dive, now the days of flying employees to conferences in corporate jets are gone, the the number of Pharm.Ds in that division shrunk by 2/3. Luckily, I found a new passion for the clinical pharmacy. But I could have easily regretted going to pharmacy school if that hadn't happened.
  47. RxMTM

    RxMTM Class of 2013

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    .
  48. All4MyDaughter

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

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    VERY insightful! Great posts. :thumbup:
  49. VCU07

    VCU07 Member

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    If you are even considering going to med school, then go to med school.
  50. Quiksilver

    Quiksilver Secundum Artem PharmD

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    I wish I would have went to medical school. This has nothing to do with money at all. There is by far more job satisfaction, more opportunities and more choices in terms of what you can do after medical school.

    What drives me nuts about this profession is that we are all acting like the sky is falling and that there is always doom and gloom. Maybe pharmacists should act on their beliefs and wishes instead consistently whining about poor working conditions, loss of salary and jobs etc. Honestly, get up and do something about it. Make yourself more appealing for jobs with more stability. Fight for a job worth fighting for. For far too long pharmacists have been handed jobs and that has disappeared. Now you have to work for what you have, the game has changed.

    We are also the most poorly organized profession by far. We have 45 different organizations wanting the same thing, but yet we cannot seem to unify more then a half dozen supporters.

    I didn't join this profession for the money, I did it because I enjoyed pharmacology and the science behind drugs. I enjoy being able to provide a unique service and sometimes be able to help out the almighty MD make therapy choices. Too many people in this profession allow it to be marginalized and watered down so much that only 5% of pharmacists are practicing pharmacy the way it ought to be done. Its far from the utopia that school tells you.

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