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Pre-Pharmacy FAQ: schools, applications, the profession, useful links, etc

Discussion in 'Pre-Pharmacy' started by bananaface, Jul 31, 2004.

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  1. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

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    SDN Members don't see this ad. (About Ads)
    You may also be interested in visiting the PCAT FAQ and the Pharmacy FAQ.

    Deciding if Pharmacy is the Career Path for You
    What does it take to become a pharmacist?
    What practice areas will I be able to choose from if I decide to become a pharmacist?
    How can I get work experience in a pharmacy?
    What should I do if I am interested in job shadowing?
    Are there jobs in pharmacy?
    How much money do pharmacists make?
    How does pharmacy compare to other medical professions?

    Choosing Which Pharm.D. Schools to Apply To
    Which schools offer the Pharm.D.?
    Which schools offer 3-year Pharm.D. programs?
    Which schools offer 5-year or 6-year Pharm.D. programs?
    What are the prerequisites at different schools?
    Are there any new schools that plan to open for fall 2006 or later?
    What is the "best" pharmacy school?
    Is it more difficult to apply to an out-of-state public school?
    Are there any online Pharm.D. programs? What about satellite programs?
    How much do different schools cost to attend?
    Where can I find statistics on the acceptance pool at various schools?
    Is there a list of NAPLEX Passing Rates for the various schools of pharmacy?
    MPJE Passing Rates

    Question & Answer Threads for Specific Schools
    Shameless plug for USC School of Pharmacy [Q & A] - by BMBiology
    Another shameless plug for USC - by BMBiology
    UCSF Pharmacy Questions -by Oneday_9

    Preparing to Apply
    Being Proactive throughout the application process.
    What factors do pharmacy schools consider in the admissions process?
    What kinds of extracurricular activities will help me become a competitive applicant?
    Do I need pharmacy work experience before I apply?
    What GPA do I need to be a competitive applicant?
    What schools require the PCAT?
    How can I best prepare myself for the PCAT?
    Is it better to apply after my prerequisite coursework is finished?

    The Application Process
    What is PharmCAS and how does it affect the application process?
    What do I need to know about asking for letters of reference?
    What advice do you have about my personal statement?
    What can I expect during the interview process?
    How can I prepare for interview essay questions?
    If I have to reapply, what can I do to improve my chances of being accepted?

    Other Issues
    What is a Curriculum Vitae (CV) and why do I need one?
    How am I going to finance my Pharm.D.?

    ********************************************

    Useful Pharmacy Links
    Blogs
    Drug and medical references
    Pharmacy magazines
    Pharmacy organizations
    Starting a Pre-Pharmacy Club
    Prerequisites: How to do them right the first time

    SDN Pharmacy Classes - Add Yourself to the Roll Call
    Class of 2006/2007 (professional coursework began in 2003)
    Class of 2007/2008 (professional coursework began in 2004)
    Class of 2008/2009 (professional coursework began in 2005)
    Class of 2009/2010(professional coursework began in 2006)
    Class of 2010/2011(professional coursework to begin in 2007)

    "Get to Know You" Threads
    Lets see who we're dealing with!
    Tell me about yourself....

    Other classics
    Laws of learning
    Post your pharmacy jokes!
    Things I Learn from My Patients.
    What is your favorite looking pill?

    *********************************************
    The purpose of this FAQ/Links sticky is to allow forum users to find answers to common questions without sorting through clutter. It is a work in progress and your input is greatly appreciated. If you are interested in contributing information to the FAQ, critiquing FAQ sections, or contributing on some other way, please PM me or post in the FAQ input thread.
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  2. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

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    Last edited: Jan 8, 2009
  3. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

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    You are most likely to find entry level work experience in a retail or hospital setting. In some states you may be able to find employment as a pharmacy technician without prior experience or schooling. In other areas, schooling or on the job experience may be required. In those areas you are most likely to begin as a cashier or pharmacy assistant. Matching up with an employer is often a matter of luck.

    When looking for a hospital pharmacy position you will often deal directly with a personnel department and all open positions will be made public. Calling the hospital personnel department or the pharmacy department secretary is often the best way to find out if a position is open or anticipated. Volunteering is in a hospital pharmacy sometimes a good way to move into paid position.

    To find out who is hiring for retail positions in your area you can call or drop by stores that you are interested in. Calling is often the most efficient way to sort through potential employment sites. Be sure to ask for the pharmacy manager, as they do the hiring and may be open to a new employee but not actively looking. To create a positive first impression, avoid calling during busy times such as just after opening or the midafternoon to early evening. If you drop by to pick up an application, be sure to dress as you would for a job interview and to be prepared with a resume. It is a good idea to go out in the late morning to early afternoon to increase the chances that you will meet the pharmacy manager and to avoid stressing the staff by coming during a busy time.

    When you speak to a potential employer, mentioning that you are interested in eventually attending pharmacy school can give you an advantage over other candidates. Many employers are interested in developing positive relationships with potential pharmacy students, in the hopes that they will eventually become pharmacists with their company. Other times, employers may prefer someone who does not anticipate leaving for school. It is best to be up front about your ambitions, especially if you plan on asking your employer for a letter of reference during the application process.

    Thank you to FutureRXGal for critiquing this section.
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  4. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

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    Graduates of today's Pharm.D. programs have numerous practice areas to choose from. Below are some career guides and descriptions of practice areas to help you explore your options within the field. Some specialties may require additional training.

    Career guides:
    Pfizer Career Pharmacy Career Guide (requires Adobe Reader)
    Becoming a Pharmacist: Career Opportunities for Pharmacists
    (presented by Purdue University School of Pharmacy and Pharmacal Sciences)
    Pharmacy Choices: Retail to Research (presented by Berlex Pharmaceuticals; requires Adobe Reader)


    Specific practice sites and specialties:
    Academia
    Army
    Clinical Pharmacy
    Clinical Research ... more
    Community Pharmacy (Chain)
    Community Pharmacy (Independent)
    Compounding
    Critical Care
    Consultant
    Distribution
    Drug Information ... more
    Geriatrics
    Home Care
    Hospice
    Hospital (Overview)
    Hospital (Staff)
    Industry
    Infectious Disease
    Informatics
    Intensive Care
    Long Term Care
    Managed Care
    Nuclear Pharmacy ... more
    Nutrition Support
    Oncology... more
    Operating Room
    Pediatric Oncology
    Pediatrics
    Pharmacology
    Pharmacotherapy
    Pharmacy Benefit Management
    Poison Control
    Primary Care
    Psychiatric Pharmacy
    Senior Care
    Public Health Service ... more
    Public Health Services Commissioned Corps
    Regulatory
    Veterinary
    Transplantation (Organ)

    Thank you to JD_USD for providing links
  5. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

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    The aggregate demand index presented by the Pharmacy Manpower Project shows that overall pharmacists are currently in demand in the United States. The demand by state presents geographical trends that indicate the overall job outlook is better in some states than others. Even states with a balanced outlook or slight surplus will have pockets of demand. A 2003 survey by the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) indicates regions within each state that chain drug stores identified as having a shortage of pharmacists. (survey link requires Adobe Reader)

    The following excerpt from the Occupational Outlook Handbook presented by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics explains that pharmacists will continue to have a positive job outlook in coming years. The bureau limits itself to a 10 year outlook. But, the factors they cite as influencing the pharmacist shortage will continue beyond this timeframe.

    "Very good employment opportunities are expected for pharmacists over the 2002-12 period because the number of degrees granted in pharmacy is expected to be less than the number of job openings created by employment growth and the need to replace pharmacists who retire or otherwise leave the occupation. Recently, enrollments in pharmacy programs are rising as more students are attracted by high salaries and good job prospects. Despite this increase in enrollments, pharmacist jobs should still be more numerous than those seeking employment.

    Employment of pharmacists is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations through the year 2012, due to the increased pharmaceutical needs of a growing elderly population and increased use of medications. The growing numbers of middle-aged and elderly people?who, on average, use more prescription drugs than do younger people?will continue to spur demand for pharmacists in all employment settings. Other factors likely to increase the demand for pharmacists include scientific advances that will make more drug products available, new developments in genome research and medication distribution systems, increasingly sophisticated consumers seeking more information about drugs, and coverage of prescription drugs by a greater number of health insurance plans and by Medicare."
  6. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

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  7. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

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  8. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

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  9. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

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    The following schools offer 3 year Pharm.D. programs. Completion of college level prerequisites is required.

    Albany College of Pharmacy
    Duquesne University
    Ferris State University (a 3.5 year option is available to 4 year students)
    Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine
    Massachusetts - Worcester
    Midwestern - Glendale
    Pacific University
    South University
    Sullivan University - opening Fall 2008
    University of Appalachia
    University of the Pacific
    University of Southern Nevada (formerly Nevada College of Pharmacy)


    Thank you to FutureRXGal and JD_USD for providing links
    Thank you to jdpharmd? and LVPharm for the suggested revisions
    Thank you to BMBiology, dgroulx, FutureRXGal, jdpharmd?, JD_USD, LVPharm, and Roxicet for reviewing this section
  10. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

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    The following schools offer 6 year Pharm.D. programs. No prior college coursework is required. To determine if a school accepts transfer students, please visit the school's website.

    Albany College of Pharmacy

    Duquesne University
    Florida A & M University
    Hampton University

    Massachusetts - Boston
    Northeastern University
    Ohio Northern University
    Philadelphia
    Rutgers University
    St. John's University
    St. Louis College of Pharmacy
    University of Connecticut
    University of Findlay
    University of Missouri at Kansas City
    University of Rhode Island
    University of Texas at Austin (see additional details)

    University of the Pacific offers a 5-year, or "2+3," Pharm.D. program to qualified first-time freshmen. They also offer a 6-year, or "3+3," Pharm.D. program to freshmen who do not meet the requirements for the "2+3" program.

    The University of Pittsburgh offers a conditional admission to a limited number of high school seniors, and if the student proceeds to meet set criteria for the first two years of the pre-pharmacy program, he or she will advance directly into the professional program.

    Thank you to FutureRxGal for providing links
    Thank you to Roxicet for providing additional details
    Thank you to BMBiology, dgroulx, FutureRxGal, jdpharmd?, LVPharm, and Roxicet for reviewing this section
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 27, 2010
  11. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

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    The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) does not endorse any pharmacy school rankings, as a matter of policy. School rankings based on the opinions of academic professionals can be found on US News & World Report.

    It is important to keep in mind that is no single school that will be "best" for everyone. All accredited pharmacy schools will enable you to pursue a variety of pharmacy career paths. You must decide which school is the best fit for you.

    Factors that may influence your choice of school include:
    *Class size
    *Cost of attendance
    *Curriculum (certification programs, dual degree programs, available electives)
    *Location (residency, desirability)
    *Networking potential
    *Personal impression of the school
    *Prerequisites required
    *Program length
    *Reputation
    *Transfer student acceptance
    *Where recent graduates of the school are being hired
    *Your likelihood of receiving an offer of admission

    AACP and allows you to search and compare pharmacy programs.

    Thank you to BMBiology and FutureRXGal for the suggested additions
    Thank you to BMBiology, dgroulx, FutureRXGal, jdpharmd?, LVPharm, and Roxicet for reviewing this section
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2009
  12. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

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  13. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

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    Schools may consider the following factors during the application process:

    *Academic rigor
    *Extra curricular activities
    *Enthusiasm
    *GPA (overall, prerequisite, or both)
    *Interview quality
    *PCAT score
    *Personal motivation for pursuing pharmacy
    *Pharmacy experience
    *Prerequisites complete or planned for completion
    *Recent academic performance
    *Recommendations
    *Research opportunities
    *Residency
    *Special achievements
    *Volunteer work

    Extenuating circumstances may also be considered by some institutions.

    Thank you to BMBiology for the suggested additions
    Thank you to BMBiology, dgroulx, FutureRXGal, jdpharmd?, LVPharm, and Roxicet for reviewing this section
  14. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

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    Extracurricular activities that can help you to become a competitive applicant include:

    *Club/organization membership or leadership (academic, community service, social, etc)
    *Community education programs
    *Cultural activities
    *Forum membership (Go SDN!)
    *Leadership
    *Musical performance
    *Political activism
    *Professional organizations
    *Sports
    *Tutoring
    *Unique experiences or attributes
    *Volunteer work (especially in a pharmacy or medical setting)

    Thank you to BMBiology and LVPharm for the suggested additions
    Thank you to BMBiology, dgroulx, FutureRXGal, jdpharmd?, LVPharm, and Roxicet for reviewing this section
  15. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

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    Currently, no schools require pharmacy work experience as a condition of acceptance. However, work experience can give you unique insights into the field and increase the competitiveness of your pharmacy school application. If you choose to apply to a pharmacy school without pharmacy experience you simply need to be prepared to explain why you have chosen and committed to pursuing pharmacy as a profession.
  16. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

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    The mean GPA for students entering each school can be found in the Characteristics of Fall 2004 First Year Class for Pharm.D. Degree Programs compiled by AACP. Less comprehensive data on the Fall of 2004 admissions can be found on the PharmCAS website. Students with a GPA above the mean for the school(s) they are applying to can be considered to have a competitive GPA.

    Those with a GPA below the mean do not have a competitive GPA, but may still be a competitive applicant if they excel in other factors considered by the admissions committee.

    A note on the anticipated increase in entering GPA:
    The mean GPA of entering students is increasing in response to the growing popularity of the field of pharmacy. The advent of PharmCAS has concurrently precipitated an enormous increase in the number of applicants per seat, by encouraging many applicants to apply to more schools than they would have in years past. Any given school's top candidates are now more likely to have been accepted to several other schools, increasing the number of students which must be admitted to fill the entering class. As a result, most schools are conducting more interviews than in past years. Given the complexity of the situation, the average entering GPA cannot be expected to simply increase in response to the increasing number of applicants per seat.

    PSAR for 2010-2011: http://www.aacp.org/RESOURCES/STUDENT/PHARMACYFORYOU/ADMISSIONS/Pages/PSAR.aspx
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2011
  17. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

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    Be sure to register on time. Test dates, locations and deadlines can be found on PCATWeb.info.

    To get a feel for the PCAT, you can take the PCAT practice test. The test is online, half the length of the PCAT, and requires a fee.

    Many people do not finish the math portion of the exam. Practice until you are able to do simple math problems (decimals, fractions, ratios, etc.) very quickly.

    To increase your vocabulary score, you might try memorizing the GRE top 200 words list, or studying Latin and Greek word roots.

    Helpful study guides include:
    Kaplan PCAT - very highly recommended
    Barron's PCAT
    Peterson's PCAT Success
    http://www.pcatprofessor.com/

    Thank you to FutureRxGal for providing links
  18. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

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    Many students are offered admission to a Pharm.D. program before completing their prerequisite coursework. Acceptance is conditional, meaning that all required coursework must be completed with satisfactory grades according to school policy, generally prior to your first professional year. Your school will tell you what grades you must achieve in each remaining course to retain your offer of admission.

    Whether or not you choose to apply before completing your prerequisites depends on whether you feel that the grades you will receive in the remaining coursework are necessary to make you a competitive applicant. If you are relying on your remaining prerequisites to raise your GPA to a competitive level, you are not likely to be admitted before you have proven yourself academically. If you feel that you have a competitive application despite the remaining prerequisites, there is no advantage in waiting to apply.
  19. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

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    PharmCAS is a centralized application service which allows applicants to submit the same basic information, transcripts, and test scores to multiple schools. The service charges a fee based on the number of schools being applied to through PharmCAS. Participating schools may also require a supplemental application and separate application fee.

    Statistics for the 2004 entering class acceptees, application criteria, program prerequisites, supplemental application information, deadlines, and other information can found on the PharmCAS school information page for each institution. Statistics on the application cycle for fall of 2004 are also available.

    Schools not utilizing PharmCAS must be contacted individually for application information.

    Thank you to Roxicet for providing links
  20. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

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    Selecting good references is a critical part of the application process. Generally, your references will be academic (professors) or professional (pharmacists). When your recommendation is considered by a school, more than the strength of the recommendation is considered.

    Your relationship to the recommender is key. An impersonal recommendation from a prestigious professor you had for a single course is not likely to go as far as a well thought out, sincere letter from a professor who worked with you closely for an entire year at a community college. Be sure to pick the people who you feel are most strongly connected to you.

    Even a well qualified candidate needs to take steps to ensure that his or her references have the material necessary to author strong a letter of recommendation. At the bare minimum, you should provide a resume/CV and a copy of a letter of intent or admissions essay to each reference. Ideally, you will sit down for ten to fifteen minutes and discuss your motivations, areas of interest, activities, achievements, personal values, and other qualifications. A letter from a well informed reference will strengthen your application by supporting the assertations in your personal statement.

    It is best to choose references and request letters early in the application process. Etiquette dictates that you give each reference at least one month to write your letter. You should provide the recommender with a stamped pre-addressed envelope in which to mail your recommendation. You can also provide each reference with a stamped post card addressed to yourself to be mailed with the recommendation. Asking for the letter to be completed by a specific date earlier than the due date is also advisable.
  21. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

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    Potential components:
    *Attributes that will help you succeed in pharmacy
    *Areas of interest within the profession
    *Discussion of prior extenuating circumstances (this can be deferred to the interview)
    *Unique or special attributes that make you an asset to the field
    *What motivates you to pursue pharmacy

    Things to do:
    *Answer the prompt completely
    *Be enthusiastic
    *Be memorable
    *Be positive
    *Exercise good communication skills
    *Explain why you are an excellent candidate
    *Have at least two people read your essay and give you feedback
    *Make a formal statement of your goal to pursue pharmacy as a career
    *Show your personality
    *Write formally

    Things to avoid:
    *Assuming that the reader is familiar with the rest of your application
    *Beginning multiple sentences with "I"
    *Cliches
    *Content out of the scope of the prompt
    *Contractions
    *Fractions
    *Grammatical errors
    *Modesty
    *More than one topic per paragraph
    *Negativity of any sort
    *Obvious exaggeration
    *Parentheses, except when defining an acronym that will be commonly used
    *Repeating the same phrase
    *Slang
    *Spelling errors
    *Unconventional punctuation
    *Undefined acronyms
    *Wishy-washiness (i.e.: saying "I believe/think/feel that I am an excellent candidate because... " when you should say " I am an excellent candidate because...")

    Your personal statement should be proofread and critiqued before submission. You should check and correct the spelling and grammar in your statement before asking others to read it. Aside from being courteous, this preparation allows those critiquing your essay to focus on content and style rather than basic writing skills.

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  22. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

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    The Pharmacy School Interview Feedback Page contains information on the interview experiences of other SDN members. You can find out students' impressions of the school, the style, length, and stress level of interview, the number of interviewers, memorable interview questions, and more.

    In general, you can expect to sit down with one or more interviewers and be asked a series of pre-determined questions designed to assess your value as a candidate for admission. Questions generally focus on your goals and interests, experiences, and opinions. Scenario questions are also used to assess your problem solving skills and values. A list of typical interview questions can be found on pharmacist.com and also in this thread. A business suit is the recommended attire for both women and men, although a dress shirt and slacks can be worn instead. Some schools may also ask you to write a brief essay during the interview.

    You may find the interview tips on the Pharmacy Times website to be helpful, although they are aimed at Pharm.D. graduates.

    Thank you to FutureRxGal for providing links
  23. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

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    Your pharmacy school will require you to provide documentation showing that you are adequately immunized and to complete any missing vaccinations as a condition of entry to your professional program. As a healthcare professional, you will be exposed to individuals suffering from infectious diseases. It is important that you be adequately immunized, not only for your own safety, but to preserve the health of your patients and co-workers. Because immunization requirements have changed over the years, and because immunity can wane, the childhood vaccinations which you received may not be adequate.
  24. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

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    A Curriculum Vitae (CV) is similar to a resume, but more comprehensive. A CV essentially catalogs every aspect of your entire professional experience, with no time constraints. You will most likely be expected to provide a CV when applying for a position as a pharmacist. Although many pharmacy internships may not require a CV, submitting one may enhance your chances of being selected for the position.

    Because a CV is such a comprehensive document, it is important to establish a CV now and add your experiences as they occur. Keep your CV current by updating it every few months. After a 25 year career, it is not uncommon for the document to span many pages. Your lifetime professional experience is not abridged in a CV.

    Basic sections include:
    *Name and contact information
    *Goals statement/Career objectives
    *Education
    *Professional certifications and licensure
    *Professional work history
    *Professional organization membership
    *References (optional)

    Sections to be included if applicable include:
    *Leadership roles
    *Committee membership
    *Publications authored or edited
    *Presentations given at professional meetings or other gatherings
    *University affiliation (ie: adjunct faculty status)

    Sections specific to current pharmacy students include:
    *Conference attendance
    *Extracurricular activities not covered above

    Recent experiences should generally be catalogued in a linear fashion with the most recent experience at the top of the document. Work history can alternatively be sorted by skill type. However, unless your employment history has large gaps, this approach is not recommended.

    Important information should be located earliest in the document. Basic sections, with the exception of references, are generally included before the work history, while other sections typically follow the work history. References are always the final portion of the document. While you may choose to include full contact information for your references, it may be adviseable to simply note that "references are available upon request". This strategy allows you to know who will be contacting your references, so that you can advise them ahead of time. Some prefer not to include references on their CV.

    Care should be taken to make your CV clear and concise. Formatting should be performed in a manner so that section headers can be located easily and pertinent information can be read with minimal effort. Short sentences, indentation, and bulleted items can increase reading ease. Use of bullets should be sparse.

    Typeface differences, case, and text layout are used to distinguish sections. Underlining section headers is not necessary. Sans-serif fonts (non-footed) such as Arial, Helvetica, or Verdana are ideal for section headers. Bold font can be used in headers, if desired. Serif fonts (footed) font such as Times New Roman or Garamond are ideal for section content. It is best to avoid monospace, script, or decorative fonts, as they distract from the content of your CV.

    The document should be printed in black and white on a quality grade of plain white or off-white paper. To remove the underline and color from a web address, place the cursor after the last character of the address and hit the backspace key one time to deactivate the hyperlink. Only if you are submitting an electronic CV should you leave the hyperlinks active.

    Be sure to check for spelling errors both electronically and manually.

    A cover letter should nearly always be submitted along with your CV. The exception would be when you distribute your CV to many different potential employers at a job fair and have no opportunity to prepare a cover letter. If you are invited for an interview after a job fair, bring another copy of your CV to the interview, along with a position specific cover letter.

    Current pharmacy student CV example (scroll down; requires Adobe Reader)
    Recent pharmacy school graduate CV example


    Thank you to GravyRPH for critiquing this section
  25. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

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    Students generally finance their Pharm.D. through federal and private loans. Scholarships can be earned, but are very competitive.

    Unconditional grants are generally not available. However, some employers will pay a portion of a student's tuition while they remain working for the company. Others may offer tuition help in exchange for a promise to remain with the employer for a specified amount of time after graduation.

    You can discuss this topic with other students in the Financial Aid forum.
  26. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

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  27. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

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  28. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

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    RainDrop's Blog
    The real life experiences of a retail pharmacist.

    Thank you to LVPharm, Modnar, and RainDrop for contributing these links
  29. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

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  30. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

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    Job shadowing is one option to help you decide whether or not pharmacy is the right career path for you. Shadowing pharmacists in more than one setting is advisable.

    If you are interested in job shadowing, you can contact pharmacists in your area, explain that you are thinking of applying to pharmacy school, and ask if they would be open to having you shadow them for a few hours or longer. Know your schedule before you call and be prepared to set up a date over the phone if you are asked to. Also be ready to answer questions about your goals and interests. Keep in mind that you are unlikely to be invited to shadow every pharmacist you contact. Some pharmacists may not be comfortable having a shadow, some may be too busy, and others may be prohibited by company policy. Even if a pharmacist does not invite you to shadow them, be sure to keep a positive attitude and thank them for their time.

    Here is a page on job shadowing etiquette which you may find helpful.
  31. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

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  32. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

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  33. Glycerin

    Glycerin Commercially Unavailable Moderator Emeritus

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    In the event that you are not accepted to a school of pharmacy the first time you apply, there are many things you can do to improve your chances when reapplying for the following cycle. Below is a list of suggestions that you could use in order to improve your competitiveness.

    - Reapply early! This is one of the most important things you can do when reapplying. Many schools have rolling admissions, so the earlier your application and supplemental materials are in, the sooner your application is reviewed and the less competition you have.

    - Contact the school(s) to which you applied. Ask questions as to why you weren't accepted and how you can improve your application.

    - Take more classes. If you only have the bare minimum prerequisites completed, continue to work on a bachelor's degree. Take upper-level science and math courses to show that you are capable of successfully completing more challenging coursework.

    - If you have any C's, D's, or F's on your record, retake those classes. Depending on the school(s) to which you apply, one of two things could occur by doing this: 1) the school will average the lower grade with the retake, or 2) the school will replace the lower grade with the higher one. Either way, your GPA will improve.

    - Try to gain pharmacy experience if you are lacking it. You can either apply for a job as a technician, volunteer at a pharmacy, or shadow a pharmacist. Any way you go about it, you can't be wrong in having pharmacy experience.

    - Apply to more schools. This, theoretically, increases your chances of being interviewed and subsequently being accepted. Be prepared, however, that applying to more schools does increase the potential to receive more interview invitations, so it's best to only apply to places to which you are willing and financially able to travel. Also, If you previously applied to school(s) that do not require the PCAT, plan on taking the PCAT in order to apply to more schools.

    - If your PCAT score is not where you would like for it to be, retake the test. It is offered several times a year, and most schools take the better score for their evaluation.

    - Increase your volunteering activities. Your volunteer experiences do not have to be pharmacy related. Many applicants have volunteering experiences from all across the board, from pharmacy to animal shelters to soup kitchens to tutoring. The important thing is to do something that you enjoy and fits into your schedule.

    - In the case of being rejected after having an interview, or if you are just nervous about interviewing in general, practice! If you currently have a job, speak with your boss about interviewing tips. A pre-pharmacy advisor is another person that is helpful. Gather one or more of your friends and/or family members to engage in a mock interview. Some people benefit by taping a mock session and then critiquing it (either themselves or a third party) while watching it. Many applicants prepare by reading typical interview questions and formulating their own answers. And finally, some undergraduate schools offer a course on interviewing that can include tips on interviewing and even a mock interview.

    - Practice writing essays. Most applications require some sort of essay, as do many interviews. The interview essays are generally timed, so practice writing under a time constraint. If it's been a while since you've written an essay, review the proper formats and techniques. Improvement in spelling or grammar skills, if needed, are always a plus.

    Thank you to bananaface for critiquing this section. :)
    Eatyourpizza likes this.
  34. Glycerin

    Glycerin Commercially Unavailable Moderator Emeritus

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    Many schools have written essay questions at their interviews. Oneday_9 post some example questions in this thread that can help with practicing essay questions.
  35. Glycerin

    Glycerin Commercially Unavailable Moderator Emeritus

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    Currently there is only one college of pharmacy that offers an online Pharm.D. program, and that is Creighton University. The program is year-round, and labs are completed in the summers in Omaha.

    There are also some colleges of pharmacy that have extended their programs into satellite programs. The University of Florida and Nova Southeastern University have two such programs.
  36. Glycerin

    Glycerin Commercially Unavailable Moderator Emeritus

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    As the applicant pool continues to become increasingly more competitive each year, many students begin to look to out-of-state schools as options. Typically private schools do not have restrictions on the number of applicants that they can accept. However, public schools do since they get state funding, so they are thought of to be more difficult to get into as an out-of-state applicant. While there are some public schools that accept more out-of-state students than others, it's realistic to keep in mind that chance of acceptance as an out-of-state applicant is lower than that of a private school.
  37. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

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    Last edited by a moderator: May 26, 2010
  38. Abilify

    Abilify Removed

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    There is no list available for the public that has every school's NAPLEX pass rate. ACPE gives out the pass rates to each pharmacy school on a yearly basis and then the school can decide if they want to release that information to the public. Not many schools choose to release this information. The only exception is that some boards of pharmacy are required to release the statistics.

    California Pass rates:
    http://www.pharmacy.ca.gov/about/pass_rates.htm

    Links to other BOPs.
    http://www.pharmacy.wsu.edu/students/LicenseExamResources.htm#BOPURL

    Thank you to DHG and uscpharm09 for providing the above links.
  39. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

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  40. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

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  41. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

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    Ideally you would send a signed letter to the school. You should do this as soon as possible, out of respect for other admission candidates.

    Dear ____,

    I am writing to inform you that I no longer plan on attending XYZ School/College of Pharmacy this fall, as I have recently been accepted to another program. Please feel free to release my spot in the class of 2015 to another candidate. I appreicate your offer of admission and understand that my previously paid deposit remains non-refundable.

    Best Regards,

    Your Name

    Signature
  42. delano2000

    delano2000 D-Mod likes to parTAY Moderator Emeritus

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