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Acquiring a Pharmaceutical Science Bachelors Degree then going to Medical school

Discussion in 'hSDN' started by LMiller2010, Dec 30, 2008.

  1. LMiller2010

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    As a Junior in High School, I have been doing quite a bit of research as to what I would like to be "when I grow up." I have been battling between going to Pharmacy School or Medical School, if I even get accepted to either of course. Neither a MD nor Pharm.D is an easy title to obtain and I fully understand this.

    I am highly interested in Pharmacology and the medicine side of the practice of medicine, but taking my personality into consideration, I do believe I would get bored with being a Pharmacist, no offense to any of you out there; I have great respect for all of you :D

    I also would think that I would stand out more if I were able to get a Pharmaceutical Science BS when applying to a Medical School as opposed to going the traditional Biology BS or Biochem BS or even Chem BS route.

    What are your thoughts on this subject?
    (And I do plan to apply to both Pharmacy schools and Medical schools when the time comes, just in case.)
     
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  3. Scottish Chap

    Physician PhD Moderator Emeritus 15+ Year Member

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    I've moved this question to the high school forum where you should receive more appropriate responses.

    I'll give you my two cents worth.

    Never make the mistake of thinking that a certain degree looks more attractive to medical schools. They (medical school Admissions Committees) are far more interested in the grades that you receive than the degree concentration. Social science majors, interestingly, fair better in medical school admissions than science majors every year.

    My advice would be to choose an undergraduate degree at an institution that will support your broad interests. Medical school requires one year of undergraduate study in general chemistry, organic chemistry, physics, and biology. Pharmacy school has very similar requirements. You could set up your course schedule to accommodate both options, then volunteer or shadow in a hospital or pharmacy to see which is a better fit (keep in mind that hospital pharmacy is an option, too, and it is very different from retail pharmacy). I will tell you that if you decide to go to pharmacy school and then apply to medical school, this is an inconsistent move and medical schools will want to know why you are switching. Keep in mind that medical school and pharmacy school have very different standardized exams at different times of the year, and applications are very expensive. This can be a headache, and I would try to avoid it by deciding where your interests lie before applying.

    Lastly, I can comment on pharmacology since I majored in the discipline at the undergraduate and graduate school level before applying to medical school. Pharmacology and pharmacy are not the same; many people confuse them, so don't feel bad. Pharmacy is a professional degree that allows one to formulate and dispense medicine and, of course, they understand pharmacology. Pharmacology is a scientific discipline that studies the action of drugs on living tissue; those people are trained as research scientists. Both are equally rewarding careers.

    Good luck!
     
  4. MilkmanAl

    MilkmanAl Al the Ass Mod
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    Errrr...I'm guessing you didn't mean to move this to the staff forum?
     
  5. Depakote

    Depakote Pediatric Anesthesiologist
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    fix'd
     
  6. Scottish Chap

    Physician PhD Moderator Emeritus 15+ Year Member

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    Actually, I did. The appropriate person predictably moved it to the relevant section. Thanks, Depakote!
     
  7. QofQuimica

    QofQuimica Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting....
    Administrator Physician PhD Faculty Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

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    I agree with Scottish Chap. You can major in whatever you want in college as long as you complete all the pre-reqs. The advice to shadow both a pharmacist and a physician is especially important, since you can't decide what you might like doing best without having any experience in either of those environments.

    You could also consider the option of going to grad school if you think you might want to do research. Pharmacology like SC did is one option, and medicinal chem or pharmaceutical chem is another option, which is what I did. These are branches of organic chemistry, but the specific goal is to design and synthesize small compounds or protein analogs that can be developed into drugs in the future. It's a lot of fun to design the compounds and make them (well, at least when the reactions work!). You would work as part of a team with pharmacologists and other biologists to test the compounds in cells, enzyme assays, and if all goes well, animal models. Based on how these tests turn out, you would then design and synthesize another round of molecules that take into account the structural and activity information that you learned from your first set of compounds.
     
  8. LMiller2010

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    Well I thank you all very much for the replies and moving this to a more appropriate section; not entirely too familiar with this website yet ^_^.

    I will have a chance to shadow both a physician and a pharmacist next year during my medical class at my high school, so I should have a better understanding of which is more suited for me.

    Yet again, I thank you for the replies and I shall post again eventually to let everyone know of my choice :)
     

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