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Am I on the right track?

Discussion in 'Pre-Pharmacy' started by Omegadramon, May 17, 2007.

  1. Omegadramon

    Omegadramon 2+ Year Member

    May 16, 2007
    So I want to do Pharmacy....been that way ever since I came to college (My folks are the old foriengers that scream "Medicine, Medicine" but I found that I was so much more interested in reading the mechanism of asprin in the body off of wikipedia, my organic books etc...which is why I like Pharamacy). I've done a bunch of reseach on the field by reading books, talking to pharmacists, reading this forum and I've actually picked up a great book from Pfzier called "Full preparation: The guide to careers in Pharmacy (A+ manual)

    So, I've established my what have I done to achieve the goal....

    Well, I didn't have a great freshman year. Overall I got a 3.0gpa (3.0 chem gpa) in 28 gpa credit hours. I realized afterward that I had to pick it up or else I'll get left behind. So, I did a 7 week summer "Research training" internship where they taught me how to do research. During that time, I found out that I wanted to go to UGA. I spent alot of time on their website and found the Pre-requisite check sheet. Sophomore year was much much better. I began "tutoring" in chemsitry (The job title is technically called something else) took 35 credit hours and got a 3.72 for the year.

    So overall, what I have going for me is a 3.45 overall gpa. I have a year of "tutoring" in general chemistry. I joined a very new research lab in Organic synthesis in Dec. with a new faculty member (My options were limited, research is not emphasized at this college) and found it very interesting and worked in developing the lab and starting up the project through May. I just recently transfered to a State university in Georgia so I'm currently taking some summer classes so that I can finish the remaining pre-reqs (Public speaking, Foreign language continue with a bio degree).

    What I don't have going for me is that I haven't taken the PCAT (plan to in June), I have minimal volunteer or pharamcy experience. The only heath field related working experience is when I worked for a Health clinic during a summer in highschool.

    Which leads to my questions....

    I just took a practice test from the Kaplan 2006 book. I know I still have room for major improvements. In the chem, bio, verbal and reading sections I missed 15/58, 17/58, 16/58 and 12/48 questions respectively (I took the practice test without any reviewing, right now I'm evaluating what I know and don't know so that I can 'zone' in on studying). I want to get it down so that at most I'll miss 10 on each section....what grade would that possible corresspond to on the PCAT? I know UGA really wants a high percentile so I striving for atleas 90is% (long way to go).

    I need more volunteer experience. I've just sent in my application to a local hospital so hopefully I'll hear from them soon. If I don't, I've noticed that there is a nursing home that just opened near my house....Is it a good idea to work there? Because I'm still in school, I don't know if I'll have the time for a job as a pharm tech (I can work nights, weekends) but I don't have any experience. Any advice

    My perogative is to be the best possible canidate by the time I apply in my junior year. That way, if I don't get in, I can still have a "second chance" my senior year (but it would be sweet to get in early).

    Aye ya ya....Can't believe I typed that much.....well, sorry to bore you :sleep:
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  3. krsnyf

    krsnyf 5+ Year Member

    Oct 23, 2006
    as long as your gpa trend improves, you are good to go. your motivation is apparent with all the extracurricular activities, but you might want to volunteer a couple of hours (say 2?) a week in pharmacy since most schools require a letter of rec from a pharmacist.
  4. aboveliquidice

    aboveliquidice No sacrifice - No victory Pharmacist Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Apr 23, 2006
    San Antonio, TX
    Practice tests are good for preparation - but to get a really good feel - you are going to have to sit the test and June and see for sure. After you get your score (in or around August) - you will have a better idea of where you stand with regards to that.

    Volunteer work & exp are a little more difficult to swing (studying for a PCAT is easier in my opinion). You can combine the two - which some people do. I recommend you get a part-time job in a pharmacy. Then pick up one or two volunteer positions that highlight community involvement and leadership. Which ever method you choose - you should know that all of this is highly variable. No one on this thread can tell you that anything specific will increase your chances - however, the attitude you have expressed - the wanting to do anything and everything - will certainly aid you...

    Good :luck: - and feel free to post along the way

  5. ButlerPharm.D.

    ButlerPharm.D. Honor Before Glory 5+ Year Member

    Dec 17, 2004
    One thing I would like to add is that the PCAT is a scaled exam and is not graded simply based upon your own individual performance but instead is based upon how you did compared to the other students who took the exam at the same time you did. Therefore if you scored a 76% that means that you did better than 76% of the students who took it at the same time you did. Hence, it's impossible to assign a "score" to you based upon your practice test results.

    Best of luck!
  6. Omegadramon

    Omegadramon 2+ Year Member

    May 16, 2007
    So what does that mean? Hope for a "dumb" group?

    Nah, I understand. It just means that to do the best I can, and the rest will solve it self.
  7. StringTheorist

    StringTheorist 5+ Year Member

    Apr 19, 2007
    as long as you do well in your prepharm courses, a 90% PCAT isnt hard to get.
  8. bigdogc

    bigdogc 5+ Year Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    1. take all required prereqs
    2. strive for a 4.0 each semester
    3. study for the pcat and do well

    those are the only things you can do right. the admissions process is in the hands of other people. i think your motivation can keep you doing all the things you can control right, but there are no guarantees. some people get in with low stats and some people dont get in with high stats sometimes.
  9. Farmercyst

    Farmercyst On with the Poodles already Pharmacist Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    You can still hope for a dumb group too.:smuggrin:
  10. Omegadramon

    Omegadramon 2+ Year Member

    May 16, 2007

    And thanks for the advice, everyone.
  11. binghamkid

    binghamkid Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

    Feb 7, 2007
    It also wouldn't hurt to start reading the mission statements and values that each school lists on their websites. You want to be able to write personal statements (especially for the supplemental applications that many pharm schools have) that tailor specifically to their schools. Remember that presentation is the most important thing on your application. If you can write fluently and in a way that attracts the attention of the Adcom, then you're golden. Don't really want to go into details about how to write a good personal statement here, but just PM if you want help with that.

    As for collecting letters of recommendation, PharmCAS has a really complicated letter of recommendation system (especially if your school already has a LOR service in place). It's safest just to print out all the paper forms that PharmCAS requires before requesting the letters of recommendation. Look for individuals who can write you strong letters of recommendation, especially those that highlight your contributions and strengths within a healthcare setting. Think about what each person would write (no sense having two professors write that you are a great student.) The spread of LOR writers i used was one seminar professor (to highlight my academic capabilities), one research professor ( to highlight my commitment and qualities in healthcare research), and a work supervisor (to showcase my ability to work with patients as well as healthcare professionals). Obviously you can use different writers with different intents. Those are just what I had. When you ask them for letters, be prepared to give them a packet of information. You might think that it's a little cheap to kind of handfeed them what you want them to possibly put on your letter. It's not; it's the best way for your writers to know you better and to really make your letter count for you. My packet for each of my writers consisted of my personal statement, my resume, a thank you letter, and a list of items which I would prefer to have them emphasize in each letter. Believe it or not, every letter I got had everything I asked for.

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