Mar 19, 2010
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Since I am already commited to the profession, I am in my 4th quarter as we speak and since optomism is free I figured I'd post somewhat of a positive spin on the situation...the following are my thoughts regarding an issue that echos through this forum--the issue of ACPE accrediting new PharmD programs...

Why can't we suppose that the ACPE trying to expand our profession? Why the negative spin on everything these days. The larger a profession gets the more lobbyng power it inherently has therefore more legislative power. Do we wish to go the way of optometrists who have a measly 18 schools and no real professional leadership or sway in issues such as health care reform? We need to stop throwing temper tantrums everytime something reminds us that we are not an elitist profession, it must expand as the population expands and the nation's age demographics change.

Here is the bottom line, pharmacy school is hard--my program has already lost 13 students (they will graduate a year behind) and we are only in the 4th quarter, I will expect us to lose another 3-5 more by the end of this quarter. My point is, the curriculum is not being diluted it is just available to more naive souls willing to shell out 40k a year to attempt it. Sure the NAPLEX is designed to weed out all but those that are at least "minimally competant" but in the profession of pharmacy that is still a very well educated individual. This increase in number of pharmacists will do nothing but increase our utilization.

Here are a few hard truths that we were all well aware of when we opted for PharmD over MD/DO:

1) We are mid-level practitioners, clinical roles have expanded for our profession in part to releive the severe provider shortage of the last several decades. There is a move in many institutions (namely the VA) to rely on mid-levels to provide healthcare and balance a sustainable budget.
My point is, at the rate of salary increase we were seeing (approximately doubling every 10 years) we would have priced ourselves right out of the market! We would be obsolete. What institution wants to pay $350k a year + benefits for a "resource" and on that token, how fast could chains continue to expand and be profitable with shrinking reimbursements and a 2 pharmacist payroll nearing a million a year! These numbers are ridiculous I know that, but what do you think Joe Pharmacist working at Rexall Drugs in 1979 would have thought to hear that whiny new grads would complain if they can't graduate into a guaranteed $125k/year job!

2) The PharmD can realistically be completed in 7 years, while this is a formitable number it is still reasonable considering other healthcare providers, their time commitment and rewards/job prospects post grad. Now I know people will probably respond (as they do in my school) rattling off how many masters degrees they have and the accomplishments the flaunt. The bottom line is, even with a debt load of nearly $200k, this is still a very adequately compensated profession even if we see a temporary dip in salaries.

3) I would like to share a very important piece of insight a professor shared with my class in the first class of our first day of pharmacy school. He reminded us that any health profession needs to balance the supply and demand issue. Severe shortages can create histeria and prompt legislators to seek for alternatives and ways around said profession. (look at the growth of PAs, NPs, CRNAs, etc aimed to combat the physician shortage!) No one is bulletproof. Shortages will only persist for so long before action is taken to mitigate the shortages.

--Just something to think about--
 

BMBiology

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It is not the number of new schools that I am concern about. I am concern about the quality of these new schools.
 

Sparda29

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It is not the number of new schools that I am concern about. I am concern about the quality of these new schools.
One thing new schools will always have an edge over old schools. It is likely that old schools are using old antiquated equipment in a broken down building. (LIU's pharmacy building looks like crap on the inside.)

New schools will have the newest equipment.

Faculty wise, from what I know, new schools steal the faculty from older schools by giving them higher pay. Here at Touro, we took a bunch of professors from LIU, Rutgers, St. John's, Massachusetts, etc. We probably have more professors than we need. Last semester in Therapeutics, we had like a different professor every week.
 

BMBiology

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One thing new schools will always have an edge over old schools. It is likely that old schools are using old antiquated equipment in a broken down building. (LIU's pharmacy building looks like crap on the inside.)

New schools will have the newest equipment.

Faculty wise, from what I know, new schools steal the faculty from older schools by giving them higher pay. Here at Touro, we took a bunch of professors from LIU, Rutgers, St. John's, Massachusetts, etc. We probably have more professors than we need. Last semester in Therapeutics, we had like a different professor every week.
Really? These for profit, stand alone pharmacy schools are better than established pharmacy schools that are affiliated with a major university and medical center? You may be attracted to a shinny new building but I am more interested in a school's track record and connections.
 

SpirivaSunrise

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One thing new schools will always have an edge over old schools. It is likely that old schools are using old antiquated equipment in a broken down building. (LIU's pharmacy building looks like crap on the inside.)

New schools will have the newest equipment.

Faculty wise, from what I know, new schools steal the faculty from older schools by giving them higher pay. Here at Touro, we took a bunch of professors from LIU, Rutgers, St. John's, Massachusetts, etc. We probably have more professors than we need. Last semester in Therapeutics, we had like a different professor every week.
Equipment? Seriously?
 

Aznfarmerboi

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My school St Johns paid for new lab upgrades/renovations every year. They updated simulation labs last year including adding multiple counseling rooms with video recording, inhalers, glucometers, insulin pens, medical mannequins, etc. The year before, they upgraded anatomy labs.

In addition... although our medical library is lacking, I am sure our literature and journal collection is more extensive than Touro...

With that said,... equipments? What equipment can be so important that gives new schools an advantage over established ones making them better pharmacists? A spatula?
 
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xiphoid2010

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It'll be more important to have a medical center with the COP so the clinical faculties are actually practitioners and students can practice working with other health professions. How many new schools have that?
 

WVUPharm2007

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rxlea

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Many of the established schools have upgraded their facilities. Their affiliations/connections alone are more than any new stand alone can offer. More established schools that are associated with a research/teaching institution and/or medical center are going to have more opportunities easily, not to mention, the opportunity for collaboration with other disciplines. Then there is the research...

Do you think a new school can offer any (all?) of that?
 

Argentium

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Many of the established schools have upgraded their facilities. Their affiliations/connections alone are more than any new stand alone can offer. More established schools that are associated with a research/teaching institution and/or medical center are going to have more opportunities easily, not to mention, the opportunity for collaboration with other disciplines. Then there is the research...

Do you think a new school can offer any (all?) of that?
Let's not forget about rotations too!
 

Sparda29

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My school St Johns paid for new lab upgrades/renovations every year. They updated simulation labs last year including adding multiple counseling rooms with video recording, inhalers, glucometers, insulin pens, medical mannequins, etc. The year before, they upgraded anatomy labs.

In addition... although our medical library is lacking, I am sure our literature and journal collection is more extensive than Touro...

With that said,... equipments? What equipment can be so important that gives new schools an advantage over established ones making them better pharmacists? A spatula?
Yeah, our library is pretty small also, but we have all the resources that Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine has, which I'm sure is a lot more than I'll ever use. Rarely use them anyway, usually I'll just get the information from Wikipedia, find some articles that are cited within Wikipedia and use those.
 

type b pharmD

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Yeah, our library is pretty small also, but we have all the resources that Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine has, which I'm sure is a lot more than I'll ever use. Rarely use them anyway, usually I'll just get the information from Wikipedia, find some articles that are cited within Wikipedia and use those.
Good idea. People dont give wiki enough credit. It's always where i start, to just get a heads up or once over of the topic, then move to medline or AHFS.

Last week I used wiki during test (internet resources were allowed) to find the value for normal human plasma osmolality.
 

pharmwannebe2

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Good idea. People dont give wiki enough credit. It's always where i start, to just get a heads up or once over of the topic, then move to medline or AHFS.

Last week I used wiki during test (internet resources were allowed) to find the value for normal human plasma osmolality.
what kinda school do you go to that allows net on a test. Damn you youngens.
 

RX CARE

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Here are a few hard truths that we were all well aware of when we opted for PharmD over MD/DO:.[/COLOR]
:eek:Really??! We ALL opted for Pharm.D over MD/DO? Are you talking about yourself?
 

type b pharmD

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:eek:Really??! We ALL opted for Pharm.D over MD/DO? Are you talking about yourself?
everyone here chose to pursue a pharmD, and the majority of people were and are high achieving science students, so naturally they could have chosen to pursue med school as well.
 

type b pharmD

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what kinda school do you go to that allows net on a test. Damn you youngens.
the test was on basically finding drug related information on the internet, lol. Still, sounds like a breeze, but it had a very strict time limit, and there were a lot of questions to be answered in 2 hours. We get those things once or twice a semester in our "pharmacy skills" class. Easy in that they dont require studying, but difficult in that you are on a very tight time limit to find a lot of information. We actually had one question that said "what is the mechanism behind why x drug causes intralipid to coagulate, and what are the side effects from IV administration with this solution and why" .. Of course different researchers had found different results with varying concentrations of intralipid ... so that one was a picnic.

So yeah, not a cakewalk by any means, although , of course, far from the most difficult test ive taken
 

RX CARE

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everyone here chose to pursue a pharmD, and the majority of people were and are high achieving science students, so naturally they could have chosen to pursue med school as well.
Oh sorry ma bad! High achieving science students eehh? Well why don't we help him re-phrase the statement to ecompass high achieving science students:

"Here are a few hard truths that we were all well aware of when we opted for PharmD over MD/DO, DDS, PhD, PA-C and more"

Now how is that?
Was just trying to make a point that the comment is quite shallow....not everybody opted for pharmacy over MD/DO. Takes us back to this whole MD/DO pedestaling argument, glorifying the MDs as the be-all and end-all of science. Makes it sound like everybody chose pharmacy as an alternative to pursuing medicine.
 

rxlea

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I chose pharmacy over medicine :)
 

Sparda29

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I chose pharmacy over medicine :)
Me too, but I like medicine as well, just not interested in having to wait 4-5 years after I graduate to start making money.

Personally, I think that they could do one of two things:

A - Integrate the pharmacy and medical degree into one program. It would be a 6 year program following undergraduate. First year would be the basic sciences that both pharmacy and medicine share. Second and third year would be clinical sciences, could do the curriculum as a disease state based curriculum where they go through the medical part and the pharmaceutical treatment part of it. Last 3 years would be practice experiences.

B - Make one standard health professional degree, from which all medical specialties, pharmacy branch out from. I think Mike brought up something like this before.
 
Mar 19, 2010
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Oh sorry ma bad! High achieving science students eehh? Well why don't we help him re-phrase the statement to ecompass high achieving science students:

"Here are a few hard truths that we were all well aware of when we opted for PharmD over MD/DO, DDS, PhD, PA-C and more"

Now how is that?
Was just trying to make a point that the comment is quite shallow....not everybody opted for pharmacy over MD/DO. Takes us back to this whole MD/DO pedestaling argument, glorifying the MDs as the be-all and end-all of science. Makes it sound like everybody chose pharmacy as an alternative to pursuing medicine.
A thousand pardons for speaking in generalities. First, PA-C's are mid-level practioners and thats the bulk of what my following 3 points outline, a debate discussing various other non-pharmacist mid-levels could be started in a separate thread if you so please. Second, on the topic of PhD's--I don't know of any health professions that require PhD's, its not a professional degree its an academic degree--feel free to persue a PhD adjunct to your PharmD. Third, I do not even group DDS/DMD in the same category as other health care providers. Although their knowledge is extensive and incredibly useful in out healthcare system they are not really relevant to this discussion. If anything, my comment put the PharmD on the same level as the MD/DO--implying that we were all able to persue an MD/DO if we so choose, instead the PharmD was more lucrative to us for various and individual reasons.
 
Feb 8, 2010
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Since I am already commited to the profession, I am in my 4th quarter as we speak and since optomism is free I figured I'd post somewhat of a positive spin on the situation...the following are my thoughts regarding an issue that echos through this forum--the issue of ACPE accrediting new PharmD programs...

Why can't we suppose that the ACPE trying to expand our profession? Why the negative spin on everything these days. The larger a profession gets the more lobbyng power it inherently has therefore more legislative power. Do we wish to go the way of optometrists who have a measly 18 schools and no real professional leadership or sway in issues such as health care reform? We need to stop throwing temper tantrums everytime something reminds us that we are not an elitist profession, it must expand as the population expands and the nation's age demographics change.

Here is the bottom line, pharmacy school is hard--my program has already lost 13 students (they will graduate a year behind) and we are only in the 4th quarter, I will expect us to lose another 3-5 more by the end of this quarter. My point is, the curriculum is not being diluted it is just available to more naive souls willing to shell out 40k a year to attempt it. Sure the NAPLEX is designed to weed out all but those that are at least "minimally competant" but in the profession of pharmacy that is still a very well educated individual. This increase in number of pharmacists will do nothing but increase our utilization.

Here are a few hard truths that we were all well aware of when we opted for PharmD over MD/DO:

1) We are mid-level practitioners, clinical roles have expanded for our profession in part to releive the severe provider shortage of the last several decades. There is a move in many institutions (namely the VA) to rely on mid-levels to provide healthcare and balance a sustainable budget.
My point is, at the rate of salary increase we were seeing (approximately doubling every 10 years) we would have priced ourselves right out of the market! We would be obsolete. What institution wants to pay $350k a year + benefits for a "resource" and on that token, how fast could chains continue to expand and be profitable with shrinking reimbursements and a 2 pharmacist payroll nearing a million a year! These numbers are ridiculous I know that, but what do you think Joe Pharmacist working at Rexall Drugs in 1979 would have thought to hear that whiny new grads would complain if they can't graduate into a guaranteed $125k/year job!

2) The PharmD can realistically be completed in 7 years, while this is a formitable number it is still reasonable considering other healthcare providers, their time commitment and rewards/job prospects post grad. Now I know people will probably respond (as they do in my school) rattling off how many masters degrees they have and the accomplishments the flaunt. The bottom line is, even with a debt load of nearly $200k, this is still a very adequately compensated profession even if we see a temporary dip in salaries.

3) I would like to share a very important piece of insight a professor shared with my class in the first class of our first day of pharmacy school. He reminded us that any health profession needs to balance the supply and demand issue. Severe shortages can create histeria and prompt legislators to seek for alternatives and ways around said profession. (look at the growth of PAs, NPs, CRNAs, etc aimed to combat the physician shortage!) No one is bulletproof. Shortages will only persist for so long before action is taken to mitigate the shortages.

--Just something to think about--
Optimism Not Optomism
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I wonder why users on this forum so frequently take the time to call out the misspellings of another user's insightful post.

Then again, I suppose this post contributes nothing more than the above post.
 

rxlea

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I think one reason you couldn't combine the two degrees is because you would be taking out the additional safeguard: the pharmacist doublechecking the doctor's orders/scripts. I think the pharmacist's role is a unique one. It is an opportunity to be the saftey net and the patient advocate.
 

IrishHammer

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How did you guys conclude that new schools = lower program & student quality? Just curious if this is opinion, rumor, or if there's any research done to prove so. :confused:
A few people touched on it. The newer schools don't have the kind of affiliations and reputation that older schools have. Many of the pre-expansion pharmacy schools are at universities that also have an MD program and/or an academic hospital (UPMC for example), which creates opportunities for academic crossover which can be very beneficial to the pharmacy students. The newer schools are competing against schools which in many cases have had 50+ years to build up their program. Hence the stigma that newer schools don't have as good of programs.

As for the lower student quality argument, the main argument I've picked up there is that newer schools have lower bare minimum requirements than long-standing schools (2.5 vs 2.8 minimum GPA, lower PCAT percentile required, things of that sort). There is also a glut of terribly asinine posts on the Pre-Pharmacy forum here, and many of the worst offenders tend to be applying to newer schools.
 
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I wonder why users on this forum so frequently take the time to call out the misspellings of another user's insightful post.

Then again, I suppose this post contributes nothing more than the above post.
Because thanks to this he will never misspell that word again. I saved him from embarrassing himself in the future. I like when people do that for me.
 

MountainPharmD

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I wonder why users on this forum so frequently take the time to call out the misspellings of another user's insightful post.

Then again, I suppose this post contributes nothing more than the above post.
Because they do not have anything important or intelligent to add. They attempt to look smart by pointing out grammer errors as if this were an English 101 exam.
 

confettiflyer

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It'll be more important to have a medical center with the COP so the clinical faculties are actually practitioners and students can practice working with other health professions. How many new schools have that?
:::raises hand:::
 
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Because they do not have anything important or intelligent to add. They attempt to look smart by pointing out grammer errors as if this were an English 101 exam.
grammar not grammer...lol
Don't be mad. I'm not attempting to be smart. I mess up sometimes. I just hate it when people (or myself) make good points and ruin them with simple grammar errors. I just can't take the "offender" seriously once I see these type of errors.
 

PharMed2016

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One thing new schools will always have an edge over old schools. It is likely that old schools are using old antiquated equipment in a broken down building. (LIU's pharmacy building looks like crap on the inside.)

New schools will have the newest equipment.

Faculty wise, from what I know, new schools steal the faculty from older schools by giving them higher pay. Here at Touro, we took a bunch of professors from LIU, Rutgers, St. John's, Massachusetts, etc. We probably have more professors than we need. Last semester in Therapeutics, we had like a different professor every week.
LIU is perhaps ranked one of the worst pharmacy school in the nation. It just goes to show that even if a pharmacy school has been established for a while it can still be lacking. If you look at their reputation around the NY area and look at their first time board pass rates... its pretty evident.

On, the flip side ~ not all schools that open up to be fair can pull their weight against an established school for a variety of reasons which I believe someone gave in a post above. Bottomline, research where you want to go.
 
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MustLoveDrugs

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How did you guys conclude that new schools = lower program & student quality? Just curious if this is opinion, rumor, or if there's any research done to prove so. :confused:
opinion

in my opinion at least, it really depends. i've interviewed with newer schools that had stolen faculty from my alma mater. i was impressed with some, disappointed with others. as for quality of students, i guess it depends on your definition of quality. irishhammer mentions gpa and pcat scores... i think naplex pass rates count for something, but an unaccredited institution can't show you theirs.
 

Sparda29

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LIU is perhaps ranked one of the worst pharmacy school in the nation. It just goes to show that even if a pharmacy school has been established for a while it can still be lacking. If you look at their reputation around the NY area and look at their first time board pass rates... its pretty evident.

On, the flip side ~ not all schools that open up to be fair can pull their weight against an established school for a variety of reasons which I believe someone gave in a post above. Bottomline, research where you want to go.
I could have been a P3 at St. John's right now if it wasn't for my parents. I was accepted to both programs out of high school and was favoring St. John's when my parents heard that their friend's cousin's daughter or something got a job easily when she graduated from LIU, versus some guy at the mosque's cousins son-in-law, who was having trouble finding a job after graduating from St. John's.

So based on that advice, I ended up going to LIU, where I didn't make it in after 2 years of pre-pharm, and some how, luckily managed to get into Touro.
 

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your school is virtually the only one :) (that I know of at least)
UB is also starting one of them...interdisciplinary simulations with MD, BSN, DPT and PharmD students. They all managed to kill a (fake) patient together - MD forgot the DVT prophylaxis, PharmD overlooked the history of estrogen therapy and DPT got the patient up and moving. Massive PE, dead in two minutes.

To the OP:

Point 1: Simply, pharmacists are not overpaid for what they do and the amount of schooling it took to get here. You bring up the point of the Rexall pharmacist in the '70s rolling around in his grave at our whining about salaries, but what were his responsibilities? OBRA '90 didn't exist, clinical pharmacokinetics and pharmacology were just becoming recognized disciplines and the idea of a pharmacist as a clinician was something stuck in only the largest schools of pharmacy (UCSF, UNC, UB, MUSC, etc.). The role of the pharmacist has changed drastically since that time, and salaries have adjusted to compensate.

Point 2: Okay.

Point 3: There was, at one point, a pharmacy shortage. The ACPE and individual schools overcompensated by both expanding class size and accrediting massive amounts of new schools, when either one of the two would have more than sufficed. The shortage is over, only to be replaced by an oversupply (I'll point towards the shift in chain recruitment strategies and this year's residency match as evidence). The only problem is, these schools are here to stay. Every graduate feels they should have the same opportunities as everyone else (deservedly so); but the fact of the matter is, those opportunities are not nearly as prevalent as they once were and everyone suffers as a result.
 

Sparda29

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UB is also starting one of them...interdisciplinary simulations with MD, BSN, DPT and PharmD students. They all managed to kill a (fake) patient together - MD forgot the DVT prophylaxis, PharmD overlooked the history of estrogen therapy and DPT got the patient up and moving. Massive PE, dead in two minutes.
I think Jefferson does that also. My school should be doing that, we have a DO program and the PharmD program in the same building.
 
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grammar not grammer...lol
Don't be mad. I'm not attempting to be smart. I mess up sometimes. I just hate it when people (or myself) make good points and ruin them with simple grammar errors. I just can't take the "offender" seriously once I see these type of errors.

Then don't take me seriously, I am just stating my opinion, you can do with it what you want.
 

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I chose pharmacy over medicine :)
I chose pharmacy over staying in my call center job. I'll be 40 before I break even (actually older given the interest on these loans.)
 

pion

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This is an interesting perspective and I don't disagree. Hopefully pharmacists can continue expanding their roles so there is room for everybody.

I do share some of the anxiety expressed in this thread regarding the skill level of many of these new students. I am in your class at MWU, and I know that some of the people who were held back are intelligent, capable folks who just had a bad quarter for one reason or another. However, some of them are...well let's just say I wouldn't want their "minimally competent" ass anywhere near a patient.
 
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