Anyone already a pharmacy student?

spacecowgirl

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    I've noticed most of these threads are geared towards those going through the application process, but I wanted to know if anyone has already started pharmacy school. If so, where are you? Which professional year? What do you think so far? Are currently working in a pharmacy? Do you have rotations this summer?


    I am a P1 (Class of '07) at the OTHER USC. So far, I'd have to say it's tougher than I thought it would be :( This semester I'm not really into any of my classes (last semester was marginally more interesting) but I have a wonderful rotation lined up for July at a small independent store :clap: It doesn't hurt that it's like 5 minutes from home either.

    I am a tech at a hospital after spending some 6 years in retail. I actually do miss retail and don't think I could ever be a hospital pharmacist, but I'll wait until I go on clinical rotations before I rule that out entirely ;)
     

    VCU07

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      I am a P1 at VCU/MCV school of pharmacy in Richmond. Its a lot harder than I expected it to be. I flew through my undergrad with a BS in biology. I spend much more time studying than I ever did and its really a struggle to keep up. What makes it even harder is that we take some classes with the dental students and so the courses stress both dental and pharmacy related info. So, we have to learn both (I don't know why, but we do). I have heard people say that pharmacy school is a breeze, but I guess it depends on where you go. I am going to be doing a rotation in a community pharmacy in the summer, although I much prefer hospital.
       
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      gdk420

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        USC. I think pharmacy school is a different type of monster than undergrad. In undergrad, the questions were more theory and research oriented. In pharmacy school, the science is more basic and very clinical oriented. The biggest difference that I notice though is just time. There is very little free time in pharmacy school compared to undergrad. There is always some exam, health fair, or orientation to go to. Sigh, okay back to studying.
         

        pharmd-08

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          This is interesting, I was wondering about this matter too. How big of a difference is life as pharmacy student compare to undergraduate. As for me, I already feel that I am busy enough this semester with 20 credits, two jobs, and two volunteer works. But I still manage to have some social life once in a while and take a nap between classes. How about you guys pharmacy students? Can you give me some rough picture about your weekly schedule?
          for example, mine looks like this:
          M= 8-9 (class) 9-12(volunteer) 1-2(class) 2-5 (nap) 6-9(class)
          T= 9-10(class) 11-4(class then lab) 4-6(class)
          W= 8-9(class) 9-12(nap) 1-2(class) 2-5 (work) 6-8(class)
          Th= 8-12(work) 12-4(lab) 4-6(class)
          F= 8-9 (class) 9-12(nap) 1-2(class) 2-6(work)
          Everyday always ends with a visit to a coffee shop aka my second home until midnight to study.
          How bad is pharmacy school?
           

          LVPharm

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            It depends on the curriculum, but I'm not sure any school has a class schedule that demanding (ie, classes from morning into the early evening). My school is on a block curriculum so M-Th tends to be class from 8-3 PM (although class usually lets out earlier ~2PM). We do have to put in 8 hours interning at a retail practice site every other Friday. The other alternating Fridays are for exams. This leaves ample time for working and/or studying. No nappy time for me, though!
             

            ooscubaoo

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              Originally posted by gdk420
              There is very little free time in pharmacy school compared to undergrad. .
              really? I'm an undergrad right now and i feel like i never have free time, there seems to be a midterm every week so i basically have to study all the time. The competition is so tough that I would have to study eXXXXXTRemly hard just to do a little above the averagE. During my first year as an undergrad, i was able to party and go to clubs, but now it's like all i ever do is study. did u guys study very little as an undergrad and just did well? I guess i'm not naturally smart, i have to put in a lot of work.
               
              I'm also a first year at Midwestern-Glendale. So far school is great and kind of what I expected....challenging, time consuming, but fun. School is a lot of hard work, but not impossible (especially if you're used to an undergrad schedule like pharmd-08's). This semester we attend school from 8 until about 3 every day, with 2 tests every week. You'll spend a lot of time after school studying for tests, however, it isn't impossible to have an intern job during some of your free time.
              Actually I'm liking this semester more than last's. We're starting classes that seem more pertinent (except for microbiology ;) )
              Starting this week we get to pick our rotations for our second year, which is exciting.
               
              Originally posted by ooscubaoo
              oh yeah, in pharmacy school does GPA really matter? can't you get C's and still get a degreE?

              Of course C's get degrees. But, hmmmm, I wonder if a C knowledge of the pharmacy curriculum lets you pass the Boards??? ;)
              If you want to do a residency, they're very competitive and you'll be selected for based partly on your GPA.
               

              gdk420

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                Grades depend on the school you go to and the year u go. At usc, the new students have to get a 3.00 to graduate. So you can get a C and still pass the class, but that just means u have to find some A some where in order to graduate. Other schools require only require a 2.00 to graduate. As for me, my year at usc we are only required a 2.4 to graduate. However since this is professional school, the average usually stands at a B or B-. They are more generous with the grading and the exams seem more fair. As long as u put in the effort and time, everyone should do fine. The only people who failed out of my class year were the ones who either work too much and never studied or just did not want to be here. Unlike ur undergrad, the professors are not looking to weed people out. I know at ucla where I did my undergrad, some professors just wrote impossible exams so they could weed out the students. Here at USC, they only write impossible exams if u act very unprofessional like talking in class and skipping class all the time. For the most part, all they care about is that u learn the material and they can insure the safety of the public by producing competent pharmacist. Grades only matter if u want residency I think.
                Life in pharmacy school various I think with each instituition and individual. If u took 18 units each quarter at an undergrad and work all the time, then life at pharmacy school should not be much different. Also if u are very bright, then u can get away with not studying as much. If u choose not to work that many hours or u have a more easier going boss, then ur life will be better. If u have easy rotations or rotations in the summer, then u will have more free time. If u choose not to go to health fairs, then u will have more free time. However, if u choose not to to any of this, then I think u will just have a more difficult time working after school because u just won't learn as much.
                At usc, I think the most difficult year was second year. There is a point in second year where the students have 8 straight midterms, one big presentation, one paper, 4 micro labs, 4 pharmacuetics lab, IV rotations 3 times a week, and six straight finals and tons of pop quizzes. However, I know the curriculum has change a bit, so I am not sure how difficult the new curriculum is.
                 
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                dgroulx

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                  I found that the 1st year at UF was slightly worse than my senior year of college. That year I took Org II+lab, Physics II+lab, Biochem+lab, Micro+lab, Anat I+lab and directed study.

                  I am technically taking less credit hours, but the classes take more time. Right now were taking pharmacy calculations, med chem, pathophysiology, microbiology, pharmacology, pharmacotherapy and practicum. Besides the regular class periods, we also have to meet for small group disucssions, community health screenings, weekly quizzes and usually 2 midterm exams each week.

                  You get used to the case load, though. There were a lot of C's last semester, but the averages on exams this year are all A's and B's. They wouldn't have accepted you into the program if you weren't smart enough. It's more of getting used to the routine.
                   

                  TCB

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                    "They wouldn't have accepted you into the program if you weren't smart enough"


                    Only dgroulx can come up with those sort of comments. No Offense though, I don't want an army of SDNers to attack me.
                     

                    jdpharmd?

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                    AND then...
                      Originally posted by TCB
                      "They wouldn't have accepted you into the program if you weren't smart enough"


                      Only dgroulx can come up with those sort of comments. No Offense though, I don't want an army of SDNers to attack me.

                      Dana just means that people who are accepted, but worried about failing out once they begin, will do just fine if they put in some effort. Why does every comment have to be a battle for some of you?
                       

                      dgroulx

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                        Originally posted by TCB
                        "They wouldn't have accepted you into the program if you weren't smart enough"


                        Only dgroulx can come up with those sort of comments. No Offense though, I don't want an army of SDNers to attack me.

                        This means that everyone who is accepted can do the course work. People were freaking out early on, but they did quite well once they got into the flow of things.

                        Why would you construe this as a personal attack?
                         

                        gdk420

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                          I think for residency grades are very important, but other factors can make up for average grades such as desire, community leadership, activities in pharmacy clubs. I am not sure but my friend who applied to residency at usc told me that there was about 102 applicants for 12 spots. Can't confirm those numbers though. 1 year of residency is equal to 5 years of work experience. Certain residency I think are less competitive than others.
                           

                          badxmojo

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                            thats kinda disheartening.. i'm trying to be involved in activities.. and thats definetly gonna hurt my gpa.. i think i can keep around a 3.0 with the activities.. i'd have to drop pretty much everything to get the 3.8-4.0
                             

                            gdk420

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                              The reason why residency is important to some people because it is more difficult to get a job as a clinical pharmacist, adminstrative pharmacist, or clinical trial manager without some residency experimence. Not impossible, but more difficult. For retail jobs, u don't need residency, however there is residency for retail also.
                              In addition, 1 year of residency suppose to equal 5 years of work experience, so it is a way for students just coming out who have almost no experience what so ever, to get some experience so they can get hired faster.
                               
                              pharmd-08: That is correct-I had a two retail offers on the table, two independent offers, and at least one offer for inpatient hospital. I turned them all down and will be at the Minneapolis VA after graduation. I know it was the right choice for me, but that was a lot of $$ to pass up...
                               
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