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Area of Pharmacy Which Closely Deals with Infection?

Discussion in 'Pre-Pharmacy' started by Doktor_dud3, Mar 9, 2018.

  1. Doktor_dud3

    Doktor_dud3 CPhT, Pre-Pharmacy

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    Hello again everyone!

    I am in the process of changing my course of study at Wingate to Pre-Pharmacy before I enroll this fall, and I had some questions about specific areas of pharmacy. I currently work as a technician in an independent pharmacy in a very small town, and while I enjoy it, I was thinking about where I may want to work in the future. Sorry in advance if this is a stupid question, but is there a chance of working as a pharmacist in areas which commonly treat infections? I was doing some reading about anti-virals and antibiotics and I just seem to find the process of combating infection really interesting. I know in medicine there are infectious disease physicians, is there anything similar that a pharmacist could do? As I said I'm really more interesting in the medication side of treating infections. Sorry for the really specific question, and thanks for any help you can provide.

    Dd3
     
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  3. Apothecary Aquinas

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    I'm no expert on the "pharmacist's path" but I'd say I do know enough to help you out a bit even if I can't fully answer your question. So the short answer is yes, there are definitely infectious disease (ID) pharmacists that go through a PGY2 ASHP accredited residency after pharmacy school. Basically, in order to be specialized as an ID pharmacist you complete pharmacy school and then enter into a residency that allows you to specialize. The ID residencies are PGY2 meaning its a second post-grad year residency, so you must complete a general clinical post-grad year first (PGY1) then you can apply to and enter the second year ID residency (or find a combined PGY1 and PGY2 ID residency, if they exist). After that you'll be fully qualified to work as an ID pharmacist.

    I shadowed an ID physician in a hospital once and he served on an "ID and antibiotics advisory board" of sorts for the hospital. He regularly met with and collaborated with an ID pharmacist who was also a member of said board. That being said, as an ID pharmacist you'll act as a member of a healthcare team (at least in a hospital setting) to help treat patients with antibiotics and treat infectious disease in a variety of patients. Chances are you would be sought after for consultation when antibiotic treatments were created for less than routine cases also.

    A simple google search for 'infectious disease pharmacist' will bring up a lot of resources to look through as well.
     
    lalaland33 likes this.
  4. SpartanDOnoharm

    Pharmacist Gold Donor Classifieds Approved

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    Many hospitals have antimicrobial stewardship pharmacists. These are normally at least PGY1 residency trained, many hospitals have a PGY2 trained pharmacist. It's a cool job, ours basically spends the entire day with the ID physician.
     
  5. Khalsu

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    There are pharmacists that are heavily involved with the antimicrobial stewardship programs. One can decide to do a PGY2 residency specifically in infectious disease. I just completed my PGY1 and did rotations in ID during that time. Now I am considering a PGY2 in that. As previously mentioned, I basically worked with the ID physician all day doing consults which was an excellent experience.
     
    Doktor_dud3 likes this.
  6. Doktor_dud3

    Doktor_dud3 CPhT, Pre-Pharmacy

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    In your opinion, given the market, would you recommend pursuing a clinical residency then an ID residency?
     
  7. Khalsu

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    I would only recommend pursuing a PGY2 if you are determined that's the area you want to dedicate the next year to, if you can financially afford it (ie, getting paid half a pharmacist salary for the year), if you aren't burned out after the first year of residency, and/or if you want to end up in academia at sometime in your career. Almost any area of specialty pharmacy is oversaturated these days anyways, so just make sure it's an area that you really want to purse. In terms of a "clinical residency" vs "ID" I am not exactly sure what you mean, as ID is very clinically involved. If you are talking about other areas like, critical care, or emergency med then that's a personal preference.
     
  8. VictorOfHungerGames

    VictorOfHungerGames May the odds be ever in your favor

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    As much as being an ICU/ID pharmacist would be cool, there is a pretty good chance that you would be jobless after finishing residency haha. Something to think about before going into ID residency... or any residency for that matter.
     
  9. Khalsu

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    Why do you think you would be without a job? You may not land an ICU or ID position right away after residency, but you could still work in just about any other area of inpatient/clinical/staff position with PGY2 experience. And when a position did open up you would either on par of with greater qualifications than most other candidates. More experience can never hurt in my opinion.
     
  10. VictorOfHungerGames

    VictorOfHungerGames May the odds be ever in your favor

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    Yes, you can work in any other area but the employer may think it's a risk since there is a good chance that you may not stay very long. Too many pharmacists who finished residency are out of jobs right now. Retail aren't hiring them due to aforementioned reason. Hospitals can't b/c they just don't have any opened spots. You could eventually land a job but would be very difficult to find one.
     
  11. Khalsu

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    That's possible but I think it's just hard to find a job in general anyways. Too many pharmacy schools brings more grads** into the market every year and not enough openings. However, at least here in CA, a lot of the inpatient positions listed require a PGY1 to even apply. So unless you want to stay in retail, I also strongly encourage residency.
     

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