Apr 4, 2016
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0
Ok so im graduating this Spring from University and now its time for me to pick what i want to do. I'm leaning towards Pharm or Med school. The pros of Pharm school are as follows: faster than med school, wont be hard for me to find a job since I've been a tech for 2+ years, and ability to work in research or retail. The cons however are long hours, alot of standing, its not meaningful work, and im starting to hate pharm.
The reasons i want to go to med school are as follow: meaningful work, I can run my own practice one day, just the thought of medical school excites me, and many med school grads i have met have found a job before graduating from school. What's stopping me from going to med school is: how long it takes to graduate i mean 8 years come on, i hate the sight of blood, and i will most likely have to go out of state. Everyone i spoke to gave me really vague answers i hope someone on thie forum has the answers im looking for and thank you for reading this long post.
 

TheBlaah

10+ Year Member
Apr 10, 2010
550
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Pharmacist
Heh. You're gonna have to get over the sight of blood real quick if you even want to entertain the though of becoming an MD. That and urine, feces, and naked bodies. Even as a pharmacist, I see these things occasionally during codes.

If you're already starting to hate pharm, just think of it this way: Can you stand another 30-40 years of this?
 
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PharmtoCS

7+ Year Member
Aug 2, 2011
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Go to a coding boot camp. $10k in tuition and 3 months will get you a decent to great paying job, as computer programmers are in very high demand right now. You don't have to deal with bodily fluids or the general public as you do in most of the healthcare professions.
 
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gwarm01

10+ Year Member
Oct 7, 2009
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Seriously, man. Do a lot of research before making this decision. There's way more to being a pharmacist than what you see from a tech's perspective, and there can be a lot of meaningful work. I assume you are working retail, but from the perspective of a hospital pharmacist I can tell you that we are way more involved in patient care than our techs realize. At the end of the day you don't walk away feeling like you changed the world, but you know you made a difference. Sometimes you may have even saved a life. Either way, it is substantially different than the day to day of a retail pharmacist. It also comes with less pay, less direct patient interaction, and little to no opportunity to build relationships with your patients, so it isn't for everyone.

Keep in mind that most people take 8 years to become a pharmacist. Four years of undergrad and four years of pharmacy school, and sometimes up to two years of residency. Same for physicians, you seem to have neglected the time commitment of a residency as an MD, which is much longer. It leads to higher pay and an easier time landing a job, assuming you aren't a pathologist or something.

At the end of the day it really is about priorities. A good pharmacist is someone who could also be a good doctor (at least that used to be the case). Pharmacy, for me, was a lifestyle over career choice. I know I could have done more professionally, but this career gives me enough pay to live the life I want, paired with enough challenge to keep me satisfied and enough personal time to do what I want. Some people are much more professionally or ideologically driven and will always crave more than pharmacy can give. Others want to be plastic surgeons that perform outpatient procedures in a hospital clinic and steal Botox and make tons of cash. Uh... there are probably people between, but I'm not sure.

Go to a coding boot camp. $10k in tuition and 3 months will get you a decent to great paying job, as computer programmers are in very high demand right now. You don't have to deal with bodily fluids or the general public as you do in most of the healthcare professions.
Hell, I'm considering something like this. I'm an informatics pharmacist and will be going to the Epic campus for training soon. Maybe I can combine my clinical skills with some coding knowledge and land a job at a place like that?
 

Momus

10+ Year Member
Apr 2, 2008
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That's my rationale when I first started pharmacy school. "Only 6 years and done". BIGGEST mistake in my life. Think hard, think twice before you make the same mistake.
 

PharmtoCS

7+ Year Member
Aug 2, 2011
2,522
2,729
Hell, I'm considering something like this. I'm an informatics pharmacist and will be going to the Epic campus for training soon. Maybe I can combine my clinical skills with some coding knowledge and land a job at a place like that?
From my observations, the majority of informatics pharmacists don't actually do much of the coding, if at all. I did know one informatics pharmacist who writes scripts for Meditech, though.

As for the OP, he should just go straight into programming and avoid the $200k+ loans and 4 years of schooling.
 

VeeSee

10+ Year Member
Mar 28, 2009
222
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Pharmacist
Don't be a pagal and become a pharmacist where you will just be a vending machine for CVS or Walgreens

Do something you will like
 
Mar 16, 2010
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That's my rationale when I first started pharmacy school. "Only 6 years and done".
6 years wasn't my motivation, but it was comforting to know right out of high school.
Finally done after 9 & 1/2 years with 336k in student loans.
Don't let timeframe influence you.
It is easy to get delayed in pharmacy school.
 

Lucky One

5+ Year Member
Jun 8, 2013
92
19
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Pharmacist
As a tech you are the best person to know what it's like as a retail pharmacist. And med school most likely not for you if you hate blood.

You and I have the same ideas about medical school but at the end of the day you have to think about if you would be actually happy with the end career with the path you have chosen. Find out what aspects you particularly desire in that field and use that to guide your career decision.


Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile
 
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Caffeine QAM

Board Certified Caffeine Pharmacotherapist
Apr 6, 2015
156
105
California
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Ok so im graduating this Spring from University and now its time for me to pick what i want to do. I'm leaning towards Pharm or Med school. The pros of Pharm school are as follows: faster than med school, wont be hard for me to find a job since I've been a tech for 2+ years, and ability to work in research or retail. The cons however are long hours, alot of standing, its not meaningful work, and im starting to hate pharm.
The reasons i want to go to med school are as follow: meaningful work, I can run my own practice one day, just the thought of medical school excites me, and many med school grads i have met have found a job before graduating from school. What's stopping me from going to med school is: how long it takes to graduate i mean 8 years come on, i hate the sight of blood, and i will most likely have to go out of state. Everyone i spoke to gave me really vague answers i hope someone on thie forum has the answers im looking for and thank you for reading this long post.
1) Don't enter into a profession you think you are already starting to hate. On the other hand, it sounds like you have a superficial understanding of pharmacists work at the moment - try to understand pharmacy practice and the state of pharmacy practice before considering it. If you hate it, you hate it, but at least understand it first before you decide you like it or hate it. I suppose my question for you though, is that if you feel you're already hating it, what makes you continue to consider it? Hopefully, not because it seems like an easy job with a cushy salary. That would be the wrong reason to become a pharmacist, and you will regret it. "faster than med school, wont be hard for me to find a job " are not reasons to become a pharmacist - what is it that actually makes you want to be a pharmacist? Even a masters in computer science/programming, for example, is faster than pharmacy and medical school, and it wouldn't be hard to find a job as a programmer/engineer either (in fact, it'd be significantly easier to find a job comparatively to pharmacy). So the question you should ask yourself is why pharmacy?

2) Pharmacists do a lot that technicians do not understand or see, especially in settings other than retail. In fact, the work can be very meaningful, despite what you have experienced as a technician. An example would be implementing a protocol for pharmacists to adjust medications according to kidney function without requiring a physician to OK the order...it helps everyone. Physicians get bugged less, we get to do what we're trained to more smoothly, patients get appropriately dosed medications, and the hospital saves money. Retail work can still be meaningful, but often because corporate pressures and goals are not in-line with what pharmacists believe is meaningful, it can be much more difficult relative to other settings where pharmacists are more involved in patient care and performance improvement activities.

3) Don't assume that 2 years of experience as a technician will allow you to find a job easily. The job market is not good, and the direction of the job market is not good.Understand the job market and before you decide that pharmacy is for you.

4) If you can't stand blood or bodily fluids, medical is probably not for you either.

5) Being a physician is not as glamorous as it may seem. As it is for pharmacists, there's a lot that goes on under the surface that can make being a physician dissatisfying as well. If you are considering medicine, you should get a good idea of what you are getting yourself into, which is a central theme here.

6) I encourage you to consider expanding your options. I can't give suggestions since you haven't really given insight into what subjects you enjoy and what you enjoy doing...or what exactly it is that you like about the idea of practicing medicine - that the thought of going to medical school excites you should not be an argument for going into medicine. You have to understand the profession first before you decide on dedicating 8+ years of your life and a substancial amount of money to it. Pharmacy and medicine are not the only 2 fields available - think about what you enjoy and why you enjoy it. There are definitely other jobs that can be fulfilling, for example, if you enjoy and want to make use of your knowledege of biology, physiology, or chemistry. Or if you want to help people. Or if you enjoy working with people. Don't be so set on either becoming a pharmacist or a physician unless you have put a lot of thought and research into it and have some solid reasons as to why you will only consider these two professions.
 
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CMUchicka

2+ Year Member
Mar 19, 2015
326
81
6 years wasn't my motivation, but it was comforting to know right out of high school.
Finally done after 9 & 1/2 years with 336k in student loans.
Don't let timeframe influence you.
It is easy to get delayed in pharmacy school.
336 K?? Is this number just for pharm school or includs undergraduate? I am assuming this number already has interest included in it. Most importantly, did you paid off this loans ??
 
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Mar 16, 2010
195
127
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Pharmacist
Is this number just for pharm school or includs undergraduate?
The 336k does include 51k of interest and my undergrad B.S. :bullcrap: and PharmD and MBA.

I know, I know, you're gonna blame my MBA for it being so expensive, but adding my MBA only cost me $31,745 (without interest). Since my PharmD graduation was effectively delayed by a year and I was 'stuck' anyway I only needed an extra $12,530 to live on in loan refunds for the last 7 months that I was MBA-only (aka post-PharmD [I was working on both Pharm.D. & MBA from the point in P2 year I got held back though]), and only spent a total of $19,215 on MBA tuition throughout. An AACSB accredited MBA for under 32k with only 7 months of opportunity cost. I'll take it (I did)!

Most importantly, did you paid off this loans ??
Ha :heckyeah: !
Not one cent :joyful: .
Haven't even landed a job yet since December :help: and I'm licensed in 4 states :pompous: .
Wish me luck before my loans enter repayment :scared: in 106 days :nailbiting: .

UPDATE 4/27/16: After 125 days on the job market, all-in, graduated, licensed, moved back, when can you start "tomorrow," aggressively applying to 157 different jobs I finally landed a full-time position. I am so glad I graduated in December. Imagine how much longer it would have been if I was a May grad. I am so glad I have an MBA too. I would have never gotten this job without one. Thanks for all the positive energy fellow SDNers!

UPDATE 4/13/17: Promoted to Senior Consultant and student loan debt increased to 337K under IDR.

UPDATE 3/2/18: Promoted to Manager and student loan debt increased to 354K under IDR.

UPDATE 2/21/19: Promoted to Senior Manager and student loan debt increased to 362K under IDR.
 
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Amphetamine Salts

2+ Year Member
Oct 31, 2015
410
209
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Pharmacist
The 336k does include 51k of interest and my undergrad B.S. :bullcrap: and PharmD and MBA.

I know, I know, you're gonna blame my MBA for it being so expensive, but adding my MBA only cost me $31,745 (without interest). Since my PharmD graduation was effectively delayed by a year and I was 'stuck' anyway I only needed an extra $12,530 to live on in loan refunds for the last 7 months that I was MBA-only (aka post-PharmD [I was working on both Pharm.D. & MBA from the point in P2 year I got held back though]), and only spent a total of $19,215 on MBA tuition throughout. An AACSB accredited MBA for under 32k with only 7 months of opportunity cost. I'll take it (I did)!


Ha :heckyeah: !
Not one cent :joyful: .
Haven't even landed a job yet since December :help: and I'm licensed in 4 states :pompous: .
Wish me luck before my loans enter repayment :scared: in 106 days :nailbiting: .
Aren't you worried lol... I'm in my P2 year and will probably owe 80-100k after I graduate which would probably take me at least 5 years to pay off, just thinking about that sounds depressing. My parents also took out parent plus loans so I'd have to help repay that too

To the OP: consider something else that's not healthcare. You probably won't listen to me, but what I've realized is that most students fresh out of high school who get excited by the thought of medical or practicing medicine have already made the decision to only pursue something that is healthcare. Now that I'm a P2 I would have rather went to state college and got a degree in business or finance and do something that isn't as saturated. I'd be out with a job paying decent money and most of all not in as much debt as I am in now. State college would also have given me more time to explore my interests and pick a major when I would be ready, instead of being locked into pharmacy from the get go. I wonder how long pharmacy will continue to con more students right out of high school, probably until the profession completely dies which it most likely won't, so I guess the conning will never end? Lol
 

PAtoPharm

2+ Year Member
Oct 2, 2015
1,508
199
The 336k does include 51k of interest and my undergrad B.S. :bullcrap: and PharmD and MBA.

I know, I know, you're gonna blame my MBA for it being so expensive, but adding my MBA only cost me $31,745 (without interest). Since my PharmD graduation was effectively delayed by a year and I was 'stuck' anyway I only needed an extra $12,530 to live on in loan refunds for the last 7 months that I was MBA-only (aka post-PharmD [I was working on both Pharm.D. & MBA from the point in P2 year I got held back though]), and only spent a total of $19,215 on MBA tuition throughout. An AACSB accredited MBA for under 32k with only 7 months of opportunity cost. I'll take it (I did)!


Ha :heckyeah: !
Not one cent :joyful: .
Haven't even landed a job yet since December :help: and I'm licensed in 4 states :pompous: .
Wish me luck before my loans enter repayment :scared: in 106 days :nailbiting: .
Are you in a saturated area like the northeast, California, etc.?
 

CMUchicka

2+ Year Member
Mar 19, 2015
326
81
The 336k does include 51k of interest and my undergrad B.S. :bullcrap: and PharmD and MBA.

I know, I know, you're gonna blame my MBA for it being so expensive, but adding my MBA only cost me $31,745 (without interest). Since my PharmD graduation was effectively delayed by a year and I was 'stuck' anyway I only needed an extra $12,530 to live on in loan refunds for the last 7 months that I was MBA-only (aka post-PharmD [I was working on both Pharm.D. & MBA from the point in P2 year I got held back though]), and only spent a total of $19,215 on MBA tuition throughout. An AACSB accredited MBA for under 32k with only 7 months of opportunity cost. I'll take it (I did)!


Ha :heckyeah: !
Not one cent :joyful: .
Haven't even landed a job yet since December :help: and I'm licensed in 4 states :pompous: .
Wish me luck before my loans enter repayment :scared: in 106 days :nailbiting: .
Well, first of all i hope you find job soon. Can you postpone your loan repayment? i know someone just asked here if you live in saturated area? Are you willing to move far away ? I am just tech so i don't know lot but in my state all people i met landed jobs before or at the same time.. Also, i heard from someone back east couldnt find job so that individual started working as tech. I couldn't believe when i heard it but after reading everything on SDN, sure it's possible. I haven't even started pharm school but i am already scared.Going to private school with 55K /year tuition with current situations makes me so worried. I wish i could drop this but i just cant seem to get the courage to withdraw my acceptance.
 

BidingMyTime

Lost Shaker Of Salt
10+ Year Member
Oct 2, 2006
3,902
3,056
Illinois
Status
Pharmacist
Ok so im graduating this Spring from University and now its time for me to pick what i want to do. I'm leaning towards Pharm or Med school. The pros of Pharm school are as follows: faster than med school, wont be hard for me to find a job since I've been a tech for 2+ years, and ability to work in research or retail. The cons however are long hours, alot of standing, its not meaningful work, and im starting to hate pharm.
The reasons i want to go to med school are as follow: meaningful work, I can run my own practice one day, just the thought of medical school excites me, and many med school grads i have met have found a job before graduating from school. What's stopping me from going to med school is: how long it takes to graduate i mean 8 years come on, i hate the sight of blood, and i will most likely have to go out of state. Everyone i spoke to gave me really vague answers i hope someone on thie forum has the answers im looking for and thank you for reading this long post.
I agree with the others here, that you seem to have a very superficial understanding of either pharmacy or medicine.

Your "pros" of pharmacy school: whether or not you can easily find a job depends on where you practice. If you want to work where anyone else wants to work, you will find the market saturated, regardless of your experience. If you are willing to work where no one else will work, sure you will be able to get a job. And "ability to work in research or retail" ....????? 90% of pharmacy jobs are in *HOSPITAL OR RETAIL*, if you want to work in research, that almost always requires a PhD in addition to your Pharm D. There is no option between "research or retail". And, as others have mentioned, Pharm. D. is generally faster than MD/DO, but that depends on what speciality or field you are wanting to go into....it is possible for a pharmacist in a specialized field (4 +4 + 2) to end up doing more time than an basic general MD (4 + 4 + 1 at least in some states.)

As for cons "standing"....depends if you are hospital or retail.....or family dr vs surgeon. Standing is good for your health anyway. "its not meaningful work".....that is your attitude, it is meaningful work, but just like an MD/DO, you aren't going to be able to help everyone. Appreciate the ones that you can help.

As for med school "meaningful work", again that depends on your attitude, getting an MD/DO is no guareentee that you will find your work meaningful. "run my own practice", possible, but statistically unlikely, since an ever increasing majority of doctors are employees of a hospital/health care system....not to mention, you can always run your own pharmacy. It's not 6 years of pharmacy vs 8 years of med school, its most likely 4 + 4 + 1 years of pharmacy vs 4 + 4 + 3 years of medicine--granted pharmacy is still usually the shorter route, but you seem oblivious to the educational of both fields. "I hate the sight of blood"....if this is like a phobia, you will have a hard time every becoming a dr, if this is just a distaste, then you can most likely learn to work through it.

"i will most likely have to go out of state"....depending on your state, that is probably true for both pharmacy & medicine.

And honestly, you should have "picked" what you wanted to do, long before now. Waiting until the spring of your graduation, is waiting until the last minute. Assuming you get acceptances to both medical and pharmacy school (which seems unlikely, given your superficial knowledge of both), my suggestion is to do whatever you can to learn about both--talk to people working in different areas of both, job shadow as much as possible, read more on Student Doctor, and maybe by this fall you will be in a better position to decide where you want to commit yourself to.
 
Mar 15, 2016
102
99
New York Citay!
Status
Pharmacist
Grads from 2012-2016 used to wait around 6 months in the metropolitan areas for an offer. These were competent and loyal interns that provided their company with productivity and efficiency. 2016-2020's wait period between graduation and offer is gonna be a lot longer. This is provided you were a solid intern while getting your license in a timely fashion. Licensure is the easy part. Employment is a lot harder.
 

VeeSee

10+ Year Member
Mar 28, 2009
222
64
Status
Pharmacist
Grads from 2012-2016 used to wait around 6 months in the metropolitan areas for an offer. These were competent and loyal interns that provided their company with productivity and efficiency. 2016-2020's wait period between graduation and offer is gonna be a lot longer. This is provided you were a solid intern while getting your license in a timely fashion. Licensure is the easy part. Employment is a lot harder.
Unless you go to Missouri of course

And don't forget to mention that these are chain retail offers ... meaning CVS and Walgreens. .. where they throw you around and eat you alive
 
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Humble Sloth

Planning my financial survival
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Dec 21, 2015
442
196
San francisco, California
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6 years wasn't my motivation, but it was comforting to know right out of high school.
Finally done after 9 & 1/2 years with 336k in student loans.
Don't let timeframe influence you.
It is easy to get delayed in pharmacy school.
How much does an MBA help you climb the ladder to regional director of CVS?
 

Humble Sloth

Planning my financial survival
Removed
Account on Hold
Dec 21, 2015
442
196
San francisco, California
Status
Non-Student
Grads from 2012-2016 used to wait around 6 months in the metropolitan areas for an offer. These were competent and loyal interns that provided their company with productivity and efficiency. 2016-2020's wait period between graduation and offer is gonna be a lot longer. This is provided you were a solid intern while getting your license in a timely fashion. Licensure is the easy part. Employment is a lot harder.
How important is it that i do my as much as my APPEs as possible a duane reade retail location in manhattan if that is where i want to work?
 
Mar 15, 2016
102
99
New York Citay!
Status
Pharmacist
Leave a good impression on your APPE's, but more importantly, you need to have a relationship with the hiring managers in lower Manhattan. Leave a good impression at work as well. The name of the game at this stage is connections and verifying efficiently with little to no error. Do this and you'll get an interview.
 
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