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Chemistry...

Discussion in 'Pre-Pharmacy' started by samisab786, Dec 3, 2008.

  1. samisab786

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    I got into a 0/6 pharmacy program during my school's summer orientation, at a time when I wasn't even thinking about committing to a career since I honestly have no clue what I really want to do. Well, I decided to stay in pharmacy because the adviser told me it's easier to get out of it than in it if I change my mind later on. I was initially okay with it because I LOVED Chemistry in 10th grade, which was when I started to think about pharmacy in the first place, but now that I'm taking general college chemistry, which is way more in-depth than what I learned in high school, I'm starting to dislike it a lot. As far as what I know, pharmacy is chemistry-heavy and some pharmacists said that I should like chemistry if I'm thinking about pharmacy. I was wondering how much "chemistry" is applied to pharmacy in the real word setting. I want to choose a job in which I can use and apply something I love to learn, so if you guys can give me an honest say or advice, I'd really appreciate it because I'm serious, it's been a very tough decision.
     
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  3. Artful Dodger

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    You should be comfortable with both Chemistry & Biology period. You'll have to refer to both subjects for everything. Regarding how in-depth the subject of Chemistry in Pharmacy....I'm not sure what you define indepth to be. If you're referring to basic facts of chemistry...the subject will get more & more specific as you advance into Organic Chemistry and Medicinal Chemistry, etc. - I'm not sure what other chemistry courses pharm schools require. Bottomline: You'll have to accept the fact that Chemistry will play a big role in the explanation of Biological principles & theories, mechanistic behavior of medications as well as structural, etc. haha don't take my post on a horror-level. But...if you liked Chemistry before...and you don't like it anymore...chances are you probably like it. I suggest you ask around for help before you take immediate action i.e. dropping out of the program. It might be a hassle...it might be a life-changer...however, make sure now if pharmacy is for you. i had to do that myself...and believe me...ive been around
     
  4. UNMorBUST

    UNMorBUST Mystery Man
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    :thumbup: You don't want to regret it later for not asking for help.
     
  5. alenadoma

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    Do you have pharmacy experience? If not, get some and see if you like it. I hated chemistry in high school and college but I love pharmacy :) Please please do not drop out of a program just because you don't like chemistry. Anyways, who REALLY loves chemistry. I mean sure, there are people that love it and those people go on to get Chemistry/Biochem degrees, but you don't have to be one of them. And anyways, I think that the practice of pharmacy is mostly biology and physiology (I'd take a bio course over a chem course in a second)..have you taken any of those courses? Definitely do some more research before you make any hasty decisions. Like the previous poster mentioned, these kinds of decisions decide the rest of your life.
     
  6. Artful Dodger

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    ^yeah, I don't think Pharmacy really gets into Chemistry thaaaaat deeply...I mean, that's more for a Chemistry major. You gotta let them have more knowledge about Chemistry than a Pharmacist :)) - didn't mean that as a joke...but you could interpret it that way, but I hope you get the idea that a Pharmacist doesn't have to know as much Chemistry as a Chemist...There's less to know as a Pharmacist). However, I think in any health-related professional school curriculum, Biology seems to dominate...but, in order thoroughly understand Biology (or for it to make sense), Chemistry principles will facilitate studying for you. So, it's DEFINITELY a benefit to know Chemistry.

    Look here, any major you choose....or anything you switch to...there will always be that 1+ challenging course (and it's usually undergraduate courses). However, when you get past those certain courses, everything else will be a cinch. So, don't overlook that certain factor. Life is always a rite of passage.
     
  7. MSChemist80

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    Don't do anything rash because of your experience in General Chemistry. A lot of people struggle with Gen Chem. It is a huge leap from HS chemistry and just an unbelievable amount of tough concepts to learn in only 2 semesters. I wasn't all that good at it either and didn't like it. I stuck with it and got a BS in Biochemistry and MS in chemistry. I also even taught general chemistry as a TA in grad school. After taking more courses and practicing a few years the concepts make more sense.

    Organic chemistry is totally different than Gen Chem and is more about memorizing reactions. I liked it a lot more than Gen Chem. Analytical was more about lab technique. Physical Chemistry is a nightmare where calculus, physics, and chemistry combine forces to try and fail you. I'm not sure if prepharm's are required to take PChem.

    However, pharmacy is career path with great opportunity and pays extremely well. I am considering going to pharm school as working in a chem lab pays rather lousy, there is a shortage of jobs, and companies seem to be really lowballing-chemists [just go to indeed and type in chemist]. I am advising everyone in my family to go law, med, or pharm if they want to make a decent living.
     
  8. samisab786

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    No, no, I haven't decided to drop pharmacy YET, but I'm not even close to sure what I want to do, unlike most of the kids in the pharmacy program alongside me. It's just, I don't know yet if pharmacy is my calling because I'm considering other careers as well. I guess I will have to really shadow/work in a pharmacy to find out more.

    I don't want to do pharmacy just for the money or lifestyle. If the subject matter is not interesting to me, then it'll be hard doing something like this forever.
     
  9. MSChemist80

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    I don't see how you can tell whether you will like pharmacy or not based on your first few classes. You need the chemistry to understand concepts such as solubility, dosing/concentration, reactions and stoichiometry, pH etc. However, that is just background building not really reflective of pharmacy at all. You'd need it for any career in science or healthcare.

    I understand you want to do what you love. However, a lot of majors will lead you to a life of financial hardship and be useless to you getting a job other than teaching. I am actually quite envious of you pharmacists in terms of pay and job availability. I am moving halfway across the country just to make $46,000 per year because what few companies in my area are hiring are offering $15 an hour because they know they can get away with it.
     
  10. samisab786

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    By the way guys, thanks a lot for the responses, it means a lot to me.

    Naw, I'm not making a first-hand judgment as to whether I like pharmacy or not just by doing chemistry. I am still in the process of deciding-I got three semesters in front of me. It's just, I don't have any clue as to what I want to do. I feel really pressured because I know there is an opportunity in front of me, but I don't know if it is really my calling or not. I don't really know if studying about medications and medicinal compounds will interest me. I'm a diabetic and have hypothyroid disease-I'm always around "healthcare" in some way or the other, but despite being a patient for fourteen years, I, personally have had a little exposure to a pharmaceutical setting. Plus, the outside factors that are affecting my decision is my college-life/etc. I'm having a difficult time emotionally and making all these decisions is making it even more difficult.
     
  11. JeremyE30

    JeremyE30 Accepted Pharmacy Student
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    This is why I think 0-6 programs are crap and should not exist. Pharmacy school should accept people with atleast 3 years of college or more. High school kids do not know what they want to do with their life. If you don't want to do it, then drop out. There are lots of other ways to spend 6 years of your life and make a fine living. Pharmacy is not the only career in the world (some people on here seem to think that).

    I enjoy reading pharmacology books or just reading drug packaging labels because I truely find the subject material interesting. If you can't read an APhA journal and enjoy it, then you are doing pharmacy for the wrong reason.
     
  12. samisab786

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    Haha, hey that's not a bad idea to read a pharm journal. Maybe it will expose me to a little something more.

    In fact Jeremy, I do agree with you on that. High school gives very little exposure of the educational requirements of a career background. Although many students enter high school thinking they know a lot of what they want to do, it changes almost every single year. 10th grade I saw myself loving chemistry, 12th grade I realized I like biology, calculus and economics. Now that I'm in college though, everything is a little bit different. Microeconomics is cool but I can't picture myself studying it in a major. Chemistry is nothing like it was in high school. I haven't taken much of anything else yet, but college is the time to actually make a better rounded decision. In the end, whether it's a six year program or eight years, everybody will eventually find themselves on the same page.

    Thanks again for the input, guys.
     
  13. WhiteSnows

    WhiteSnows Think Right and Grow Rich
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    Chemistry is a vital class for pharmacy school.
     
  14. DaddyOAK

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    While I'm not in "every pharmacy school" I can only assume that chemistry is as important in most places as it is for my school. While only Gen Chem I and II and Ochem I & II are pre-requisites, you are further taught biochem, p chem, and med chem once in the program, and several of the other classes that don't have the word "chem" in them are just as heavily reliant on the subject.

    My enjoyment of chemistry is one of the major influences on why I decided on pharmacy over my other options.
     
  15. twester

    twester Senior Member
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    Chemistry is important, because it trains a student to think about molecules in certain ways. It also strengthens math skills and the ability to deal with units of measure as second nature. I'd say that, other than acid-base balance, a knowledge of bonding and the ability to do some stoichiometric-type calculations not much of general chemistry is used in pharmacy. It's mostly a mind game and an important one.

    I think the most important thing to love is human physiology and an interest in what happens when physiology goes wrong. That's where drugs come into play. There's also the importance of microbiology and the implications of pathogens in infectious disease. It's important to have an interest in these things. A love of the scientific method is also important. Pharmacy practice is evidence-based these days, so it's important to appreciate the methods used in assessing the usefulness and safety of new drugs and the comparison of them with other drugs.

    Pharmacists these days are not "chemists" even though they are still called that in some countries. Pharmacists are clinicians with in-depth knowledge of physiology and the drugs that affect it. They are also aware of treatment guidelines so they can guide other healthcare professionals in the use of medications while taking independent patient factors into consideration.

    Don't quit yet. "Find out how deep the rabbit-hole goes." I'm two and a half years into pharmacy school proper and I'm astounded.
     
    #14 twester, Dec 5, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2008

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