Did most of you who matched with residencies worked during pharmacy school?

ursaruna

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I've been thinking and researching on what makes a competitive candidate for residency and was wondering what tips would you give to incoming students? I haven't exactly decided on a specialty yet or thought too much about my preferences, but I feel like one should prepare as early as possible so they have the best chance to get matched. Did most of you work during all four years of pharmacy school such as being a technician? Was this part-time or full-time? Or did you intern instead for the most part? How did you juggle this with extracurriculars and the curriculum? Do you recommend incoming students jump into an intern position or work as a tech immediately during the first year or mid-year in after they get a feel for how to study in the curriculum?
 

KidPharmD

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I am going to assume you are going to be a new P1 from the way your question is worded. The line between intern and technician depends on the state. In many places, pharmacy students essentially can't be technicians, they are all interns. You may have a job that is essentially being a technician, but you will be considered an intern.

You should not try to work full-time during pharmacy school, but you should have some pharmacy job. If you are shooting for residency then hospital might be slightly better but anything is better than nothing. I don't think you have to work during your P1 year. A lot of students seem to struggle with the 2nd semester of P1 and so you should be aware of that.
 
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deleted562805

I've been thinking and researching on what makes a competitive candidate for residency and was wondering what tips would you give to incoming students? I haven't exactly decided on a specialty yet or thought too much about my preferences, but I feel like one should prepare as early as possible so they have the best chance to get matched. Did most of you work during all four years of pharmacy school such as being a technician? Was this part-time or full-time? Or did you intern instead for the most part? How did you juggle this with extracurriculars and the curriculum? Do you recommend incoming students jump into an intern position or work as a tech immediately during the first year or mid-year in after they get a feel for how to study in the curriculum?
Lot of preceptors during my P4 year favored students who had work experience. If I went back to my P1 years, I would work in a low volume grocery store or independent to get experience as a intern.
 
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Seriously Serious

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inb4 someone claims they worked 6 full-time jobs during school and maintained a 4.0

Work experience is the most important. It is also important to work so you can understand what parts of pharmacy you like/dislike the most. Hell, after working at various places, you may feel like residency is not what you want. Working also helps you learn better -- it allows you to relate to the drugs rather than just pumping and dumping the info for exams. IMO, it is not worth working full-time during the school year if you do not need the money.

There are several paths you can take to prep for residency/inpatient staffing as a student:
  1. [Hospital tech/intern (3-4 years)] +/- full-time summer internship(s) at a different company/setting
  2. [Retail tech/intern (0.5-2 years) > Hospital tech/intern (1-2 years)] +/- full-time summer internship(s) at a different company/setting
  3. [Retail tech/intern (3-4 years)] +/- full-time summer internship(s) at a different company/setting
At the end of the day, it comes down to networking and how well you can sell yourself to employers based off of your work experiences. Programs/employers will respect a student who shows they can balance work & school simultaneously.

I'd recommend waiting a semester before committing to a job so you an understand the demand of being a full-time professional student. If you commit before knowing your limits in school, you run the risk of damaging your relationship with employers if you become a bad employee and/or quit early bc of a busy school workload. Spring time is usually when people begin searching for internships that will lead into summer anyways.
 
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Marzapan

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"What are my chances of getting a residency?" is actually a question that should be divided into two parts:

1. Getting an interview
2. Getting ranked #1 by the program

The "answer" to #1 is, in order of most to least important factors:
1. Networking
2. Internships/ work experience
3. Leadership/community service/involvement in extracurriculars
4. Grades

The "answer" to #2 is, in order of most to least important factors:
1. Networking
2. How you compose/present yourself (soft skills)
3. Your looks
4. If you actually gave intelligent/thoughtful responses to interview questions
5. Your paper application

So as you can see, NETWORKING is what gets you places. Stats gets you an interview. Soft skills makes you stand out during the interview. If you don't have your networking game in play and are absent one or the other (stats or soft skills) then you most likely won't match. Of course, there are candidates who may fall through the cracks (for example, a weak applicant with good soft skills but no networking, but the applicant pool is even weaker so they end up getting an interview and are able to use soft skills alone to ace the interview), but with the competition/applicants for residencies increasing exponentially each year, these types of candidates are less and less likely to match for residency.
 
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KidPharmD

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"What are my chances of getting a residency?" is actually a question that should be divided into two parts:

1. Getting an interview
2. Getting ranked #1 by the program

The "answer" to #1 is, in order of most to least important factors:
1. Networking
2. Internships/ work experience
3. Leadership/community service/involvement in extracurriculars
4. Grades

The "answer" to #2 is, in order of most to least important factors:
1. Networking
2. How you compose/present yourself (soft skills)
3. Your looks
4. If you actually gave intelligent/thoughtful responses to interview questions
5. Your paper application

So as you can see, NETWORKING is what gets you places. Stats gets you an interview. Soft skills makes you stand out during the interview. If you don't have your networking game in play and are absent one or the other (stats or soft skills) then you most likely won't match. Of course, there are candidates who may fall through the cracks (for example, a weak applicant with good soft skills but no networking, but the applicant pool is even weaker so they end up getting an interview and are able to use soft skills alone to ace the interview), but with the competition/applicants for residencies increasing exponentially each year, these types of candidates are less and less likely to match for residency.


I'm sorry, are you saying that you believe the way a candidate looks is more important than their answers to their interview questions?
 
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