Does pharmacy school reputation really matter?

Discussion in 'Pharmacy' started by pr1ncezuk0, Aug 11, 2015.

  1. pr1ncezuk0

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    I'm thinking of applying to a school that has a pretty bad reputation with a NAPLEX score in the 80's. However, it is the cheapest pharmacy school in Texas (TSU). I know you can be a fine pharmacist graduating from there, but what about working in the professional field? Does reputation of the school you graduate from play a huge role to this? (I'm applying to pharmacy school right now for the 2016 Fall semester and caught between UH and TSU)

    Thank you!
     
  2. trailerpark

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    If you leave Texas I'm sure no-one will have heard of your school. I moved to the Midwest for a job and no-one has ever heard of my school and no one really asks, not even other pharmacists. Go the cheapest route, trust me on that! Pharmacy is more state local than lets say medical or law schools.
     
  3. SpartanLaser

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  4. Old Timer

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  5. Rockinacoustic

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    It depends. What are your plans after graduation?
     
  6. N974

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    Yes. Absolutely. Now how much? That is what is debatable.

    Retail hardly at all. Hospital? It could make a significant difference. I have first hand experience with that.
     
  7. Apotheker2015

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    Nope, no one cares. I went to a top ranked school and really no one cares. Get your PharmD as cheap as you can. Minimize the amount you take out in loans and get to work as fast as you can.

    Best,

    Apotheker2015
     
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  8. msweph

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    Not really as long as your school is not regionally known for being sh*tty
     
  9. pr1ncezuk0

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    Thinking about residency and going to clinical pharmacy around the Houston area.
     
  10. toidalente

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    Up until 2016/2017, I don't think so but afterwards I see it becoming a factor. Tuition is the most important but if an employer has plenty of options to choose from (stacks of resumes for 1 position), then having a certain stigma (like abysmal NAPLEX, MPJE scores) attached to a school may impact your chances when they have to go though a quick filter. More applicants means employers can become more picky. I have yet to see this in action but this is an example worth thinking about especially if you are going for competitive positions. If you go to a good school, you shouldn't have to worry but be careful about how much more you spend for that. It's about referencing and assessment. Just my 2 cents.
     
    #10 toidalente, Aug 12, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2015
  11. SELDANE

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    If you some how wind up with the choice between TSU or the U of H don't think twice, pick UH. The fact that you're asking about the reputation of a school and that TSU is involved lets me know that you live in Texas and that you're well aware of the reputation that TSU has earned. Normally I would agree with most of the responders to this post that say the reputation of the school doesn't matter. However, a quick glimpse of the NAPLEX pass rates or the TSBOP Disciplinary column will reveal how a lot of TSU graduates have distinguished themselves. Something tells me that the only thing keeping the TSU college of pharmacy open is political correctness. All that being said, if you decide to practice outside of Texas I don't think it will really mater.
     
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  12. Rockinacoustic

    Pharmacist 7+ Year Member

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    Then you should look into which program's graduates have a higher match rate or land more hospital jobs after graduation. NAPLEX pass rates are on the students as much as the school, so not the best indicator.

    This is assuming tuition isn't grossly different between the two programs
     
  13. Apotheker2015

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    Here are my additional 2 cents. I graduated from a top school. I don't want to give the name away as I want to be able to continue to post freely in these forums. The school's ranking is in the single digits; i.e., it's ranked among the top 10 and if this matters in anyway, it's also ranked among the top 5. It's quite up there. I noticed that TSU is ranked 80 on the USNews list. It shares that ranking with Nova Southeastern University (NSU) which produces fine and knowledgeable pharmacists. A great friend of mine graduated from NSU and is currently a clinical pharmacist at a major and world renowned health institution. No one cared where he went to school. He got that job because he did an APPE there and right at the end of his APPE, his preceptor directed him to human resources to get his resume on file.

    I had that happen several times at the end of my rotations. I got 4 job offers at the end of 4 APPEs. No one ever asked me for my GPA and I guess they knew I came from a *top* school but what matter really was that every time I was there I always put my best foot forward.
    For residency, I suppose that you may encounter that a 3.0 from a top ranked school may be considered just fine and equivalent to a 3.5 from a school ranked in the 80's or 90's. So if you do choose to go to TSU or any other school with a less than solid reputation, you must make sure your record is impeccable, impressive and displays a solid GPA.

    Once you get through residency, no one will care what school you went to. They will care where you trained for residency. All this being said, if you do have credentials to go to University of Texas-Austin, why wouldn't you? Apply to both or several schools and see where you get in. Our recommendations here are all moot if you don't actually have the *choice* to choose your school. So apply and make the decision when you have letters of acceptance from the schools that you want to go to.

    Best,

    Apotheker2015
     
  14. pr1ncezuk0

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    Thank you so much for your replies and additional input! I'll definitely note this and what you said.
     
  15. pr1ncezuk0

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    yes you guessed correctly with being in the HTX area. TSU does have a bad reputation and I hear from other sources, even P2's in TSU saying that it's not a good school. I'm really thinking of going UH since I also want to do residency as well. Thank you!
     
  16. Son_Goku

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    Lower ranked school tend to be more expensive so there's that.

    If you're looking to doing anything outside of retail you better go to the school that is best in your state unless you live in one of the more secluded state then I suggest moving out of state.
     
  17. Apotheker2015

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    I don't know where you got that fact from but I don't think lower ranked schools are more expensive. All schools tend to be about the same. If you go out of state, you will, of course, pay out-of-state tuition but that's it.
     
  18. Son_Goku

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    Lower ranked schools tend to be private schools.

    Lol if you think all school tuition are the same.
     
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  19. Apotheker2015

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    I suppose I wouldn't know... would I? :)
     
  20. confettiflyer

    confettiflyer Did you just say something?
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    Not at all...maybe even locally. If you come to (insert state here), no one will even know how many Texas schools there are.

    Only hyperlocally are there pissing matches between stubborn alumni.

    I get asked where I graduated from all the time...I usually just say "east coast" and get that glazed over look like "okay you're doing me a favor and telling me the general location of the school because if you actually told me the school name I'd be forced to nod and pretend I know what state that is even in."

    tl;dr = nope, we're not law school, and anyone who tells you yes is lying/doesn't actually redline between schools (just between candidates, then says it's the school, when really it wasn't all along).
     
  21. Apotheker2015

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    I agree with confettiflyer. No one cares. Unless you actually go to a top 3 school, no one should give a crap. And yes... I did go to a top 3 school. It only seems to matter when pharmacists decide to have a pissing contest and then I get the pleasure of pulling the "top 3" card and then the pissing suddenly and QUICKLY stops.

    Get into whatever school you can get into and then do well, build relationships and leave a great impression everywhere you go during your 4th year.

    Best,

    Apotheker2015
     
    #21 Apotheker2015, Aug 13, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2015
  22. Son_Goku

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    From claiming to have attended a top 10 school to now a top 3 school. Why are you getting so defensive?

    Unless you go to UCSF or UNC, the rankings after those schools fluctuate every year. Derp.
     
  23. Jbrl

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    I think the consensus is "as long as it is a school that people have heard about." I think the implied advantage of going to a better school could be taken into consideration - better applicants and stronger networks, further reinforced by a self-fulfilling ranking system that then attracts more high-achieving applicants. Might be more important when venturing into non-trad roles, particularly for the who-you-know part of the equation. If a higher % of your class is going the residency/hospital, industry, or other route, it bodes better for you; you'll be better positioned during schooling for these paths and you'll know more people in these sectors.
     
    #23 Jbrl, Aug 13, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2015
  24. Apotheker2015

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    Son_Goku,

    the top 3 have been the same for a long time now. So yes, top 3. I felt it was relevant for me to say that in order to back my opinion on the question at hand. I do not have to say which one. I know what my diploma says and that's all that matters. Just like you know what your diploma says, as well.

    I made no claims Son_Goku. I shared facts and narrowed the ranking of the school I attended to top 5. This is what I had said on an earlier post "The school's ranking is in the single digits; i.e., it's ranked among the top 10 and if this matters in anyway, it's also ranked among the top 5. It's quite up there." Again, I am not making claims but sharing facts.

    Best,

    Apotheker2015
     
    #24 Apotheker2015, Aug 13, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2015
  25. xiphoid2010

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    It certainly matters locally. Sorry to say it, but I would think every managerment person in Texas knows TSU's reputation. Heck, I'm not even from Texas.

    Further you are from Texas, the less it probably matters, and sames goes for how long you' been out of school. But if you are a new grad, you just have to be persistent and hope for the best (and maybe have to settle).
     
  26. trailerpark

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    I just tell people the state where I went to school and leave it at that.
     
  27. wagrxm2000

    wagrxm2000 Do not respond to this
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    School doesn't matter in retail at least not in the midwest. Oh and if someone was arguing with me then said they went to a top 3 school I would laugh. Experience means a lot more then what school you went to. Get an internship and you will be fine.
     
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  28. HenryH

    HenryH AA-S
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    What kind of reputation does LECOM have (their new "distance" program, especially)?
     
  29. Apotheker2015

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    I would have loved going to LECOM in Brandenton. IMG - Bollettieri tennis Academy is there. I would have gone there to hit after class 3 - 4 days a week and I would not have gained a good 40 lbs through pharmacy school.
    Distance programs are just as challenging as in-class programs. I personally prefer doing all my work online. My school recorded all/most lectures and I would watch them online on high speed, between 1.5x and 2x for the professors that spoke very slowly. Many other people did that and many others just did what the herd did. Contrary to popular belief, you have to stay more organized and it doing your work online is more efficient. You don't have to wait for 160 people to go to the bathroom and pee. You can just fast forward through the dumb questions people ask which they could simply google.

    That's my two cents.

    Best,

    Apotheker2015
     
  30. HenryH

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    Thanks for your input. In general, though, do you know if there's any legitimacy to LECOM's less-than-favorable reputation? If someone wants to apply to a residency program following pharmacy school graduation, do you think they'd have problems if they graduated from LECOM?
     
  31. Apotheker2015

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    I think that what matters most is how well rounded is the student. I went to a top 3 school. I won't say which one. Well, our summa cum laude graduated with a 3.96 or something stupid like that, and interviewed at 20 residency sites and nothing, did not match anywhere. Applied for research fellowships and got nothing. In the mean time, there was one guy who got a highly coveted managed care residency and he only had a 2.8 GPA. There was another student who got this PGY-1 that everyone wanted. She did have a GPA > 3.0; however, during second year she failed several courses as a result of a death in her immediate family. She repeated the courses, aced them, showed she had a spine which sadly most pharmacy students lack and then landed that sweet residency spot.

    Life experience and how you carry yourself go a lot farther in the end. I did not have a stellar GPA or even a good GPA. I never took quizzes and never got that 10% you get for quizzes or attendance or whatever. It was not worth my time. I would study for exams and that was that. Opportunity cost. My point here is that it is all about the person. I made sure I took rotations very seriously. We did 8 rotations and I got job offers after 4 of them. During my first rotation with Walgreens one of the corporate leaders offered me a job with the company on my 3rd day.

    The name of the school does look nice on my CV but ultimately, it comes down to what you've done with your time and what the people AROUND you can say about that. I am sure you've heard this before but pharmacy is a VERY SMALL WORLD. I'd like to quote Aibileen Clark here. "You IS kind, you IS smart, you IS important". Always choose your words and actions carefully for the will be misconstrued in every way possible.

    Best,

    Apotheker2015
     
  32. HenryH

    HenryH AA-S
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    Thanks for the advice, I'll be sure to take it to heart!
     
  33. BidingMyTime

    BidingMyTime Lost Shaker Of Salt
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    Not true, check out some schools tuitions. The best schools tend to have highly successful alumni, who donate back to the school, which helps keep tuition costs lower and/or funds scholarships for the school to offer. There are always a few outliers, but in general, the better the school reputation, the lower end their tuition is.

    Eh, I disagree. Granted how one carries themselves in the interview will probably have a bigger bearing than the school they graduated, but even in retail, all else being equal, everyone will pick the student from the reputable established school over the student from the school that opened in the past 15 years that has a reputation for minimally trained graduates.
     
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