Enough to pay off loans?

Discussion in 'Pre-Pharmacy' started by sistermike, Nov 13, 2002.

  1. sistermike

    sistermike Senior Member
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    Ok heres the situation. I will be going to 4 years at an undergraduate college and plan to do pre-med/pre-pharmacy; I have not yet decided which degree to pursue after my bachelors. I will decide that in my Junior year. But I am taking out tons of loans because my parents make too much for government assistance but yet they don't give me money. Anyways, I will have to take out a ton more of loans if I pursue my Pharm.D. degree. So I am curious to whether I will make enough money with my Pharm.D. degree to pay off my loans in a short amount of time, because I may just force myself to do med school just so I can pay off these hideous loans. :)
     
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  3. TotalKayOs

    TotalKayOs Senior Member
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    why not try to make it through undergrad first then figure out the loan situation. you may not do well enough to get into med school. and no, you will not make enough to pay off your loans in a short amount of time. even if you were to become an MD you still wouldn't make enough to pay off your loans in a short amount of time. just get through undergrad first then see what happens.
     
  4. tlh908

    tlh908 Senior Member
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    Part of the answer depends on what type of lifestyle you want after school. If you want to live in a big house and drive and expensive car and pay off a big loan, that might be a little hard. One thing that I have noticed that hasn't been published loudly is the rate that pharmacists salaries are increasing. In the last couple of years the salary has gone up like 20% or more according to Drug Topics magazine. They said the average in 1998 was around $65000 and in 2000 was $78600. And from what I have heard from recent grads, it is even higher now. What will salaries be like in 5 years, it is hard to say. Since the educational requirements are now longer, the want to add responsibilities to pharmacists and the pharmacists shortage I can see salaries increasing. Maybe someday we will make close to what family practioners do. If you read some of the literature, there is a push to make pharm ds/MD's/DO's equal (and no this doesn't mean prescribing rights).......
     
  5. LSUMED2006

    LSUMED2006 Senior Member
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    I do know that going to medschool will NOT mean you can pay off loans early. In med school, you will likely have 2-4x more debt than pharm school. Pharmacists, when they graduate, make great money. Physicians when they graduate work like dogs for $30,000 for a couple of years. Going to medschool can easily set you back $100,000-200,000. This is not going to be paid off quickly with a residents salary!

    tlh, I've heard of many people making close to 100,000 right out of school. One guy I know got a cushy offer for 105,000 at a grocery store where they fill 100 scripts a day! If pharmacists can convince insurance companies to pay for counseling, as a few test markets are doing, then pharmacist salaries can certainly hit the range of family practioners (~150,000). What literature articles are you refering to about making pharmds, DOs, and MDs "equal?" What does that mean?
     
  6. Kovox

    Kovox Going Places
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    LSU makes a good point.

    But I think you should pursue the area that you love. If you do something you like, the money will follow.
     
  7. tlh908

    tlh908 Senior Member
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    LSU,
    I knew I should not have refrenced material without having it in front of me but I can't remember the sources - I have done a lot of reading in the past 2 months. I do know that when they said equals they did not mean repeating what a MD/DO already knows - but giving pharm d's enough education that they know material as deep as a MD/DO would. The point is to try make pharm d's way more knowledgable than all physcians on drugs and dosing issues while not giving them prescription rights.....
     
  8. LSUMED2006

    LSUMED2006 Senior Member
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    TLH,
    Thanks for the reply. If you ever find those articles, I'd be interested in reading them. There was an article in a JAMA a month or two ago about the role of pharmaceutical care in improving patient out comes. It was interesting, and the results weren't quite what everyone had hoped, but it showed definite promise. I do think that it's not too long before pharmacists are being rembursed for counseling, especially if done as a weekend class/seminar type situation or via private appointment.
    "The point is to try make pharm d's way more knowledgable than all physcians on drugs and dosing issues." (In my best Bill Lumberg voice ala Office Space) Oooh, I'm going to sorta have to...disagree with you on that one :) . Pharmacists are great sources of drug information, no doubt, but to say they are WAY more knowledgable than ALL physicians is absurd, ESPECIALLY when considering specialists. Pharmacists do NOT and will NOT know more about the drugs an anesthesiologist uses than the anesthesiologist! Pharmacists do NOT know more about the drugs a hematologist/oncologist uses than the oncologist!
    Do you really think, in your 4 years of pharmacy school that you have been taught, and know more, about the drugs these physicians spend their life using? I know we went through the anticancer drugs in a month or 2 in pharmacy school. Oncologists are trained for years about them, and spend the rest of their lives treating people with them.

    Also, if pharmacists are "WAY more knowledgeable" about drugs than physicians, how could they NOT prescribe? It would be like saying that surgeons are WAY more competant to perform an opperation, but we will let the less qualified anesthesiologist do the opperation. It is ABSURD to think that pharmacists who know WAY more than physiscians are not allowed to prescribe, and the MUCH less competant physicians are the only ones who can. These are honest questions that I would love to hear your response to.

    Jason
     
  9. sistermike

    sistermike Senior Member
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    Ok so Pharmacists may not know more about the type of drugs that specialists use, but Pharmacists do know more about drugs in general than a physician. For four years, the main thing a Pharm student is taught are about different types of drugs and how they are used. Sure physicians do learn about drugs, but it is not pushed on them for 4 years but rather in a few Pharmacology classes in med school. Oncologists and other specialists only know more about the drugs they use for their speciality because they administer the drug and watch the effects. So all in all, Pharmacists know much more about drugs in general than physicians. If physicians knew just as much about drugs, they could do away with all hospital pharmacists.
     
  10. LSUMED2006

    LSUMED2006 Senior Member
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    >Ok so Pharmacists may not know more about the type of drugs that specialists use,

    Yay! A voice of reason (although I would replace the word "may" with "do"-pharmacists don't know more about the drugs a specialist uses than the specialist). I was being somewhat extreme in my above post to point out the absurd state ment TLH made that pharmacists are "way more knowledgable than all physcians on drugs."


    >but Pharmacists do know more about drugs in general than a physician.

    Maybe, but be sure you aren't comparing apples to oranges. I think, in general, a physician knows more about the drugs he/she uses than the pharmacist. But, if you want to talk in general, I would agree that the pharmacist knows more about skin ointments than a cardiologist.

    >Sure physicians do learn about drugs, but it is not pushed on them for 4 years but rather in a few Pharmacology classes in med school

    Be careful you don't start speaking out of heresay, rather than what you actually know. Do you personally know what is taught in med school? "A few pharmacology classes" isn't exactly correct. Believe me, the amount of material covered in just ONE class in med school is amazing.

    >Oncologists and other specialists only know more about the drugs they use for their speciality because they administer the drug and watch the effects.

    Well, now you are just plain wrong. The statement above does hold true for hematologists and anesthesiologist, but not for othe specialties. You seem to forget endocrinologists, cardiologists, dermatologists, pulmonologists, nephrologists, etc. These people do not usually administer the drugs they use, but the know MUCH more about the drugs they use than pharmacists due to the fact they spend their lives treating people with them.

    >If physicians knew just as much about drugs, they could do away with all hospital pharmacists.

    I have long said that there are some very sharp clinical pharmacists. Hospital pharmacists fill and dispense prescriptions, among other duties. I don't see the point you are trying to make. I do know that hospitals would not cease to function without clinical pharmacists. That being said, pharmacists certainly are a valuable part of the healthcare team.

    I still pose the same question I did earlier, if pharmacists know soooo much more about drugs, why on earth aren't they allowed to prescribe and physicians allowed to do so. I can't think of another case in healthcare where the most competant practicioner is NOT allowed to perform his/her duties, while the LESS competant practioner IS.
     
  11. tlh908

    tlh908 Senior Member
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    Ok, so maybe was a little extreme about saying that pharmacists know way more about drugs than all physicians, but that was to try to counter those who discount how much pharmacists really know. I will stand behind this not so extreme comment - pharmacists really are the drug information experts.
    LSU, as far as way pharmacists don't have prescribing rights may have more to do with politics. Some physicians already feel their job is being encroached upon by NP's and PA's and that could account for some of the feelings held by some toward giving more people prescription rights.
    I guess the quesion is - are pharmacists just meant to be distributors and merchants? I believe that pharmacists have more than enough knowledge to classify us only as merchants (which in PA was the case until the rules concerning pharmacy where just rewritten).
     
  12. Kovox

    Kovox Going Places
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    Sistermike:

    The amount of money depends on what area of Pharmacy you decide to pursue and the location. The highest paid pharmacists are in Southern California.

    If you decide to do the corporate pharmaceutical side, and have 3 or more years of experience you can expect to start at 130-150k a year base salary and with stock options that will bring you close to 400ish. A website that lists how much you will be making is:

    http://www.contractpharma.com/jun011.htm

    Again, it all depends on what area of pharmacy you decide to pursue, not all pharmacists go into retail or clinical.
     

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