stoichiometrist

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Aug 2, 2011
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I decided to compile a summary of topics and misconceptions about the projected pharmacist job market, since they keep popping up on this forum.

“There’s no way salaries can drop that much with the saturation, can they?”

Supply and demand. Employers have their way when they get a flood of job applications from new graduates desperate to pay off their loans.

“Obamacare is going to increase demand for pharmacists since many new patients will be insured.”

Possible in the future, but that is uncertain. Rather, the opposite has occurred recently. Hospitals have already cut staff due to projected revenue shortfalls because institutions are expecting lower reimbursement rates under the new law. A decrease in compensation with an increase in patient load would not lead to expansion of health care resources but more rationing.

“Many pharmacists are expected to retire in coming years. That should create demand for us to replace them.”

Some pharmacist will retire, but keep in mind that the number of pharmacy school graduates will increase by a much greater margin. The number of pharmacy school slots has nearly doubled in the last decade, with more schools about to graduate their first class, and yet more that plan to open up in the near future. The openings freed by retiring pharmacists will be fought over fiercely by the wave of new graduates.

“Our roles are expanding. We can do MTM, give flu shots, and we have provider status in some states. Shouldn’t that create more jobs for us?”

I’ll let someone more experienced on the field elaborate on this, but terms like “MTM,” “pharmaceutical care,” “patient-centered care,” etc. have been discussed for many years with little of it actually being used in practice. There have been few opportunities to get reimbursed adequately for these services, with the exception of flu shots, which takes up time out of a busy retail pharmacist’s schedule. Without adequate reimbursement, there is little incentive to implement these services.

“The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that pharmacist demand is expected to increase in the next decade.”

Again, there may be job openings, but you will be competing against an even larger wave of new graduates that are just as desperate as you to start paying off loans. Also, the projected increase in demand is uncertain due to the projected reduction of reimbursements, which increases patient load but not the total amount of health care resources that can be provided.

“I’ll just network more, stand out, do a residency, and I’ll be able to find a job.”

That is easier said than done when the opportunities to stand out are getting more competitive. Not everyone will get that pharmacy internship, and not everyone will be able to juggle school (especially P2, P3 years) and a job at the same time. Even the market for PGY1s is getting saturated in many areas. If you’re confident that you’re able to stand out then by all means do your best, but don’t underestimate the difficulty of attaining such opportunities. Come in with the expectation that you will have merely a small chance of achieving close to what you want after you bust yourself to death.

“I’m going to pharmacy school because I don’t know what else I want to do.”

There are many careers out there that do not require you to take out $200,000+ in loans and go through another 4 years of schooling, yet have a similar or better level of job security. Also, I would recommend working in a pharmacy to make sure that this profession is fit for you. Choose wisely.

"Every field out there is saturated, and pharmacy is no exception."

Many fields out are saturated, but relatively few of them require you to take out $200,000+ in loans and go through another 4 years of schooling. Also, there are some fields that are not saturated and only require a BS degree. Hint: engineering.

"The AACP can do something to stop pharmacy schools from opening, can't they?"

The Sherman Antitrust Act would prevent the AACP from stopping a pharmacy school from opening as long as the school meets accreditation requirements.

"If you cannot get a job in retail or hospital, then just specialize and find a niche."

About 65-70% of the jobs are in retail, followed by about 20-25% in hospital (mostly dispensing). These "niche" jobs only make up about 10% of pharmacist jobs at most. We have only enough job openings for about 1/3 of the yearly 15,000 pharmacy school graduates, let alone the niche jobs.

"But I have already put so much effort in trying to get into pharmacy schools."

Beware of the sunk cost fallacy. It's easy to want to not feel that you have "wasted" your efforts in the pre-pharmacy track. To get a better idea of whether pharmacy is worth it, you would want to make sure to look at prospective costs. That is, you would want to compare the return on investment of starting anew and spending 2-3 years and minimal tuition at a local state school on a second degree in computer science, engineering, or finance compared to spending 4 years and $200k+ on pharmacy. You have yet to reach the worst part of taking out astronomical loans, so it is not too late to back out.

"I don't care about pay. I'm in the profession to help others."

First off, your views on money will most likely change when you have $200k+ student debt to pay off.

Second, if you go into pharmacy to "help people," then chances are that you may be disappointed. You will face metrics, workplace politics, bureaucracy, etc. that will get in the way of being able to help your patients. Remember that your employer is most likely a business and has still has to make a profit to survive.
 
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Nov 6, 2013
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Insightful, but it may come off that you're stating fact rather than opinion for some of these points.
 
3

358265

I decided to compile a summary of topics and misconceptions about the projected pharmacist job market, since they keep popping up on this forum.

“There’s no way salaries can drop that much with the saturation, can they?”

Supply and demand. Employers have their way when they get a flood of job applications from new graduates desperate to pay off their loans.

“Obamacare is going to increase demand for pharmacists since many new patients will be insured.”

Possible in the future, but that is uncertain. Rather, the opposite has occurred recently. Hospitals have already cut staff due to projected revenue shortfalls because institutions are expecting lower reimbursement rates under the new law. A decrease in compensation with an increase in patient load would not lead to expansion of health care resources but more rationing.

“Many pharmacists are expected to retire in coming years. That should create demand for us to replace them.”

Some pharmacist will retire, but keep in mind that the number of pharmacy school graduates will increase by a much greater margin. The number of pharmacy school slots has nearly doubled in the last decade, with more schools about to graduate their first class, and yet more that plan to open up in the near future. The openings freed by retiring pharmacists will be fought over fiercely by the wave of new graduates.

“Our roles are expanding. We can do MTM, give flu shots, and we have provider status in some states. Shouldn’t that create more jobs for us?”

I’ll let someone more experienced on the field elaborate on this, but terms like “MTM,” “pharmaceutical care,” “patient-centered care,” etc. have been discussed for many years with little of it actually being used in practice. There have been few opportunities to get reimbursed adequately for these services, with the exception of flu shots, which takes up time out of a busy retail pharmacist’s schedule. Without adequate reimbursement, there is little incentive to implement these services.

“The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that pharmacist demand is expected to increase in the next decade.”

Again, there may be job openings, but you will be competing against an even larger wave of new graduates that are just as desperate as you to start paying off loans. Also, the projected increase in demand is uncertain due to the projected reduction of reimbursements, which increases patient load but not the total amount of health care resources that can be provided.

“I’ll just network more, stand out, do a residency, and I’ll be able to find a job.”

That is easier said than done when the opportunities to stand out are getting more competitive. Not everyone will get that pharmacy internship, and not everyone will be able to juggle school (especially P2, P3 years) and a job at the same time. Even the market for PGY1s is getting saturated in many areas. If you’re confident that you’re able to stand out then by all means do your best, but don’t underestimate the difficulty of attaining such opportunities. Come in with the expectation that you will have merely a small chance of achieving close to what you want after you bust yourself to death.

“I’m going to pharmacy school because I don’t know what else I want to do.”

There are many careers out there that do not require you to take out $150,000+ in loans and go through another 4 years of schooling. Also, I would recommend working in a pharmacy to make sure that this profession is fit for you. Choose wisely.
Spot on. This is quite accurate.
 

grumps

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Healthcare is too big a sector for a healthy economy. Let's face it. It's become an extortion racket. Are we really going to pay someone 150K/year to give flu shots, chirp about bone density and other health tests when the trend for all these services is towards do-it-yourself home kits? MTM is BS, merely the repackaging of duties pharmacists already performed.
 
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stoichiometrist

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One more to add.

"Every field out there is saturated, and pharmacy is no exception."

Many fields out are saturated, but relatively few of them require you to take out $150,000+ in loans and go through another 4 years of schooling. Also, there are some fields that are not saturated and only require a BS degree. Hint: engineering.
 
Mar 4, 2012
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I decided to compile a summary of topics and misconceptions about the projected pharmacist job market, since they keep popping up on this forum.
“I’m going to pharmacy school because I don’t know what else I want to do.”

There are many careers out there that do not require you to take out $150,000+ in loans and go through another 4 years of schooling. Also, I would recommend working in a pharmacy to make sure that this profession is fit for you. Choose wisely.
I like this one.
 
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stoichiometrist

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Aug 2, 2011
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"The AACP can do something to stop pharmacy schools from opening, can't they?"

The Sherman Antitrust Act would prevent the AACP from stopping a pharmacy school from opening as long as the school meets accreditation requirements.
 

DrDrugs2012

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Feb 8, 2011
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"The AACP can do something to stop pharmacy schools from opening, can't they?"

The Sherman Antitrust Act would prevent the AACP from stopping a pharmacy school from opening as long as the school meets accreditation requirements.
I dont know how true this is. While the ACPE has taken this position publicly, the accreditation of medical schools is at a virtual standstill - and that regulation of both the number of medical school and residency slots is perfectly legal right now.
 
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stoichiometrist

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"If you cannot get a job in retail or hospital, then just specialize and find a niche."

About 65-70% of the jobs are in retail, followed by about 20-25% in hospital (mostly dispensing). These "niche" jobs only make up about 10% of pharmacist jobs at most. We have only enough job openings for about 1/3 of the yearly 15,000 pharmacy school graduates, let alone the niche jobs.
 

oldstock

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Mar 12, 2014
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I decided to compile a summary of topics and misconceptions about the projected pharmacist job market, since they keep popping up on this forum.

“There’s no way salaries can drop that much with the saturation, can they?”

Supply and demand. Employers have their way when they get a flood of job applications from new graduates desperate to pay off their loans.

“Obamacare is going to increase demand for pharmacists since many new patients will be insured.”

Possible in the future, but that is uncertain. Rather, the opposite has occurred recently. Hospitals have already cut staff due to projected revenue shortfalls because institutions are expecting lower reimbursement rates under the new law. A decrease in compensation with an increase in patient load would not lead to expansion of health care resources but more rationing.

“Many pharmacists are expected to retire in coming years. That should create demand for us to replace them.”

Some pharmacist will retire, but keep in mind that the number of pharmacy school graduates will increase by a much greater margin. The number of pharmacy school slots has nearly doubled in the last decade, with more schools about to graduate their first class, and yet more that plan to open up in the near future. The openings freed by retiring pharmacists will be fought over fiercely by the wave of new graduates.

“Our roles are expanding. We can do MTM, give flu shots, and we have provider status in some states. Shouldn’t that create more jobs for us?”

I’ll let someone more experienced on the field elaborate on this, but terms like “MTM,” “pharmaceutical care,” “patient-centered care,” etc. have been discussed for many years with little of it actually being used in practice. There have been few opportunities to get reimbursed adequately for these services, with the exception of flu shots, which takes up time out of a busy retail pharmacist’s schedule. Without adequate reimbursement, there is little incentive to implement these services.

“The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that pharmacist demand is expected to increase in the next decade.”

Again, there may be job openings, but you will be competing against an even larger wave of new graduates that are just as desperate as you to start paying off loans. Also, the projected increase in demand is uncertain due to the projected reduction of reimbursements, which increases patient load but not the total amount of health care resources that can be provided.

“I’ll just network more, stand out, do a residency, and I’ll be able to find a job.”

That is easier said than done when the opportunities to stand out are getting more competitive. Not everyone will get that pharmacy internship, and not everyone will be able to juggle school (especially P2, P3 years) and a job at the same time. Even the market for PGY1s is getting saturated in many areas. If you’re confident that you’re able to stand out then by all means do your best, but don’t underestimate the difficulty of attaining such opportunities. Come in with the expectation that you will have merely a small chance of achieving close to what you want after you bust yourself to death.

“I’m going to pharmacy school because I don’t know what else I want to do.”

There are many careers out there that do not require you to take out $200,000+ in loans and go through another 4 years of schooling, yet have a similar or better level of job security. Also, I would recommend working in a pharmacy to make sure that this profession is fit for you. Choose wisely.

"Every field out there is saturated, and pharmacy is no exception."

Many fields out are saturated, but relatively few of them require you to take out $150,000+ in loans and go through another 4 years of schooling. Also, there are some fields that are not saturated and only require a BS degree. Hint: engineering.

"The AACP can do something to stop pharmacy schools from opening, can't they?"

The Sherman Antitrust Act would prevent the AACP from stopping a pharmacy school from opening as long as the school meets accreditation requirements.

"If you cannot get a job in retail or hospital, then just specialize and find a niche."

About 65-70% of the jobs are in retail, followed by about 20-25% in hospital (mostly dispensing). These "niche" jobs only make up about 10% of pharmacist jobs at most. We have only enough job openings for about 1/3 of the yearly 15,000 pharmacy school graduates, let alone the niche jobs.


Healthcare is too big a sector for a healthy economy. Let's face it. It's become an extortion racket. Are we really going to pay someone 150K/year to give flu shots, chirp about bone density and other health tests when the trend for all these services is towards do-it-yourself home kits? MTM is BS, merely the repackaging of duties pharmacists already performed.
u hit the nail on the$%$%^head !! right on !! :thumbup::thumbup:
 

sunshao

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May 7, 2014
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Is it worth to go if ur going to a cheaper school like a public university? USF and UF are less then 23k a year
 

PharmDCandidate2014

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Is it worth to go if ur going to a cheaper school like a public university? USF and UF are less then 23k a year
Public institutions tend to be relatively reputable compared to their private counterparts. This reputation allows an extra window of opportunities with preceptors if you desire to get your feet wet in a non-retail setting. These jobs are scarce, so pick a field NOW and stay with it. Changing your mind back and forth will only cost you employment upon graduation. That being said, the competition you will face in obtaining any type of employment is stiff and will be based on obtaining connections via rotations, preceptors and friends more so than ever. Do something unique in school, be sociable and get good grades. Then you will need a little luck on your side. May the odds be in your favor!
 

sunshao

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May 7, 2014
213
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Public institutions tend to be relatively reputable compared to their private counterparts. This reputation allows an extra window of opportunities with preceptors if you desire to get your feet wet in a non-retail setting. These jobs are scarce, so pick a field NOW and stay with it. Changing your mind back and forth will only cost you employment upon graduation. That being said, the competition you will face in obtaining any type of employment is stiff and will be based on obtaining connections via rotations, preceptors and friends more so than ever. Do something unique in school, be sociable and get good grades. Then you will need a little luck on your side. May the odds be in your favor!
thanks for the reply! If I am accepted to USF or UF, I would definitely have a hard time choosing. UF is regarded as one of the best pharmacy schools, but I graduated from USF and know that USF is a very strong research based university in general and even though they are new. The resources they have and the possibilities to work with other fields have gotten me interested in their school as well.
 
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stoichiometrist

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Is it worth to go if ur going to a cheaper school like a public university? USF and UF are less then 23k a year
Not bad, but do factor in room + board, as well as the ROI of other careers. One argument against going into pharmacy is that other professions have recovered along with the economy, whereas pharmacy has not and is getting more saturated every year.
 

fewaopi

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Jan 9, 2009
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OP is pretty spot on and pretty balanced IMO. I don't sense bias and it's pretty accurate.

FWIW, let me just say this prepharmers who view these boards. 6 years ago in 2008, there were still signing on bonuses in my area and people were getting jobs in the middle of the worst recession in recent memory. Right now, most people did not get the 6 figure job many of you students seek after the most impressive economic recovery in recent memory (yeah we can debate Fed, QE, blah blah blah, that's another argument for another day). Some had to relocate, others are part time, many are doing some type of additional training and looking at other careers already related to pharmacy (not traditional hospital/retail) and even those jobs are now much harder to come by.

Such a change in job outlook in only 6 years is really drastic. Often blamed are the new schools which do play a part but also expanding class sizes at existing schools have a role too. Schools like MCPHS have class sizes above 300, and they are not the only school in that state. Do the math, how many jobs have to be available every year to hire those 300. Note that's not the only school in that state...even more disturbing.

BLS doesn't paint the real story, basic google searches on pharmacist job market tell you real life stories of hundreds of pharmacists now about the struggles to find good stable work. Yes people right now but not as many as before are getting jobs but is it stable, will changing jobs or relocating be easy or are there other factors that limit your options?

Schools will tell you it's a great job, of course, they are trying to sell you their product. Would you honestly go to a school that told you job prospects in that field sucked but you should still come to our school and give us 250K anyway? They are trying to sell you dreams and the expansion of schools have lowered the admission. Some of the GPAs prepharmers throw like 2.9, 2.5 is real disturbing trend of how the bar to admission has been lowered and lower quality students are now admitted. This might explain why I'm seeing a lot more failed NAPLEX threads which is also really scary. Unless it's nerves or panics, no one should be failing that exam and the ones who are well...just wow.

Before not everyone qualified for pharmacy school and now well with some stats I see, pretty much everyone qualifies. Compare this to other fields like dentistry and medicine which have maintained or increased bar of admission by not expanding schools like crazy. And ask, could every pharmacy student qualify for medicine or dentistry? NO. Could every medicine/dentistry student qualify for pharmacy? VERY LIKELY. One important reason for this is that pharmacists esp in retail do not need to be that smart, you're a robot verifying and typing scripts anyone can do and providing a service easily trained and replaced. This is different from medicine/dentistry where it takes more years of hard training and hundreds of hours of practice to get right and cannot be so easily and cheaply taught. Hence they are not in the same job crises as pharmacy. Pharmacy schools do not require the same infrastructure or extensive investment that medicine/dentistry need and that speaks to the "lower quality" of the pharmacy profession a bit.

I strongly encourage prepharmers to go ask current pharmacists or 4th years what they think about the job market before coming back to SDN saying we're bitter, afraid, not good enough, I'll do better and just work harder than you, BLS says we're okay, etc, etc. Yes you have to be better than older pharmacists but students will have to work harder and harder for job prospects that are getting worse and worse. And trust me thousands of students have done what prepharmers have said, oh i'll just work harder and more and more now don't have a job. And the kind of student that averages <3.0 is not grounded in reality and is disturbingly saying a lot about the kind of people we will work with and the kind of people lot of pharmacists will be in the future.
 
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PharmDCandidate2014

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Oct 24, 2014
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OP is pretty spot on and pretty balanced IMO. I don't sense bias and it's pretty accurate.

FWIW, let me just say this prepharmers who view these boards. 6 years ago in 2008, there were still signing on bonuses in my area and people were getting jobs in the middle of the worst recession in recent memory. Right now, most people did not get the 6 figure job many of you students seek after the most impressive economic recovery in recent memory (yeah we can debate Fed, QE, blah blah blah, that's another argument for another day). Some had to relocate, others are part time, many are doing some type of additional training and looking at other careers already related to pharmacy (not traditional hospital/retail) and even those jobs are now much harder to come by.

Such a change in job outlook in only 6 years is really drastic. Often blamed are the new schools which do play a part but also expanding class sizes at existing schools have a role too. Schools like MCPHS have class sizes above 300, and they are not the only school in that state. Do the math, how many jobs have to be available every year to hire those 300. Note that's not the only school in that state...even more disturbing.

BLS doesn't paint the real story, basic google searches on pharmacist job market tell you real life stories of hundreds of pharmacists now about the struggles to find good stable work. Yes people right now but not as many as before are getting jobs but is it stable, will changing jobs or relocating be easy or are there other factors that limit your options?

Schools will tell you it's a great job, of course, they are trying to sell you their product. Would you honestly go to a school that told you job prospects in that field sucked but you should still come to our school and give us 250K anyway? They are trying to sell you dreams and the expansion of schools have lowered the admission. Some of the GPAs prepharmers throw like 2.9, 2.5 is real disturbing trend of how the bar to admission has been lowered and lower quality students are now admitted. This might explain why I'm seeing a lot more failed NAPLEX threads which is also really scary. Unless it's nerves or panics, no one should be failing that exam and the ones who are well...just wow.

Before not everyone qualified for pharmacy school and now well with some stats I see, pretty much everyone qualifies. Compare this to other fields like dentistry and medicine which have maintained or increased bar of admission by not expanding schools like crazy. And ask, could every pharmacy student qualify for medicine or dentistry? NO. Could every medicine/dentistry student qualify for pharmacy? VERY LIKELY. One important reason for this is that pharmacists esp in retail do not need to be that smart, you're a robot verifying and typing scripts anyone can do and providing a service easily trained and replaced. This is different from medicine/dentistry where it takes more years of hard training and hundreds of hours of practice to get right and cannot be so easily and cheaply taught. Hence they are not in the same job crises as pharmacy. Pharmacy schools do not require the same infrastructure or extensive investment that medicine/dentistry need and that speaks to the "lower quality" of the pharmacy profession a bit.

I strongly encourage prepharmers to go ask current pharmacists or 4th years what they think about the job market before coming back to SDN saying we're bitter, afraid, not good enough, I'll do better and just work harder than you, BLS says we're okay, etc, etc. Yes you have to be better than older pharmacists but students will have to work harder and harder for job prospects that are getting worse and worse. And trust me thousands of students have done what prepharmers have said, oh i'll just work harder and more and more now don't have a job. And the kind of student that averages <3.0 is not grounded in reality and is disturbingly saying a lot about the kind of people we will work with and the kind of people lot of pharmacists will be in the future.
Employers should be a lot more rigid when evaluating pharmacy applicants. This includes not giving any applicant that failed the NAPLEX a second thought. If they cannot pass a 'high stakes' exam, they should not be practicing, period. If they need more than two attempts to pass, sorry, the time to practice pharmacy has passed. With medical school admissions, the MCAT should be taken twice, at most. The physician licensing boards, probably no more than once. These rigid standards have protected the integrity of medicine. Why people (both naive pre pharmacy students and universities alike) continue to find ways to compromise the respectable profession of pharmacy is beyond me.

Another suggestion is increasing the difficulty level of the pharmacist licensing exam, providing a better bottleneck and thus separating an honest, knowledgeable and intelligent student from someone who paid $200,000 to get into Wegmans SOP. Of course, this is going to be too much work for the pharmacy boards regulating the process - so I won't hold my breath.

Not sure if anyone watches football (NFL) here, but there's talk of letting more teams into the playoffs? More games, more money generated for the league by fans, and entertaining the idea that a team who skated by in the regular season can make a lucky run in the playoffs to win the championship? It's corporate greed at its finest . . . but at least it's only entertainment. We shouldn't be playing this same game with pharmacy, or any part of health care. But, that's life! :)
 

VP_Pharm2004

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It's blatantly obvious that some of these pre-pharmacy students do not care what we have to say. It amazes me as to why anyone would even enter this profession knowing what has been said by current pharmacists and pharmd students on this forum, on indeed, and on various other sources. The biggest thing I've read on here is "oh, I have no other option... I can't work retail and make $12/hr forever as a tech. Pharmacy will allow me to make $60/hr, so I don't care what you say." Or I'll see the "I like to help people" answer... you know there are tons of other professions that allow you to "help" people, right? Anyways, are those really valid reasons to attend pharmacy school and take out 250k loans?!

Don't look back in 4 years and say we never warned you about the current state of the profession. If you must, go to pharmacy school and be a "top dog" and kill each other over the few positions left in the market in 2020 (if any). You'll only have yourselves to blame. Don't cry when the government sends you loan bills that you can't pay off because you don't have a damn job!

As a preceptor, I know how important it is for students to make connections during school. But let me tell you something... I would NEVER EVER hire the students that were sent to my site (with the exception of 1 or 2). Simply because they're dumb as hell and the new schools aren't teaching them anything. Either that or the students are cheating off each other. I think it's a mixture of both.
 
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sunshao

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May 7, 2014
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It's blatantly obvious that some of these pre-pharmacy students do not care what we have to say. It amazes me as to why anyone would even enter this profession knowing what has been said by current pharmacists and pharmd students on this forum, on indeed, and on various other sources. The biggest thing I've read on here is "oh, I have no other option... I can't work retail and make $12/hr forever as a tech. Pharmacy will allow me to make $60/hr, so I don't care what you say." Or I'll see the "I like to help people" answer... you know there are tons of other professions that allow you to "help" people, right? Anyways, are those really valid reasons to attend pharmacy school and take out 250k loans?!

Don't look back in 4 years and say we never warned you about the current state of the profession. If you must, go to pharmacy school and be a "top dog" and kill each other over the few positions left in the market in 2020 (if any). You'll only have yourselves to blame. Don't cry when the government sends you loan bills that you can't pay off because you don't have a damn job!

As a preceptor, I know how important it is for students to make connections during school. But let me tell you something... I would NEVER EVER hire the students that were sent to my site (with the exception of 1 or 2). Simply because they're dumb as hell and the new schools aren't teaching them anything. Either that or the students are cheating off each other. I think it's a mixture of both.
Are any pharmacy schools trying to change to find a new niche for pharmacy? When I was in the pre-pharmacy club, only a handful of schools addressed that they want to move pharmacy to a new prospect because the old ways of just counting pills is over. Many didn't comment or just blundered over the question. Do u think I would have a better chance going to one of these more radical idea changing schools?(even though they are fairly new, which is why they can say something like this)
 

oldstock

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Are any pharmacy schools trying to change to find a new niche for pharmacy? When I was in the pre-pharmacy club, only a handful of schools addressed that they want to move pharmacy to a new prospect because the old ways of just counting pills is over. Many didn't comment or just blundered over the question. Do u think I would have a better chance going to one of these more radical idea changing schools?(even though they are fairly new, which is why they can say something like this)
Don't get your hope up. They all are mostly the same package with different covers to sell you the dreams like @fewaopi said above.

Go for the cheapest and highest ranking you can if you still wanna pursue pharmacy as your future career. And don't forget to pray a lot. GL :)
 
OP
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stoichiometrist

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Aug 2, 2011
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Are any pharmacy schools trying to change to find a new niche for pharmacy? When I was in the pre-pharmacy club, only a handful of schools addressed that they want to move pharmacy to a new prospect because the old ways of just counting pills is over. Many didn't comment or just blundered over the question. Do u think I would have a better chance going to one of these more radical idea changing schools?(even though they are fairly new, which is why they can say something like this)
My reply:

"If you cannot get a job in retail or hospital, then just specialize and find a niche."

About 65-70% of the jobs are in retail, followed by about 20-25% in hospital (mostly dispensing). These "niche" jobs only make up about 10% of pharmacist jobs at most. We have only enough job openings for about 1/3 of the yearly 15,000 pharmacy school graduates, let alone the niche jobs.
 

PharmDCandidate2014

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Are any pharmacy schools trying to change to find a new niche for pharmacy? When I was in the pre-pharmacy club, only a handful of schools addressed that they want to move pharmacy to a new prospect because the old ways of just counting pills is over. Many didn't comment or just blundered over the question. Do u think I would have a better chance going to one of these more radical idea changing schools?(even though they are fairly new, which is why they can say something like this)
Radical change in the field has been discussed for many years. Unfortunately, the Information And Technology Era (automation) is WAY outpacing the supposed changes that will supposedly take place in pharmacy and 'provide' opportunities - i.e., MTM (???), integrated health care (physicians and nurses don't want anything to do with this), provider status (OK...now what), etc.

Finding a niche will most likely require you to move a bit from home, for quite a while. For example, practicing pharmacy informatics will require you to join EPIC training center in Wisconsin, (and most likely you will stay there after training). Pharmacogenomics will require you to move to CA - (biotechnology is hot in California), I think you get the point. Looks like these spots are few and in between - hopefully you are type A personality and have no problem pushing your competition off the cliff. If you want to pursue industry opportunities, you BETTER be type A. It is absolutely cutthroat competition at those conventions to get your name to a recruiter - too many qualified people pursuing not enough fellowship openings. I know it's important to get yourself to stand out, to adapt with changes in time - but do you REALLY need to spend 4 years of your life at a 6 figure cost to grab these opportunities? Engineering or a computer science undergraduate degree complemented with a reputable MBA or law degree will yield great returns that will certainly put you in position to succeed financially and professionally. Usually, a good performance on the GMAT or LSAT will get you a respectable scholarship to cut down on tuition. No such thing in pharmacy school.
 

VP_Pharm2004

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Are any pharmacy schools trying to change to find a new niche for pharmacy? When I was in the pre-pharmacy club, only a handful of schools addressed that they want to move pharmacy to a new prospect because the old ways of just counting pills is over. Many didn't comment or just blundered over the question. Do u think I would have a better chance going to one of these more radical idea changing schools?(even though they are fairly new, which is why they can say something like this)
As everyone has already stated before, it's a ploy to keep those applications rolling in before people actually start to realize the truth. Schools have to continue to collect the cash before they go out of business...
 

sunshao

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Radical change in the field has been discussed for many years. Unfortunately, the Information And Technology Era (automation) is WAY outpacing the supposed changes that will supposedly take place in pharmacy and 'provide' opportunities - i.e., MTM (???), integrated health care (physicians and nurses don't want anything to do with this), provider status (OK...now what), etc.

Finding a niche will most likely require you to move a bit from home, for quite a while. For example, practicing pharmacy informatics will require you to join EPIC training center in Wisconsin, (and most likely you will stay there after training). Pharmacogenomics will require you to move to CA - (biotechnology is hot in California), I think you get the point. Looks like these spots are few and in between - hopefully you are type A personality and have no problem pushing your competition off the cliff. If you want to pursue industry opportunities, you BETTER be type A. It is absolutely cutthroat competition at those conventions to get your name to a recruiter - too many qualified people pursuing not enough fellowship openings. I know it's important to get yourself to stand out, to adapt with changes in time - but do you REALLY need to spend 4 years of your life at a 6 figure cost to grab these opportunities? Engineering or a computer science undergraduate degree complemented with a reputable MBA or law degree will yield great returns that will certainly put you in position to succeed financially and professionally. Usually, a good performance on the GMAT or LSAT will get you a respectable scholarship to cut down on tuition. No such thing in pharmacy school.
well I graduated with a bachelor's in cell and molecular biology so getting another one in engineering or computer science is out of the question. I have been thinking about trying to do a pharm D with MBA through a school with joint degrees. Is there a better option then? I know if I want to do healthcare, then I would rather just stick to pharmacy(or maybe a job similar to specializing in dealing with the drug side of healthcare?)
 

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well I graduated with a bachelor's in cell and molecular biology so getting another one in engineering or computer science is out of the question. I have been thinking about trying to do a pharm D with MBA through a school with joint degrees. Is there a better option then? I know if I want to do healthcare, then I would rather just stick to pharmacy(or maybe a job similar to specializing in dealing with the drug side of healthcare?)


PhDs in pharmaceuticals, pharmacology, pharmaceutics, etc.
 

sunshao

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PhDs in pharmaceuticals, pharmacology, pharmaceutics, etc.
well I originally wanted to do that, but the things I have heard and seen from professors, TA's and friends in grad school have put me off of pursuing a PHD. It is on average longer to obtain a PHD because u need to do grad school too. I have met numerous people who have switched to a professional school from PHD because they felt that they were going nowhere or they were using the PHD as a stepping stone towards a professional school. Also, PHD is usually used for academia(and that is even worse than pharmacy)
 

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well I originally wanted to do that, but the things I have heard and seen from professors, TA's and friends in grad school have put me off of pursuing a PHD. It is on average longer to obtain a PHD because u need to do grad school too. I have met numerous people who have switched to a professional school from PHD because they felt that they were going nowhere or they were using the PHD as a stepping stone towards a professional school. Also, PHD is usually used for academia(and that is even worse than pharmacy)
I do not know what to say... so you do not wanna do PhDs... but if you could spend the next 4 yrs in pharmacy school, you could also spend all that time doing another degree in an entirely different field (e.g. engineering, computer, finance, accounting, etc). If you still wanna do healthcare, there are nursing/NP, PA, dental, podiatry, medicine, physical therapy, etc.

and do we need to do all that schooling to make money in the first place ?? consider all other jobs business opportunity to do things that you love to do which are also offer great ROIs... look around, you might be surprised at what you find out there which do not require crazy schooling and time commitment.

you do not have to go to pharmacy like you do not have any other choice. If I guess correctly, you are not even so passionate about pharmacy that you are ready to take all the risks in the world to do pharmacy. Even if you do not have any alternative, remember the principle "First do no harm". Do consider all the risks that are await for you after you graduate from pharmacy school and see if you are still willing to do it. If you do not do pharmacy school, at least you do not owe 150K+ student loans (and might not even have a job when you graduate then you might have do another degree again, this time with that 150K+ w interest on your back)
 

fewaopi

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well I originally wanted to do that, but the things I have heard and seen from professors, TA's and friends in grad school have put me off of pursuing a PHD. It is on average longer to obtain a PHD because u need to do grad school too. I have met numerous people who have switched to a professional school from PHD because they felt that they were going nowhere or they were using the PHD as a stepping stone towards a professional school. Also, PHD is usually used for academia(and that is even worse than pharmacy)
I do not know what to say... so you do not wanna do PhDs... but if you could spend the next 4 yrs in pharmacy school, you could also spend all that time doing another degree in an entirely different field (e.g. engineering, computer, finance, accounting, etc). If you still wanna do healthcare, there are nursing/NP, PA, dental, podiatry, medicine, physical therapy, etc.

and do we need to do all that schooling to make money in the first place ?? consider all other jobs business opportunity to do things that you love to do which are also offer great ROIs... look around, you might be surprised at what you find out there which do not require crazy schooling and time commitment.

you do not have to go to pharmacy like you do not have any other choice. If I guess correctly, you are not even so passionate about pharmacy that you are ready to take all the risks in the world to do pharmacy. Even if you do not have any alternative, remember the principle "First do no harm". Do consider all the risks that are await for you after you graduate from pharmacy school and see if you are still willing to do it. If you do not do pharmacy school, at least you do not owe 150K+ student loans (and might not even have a job when you graduate then you might have do another degree again, this time with that 150K+ w interest on your back)
oldstock, the guy had like a 2.9 GPA in one of his previous posts. He's not good enough for dental, medical, or even Ph.D. that's why pharmacy is really the only choice available to him, it's that easy to get in now as long as he can provide the loans. can do nursing but maybe it doesnt make enough for him and computer, finance, accounting, are solid recommendations but doesn't want to do or can't imagine doing those fields. physical therapy is popular these days but idk the market for that. i know for computers/engineering, it does take a certain mindset/personality to succeed in those areas. the ones who get 2.9 GPAs in life sciences actually sometimes do well in those computers/engineering cause rote memorization isn't the best use of their talents. maybe consider those fields

pharmacy has been seen by many students as an "easy" way to make 6 figures with a low GPA and poor academics (in part because of private school expansions/openings). well alot of people, (including older grads/currently working pharmacists) already exploited that and now the train is too full for the now&future prepharmers and P1/P2 students in many areas. now a significant number of them are throwing themselves into real financial distress/suffering for the future because of the false perception. they won't change their minds but at the least they were actually warned and have to bear responsibility for their decisions.
 

PharmDCandidate2014

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well I graduated with a bachelor's in cell and molecular biology so getting another one in engineering or computer science is out of the question. I have been thinking about trying to do a pharm D with MBA through a school with joint degrees. Is there a better option then? I know if I want to do healthcare, then I would rather just stick to pharmacy(or maybe a job similar to specializing in dealing with the drug side of healthcare?)
TBH, the MBA is worthless without work experience. Best to ask your school recruiters about the different dual programs offered at your school. Most likely, it will be sold as the next best thing since sliced bread - but it will be ultimately up to YOU to make a final decision after gathering the necessary information.

As to your concern with finding relevant work with respect to the drug side of health care, you are probably looking at a 1-2 year residency post-graduation OR a dual MPH (making necessary connections to employers along the way) degree, which also takes an additional 1-2 years. The days of obtaining specialized work as a pharmacist WITHOUT extra time commitment will essentially be over by the time you've graduated.

Hope this helps.
 
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stoichiometrist

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well I graduated with a bachelor's in cell and molecular biology so getting another one in engineering or computer science is out of the question. I have been thinking about trying to do a pharm D with MBA through a school with joint degrees. Is there a better option then? I know if I want to do healthcare, then I would rather just stick to pharmacy(or maybe a job similar to specializing in dealing with the drug side of healthcare?)
You are looking at the sunk cost of having completed your degree in biology. It's easy to want to not feel that you have "wasted" your time and money on a degree you have already earned. To get a better idea of whether pharmacy is worth it, you would want to make sure to look at prospective costs: the ROI of starting anew and spending 2-3 years and <$50k at a local state school on a second degree in computer science, engineering, or finance compared to spending 4 years and $150k+ on pharmacy.
 

PharmDCandidate2014

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You are looking at the sunk cost of having completed your degree in biology. It's easy to want to not feel that you have "wasted" your time and money on a degree you have already earned. To get a better idea of whether pharmacy is worth it, you would want to make sure to look at prospective costs: the ROI of starting anew and spending 2-3 years and <$50k at a local state school on a second degree in computer science, engineering, or finance compared to spending 4 years and $150k+ on pharmacy.
Other options if health care is preferred: RN school could be done within a year at a respected state insititute, PA school also 2-3 years. Both positions not threatened by technology, actually gaining traction due to ACA. In fact, PAs can specialize, RN can jump to NP. Much cheaper than PharmD programs too.
 

IDontHateYou

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Other options if health care is preferred: RN school could be done within a year at a respected state insititute, PA school also 2-3 years. Both positions not threatened by technology, actually gaining traction due to ACA. In fact, PAs can specialize, RN can jump to NP. Much cheaper than PharmD programs too.

I respect the opinions of all the pharmacy students here who speak about the over-saturation of pharmacy.... and I don't think its that all pre-pharm students are ignoring you guys, I just think that many of us have invested so much into going into pharmacy school already that the thought of going back is just unbearable, at-least it is for me.

Not only that, I've spoken to about 10 different pharmacist about the future of pharmacy and have received mixed reviews. My brother is a hospital pharmacist in Georgia, and I asked him about the over-saturation and he acknowledged it and told me that it was definitely a reality and that getting a job is now becoming increasingly more difficult. However, at the same time he told me that if I really want to do pharmacy it's not all gloom and doom, there are a lot of opportunities out there and he honestly believes, if I work hard in pharmacy, I will be okay. If my brother thought pharmacy was doomed, he wouldn't tell me to keep going forward, he'd tell me to pursue P.A or something.

I have a 3.7 GPA
I just took the PCAT two days ago and I scored a 98%
I bust my ass in school to be the best possible pre-pharm candidate I can possibly be.
I realized I wanted to do pharmacy 2 years ago and I've been working extremely hard to keep the grades I have.

I've put so much into pharmacy already and I don't want to be deterred by some negative comments. I really want to be a pharmacist. Those of us who are about to apply or are already in school are just trying to stay positive.

Also, I have a cousin who lives in UK and she told me they are very thirsty for pharmacist over there. I am a very open minded person & I realize that I may have to move to an undesirable area to get my foot in the door but I am okay with that.

Again, I'm just trying to reiterate the point that we are not ignoring you guys, I am very aware of what people are saying.... I'm just trying to stay positive here.
 
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I understand you and many others have invested so much going into pharmacy schools.

However, trying to positive is one thing. Being honest, realistic and objective about the current situation is another.

It is you that is going to have to weigh all the data against your ability and capability to see how much chance you are going to make it in pharmacy amidst all this saturation.

of course, if you are going to be a star in your class, beat everyone in the networking games and / or having inside connections, it is not a problem for you to get a job.

however, even in the case you get a job, how much you think your salary is going be like 4 years from now ?? how stable and secured your job is going be like ?? in the sea of hundred of thousands of new grads out there w $150K+ in student debts who are so hungry and desperate that they are forced to take any offer, no matter how low and no matter where the jobs are... What are employer going to do then ??

yes, very few are going to survive and even foster in all this saturation. Are you going to be one of those people ??


if you think you can beat all the odds of saturation, then by all means go for it. But for other people, it is sometimes better to cut the loss and jump ship.


I respect the opinions of all the pharmacy students here who speak about the over-saturation of pharmacy.... and I don't think its that all pre-pharm students are ignoring you guys, I just think that many of us have invested so much into going into pharmacy school already that the thought of going back is just unbearable, at-least it is for me.

Not only that, I've spoken to about 10 different pharmacist about the future of pharmacy and have received mixed reviews. My brother is a hospital pharmacist in Georgia, and I asked him about the over-saturation and he acknowledged it and told me that it was definitely a reality and that getting a job is now becoming increasingly more difficult. However, at the same time he told me that if I really want to do pharmacy it's not all gloom and doom, there are a lot of opportunities out there and he honestly believes, if I work hard in pharmacy, I will be okay. If my brother thought pharmacy was doomed, he wouldn't tell me to keep going forward, he'd tell me to pursue P.A or something.

I have a 3.7 GPA
I just took the PCAT two days ago and I scored a 98%
I bust my ass in school to be the best possible pre-pharm candidate I can possibly be.
I realized I wanted to do pharmacy 2 years ago and I've been working extremely hard to keep the grades I have.

I've put so much into pharmacy already and I don't want to be deterred by some negative comments. I really want to be a pharmacist. Those of us who are about to apply or are already in school are just trying to stay positive.

Also, I have a cousin who lives in UK and she told me they are very thirsty for pharmacist over there. I am a very open minded person & I realize that I may have to move to an undesirable area to get my foot in the door but I am okay with that.

Again, I'm just trying to reiterate the point that we are not ignoring you guys, I am very aware of what people are saying.... I'm just trying to stay positive here.
 
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VP_Pharm2004

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My brother is a hospital pharmacist in Georgia, and I asked him about the over-saturation and he acknowledged it and told me that it was definitely a reality and that getting a job is now becoming increasingly more difficult. However, at the same time he told me that if I really want to do pharmacy it's not all gloom and doom, there are a lot of opportunities out there and he honestly believes, if I work hard in pharmacy, I will be okay. If my brother thought pharmacy was doomed, he wouldn't tell me to keep going forward, he'd tell me to pursue P.A or something.
There's a huge disconnect between retail and hospital pharmacists. How long has your brother been in his current hospital position? When was the last time he tried to find another job in this market? Those kind of questions and answers will make a huge difference. Mind you, hospital pharmacists have a easier time finding other hospital positions. It's a tough world out there for retail pharmacists though. I've been looking for another job (a better job) for the past 6 months and no luck. :(
 
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IDontHateYou

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I understand you and many others have invested so much going into pharmacy schools.

However, trying to positive is one thing. Being honest, realistic and objective about the current situation is another.

It is you that is going to have to weigh all the data against your ability and capability to see how much chance you are going to make it in pharmacy amidst all this saturation.

of course, if you are going to be a star in your class, beat everyone in the networking games and / or having inside connections, it is not a problem for you to get a job.

however, even in the case you get a job, how much you think your salary is going be like 4 years from now ?? how stable and secured your job is going be like ?? in the sea of hundred of thousands of new grads out there w $150K+ in student debts who are so hungry and desperate that they are forced to take any offer, no matter how low and no matter where the jobs are... What are employer going to do then ??

yes, very few are going to survive and even foster in all this saturation. Are you going to be one of those people ??


if you think you can beat all the odds of saturation, then by all means go for it. But for other people, it is sometimes better to cut the loss and jump ship.
I understand what you're saying. But nobody really knows. Over time the pharmacy market can possibly reach an equilibrium and be ok.

Wait, so you honestly think that the whole pharmacy profession as a whole is just a complete bust and it makes absolutely no sense to become a pharmacist?
 
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stoichiometrist

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"But I have already put so much effort in trying to get into pharmacy schools."

You are looking at your sunk cost vs prospective cost. It's easy to want to not feel that you have "wasted" your efforts in the pre-pharmacy track. To get a better idea of whether pharmacy is worth it, you would want to make sure to look at prospective costs. That is, you would want to compare the return on investment of starting anew and spending 2-3 years and minimal tuition at a local state school on a second degree in computer science, engineering, or finance compared to spending 4 years and $200k+ on pharmacy. You haven't hit the worst part of taking out astronomical loans yet, so it is not too late to back out.
 
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IDontHateYou

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There's a huge disconnect between retail and hospital pharmacists. How long has your brother been in his current hospital position? When was the last time he tried to find another job in this market? Those kinds of questions and answers that will make a huge difference. Mind you, hospital pharmacists have a easier time finding other hospital positions. It's a tough world out there for retail pharmacists though. I've been looking for another job (a better job) for the past 6 months and no luck. :(
I understand, you do have a point. My question to you is how far have you broadened your search? If your only searching in your local area its very easy to see why you may not have found a job.

At the same time, I don't think its just pharmacy that has this problem. A lot of professions have this same problem. I know nurses who can't find jobs. I know P.A's who can't find jobs. I can't help but feel like people are singling out pharmacy. Listen, I know its not all peaches and cream but its not completely hopeless. This is just how I feel. I could be wrong of course.
 

IDontHateYou

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"But I have already put so much effort in trying to get into pharmacy schools."

"You are looking at your sunk cost vs prospective cost. It's easy to want to not feel that you have "wasted" your efforts in the pre-pharmacy track. To get a better idea of whether pharmacy is worth it, you would want to make sure to look at prospective costs. That is, you would want to compare the return on investment of starting anew and spending 2-3 years and minimal tuition at a local state school on a second degree in computer science, engineering, or finance compared to spending 4 years and $200k+ on pharmacy. You haven't hit the worst part of taking out astronomical loans yet, so it is not too late to back out."
Well to be fair, not every pharmacist has 200,000 in debt. There are many schools with cheap tuition and I know many pharmacist that have graduated with <100,000 in student loans.

Just saying.
 
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VP_Pharm2004

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I understand, you do have a point. My question to you is how far have you broadened your search? If your only searching in your local area its very easy to see why you may not have found a job.
I've searched a 100 mile radius from my house. I've applied to various positions (non-CVS and non-Walgreens) and get responses like "due to the high number of applicants we cannot consider your application. This decision has nothing to do with your qualifications, it has to do with the high volume of applicants." Some will even post things like "Due to the high volume of applicants, you may not hear a response from us. Please log back in and check the status of your application."
 
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stoichiometrist

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Well to be fair, not every pharmacist has 200,000 in debt. There are many schools with cheap tuition and I know many pharmacist that have graduated with <100,000 in student loans.

Just saying.
True, but $200k+ for students who go to new, lower performing private schools is becoming the norm with the massive expansion in pharmacy schools particularly in areas with high cost of living. Those students will have the worst prospects upon graduation. The students who attend reputable, more affordable schools will be in better shape, but they are also affected by the expansion in pharmacy schools. That being said, it may be worth going to pharmacy school if you're willing to relocate to a rural area and can graduate with <$125k student loans.

At the same time, I don't think its just pharmacy that has this problem. A lot of professions have this same problem. I know nurses who can't find jobs. I know P.A's who can't find jobs. I can't help but feel like people are singling out pharmacy. Listen, I know its not all peaches and cream but its not completely hopeless. This is just how I feel. I could be wrong of course.
Nurses, PAs, and engineers do not need to spend as much time and money to obtain their degree as pharmacists do. Also, the job market is far better for PAs and engineers in some fields.

The profession that I can think that is in worse shape than pharmacy is law. Many graduates with $150k+ loans can only paralegal work that pays $50k, and some even have to resort to working in minimum wage retail positions. It is possible that pharmacy will be in such a position around 2018 when another massive wave of graduates hits the job market.
 
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I've search a 100 mile radius from my house. I've applied to various positions (non-CVS and non-Walgreens) and get responses like "due to the high number of applicants we cannot consider your application. This decision has nothing to do with your qualifications, it has to do with the high volume of applicants." Some will even post things like "Due to the high volume of applicants, you may not hear a response from us. Please log back in and check the status of your application."
If you don't mind me asking, do you live in a state that has been hit worse with saturation compared to other states?
 

oldstock

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I understand what you're saying. But nobody really knows. Over time the pharmacy market can possibly reach an equilibrium and be ok.

Wait, so you honestly think that the whole pharmacy profession as a whole is just a complete bust and it makes absolutely no sense to become a pharmacist?
Nobody really knows ?? Equillibrium ??

Lets talk some data and do some simple calculations to see where pharmacy is standing regarding saturation. I've done it here,


http://forums.studentdoctor.net/threads/pharmacy-job-market-outlook.639184/page-55#post-

That above is raw numbers and simple simple projections I did based on facts. Gather some raw data and do your own calculations to see if you agree with me.

Again, everyone is different in their personal situations and abilities. Only you can determine for yourself if it is making any sense for you to become a pharmacist. But generally speaking, the numbers are saying NO because there are other alternative career choices (or even doing nothing at all) that are making more sense in terms of money and time investment.
 
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MDrxgirl410

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Schools will tell you it's a great job, of course, they are trying to sell you their product. Would you honestly go to a school that told you job prospects in that field sucked but you should still come to our school and give us 250K anyway? They are trying to sell you dreams and the expansion of schools have lowered the admission. Some of the GPAs prepharmers throw like 2.9, 2.5 is real disturbing trend of how the bar to admission has been lowered and lower quality students are now admitted. This might explain why I'm seeing a lot more failed NAPLEX threads which is also really scary. Unless it's nerves or panics, no one should be failing that exam and the ones who are well...just wow.

Before not everyone qualified for pharmacy school and now well with some stats I see, pretty much everyone qualifies. Compare this to other fields like dentistry and medicine which have maintained or increased bar of admission by not expanding schools like crazy. And ask, could every pharmacy student qualify for medicine or dentistry? NO. Could every medicine/dentistry student qualify for pharmacy? VERY LIKELY. One important reason for this is that pharmacists esp in retail do not need to be that smart, you're a robot verifying and typing scripts anyone can do and providing a service easily trained and replaced. This is different from medicine/dentistry where it takes more years of hard training and hundreds of hours of practice to get right and cannot be so easily and cheaply taught. Hence they are not in the same job crises as pharmacy. Pharmacy schools do not require the same infrastructure or extensive investment that medicine/dentistry need and that speaks to the "lower quality" of the pharmacy profession a bit.
^This.

This makes me so mad when I see threads with people with 2.5 GPA/40 PCAT and are asking which new schools they meet the minimum threshold for, or because they weren't good enough for med/dental so instead of pursuing something else, they figured pharmacy would be easier for them to get into (which now apparently it is, but it shouldn't be). Or they can barely put 3 words together in English. Yes, I understand that it may not be your first language and you were not born here, but this is a profession where communication is pretty damn important, and people need to understand what you're saying. If you make a mistake due to lack of knowledge/understanding, there is a chance that you could actually injure/kill someone.
 

IDontHateYou

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I've searched a 100 mile radius from my house. I've applied to various positions (non-CVS and non-Walgreens) and get responses like "due to the high number of applicants we cannot consider your application. This decision has nothing to do with your qualifications, it has to do with the high volume of applicants." Some will even post things like "Due to the high volume of applicants, you may not hear a response from us. Please log back in and check the status of your application."
damn... I'm sure this sucks man. But just don't give up ... there has to be something out there for you.
 

IDontHateYou

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Nobody really knows ?? Equillibrium ??

Lets talk some data and do some simple calculations to see where pharmacy is standing regarding saturation. I've done it here,




http://forums.studentdoctor.net/threads/pharmacy-job-market-outlook.639184/page-55#post-

That above is raw numbers and simple simple projections I did based on facts. Gather some raw data and do your own calculations to see if you agree with me.

Again, everyone is different in their personal situations and abilities. Only you can determine for yourself if it is making any sense for you to become a pharmacist. But generally speaking, the numbers are saying NO because there are other alternative career choices (or even doing nothing at all) that are making more sense in terms of money and time investment.
I understand that statistically the numbers are looking gloomy. I think we can all agree on that........

It still doesn't mean that I won't be a successful pharmacist or that I won't find a job, just means that it may be more difficult than it was before. Again, just my opinion.

I do appreciate you being honest & I respect your viewpoints.
 
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IDontHateYou

2+ Year Member
Sep 17, 2014
114
42
In my opinion (Im only a pre-pharm student) pharmacist have become spoiled. Back in the day, pharmacist were getting jobs with bonuses left and right and were probably getting jobs effortlessly before they even got out of school. Now these same pharmacist who come from the "Booming" age are stuck in this age where things just aren't as easy anymore. Competition is a lot more fierce and its a bummer to go from being a career field thats booming with job offers to being in one that has become over-saturated.

Im hoping that if I go into pharmacy with an idea of how the market is & the challenges that pharmacist presently face and/or will face in the future, it can help me navigate better in a very competitive market.

I can work as a tech while in pharmacy school & just try my best to network as much as possible, something that pharmacist from back in the day wasn't even necessary. I believe this will give me an edge. Also being top of my class and being involved with research, and building connects that way can help me land a decent job after school.

Im not saying things aren't jacked up, because they probably are but its not like pharmacist are going to cease to exist. I will get a job somewhere eventually.
 

fewaopi

10+ Year Member
Jan 9, 2009
266
245
Status
Pharmacist
I respect the opinions of all the pharmacy students here who speak about the over-saturation of pharmacy.... and I don't think its that all pre-pharm students are ignoring you guys, I just think that many of us have invested so much into going into pharmacy school already that the thought of going back is just unbearable, at-least it is for me.

Not only that, I've spoken to about 10 different pharmacist about the future of pharmacy and have received mixed reviews. My brother is a hospital pharmacist in Georgia, and I asked him about the over-saturation and he acknowledged it and told me that it was definitely a reality and that getting a job is now becoming increasingly more difficult. However, at the same time he told me that if I really want to do pharmacy it's not all gloom and doom, there are a lot of opportunities out there and he honestly believes, if I work hard in pharmacy, I will be okay. If my brother thought pharmacy was doomed, he wouldn't tell me to keep going forward, he'd tell me to pursue P.A or something.

I have a 3.7 GPA
I just took the PCAT two days ago and I scored a 98%
I bust my ass in school to be the best possible pre-pharm candidate I can possibly be.
I realized I wanted to do pharmacy 2 years ago and I've been working extremely hard to keep the grades I have.

I've put so much into pharmacy already and I don't want to be deterred by some negative comments. I really want to be a pharmacist. Those of us who are about to apply or are already in school are just trying to stay positive.

Also, I have a cousin who lives in UK and she told me they are very thirsty for pharmacist over there. I am a very open minded person & I realize that I may have to move to an undesirable area to get my foot in the door but I am okay with that.

Again, I'm just trying to reiterate the point that we are not ignoring you guys, I am very aware of what people are saying.... I'm just trying to stay positive here.
I think a lot of students like you have tunnel vision of seeing only pharmacy as an option which is understandable. On the plus side a lot more students are concerned about their futures/careers and aren't doing things like filming, "_______" history, or other humanities/or quite useless major. However that's causing a lot of students to flood jobs thought to pay well and have good job security and that flood is destabilizing the values of the profession they sought. Now they look for which pharmacy school has the lowest and easiest way to admission thinking the profession will save them while doing little career research. Some even have no work experience in a pharmacy.

Pharmacists will give you different ideas of the job market based off age. The very old pharmacists will almost always say it's good b/c after 20-30 years it's treated them well and rode the boom. They haven't looked for job in decades and plan to retire so they don't care about their job future or honestly your job future. Their only worry is you don't overthrow the government and take their SS/Medicare away.

Middle aged pharmacists you will get different opinions. Obviously those doing well will say it's great, those not will say it's terrible.

Best way to know the job market? Ask the P4's(cause that will be you) or graduating class how long it took to find a job. Was it a job they wanted or had limited options? Are they still unemployed? Ask P4's at multiple schools in saturated areas and in areas not saturated, maybe there's a difference in response, but you'll start to see a similar narrative to what's said here. 4 years later is it going to be worse? You bet it will almost 100% guaranteed based off trends in supply/demand and nothing will derail the train unless the ACPE decides to act for the profession and not themselves. Some pharmacists you ask haven't looked for work so aren't as aware of the market but likely will know people who are having a tough time.

You may see you will be fine with relocating hopefully you will but 4 years later will you say the same? What if you have a partner, someone you love? Will you be okay moving away from all your pharmacy school friends you have yet to make? People change and so do our expectations, often these days we lower them.

I know nurses have a hard time finding work, I honestly think it's a tough market for them too. And while the market is tough, maybe it's not as bad as psych majors. Just know it's going to get worse than what you are hearing now and if you feel you can afford the risk, take it. A lot of fear will also make you take school more seriously and make you a better job candidate so that's a more optimistic way of seeing it I guess but note even that might not be enough. A lot of times it's luck, I don't know if it's a 250K gamble I'm willing to take though, who knows?

Honestly you seem like a good candidate for medicine or dentistry too. Though I'm just basing it off your GPA. Don't discount yourself but leave those doors open. You don't have to end up in the same pile as the 2.5 and 2.9s here
 

PharmDCandidate2014

Organ Donor
Oct 24, 2014
284
233
Salt Lake City, Utah
Status
Dental Student
I understand what you're saying. But nobody really knows. Over time the pharmacy market can possibly reach an equilibrium and be ok.

Wait, so you honestly think that the whole pharmacy profession as a whole is just a complete bust and it makes absolutely no sense to become a pharmacist?
Nothing in life is guaranteed. Hard to call any profession a complete bust, but it's definitely a good idea to look at the big picture and the long run:

- The MAJORITY of jobs are in retail. In retail pharmacy, corporate/business OWNS you. They will suck the soul out of you KNOWING that there are plenty of hungry graduates with the mentality @stoichiometrist mentioned in another thread: "I will work harder than my classmates, etc." No such thing as a retail pharmacy union - when something cheaper and more efficient comes out to perform the role of the current pharmacist, you better have a plan B if you want to keep paying the bills.
- Taking a lesson or two from medicine, why would one believe pharmacists are immune from unemployment? Radiologists, whom go through a rigorous medical school curriculum AND residency are getting their jobs taken away by the very same professionals in India. They are more than happy to do the work at a fraction of the price. Domestic radiologists, however, could take solace in the fact that the field itself is pretty specialized - meaning there will be opportunity to jump on a fellowship and the like to learn something else and make ends meet. Pharmacists, on the other hand, don't have this same luxury. Dispensing and counseling can efficiently be done by technology (which corporate wants to implement ASAP for cost savings, obviously) and tele-pharmacy, i.e., customers can pick up a phone at the kiosk to talk to a pharmacist not actually present at the particular location. I think many, if not all pharmacists will agree with me here - there is no such thing as specialization in dispensing and counseling - these roles are pretty black and white.
- I can't speak much for hospital/clinical pharmacy - maybe those jobs are more "unicorn," but definitely requires you to be well-connected AND a well-performer in class. These days, a PGY-2 (2 years of residency) is also HIGHLY recommended to even get a chance for employment in these settings. A lot of hoops to jump, so be prepared if you decide to go this route! I guess the positive here: some hospital pharmacists are protected by unions - definitely something you want on your side for ANY job/career.
- The trend for industry pharmacy looks to be similar as retail pharmacy. Give a big pharma 3-5 years of your time and effort, then get laid off unless you know how to play the political and business game. This route usually requires an extra year or 2 of fellowship after graduation - and the window to obtain this opportunity is pretty small. Some companies won't even consider your application if you apply 3 or more years after graduation, so do keep that in mind. Perhaps something in government might be "safer," i.e., FDA, DEA, IHS - but I wouldn't be surprised if these positions were even more competitive (and require you to jump through even MORE hoops) than obtaining employment as a clinical pharmacist.

I have honestly tried to be as objective as possible in this post (and my prior history). A lot more risks than benefits when things are laid out to us in this fashion. If you truly decide to follow pharmacy school, make sure you have worked in a pharmacy setting BEFORE getting in. Ten years ago, this was definitely not the case. Today, it is an unwritten rule to have some sort of connection/source in pharmacy. Pharmacy schools do NOT tell you this, but believe me, obtaining your internship hours will be a lot EASIER having a connection somewhere prior to your P1 year. Another option is to be really innovative with your degree - I have thought long and hard to be as creative as possible with a PharmD degree, but I honestly rather start over and do a Computer Science degree with new undergraduates when thinking about the time, money commitment as well as the pretty big risk of failure at a steep monetary cost ...
 

oldstock

Membership Revoked
Removed
Mar 12, 2014
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I understand that statistically the numbers are looking gloomy. I think we can all agree on that........

It still doesn't mean that I won't be a successful pharmacist or that I won't find a job, just means that it may be more difficult than it was before. Again, just my opinion.

I do appreciate you being honest & I respect your viewpoints.
like I have said above, if you think you know and understand that numbers here and still think you can beat the odds to excel in pharmacy, by all means go for it. I wish you luck.