SDN members see fewer ads and full resolution images. Join our non-profit community!

Former premedical folks: why'd you switch?

Discussion in 'Pre-Pharmacy' started by da8s0859q, May 12, 2007.

  1. Always curious to garner the rationale/thoughts of others.

    I imagine there's got to be a few premedical-gone-prepharmacy people running around this forum - and I'm curious as to why you made the switch. What was/were the deciding factor(s) for you?

    My extraordinarily long back story made extraordinarily short: undergrad senior (psych major, chem minor, ~3.9), planning on going medical, but thinking about switching to another healthcare field (pharm and dent come to mind). Have not taken the MCAT, DAT, or PCAT.
  2. SDN Members don't see this ad. About the ads.
  3. sellindrugz

    sellindrugz 2+ Year Member

    Apr 4, 2007
    My father is a gastroenterologist and talked me out of it a bit. He hasn't had a pay raise in ten years and feels he is losing control of his patients health due to insurance more and more and basically sees the outlook as a doctor to become increasingly this way.

    For me though, I chose pharmacy because it is easier to be mobile and move a lot, travel a lot and work rough hours while young, and potentially settle down in a hospital environment when I'm done travelling frequently or open my own pharmacy later. Not to mention the stress level and amount of hours you have to work can be much less than a doctor's hours if you aren't interested in working all the time.

    And believe it or not, I've had a lot of fun working in a pharmacy before (as boring as it may sound): hilarious people come in at times.
  4. omnione

    omnione SDN Pharmoderator Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

    Over the last couple of years, the one thing that deterred me was drama. I was weary about the prospect of facing major drama each day in my life. I'm sure that I could handle it, but I wasn't sure if I would be happy in the long run. Though pharmacy is also a demanding field, I felt this profession would be less dramatic and allow me more flexibility and some consistency in my life.

    I started out as a pre-med when entering college because I was 100% sure that I wanted to go into health care. However, I started taking prereqs for pharmacy in my second year of undergrad when I started meeting pre-pharms and people in the field. So, the next two years of school had pre-med and pre-pharm in a dead even heat. I prepared for the MCAT primarily since it would cross over for the PCAT.

    During the first semester of my fourth year, I happened to go through an identity crisis as I was involved in too many activities coupled with a sudden loss of motivation. I didn't go through either med school or pharmacy school admissions very well and I botched taking the PCAT because my planning was non-existent. Family relations were very strained, my research adviser who just hired me probably regretted choosing me, GPA was dropping, and I had difficulty getting out of bed just to go to class. I would just lay there hoping the world would pass me by. I felt so depressed that I had a counseling session at school.

    I just wanted to get back to controlling my own destiny like in high school when I earned high marks and had a "swagger" when approaching success and life. I missed those days, and though I learned that I was an overrated high school student due to grade inflation by my school district, I knew in college that I had the abilities to be remarkable. I lost my figurative "fire" at some point and they only way to get it back was to somehow control my own destiny again. So even though I did apply to both medical and pharmacy schools for 2007, pharmacy took the lead as I felt that decision was a result of controlling my destiny rather than what my parents and peers expected of me. I felt control now and hopefully when I make it through.

    So I felt more excitement for pharmacy than medicine in my fifth year, though its not like I dismissed medicine entirely. The toughest decision I could've been forced to deal with was the possibility of my in-state medical school accepting me along with the three pharmacy schools that accepted me. I guess it was fate, my declining GPA, and the adcoms at pharmacy schools giving me a chance when medical schools wouldn't, that prevented this decision from ever taking place.

    Had I been faced with that choice, I probably would have chosen the pharmacy route. I felt more driven to go through the pharmacy admissions than medical admissions this year, so perhaps my failures in the latter was due to a self-fulfilling prophecy that I wasn't fully content with the medical route. I looked very hard at both fields, the opportunities each would provide, and the life I would lead. Looking at specific pharmacy careers, I felt more comfortable in a pharmacist role.

    Right now, I'm am taking the summer off aside from finishing off my research position. I feel invigorated about the immense avenues as a pharmacist and I am looking forward to starting over again and trying to put the last two and a half years of undergrad behind me. I didn't even attend my college graduation last weekend because I didn't feel a sense of accomplishment getting through college this way. My undergraduate life ended too roughly for me to care. I'm not done with post-secondary schooling yet...........

    Whew, I apologize for this long post. It just felt good getting this off my chest since I have never really talked about this to anyone. How ironic that I suddenly chose to tell this story to a bunch of anonymous people on a message board.:oops:
  5. MichaelJames

    MichaelJames Pharmacy 4 Life 2+ Year Member

    May 10, 2007
    I went school with a guy who been accepted into the KUSOP but declined at the last moment because he wanted to become an MD.:confused: The last thing the associate dean who was Jerry Matchet said to him was "Your going to be in my office again." :smuggrin: Matchet never was very popular there. :thumbdown: I would think that getting into medical school would be easier than getting into pharmacy school.
    1. Pre-med students don't have to take an exact regiment of courses the way pre-pharm students do. Plus, they have two more years take classes that will bring up their gpa.:p
    2. I find it hard to believe that there are more students applying to med school than pharmacy school.:rolleyes:

  6. Not a problem - appreciate you sharing that.
  7. abr

    abr 2+ Year Member

    Feb 24, 2007
    Well, my situation is similar..

    I am working towards a BS in Animal Science with Chemistry minor (GPA > 3.96), and I was originally in pre-veterinary medicine. I had always wanted to be a veterinarian, but reality hit me. When I was considering leaving this career field, I considered pre-med. But, I decided against it for several reasons. Everyone is still pressuring me into pre-med, so it is frustrating.

    Reasons why I decided against pre-veterinary:
    -Work in the equine field is dangerous (horses tend to hate vets), and I do not have the passion for small animals.
    -The career consumes your life. I would be unhappy if I did not have time for my own horses of continue to compete.
    -Pay is low.
    -Talked to many equine veterinarians, and the vast majority regretted entering the field. My own vet has been trying to talk me out of entering the field for 3 years.

    Reasons why I decided against pre-med:
    -Consumes your life.
    -I would want to do surgery, so that would prove the above point.
    -Do not want to be in school for so many years.
    -Do not really have the desire to go into this field.

    Reasons why I chose pharmacy:
    -I love chemistry and medicine.
    -I have good communication and people skills, and I like to help people.
    -Hours are good, pay is good (obviously not as much as you can make as a physician, but the salary is enough for me, and I would not enter medicine just for money -- if I was in it for strictly money, I'd go into business).
    -There are many options.
    -I would enjoy it.

    Out of curiosity, why are you thinking of switching?
    Good luck with your decision.
  8. TexasTwinner

    TexasTwinner 2+ Year Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Austin, Texas

    Pre-med students do have to take an exact regiment of courses. They have to take all of the ones we take, plus another physics and biochem. At least that is how it is in Texas. I used to be pre-med, but now going to pharmacy school, yay! Also, I think the two years isn't just a gpa booster, you mature soooo much during those two years. I believe that pharmacy school should require a degree so students can be ready for the curriculum. After all, more and more schools have higher percentages of students with degrees. Pharmacy school advantages: don't have to deal with insurance crap, liability/having your own liscence. My dad is an allergist and also kind of talked me out of being an M.D. And last but not least, I enjoy my sleeping time!
  9. abr

    abr 2+ Year Member

    Feb 24, 2007
    I don't think so..
  10. Me neither, based on what I've read here.

    Well, my reasons kinda mirror what's been said in this thread so far. I'm worried that I'll get into medical school, and somewhere along the way, realize that I really should have gone into something else (like pharm). I don't know if it's the commitment bit or what, but the hoops of medical school apps + four more years + boards + at least a few years of residency + dealing with all the crap after that - that's all a bit frightening sometimes.

    I'm not really the type that wants to be married to my job (this partially explains my interest in EM, which does provide for some outside life once past residency), but at this point, it's just hard to see whether all the time/money/effort invested into medicine will be worth it in the end as a practicing MD.
  11. NDGirl

    NDGirl 2+ Year Member

    Feb 13, 2007
    I agree so much with the bolded statement above. I interviewed at a pharmacy program that accepts mostly students from it's own undergrad program after only 2 years of pre-pharm requirements. Having completed 5 years of undergrad and earning a B.S., I could not believe how immature most of those students were. I really hope I wasn't that bad 3 years ago, but I probably was. The people sitting behind me in the auditorium while we waited for the closing "thank you for coming" speach were talking about starting drinking as soon as they left "this stupid interview" and they were happy it was "finally over."
  12. Trancelucent1

    Trancelucent1 Gator Girl :) 7+ Year Member

    Jan 26, 2004
    Orlando, FL
    I was pre-med straight out of high school. I was thinking about going into anesthesiology. As I continued in my undergrad classes I started reconsidering. I had spoken with a few physicians (and actually mine told me she would have gone into pharmacy if it was a pharmD when she was in school). And then I met a few hospital pharmacists who were passionate about what they did. I worked in a research lab, knew that wasn't for me but really liked learning about drugs. I switched my major (from pre-med to biomedical sciences), got my BS and never looked back. I'm now in my last year of pharmacy school and on rotations and I've never once regretted it. Everytime I meet physicians and see what they go through, I'm reassured that I did what was right for me. We think insurance sucks for us, imagine how the doc's deal.
  13. JSharxpy17

    JSharxpy17 2+ Year Member

    Apr 7, 2007
    Arvada, CO
    I was pre-med all through college, then took some time off working in a research lab, then spent 2 years applying to med schools. The first year I got all rejections, then last year I got on a waitlist. I was so happy - I felt as though I finally might accomplish what I had felt like I always wanted to do. Then my husband and I found out that we were expecting and I started to rethink things. I still wanted to work in the healthcare field, but I also wanted to be around to see my kid grow up, not have to go through a long residency working 80 hours a week, etc. So I thought about pharmacy and realized it would be way more family friendly. The more I researched it and talked to people in the field, the more I felt like that was something I'd enjoy. So last fall I applied to pharmacy school, and I've been accepted and am starting in the fall. And every day when I wake up and see my adorable 3-month old daughter, I know that I've made the right choice for all of us.
  14. Jitaka

    Jitaka 5+ Year Member

    Feb 21, 2007
    Gainesville, Florida
    Yeah, abr pretty much summed up why I switched from pre-vet to pharmacy :)
  15. Jitaka

    Jitaka 5+ Year Member

    Feb 21, 2007
    Gainesville, Florida
    I disagree with this statement. I majored in Microbiology on a pre-vet track for four years and, as a result, my course load was very similar to pre-med students.

    I pretty much completed all the pharmacy school pre-reqs during my first two years of college (except for physiology and anatomy) with a 3.85 gpa.
    Fast forward through two years of additional science classes and my gpa is now standing at a 3.51.

    Chances are that a pre-pharmacy student would have a higher gpa than a pre-med student who has weathered an additional two years of classes slowly chipping away at his/her gpa. Just my opinion...
  16. nextgenpharm

    nextgenpharm UIC Class of 2011 7+ Year Member

    Apr 20, 2007

    Well I agree with the post about it being less stressful and having more time for family. I have a seven year old daughter that has endured enough trauma during my stint as a full time college student and full time massage therapist her whole life..... her major complain is "mommy is never there"

    so, i imagine she would hate me if I chose to go into medicine and then to surgery and then to a nonexistent state in her life.... :(

    As much as I have dreamed of getting there... I think we have to be practical in life... adapt to the unexpected and make the best of things....

    Aside from being practical, though, it should be noted that you will still be in a healthcare field that greatly benefits people in many ways. And that you are applying your intellectual abilities for a great cause....

    Those are my two cents :D

Share This Page