BeLikeBueller

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Oct 3, 2013
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You need to read this article before you make your final decision about going to pharmacy school.

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/811430

I didn't understand the job market in the pharmacy profession when I entered pharmacy school. If I did, I don't know that I would have made the same decision. Before you make your final decision, you need to read the above article and above all else, talk to several different pharmacists from the major chains.

Now don't misunderstand me. This is not the post of someone who doesn't like the profession of pharmacy. It's a great profession (in my opinion)...but you have to be realistic about job prospects when you graduate. Things are tight right now, so who knows what things will look like in 4-6 years (depending on when you all graduate). Just keep this in mind when you're looking at the loans you're going to have to take out to pay for school.

Best of luck to you all as you all apply and interview!
 

BMBiology

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Don't bother. People on this forum know about the job market but they will still apply. Why? Because what can you really do when you have a bio degree with a 2.6 GPA?

I am predicting by the time they graduate: (1) at least 30% unemployment or underemployment; (2) 200-250 k in student loan debt (if they go to a private school); (3) lack of opportunities in the cities; (4) continue decline in salary and benefits.
 
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Sep 16, 2013
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Things are tight across the board in this country. Pharmacists are a dime a dozen. Go to a good program, get good grades, you will be ahead of the pack. Do things to separate yourself form the rest. Get a good residency, and specialize. Worry about yourselves. Too many people on here trying to save the world.
 
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BeLikeBueller

Doctor of Comic Relief
Oct 3, 2013
303
101
Status
Pharmacist
Go to a good program, get good grades, you will be ahead of the pack. Do things to separate yourself form the rest. Get a good residency, and specialize.
If you're smart enough to do this, then you don't fit into the category of "what can you really do when you have a bio degree with a 2.6 GPA?" I think you may underestimate what it takes to get into a residency and specialize now. Residencies have become much more competitive in the past several years, and they don't even guarantee a clinical position any more. An example that I always give: at a large hospital near my school, one staff pharmacy position opened up (just a regular, old, nothing special pharmacy job), which had over 150 applicants, half of whom were residency trained (AKA overqualified). Hopefully more ambulatory care positions will open up due to healthcare reform, but who knows?

I'm not trying to tell anyone not to go to pharmacy school, I'm just passing along the advice that I wish someone had given to me several years back. Each and every pre-pharm should make an informed decision for themselves. I made my decision, but I will readily admit that it was not an informed decision. I want to pass along this information so that students who are applying or even thinking about going down this path can weigh the pros and the cons for themselves before taking on substantial student loan debt.
 
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If you're smart enough to do this, then you don't fit into the category of "what can you really do when you have a bio degree with a 2.6 GPA?" I think you may underestimate what it takes to get into a residency and specialize now. Residencies have become much more competitive in the past several years, and they don't even guarantee a clinical position any more. An example that I always give: at a large hospital near my school, one staff pharmacy position opened up (just a regular, old, nothing special pharmacy job), which had over 150 applicants, half of whom were residency trained (AKA overqualified). Hopefully more ambulatory care positions will open up due to healthcare reform, but who knows?

I'm not trying to tell anyone not to go to pharmacy school, I'm just passing along the advice that I wish someone had given to me several years back. Each and every pre-pharm should make an informed decision for themselves. I made my decision, but I will readily admit that it was not an informed decision. I want to pass along this information so that students who are applying or even thinking about going down this path can weigh the pros and the cons for themselves before taking on substantial student loan debt.
Fact is, 99% of professions in this country can say the SAME thing. I'm aware of the problems facing pharmacists, but I do feel on this board its a bit exaggerated. All of the people I know who have recently graduated have found positions. Anecdotal? Sure, but thats what I've got. They went to good schools. Some of them got into residencies. Some of them had to move or drive a long way to work in the morning...but all have found work. I appreciate the advice, and what you are trying to do but its getting a bit tiring seeing people call this profession a death sentence. My advice to anyone is all programs are not seen equally in the eyes of employers and possible residencies. Get into a top 20-30 and make good grades, be involved...basically do YOUR part and let what happens happen. I know you didnt mean to dissuade anyone but I can see where this thread is headed once the usual suspects get a hold of it.

Hopefully reform sees some change as you said.
 
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BeLikeBueller

Doctor of Comic Relief
Oct 3, 2013
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Pharmacist
Fact is, 99% of professions in this country can say the SAME thing. I'm aware of the problems facing pharmacists, but I do feel on this board its a bit exaggerated. All of the people I know who have recently graduated have found positions. Anecdotal? Sure, but thats what I've got. They went to good schools. Some of them got into residencies. Some of them had to move or drive a long way to work in the morning...but all have found work. I appreciate the advice, and what you are trying to do but its getting a bit tiring seeing people call this profession a death sentence. My advice to anyone is all programs are not seen equally in the eyes of employers and possible residencies. Get into a top 20-30 and make good grades, be involved...basically do YOUR part and let what happens happen. I know you didnt mean to dissuade anyone but I can see where this thread is headed once the usual suspects get a hold of it.

Hopefully reform sees some change as you said.

Death sentence? No...definitely not. People just need to understand that this isn't necessarily an easy way to job security and high job portability like it used to be. That was the impression that I was under when I went in. Starting salaries are declining right now (due to a glut in the workforce), and most major markets are saturated. So can you still find jobs? Yeah, for right now. But this may require additional post-graduate training, or moving somewhere that you don't necessarily want to move. But if you're just now going into pharmacy school, this also puts you four years down the road into a job market that may or may not be any better. The fact of the matter is, right now, new graduates appear to be outpacing growth, so unless there is a significant increase in demand for pharmacists (which I mean, I certainly hope will happen), the job market will be worse in four years.

Does the job market suck in most other fields right now? Absolutely. But most other jobs don't require four years of post-graduate work with an additional $80-160k in student loans. The two exceptions in healthcare right now are nursing and physician's assistants. These guys are poised to write their tickets in the coming years.

Still, it sounds like you're fully aware of the situation and have made an informed decision, and I'm glad of that. If you have such aspirations as making good grades and going on to do residency, then I'm sure you'll be a great pharmacist (I'm assuming you're pre-pharm, so forgive me if you're not).

But for every one who is well informed, there are people like myself who didn't have family members who were pharmacists and hadn't worked in community pharmacy prior to entering pharmacy school and didn't understand the job market...these folks need to talk to several different pharmacists so that they can get a full picture of what they're getting into. I just talked to a guy today who is wildly optimistic about future opportunities in pharmacy (so it's not necessarily all doom and gloom), but he balanced that with the caution that things are pretty tight right now.

Again, I'm not trying to necessarily dissuade anyone. I'm simply offering the advice that I wish I had been given: talk to several pharmacists before making a final decision. My hope is that no one is surprised when they get into pharmacy school like I was.
 
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BMBiology

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If it is raining outside, don't you want to know so you can bring an umbrella?

And what is the big deal? You don't like what you hear and want to know what is really going on, put together a pharmacist resume and apply away. It doesn't take that long to put one together.

Don't you want to know before you invest your $$?
 
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Amicable Angora

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If it is raining outside, don't you want to know so you can bring an umbrella?

And what is the big deal? You don't like what you hear and want to know what is really going on, put together a pharmacist resume and apply away. It doesn't take that long to put one together.

Don't you want to know before you invest your $$?
This is such great advice.
 

68quebec

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If it is raining outside, don't you want to know so you can bring an umbrella?

And what is the big deal? You don't like what you hear and want to know what is really going on, put together a pharmacist resume and apply away. It doesn't take that long to put one together.

Don't you want to know before you invest your $$?
yes but the problem is that there are way too many umbrellas around lol.
hehe ;)

and I felt sad not because of attitude of pharmacy students and graduates but field of pharmacy itself.
 

type b pharmD

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Feb 24, 2009
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If it is raining outside, don't you want to know so you can bring an umbrella?

And what is the big deal? You don't like what you hear and want to know what is really going on, put together a pharmacist resume and apply away. It doesn't take that long to put one together.

Don't you want to know before you invest your $$?
If you have your heart set on pharmacy, ibr is your umbrella .. tax free forgiveness is your raincoat.

Also your advice to forge a pharmacist resume and apply anonymously is disingenuous. . What percent of positions are offered to online/mail applicants? I'd bet <10%
 

BMBiology

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If you have your heart set on pharmacy, ibr is your umbrella .. tax free forgiveness is your raincoat.

Also your advice to forge a pharmacist resume and apply anonymously is disingenuous. . What percent of positions are offered to online/mail applicants? I'd bet <10%
Not everyone is OK with borrowing 350 k. Not everyone thinks working in retail is a "dream job". Not everyone is OK with working in the boonies. Not everyone is OK with marrying someone who doesn't work so you can get more government help.

Of course networking helps but if 100 people applied for one position, it doesn't matter how you slice it...many will be disappointed. If you applied for 100 jobs regardless if it is online or in person and if no one calls you back then that tells you something.

I guess not everyone is as fortunate or has the networking skills to land a job even tho you didn't work during your 4th year.
 
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Sep 13, 2013
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Pre-Pharmacy
I have a couple serious questions so please reply with serious non-sarcastic answers. The deadline to make my decision on where to go to pharmacy school is next weekend. I have to choose between University of Tennessee and Belmont University. UT is currently ranked something like #17 nationally and Belmont is so far down the list they are unranked. My question is whether it will be worth the higher (out of state tuition) cost of going to the higher ranking program. Total tuition for all 4 years is ~180k at UT and ~120k at Belmont. So, with the roughly $60 thousand dollar price difference in mind, will it be worth it to attend UT? Will the higher rank/"prestige" of the school give me a better shot at a residency, better residency opportunities, and/or make me more competitive in the job market? Any advice is welcome. Thanks.
 

BeLikeBueller

Doctor of Comic Relief
Oct 3, 2013
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Pharmacist
That's honestly a tough call. I don't know anything about Belmont University. Is there any possibility of taking up residence in Tennessee so that you only have to pay your first year out of state? If so, that might be a good option to consider.

Still, a lot of it is also going to depend on your performance in school as well. If you make good grades and do well on your rotations, you can definitely distinguish yourself. Are those your only two options? There is no third, cheaper school that is still a "ranked" school?
 
Sep 13, 2013
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That's honestly a tough call. I don't know anything about Belmont University. Is there any possibility of taking up residence in Tennessee so that you only have to pay your first year out of state? If so, that might be a good option to consider.

Still, a lot of it is also going to depend on your performance in school as well. If you make good grades and do well on your rotations, you can definitely distinguish yourself. Are those your only two options? There is no third, cheaper school that is still a "ranked" school?
Nope unfortunately the middle-of-the-road schools didn't even interview me. And yes I am definitely going to live in TN. Will they let u get in-state after going there? I just assumed that if u paid out of state the first year that they would make you pay it all 4 years. Otherwise nobody would ever pay out of out of state for more than a year right?
 

BeLikeBueller

Doctor of Comic Relief
Oct 3, 2013
303
101
Status
Pharmacist
Nope unfortunately the middle-of-the-road schools didn't even interview me. And yes I am definitely going to live in TN. Will they let u get in-state after going there? I just assumed that if u paid out of state the first year that they would make you pay it all 4 years. Otherwise nobody would ever pay out of out of state for more than a year right?
Yeah...the requirements vary by school/state. In my state, you had to demonstrate 51% financial independence (in other words, your parents couldn't contribute more than 49% to you, financially), and you had to be a resident of the state for at least one year...The 51% thing kept a lot of people from being able to do it.

Here's what I could find from UT:

https://www.uthsc.edu/registrar/residency.php

https://www.uthsc.edu/registrar/documents/evea.pdf

I'm not really sure if this is all the information that there is on this topic, so I would call the registrar's office tomorrow to clarify, if I were you. Just say you're thinking about becoming a resident of Tennessee and were wondering what the school's requirements were for classification as a TN resident.

Best of luck!
 
Sep 13, 2013
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Pre-Pharmacy
Yeah...the requirements vary by school/state. In my state, you had to demonstrate 51% financial independence (in other words, your parents couldn't contribute more than 49% to you, financially), and you had to be a resident of the state for at least one year...The 51% thing kept a lot of people from being able to do it.

Here's what I could find from UT:

https://www.uthsc.edu/registrar/residency.php

https://www.uthsc.edu/registrar/documents/evea.pdf

I'm not really sure if this is all the information that there is on this topic, so I would call the registrar's office tomorrow to clarify, if I were you. Just say you're thinking about becoming a resident of Tennessee and were wondering what the school's requirements were for classification as a TN resident.

Best of luck!
Wow thanks so much. I appreciate the help.
 
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