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Future of Pharmacy Careers in Canada

Discussion in 'Pharmacy' started by Lclio, Dec 1, 2011.

  1. Lclio


    Apr 7, 2011
    What does the future of Pharmacy look like in Canada? I applied last year, and didn't get in and I am strongly debating whether I should try again. I just graduated with a 4 year B.Sc. and would have to go back for another 4 years. I can't risk going back for 4 years and graduating 100k+ in debt and just happen to get into pharmacy at the wrong time. I am hearing stories online (although anecdotal) that grads are having an increasingly harder time finding work, or have to work for a lower salary than a few years ago. Any recent pharmacy grads have advice? I was attracted to pharmacy because of it "guaranteed job" status, and I hope it's here to stay.
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  3. BidingMyTime

    BidingMyTime Lost Shaker Of Salt 10+ Year Member

    Oct 2, 2006
    I could be wrong, but I was under the impression that Canada limited the number of their pharmacy graduates, so they would always (theoretically, who know how well this works in practice) have the right number of pharmacists. (Unlike the US where there is no limit on the number of graduating pharmacists, hence the eternal debate on surplus vs shortage concerning the future.)
  4. Pharmavixen

    Pharmavixen foxy pharmacist 7+ Year Member

    Jan 20, 2008
    I believe the future is still good for pharmacy in Canada. Though there are cut-backs in (I believe) most provinces d/t the recession, there's the broadening scope of practice for pharmacists. In Alberta, pharmacists can do some limited prescribing, and in Ontario, we can now refill some prescriptions without a physician's authorization. Also in Ontario, we can now perform innoculations (though I'm not sure why we would want to), and there's expanded reimbursement for cognitive services.

    In general, health care professions are relatively recession-proof because people always get sick, regardless of the economy. That said, you should go into pharmacy because you're interested in health care, NOT because of job prospects.

    FYI, entry-level pharmD is coming. So if you wait, it'll likely be a longer program.
  5. Hello2011


    Jun 15, 2011
    entry level pharmD, longer program...?
  6. owlegrad

    owlegrad Uncontrollable Sarcasm Machine Staff Member Administrator Pharmacist 7+ Year Member

    Canada still had a BPharm degree.
  7. Hello2011


    Jun 15, 2011
    Oh right, forgot we aint be in Kansas no mo. If a PharmD went to Canada with a pharmD would they be treated like a rockstar, aka sign on bonus plus free BMW with chick included riding shotty?
  8. owlegrad

    owlegrad Uncontrollable Sarcasm Machine Staff Member Administrator Pharmacist 7+ Year Member

    I think it is a bobsled, not a BMW but you are on the right track. :thumbup:
  9. druggeek

    druggeek Banned

    Oct 1, 2010
    where are you in Canada? I think that's the main question to be asking. If you're in Toronto... sorry to say but you're unlikely to get a full time position making 100k/year as a new grad (very unlikely). Around Toronto/GTA, new grads are taking floating jobs and part time jobs, so you're looking at 20-25 hours of week per week while making 40-50k per year.... This is now, things will be much difference in 4 years from now.

    Key things to consider as well:

    1) The number of international grads being taken in for training to become licensed pharmacists is being doubled right now, this has NO effect on the market right now because none of them are working yet. But when all these internationals pass their exam(s) and hit the job market in a year or two... things will change. Who would you rather hire, an international grad who'd be happy with 70k or a new grad wanting 90k/year ?

    2) Drug vending machines... oh yes. There's a couple in hospitals already and expanding more and more. Will they replace pharmacists? Most likely not. Techs? Probably. But they will for sure reduce the demand for pharmacists. Of course, people will come in and reject this, but I think a reality check is in order.

    As for your salary question, yes salaries have decreased. And their value will of course decrease given that theyre going to stagnate while inflation happens.
    If you're planning on living around Toronto/GTA, I'd stay away from pharmacy (I'm a former "pre pharm" now set on medicine).
  10. Rx MPLS

    Rx MPLS 2+ Year Member

    Aug 7, 2011
    Just out of sheer curiosity, where are most of the international grads coming from in Canada? The States, or further afield?
  11. druggeek

    druggeek Banned

    Oct 1, 2010
    Large majority from middle eastern countries/India/Pakistan.
    I don't believe there's any real number of US grads around here. But from what I see, internationals hold a ton of jobs at the moment.

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