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getting cold feet

Discussion in 'Pharmacy' started by aleviya, Apr 15, 2007.

  1. aleviya

    aleviya Junior Member 2+ Year Member

    Jun 11, 2006
    Hi. I'd just like to ask everyone here how you knew pharmacy was the right path for you?
    I've applied to pharmacy school and am getting ready to go, but I'm having second thoughts as to if this is really for me. 4 years seems like a really long time and I feel less prepared than everyone else interms of knowing what I want to do and picking residencies and etc. I also really enjoy research and hope to become a research pharmacist however I havent heard of many people who practice that line of work after school.
    Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks!
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  3. Trancelucent1

    Trancelucent1 Gator Girl :) 7+ Year Member

    Jan 26, 2004
    Orlando, FL
    If research is what you want to do then a PharmD really won't help you. If that's what you want to do then you really should get a PhD. Also as far as knowing residencies or even what you want to do that really comes while you're in school, mostly when you're on rotations. Good luck with whatever you choose to do.
  4. SpenceRx

    SpenceRx Junior Member 5+ Year Member

    May 4, 2006
    My first thought is that if you are unsure you should let your spot go so that someone who is sure they want to do pharmacy will get a spot. :D

    Do you have any experience in a pharmacy setting? If not, that might help you solidify your decision.
  5. ForcedEntry

    ForcedEntry Lilo got stitched 2+ Year Member

    Jul 18, 2006
    Once done, 4 years will seem like a flash.
  6. sdn1977

    sdn1977 Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Jul 28, 2005
    So I think the place to begin is to ask yourself what made you go through the application & acceptance process?

    What motivated me or someone else may not translate to your situation, so try to think back what it was that got you on this path.
  7. ZpackSux

    ZpackSux Retired Banned

    Feb 25, 2005
    Dallas, TX
    4 years from now, you'll be 4 years older either you go to pharmacy school or not..

    It's just that, if you do go to pharmacy school, in 4 years you'll become a pharmacist with almost a guaranty you'll live a financially comfortable life for the rest of your life.
  8. breeze2baby

    breeze2baby 5+ Year Member

    i am not folllowing. Are you kidding or what? i know someone who has been applying since 2005 to get in, to have the opportunity and i'm pretty sure the person would not mind getting in this year even if the school that accept him says their program is for 6 years. I am a big fan of Dodge's motto. You should be one too.
  9. andagrkel

    andagrkel 2+ Year Member

    Sep 10, 2006
    I'm a research tech in a pharmacology lab. I've gotta say... research is not what it's cracked up to be. There's a lot of political b.s. involved in everything you do, and remember... you have to beg for your money through grant applications. I'm very good at my job and have had a lot of faculty, staff, and grad students try to convince me to do the research thing, but I would never, ever, ever pursue it. That's just me. You have to have a real passion for scientific research to really enjoy your job. All the students I work with are really wondering what they are doing with their lives. The sweet thing is, if you get admitted to a good PhD program they pay for your tuition and pay you a salary on top of that. It's a nice deal. No debt. But you have to weigh that against all the negatives...
  10. Priapism321

    Priapism321 Bursting with enthusiasm 5+ Year Member

    Apr 17, 2007
    I beg to differ. And actually, since you are a University of Florida student, it is especially disappointing that you would be the one posting this. I would suggest you do a little more investigating yourself about Pharmacists that primarily do research; namely some that oversee laboratories at the primary College of Pharmacy campus in Gainesville.

    For the original poster on this thread, this may be encouraging:
  11. Trancelucent1

    Trancelucent1 Gator Girl :) 7+ Year Member

    Jan 26, 2004
    Orlando, FL
    When I was doing my undergrad at USF, I worked in a research lab and thought I might be somewhat interested in this. I researched and found out that if that's what I wanted to do then a PhD is the way to go. What we learn in Pharmacy school is SOOOOO VERY minimal as to what goes on in research. We do not take classes on how to design a research lab, sure we have classes on study designs but not research techniques. I learned more about lab work from the Grad students than I have in pharmacy school. It's just not geared towards that. There are opportunities in pharmacy school such as summer research work and what-not but as far as designing drugs, we just aren't taught that. Maybe some schools but not our curriculum. The OP sounded more unsure of what path to take, if research is what they want to do then why encourage them to go to pharmacy school when a PhD in pharmacology or pharmaceutics would be more helpful? Sorry that you're disappointed in my thoughts but at USF a first-tier research school, there weren't any PharmD's doing research when I was there and the research lab I worked in was doing drug investigation. I just think if someone knows that thwy want to go into research then why should they spend the time in pharmacy school learning about counseling and drug adjustments and appropriate therapy? It doesn't make sense to me.

    ETA: I just researched the Pharmaceutics, Med Chem, Pharmacodynamics and 95% of the researchers heading labs have a PhD. I know some have PharmD's but of those many have a PharmD + PhD.
  12. rxlynn

    rxlynn Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Nov 16, 2005
    Atlanta, GA
    One other thought - if you do choose to go the PhD route and more pure research, it is fairly unusual for anybody to do the PhD in only 4 years from the bachelor's degree. There's just a lot of variables in a research program that don't exist in a PharmD program - how does your research go, how long does it take you to write your dissertation, does your prof think you've done "enough" original work to satisfy requirements, do you pass your comprehensive exams the first time around, does your committee like your dissertation, etc. However, the PharmD program is more like undergrad in that you have a list of classes required for the program, and when you take and pass all those, then you graduate.

    You sound like you have already done some research - I would encourage you to take to anybody you might know who is in graduate school currently doing a research degree and get some feedback from them. I don't necessarily consider all professors a good source for unbiased information or thinking on this subject - remember that they tend to be inherently biased because they chose to do the research/academic route.
  13. mustang sally

    mustang sally 10+ Year Member

    Feb 22, 2007
    The middle of nowhere
    Research is fun for some people, but like an above poster stated, it is not all that is cracked up to be. If you decide to pursue this path, be prepared that it WILL be a struggle and that you will be poor for a long time. My 0.02 is that getting a pharmD will put you into a position to get a well paying job. If you still want to pursue research after that point, then go for it. It's easy when you are still younger and idealistic to underestimate the roles that income, stability, job security etc. will play in your future.
  14. Priapism321

    Priapism321 Bursting with enthusiasm 5+ Year Member

    Apr 17, 2007
    I believe the original poster stated she was fairly sure that she wanted to be a "Research Pharmacist," the operative word being Pharmacist. You telling the individual that a Pharm.D. would not help them if they wished pursue a career in research pharmacy is highly inaccurate, in my opinion.

    And you are correct about researchers within the college of pharmacy, most have a PhD. However, the point I was trying to make was that Pharmacists absolutely can lead a successful career in research. One Pharm.D. at UF in particular (not a Pharm.D./PhD), has a multi-million dollar grant proposal in the works. Some have standing grants that approach or exceed the one million dollar mark as well. This is not as rare of an occasion as you make it seem.
  15. Priapism321

    Priapism321 Bursting with enthusiasm 5+ Year Member

    Apr 17, 2007
    I also owe the original poster an apology, as I have posted now three times without answering the question. The reason for this is that I didn't know Pharmacy was right for me until about my 2PD year, and I still wonder at times.

    However, I would say to not let the four year curriculum deter you from entering Pharmacy School. It actually goes by pretty quickly. Also, any degree that would lead you to a career in research is going to take that amount of time. And, I would advise you to keep your mind open, there are a lot of things one can do with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree, and you may find some other aspect of pharmacy aside from research that you enjoy somewhere along the way. I am very close to graduating, and am still discovering different opportunities for Pharmacists upon finishing school.
  16. aleviya

    aleviya Junior Member 2+ Year Member

    Jun 11, 2006
    I want to thank everyone for posting your opinion.
    I do have a background in research and I have a pretty good idea of what its like. So to address the PhD option, I know that I will never make it to a PhD, I just don't have that kind of patience.
    I guess I'm mainly concerned about not liking pharmacy and after four years I would have incurred a huge debt by then (I'm going to be paying out of state tuition too) and feel like it was waste. Thanks priaprism321 for all the posts, I just needed some reassurance that there is more to a pharmD and that if I do want to do research or anything else with this degree it is possible. Now the question is...does the school you go to have any effect on your future opportunities (retail pharmacist, research pharmacist, and anything else a pharmD can do)? I know people are going to say that I should have done more research before I applied..and in my defense all I have to say is that I did. But what schools say on their website is one thing and what you see when you interview is another.
    Thanks again everyone
  17. Trancelucent1

    Trancelucent1 Gator Girl :) 7+ Year Member

    Jan 26, 2004
    Orlando, FL
    Speaking from someone who's on rotations and graduating soon I can tell you that this curriculum is hard if you're not sure if it's what you want to do. I've seen people in my class that are here just to make money when they graduate and I think some struggle more because it's not necessarily something that they truly want to do because they like it. That being said I know many go into it for the money and they make good pharmacists too. I happen to have a passion for pharmacy and love being able to apply what I've learned. I've really enjoyed my current rotation and it's re-solidified for me that i'm in the right field. Like many have previously said you will make a good living but if you're not happy and don't enjoy it then you might not be happy. You can do many things with a PharmD though, not just retail or hospital. If you don't think that you'll have the patience to pursue a PharmD then you might not have the patience to do research. That was one thing that I didn't enjoy...all the work and many many years before you see results. As far as what school you go to, it would definately be more helpful for you if you go to a university that has a strong research program if that's what you're interested in. There would probably be more opportunities to do summer internships at your school or research while you're in pharmacy school if you go to a school that has a lot of research. By your original post though, it sounded like you've already been accepted to a school so it might be difficult to change at this point if they're not research oriented. As far as other pharmacy careers, I think it's less important what school you go to. What school you go to might weigh more heavily if you want to do a residency, but even then there are many other factors. I think you really should just reflect on if this is something that you really want to do and if it's not- it might be better to change your mind now than in the middle of pharmacy school. Good luck with whatever you do!
  18. chemalr8


    Feb 19, 2007
    Speaking from personal experience a Ph.D. isn't all that it's cracked up to be! I am currently leaving a Ph. D. program in chemistry because I can't see myself doing research for the rest of my life. I had a comfy position where I was being paid to go to school, paid quite well at that, but the jobs out there upon graduation suck. There are very few research positions available and they are very difficult to get right now. There was a huge influx of Ph.D's in chemistry, bio, etc the last 10 yrs and now everyone has to do at least 1-2 (2-3 yrs each) postdoc positions before getting a real job. A postdoc is not glamorous at all it's like another 3 yrs of grad school with no degree at the end. In my chm program I did not know one person who really enjoyed their research but they were too scared to leave because they had put a few years into it already.

    For me leaving with a masters and doing a pharmD (starting in september) is really both the most difficult and best decision I think I have ever made. Just be careful about research positions because the demand is not there and won't be for a while. It's really difficult to find a job in the end, and I don't know anyone who has found a job that pays as well as pharmacy (and I am coming from a well known school).
  19. Caverject

    Caverject Try Some Schnitzel! 10+ Year Member

    Aug 19, 2003
    49°43′N 11°54′E
    Have you read you ever read JAPhA or AJHP? You know, RESEARCH journals? Have you noticed what title is after most of the names? yeah, pharmD or BS Pharmacy. Pharmacists can do research and it can be a fun & rewarding experience if you choose to go that route.

    On a side note, you may find Priapism321 to be annoying. He is my offspring hee hee :laugh: :smuggrin:
  20. Farmercyst

    Farmercyst On with the Poodles already Pharmacist Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    I think I'd like a DNA test, he may be the illegitimate son of another medication/procedure.
  21. WVUPharm2007

    WVUPharm2007 imagine sisyphus happy Pharmacist 10+ Year Member

    You get to do cooler research with a PhD though. Just my opinion.
  22. firefighter9015

    firefighter9015 It's not THAT kind of study hour... 2+ Year Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    Pharmacists can be involved in many types of research. I am thinking about pursing clinical research in my future. I know UK offers several electives on clinical and translational research, where you can be certified and actually take part in what is currently going on there. One professor told me that she looks as pharmacist as the bridge between the basic scientists and doctors on a research team. Research pharmacists are a very valuable asset!

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