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Has anyone regretted Rx school?

Discussion in 'Pharmacy' started by tigerlily5822, Mar 2, 2007.

  1. tigerlily5822

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    Not really sure where this going; this might be left-over angst from our recent exams...

    In my 3rd year of Rx school & have really started to have serious doubts about pharmacy. I just don't see/not convinced of all the "glories of clinical pharmacy" that are touted to us. It seems like that they are trying to train us to be physicians, but it is coming out completely roughshod. So when we graduate we are more like incompetent doctors, and not all that great of a pharmacist either.

    This angst could be a combination of my complete dissatisfaction with our program. There are so many people in my class, that while they don't regret pharmacy school, they do regret coming to this particular program.

    Main question though: Has anyone regretted Rx school (or knew of someone?) The more I think about, the more I wish I had went with medical school.

    I just don't know. I have become so unhappy/disillusioned; maybe I have chosen the wrong thing.:(
     
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  3. beccala33

    beccala33 Senior Member

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    what school do you go to?
     
  4. sdn1977

    sdn1977 Senior Member

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    I, personally, have never regretted it.

    But...I hear what you're saying - I think a lot of "stuff" has been fed to pharmacy students & pre-pharmacy students. They don't really tell what real pharmacy is like .....thus - the dissatisfaction & bitterness many feel when they actually practice.

    However....don't get me wrong - I do absolutely believe in "clincal" pharmacy - it occurs in every practice setting. But - it just does not involve being a physician & that is when some folks become disenchanted.
     
  5. rxforlife2004

    rxforlife2004 Banned
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    At times, i actually have the same thoughts like you. Pharmacy schools trains you extensively for clinical settings, but in reality, when you get out there, you won't even use up 50% of whatever you have learned. I seriously think that if i retain everything i have learned from Rx school, I will be talking to anyone; yes, ANYONE...about any disease at the same level. But the fact is, "if you don't use it, you'll lose it". No matter how smart you are, you'll forget. On my rotations, i asked random questions to one of the most experienced clinical pharmacist who had 2 yrs of residency and extensive clinical experiences....and out of 10 questions, he probably knows the answer around 6 of them. The rest he had to look up.....whatever...and never returned....:laugh: too busy i guess...

    In retail settings, u won't even have to remember what serum creatinine is....nobody will ask you about the normal range of serum potassium level either. And nobody even cares about CYP450 inducer, inhibitor....

    But being a doctor isn't happy either. If you don't believe me, read this:

    http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=195799&highlight=pharmacist

    SO afterall, being a pharmacist is cooler in a way you can still have fun with ur family and everything.....
     
  6. thelonius

    thelonius Junior Member

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    The grass is always greener on the other side.
     
  7. eleanor_rigby

    eleanor_rigby Member

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    I've worked with about 6 pharmacists so far, and 4 out of 6 of those have said the same exact thing. It's sort of a downer when they tell me this when they're fully aware that I plan on going to pharmacy school. They also mentioned what other path they would've taken if they were given a second chance. One of the older part-timers who's been at it for 38 years even went as far as telling me to reconsider my major and that he was strongly against having his own grandchildren entering any healthcare field.

    What makes you think you wouldn't feel the same way you do now 3 years into med school?

    No one in the right mind can find 100% job satisfaction in what they do, but we have to maintain a certain degree of pragmatism and make the best of what we can of the careers we have chosen.
     
  8. dgroulx

    dgroulx Night Pharmacist

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    I hate pharmacy school, too. It wasn't so bad once I got out on rotations, when I actually got to apply what I learned. I particularly enjoyed my last rotation where I used a lot of kinetics. When you have critically ill patients with compromised renal function, drug levels can get a little wacky. Most all of the physicians wrote "pharmacy to dose" on renal drugs.

    Once you get out of the classroom, you may change your mind about pharmacy.
     
  9. eddie269

    eddie269 Still in shock...

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    Well, the reason why pharmacy students are being fed all this "clinical stuff" is because of the degree we are receiving. I believe I was told every Pharm D graduate has the ability and training to work in ANY setting, which includes alongside physicians. It's all about having the choice and the education to back it up.

    However, if all you care about is retail (which is fine), then the Pharm D programs definitely over-prepare you for that area. The bachelor's degree would've been enough.
     
  10. gaba101

    gaba101 Doctor

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    I completely agree with you.
     
  11. acetyl

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    This stuff cracks me up when I hear it, because my old man is a doc and I hear things like this from him and his colleagues from time to time. It seems even the brain surgeons making oodles of money and telling people they're brain surgeons don't like to work.

    "If I had a second chance" - Please, everyone wakes up with the opportunity to do something else, they just choose not to do it. We all decide our own fate, and living in a fantasy world that which is portrayed on television is no excuse for not liking your job. Try working as a waiter in a restaurant for a year-on that wage-and it may do something for your morale.

    While I've not started school yet I can emphasize with what you're saying because it seems a lot of the current pharmacy students at my school think they're going to be able to do anything since they've got that PharmD degree. It's like they're invincible. I kind of laugh and think they must not really know what the real world is like.
     
  12. kitkat06

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    This topic matter is interesting since this perspective is, for obvious reasons, not encountered in the pre-pharm forum. Does anyone else (current students, recent graduates, seasoned pharmacists) have comments they would like to add? If you are regretting that you chose pharmacy school, please post your comments. If you are in love with your pharmacy school and/or profession, post your inputs as well :) It helps prospective students tremendously to have a more balanced view of the profession. Please keep this thread going!
     
  13. All4MyDaughter

    All4MyDaughter SDN Mommystrator
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    I'm somewhat in the middle here...I don't really regret going to pharmacy school, but I definitely don't LOVE it either. My school is very clinical and science-oriented. This is both good and bad.

    They also aren't very respectful of our time. I got up at the crack of dawn to watch a movie on sterile compounding on Wednesday at 8 a.m. Then, in compounding lab on Thursday the instructor who is actually teaching the hands-on part of the lab told us to disregard what we saw in the movie (assigned by another lab instructor) b/c she didn't like that particular movie. That kind of junk upsets me.

    I just want to get through with the classroom part and get on with rotations.
     
  14. wolingfeng

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    Well, talking about choosing pharmacy school.. I think most people picked it because of the high salary, the relative short period of schooling one needs to devote, and high demand in the job market (minimal 6 yrs, a doctorate degree, and 100k salary, etc). In another word, pharmacy as a career is "hot" right now. But I think if one regrets because you are not going to use some of the things you learned, such as theraputics and pharmacokinetics, it's really no need to worry. Pharmacy has so many fields one can go in (if one looks carefully and clearly). And another reason is that the profession is constantly changing and hopefully advancing. So if I couldn't really apply some of the knowledge learned in school, for me, it'd be a good opportunity to try to expand the profession of pharmacy, in community and institutional settings, u name it. And really I think there are lots of things you can do as a "pharmacist". It only matters whether you're going to do, or you're not going to.

    Well, that's what I think...
     
  15. Sosumi

    Sosumi Senior Member

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    I don't regret pharmacy school one bit. I started pharmacy school later in life than most students having worked and been in another profession. Thus, I understood what I was getting into and learned to be motivated and enjoy what pharmacy school has to offer.

    Sometimes your faculty may make everything seem rosier than it might be in the real world, but the truth of the matter is that school is what you make of it. I've spoken with many of my classmates who are also done with rotations, and what you get out of rotations is really how much effort and work you put into them. I received praise from all of my preceptors because I was motivated to learn more and try to apply what I learned. I read up and tried to understand further things I didn't know as much about -- thus impressing all of my preceptors and the different attending physicians and medical students I rounded with. I was exposed to a lot of different clinical environments, and even though "clinical pharmacy" is not at the point where I feel it's worth it for me to be doing a residency, the field is constantly advancing. There are many opportunities out there that you can create. I'll be working to set up an HIV medication adherence clinic in Thailand this summer after graduation while I take a leave of absence from retail. After that -- who knows? The future is bright in pharmacy and can be exciting.
     
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  17. VCU07

    VCU07 Member

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    That is a really bad attitute to have...I understand you don't want to learn about all the clinical stuff, but you honestly think retail will pay us to dispense medications forever? With the rising cost of health care something will have to be done. This will include medication managment or some other plan to reduce prescription drug costs and adverse effects associated with Rx therapy. Pharmacy is heading in a more clinical direction, just look at all the collaborative practice agreements around the country. In addition, the VA system would be a great model as well. Your reality of not on target. If you truley think this is the way pharmacy will be for the rest of your career then maybe you should consider changing professions. It is to bad pharmacy students still think like this, most physicians value our input and we make invaluable recommendations that change patient's lives.
     
  18. beccala33

    beccala33 Senior Member

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    I'm going to go against the grain here-
    I had serious doubts about going to pharmacy school right before I left for school (while I was shadowing a retail pharmacist.) I was so upset for the first few weeks of classes that I had made a huge mistake. That being said, I am so happy that I am in the program that I am in, at the school that I am at. I absolutely LOVE my program. I can't say it enough. When I talk to my friends in other schools it makes me realize how lucky I am to be where I am. Maybe I would have felt this way anywhere I went, but I find our classes so facinating. And not the "retail - top 200" type classes either. I think pharmacodynaics is so interesting and I love learning how our bodies work. I tell my friends at home that I have realized that I made the exact right choice by going into the field that I am going into.
    If I had to do retail for the rest of my life, I might be singing a different tune, but hopefully I will get accepted into a residency program that I am interested in and get to apply the skills and concepts that I am learning about now in the "real world".
     
  19. gaba101

    gaba101 Doctor

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    You must not have a lot of exposure in working w/ physicians (talking to them on the phone does not count). Everyday, I am exposed to physicians, medical students, attendings, etc and your main "input" is "pharmacy to dose" for the renal drugs, if you want to call that "working alongside physicians" sure. :thumbup: End of my point here.
     
  20. Da Alchemist

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    Hospital pharmacist should get more salary than retail. because they use more knowledge. every1 should do a boycott againts low hospital salary lol.
     
  21. dgroulx

    dgroulx Night Pharmacist

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    There's already several applicants for each hospital opening, even with the lower salaries. Most people would prefer hospital, so demand is higher and the salaries are lower. Though, 80k per year is nothing to sneeze at. If you want to do hospital, then go for it, regardless of the salary.
     
  22. Oxycotin

    Oxycotin Member

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    I agree that a lot of the stuff won't be used after getting out of school. But A LOT of people would kill to be in our shoes. Pharmacy isn't just about the technical stuff or using all the clinical knowledge learned in the classroom. It's also about doing the little things to help people. For example, in retail a simple recommendation of an OTC product may not seem all that hardcore, but that person who didn't know what to use come to you with the question. YOU are in the position to help them and they look to YOU for help. Remember something like that should make any pharmacist be proud of their profession.
     
  23. rxlynn

    rxlynn Senior Member

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    Totally agree. I will also add (from the perspective of an older, non-traditional pharmacy student) that most people don't use everything they learn in their education once they get on the job. In my earlier life, I earned a master's degree in chemistry, and then had some jobs related to that (although not in the lab, because I hated lab). By this point, I have forgotten far more of the chemistry I learned in that program than I remember, because my jobs didn't use it. On the other hand, when I look at that diploma I have no regrets at all - it's a personal accomplishment that I will always be proud of. And, I suspect the same will be true of my PharmD, even if I don't ever use my knowledge of INR ratios again!
     
  24. konkan

    konkan coup de grace

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    See, I guess, it depends on the area. I talked to couple of DOP and they said ther have the heardest time finding pharmacists for their hospitals. I didn't asked, but I assume they meant staff pharmacists. One of my professors (she is a clinical pharmacist al well) told me she was even begging couple of new grads to stay in their hospital (it's a huge 1000 beds teaching hospital), but they didn't.
     
  25. sdn1977

    sdn1977 Senior Member

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    So...I'm curious - looking back - what would you rather have done?

    Also curious - what do you plan on doing after you graduate?
     
  26. nightcrawleRx

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    I agree…I’ll be starting P1 this fall so I certainly haven’t been applying for jobs but my sister and her soon-to-be husband both work in hospitals around the area. They have both mentioned several times that there is such a demand for hospital pharmacists and they just can’t seem to fill the positions. All the hospitals I’m talking about are well respected in the area and one even nationally. I’ll give you one guess which one that is…I live in CT and it too is a huge 1000-bed teaching hospital.
     
  27. dgroulx

    dgroulx Night Pharmacist

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    The students that graduated in the class before me could only find part time PRN hospital positions. One hospital that I was at on rotations did hire one full time pharmacist. There were 53 applicants for the one position. A girl from FAMU, who just finished her residency, got the position. It's only for a staff pharmacist, too.
     
  28. Tessalon

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    Um, what lawyer/MBA/computer geek do you know that works 40 hours a week for 90 -100K? I know this was on the med school forum, and I will agree that medical residents lead busy, grueling lives. However, last time I checked, law school requires a bachelor's degree plus 3 years of law school. Two of my old roommates are now lawyers, and they spent plenty of time in the library, and they work 60-70 hour weeks now and they do not get paid overtime. Pharmacy is nowhere near as intense as medicine, and I have to say that compared to my lawyer friends, I will lead a similar lifestyle as a pharmacist.

    To the OP, hang in there. The spring semester of 3rd year is tough to stay motivated in. Rotations definitely open your eyes as far as what opportunities are available. Don't get too discouraged because it WILL get better. While it is frustrating and hard to understand why you need all of the clinical knowledge, when you start rotations and work you will get to see why it is so important to have such a broad background. Even if you go straight to retail, you still need to at least know some clinical knowledge, not just how to deal with insurance and cash registers.
     
  29. konkan

    konkan coup de grace

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    So basically u'r saying it was harder to land that position than to get into a decent medical school (in terms of numbers)? It just doesn't make any sense.
     
  30. tc970106

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    Konkan, if you don't mind me asking, what state are you in? I'm pretty surprised to hear that hospital jobs are not so plentiful in Florida. By the way, what does DOP stand for? I'm too lazy to look it up. Thanks.
     
  31. konkan

    konkan coup de grace

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    Michigan
    Director of pharmacy
     
  32. Da Alchemist

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    Yale hospital is not even in the top 100 for best hospitals lol
     
  33. Super Glue

    Super Glue New Member

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    If you want to be a physician go to med school.

    I love being a pharmacist. I feel useful in the hospital, I like being a drug resource, and I can go home after my shift satisfied. I cannot fathom the responsibilities and liabilities that physicians have. For me, it's not worth the extra time in school, and it definitely doesn't pay off in $$$.

    I don't have to carry a pager; I keep work at work.
     
  34. dgroulx

    dgroulx Night Pharmacist

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    My husband is a computer geek, makes a 6 figure salary, and never went to college. He's just very good at what he does. His current title is "infrastructure manager".
     
  35. dgroulx

    dgroulx Night Pharmacist

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    That was at an HCA hospital in Sun City Center, a retirement mecca. If I search HCA for jobs in west Florida there are a few. There's two full time positions in St Petersburg, one in Sarasota and a night pharmacist job in Brandon. Everything else is part time or PRN.

    With the addition of Lecom Bradenton, we now have 5 pharmacy schools in the state of Florida. UF graduates 300 per year, I'm not sure of the enrollment at other schools. Most of the jobs in Florida are retail.
     
  36. Glowwyrm

    Glowwyrm Member

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    Our database person works 40 hours a week and is paid $45/hr. She has a BS degree. A friend of mine works for a branch of microsoft and while I do not know the exact figure, I do know that he makes a 6 figure salary. He does not have a degree.
     
  37. sdn1977

    sdn1977 Senior Member

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    I think that reflects the style of the HCA facility. I know the one HCA near me has openings, but they are never on the website.

    They only hire part-time & ususally part-time,no benefit first. Its an easy, inexepensive way to see if you fit in.
     
  38. nightcrawleRx

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    First off, you get a cookie for solving the riddle, tough one, I know. Second, I could give two shats about rankings...all I know is that everyone associated with that hospital can put something having to do with Yale on their resume which where I'm from is well respected. Oh by the way, according to this here site, SDN, Yale is the #10 med-school in their rankings and in turn, that refelcts where those students learn, Yale-NH Hospital. So I hope you're being sarcastic but either way my point was to show that there are jobs out there, it just may depend on your location.
     
  39. eelo

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    Well..... what is the quality of the shats? I mean, if they're high-level shats, and you're willing to cough up two of them, then that's a heckuva statement. However, if they're just ho-hum, run-of-the-mill, enteriobacteriacaea-laden shats, then giving up two of them is really insignificant.

    Of course, if you're the type of person who 'takes' a shat, rather than leaves' a shat, then I would guess that you have accumulated quite an impressive collection. If that's true, then I would have to ask again about the quality of the two shats you're giving. Are they lovely, by shat standards? Aesthetically pleasing? Lots of depth and texture?
     
  40. Pharm47

    Pharm47 Just keep running...

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  41. nightcrawleRx

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    Why anyone would waste a minute to post this, a minute they can never have back, is beyone me. That being said you kinda gotta laugh, it's funny.
     
  42. eelo

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    Uh-oh..... am I on nightcrawler's shat list?

    (if it made you laugh, it was worth the minute)
     
  43. All4MyDaughter

    All4MyDaughter SDN Mommystrator
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    Ya'll are silly. This was a good thread; now it's in the toilet. :laugh:
     
  44. nightcrawleRx

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    Haha, well one could argue, and I think eelo might back me up, that what really is in the toilet is.......I better not even go there. You're right though, it was a good thread and I apologize to the OP'er. Hopefully, someone will rescue this thread and comment about their time at Rx school.
     
  45. Da Alchemist

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    Youre right about that one. Yale is a good med school. but Yale hospital itself is just average.
     
  46. SCCpharm

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    I graduated from Arizona State with a BS in computer science in 2004. The best offer I recieved was for $10/hour to design web pages. I had under a 3.0gpa at the time and no internship experience.

    My friends who had 3.0+gpa's and internships got jobs at the big name companies like, intel or general dynamics. They started at $50k/year and do not get paid for overtime.

    I think the computer people that make in the range of 100k/year are people with many years of experience (over 5 years) and were lucky enough to be employed when IT was big in the late 90's. In the late 90's, its true. You did not even have to have a degree to get a good paying job. You just had to be good with computers. However, I think times have changed. If you don't have a degree and want to go into the IT field, most likely you will be in tech support making $10/hour. If you are a fresh college grad now with a bachelor's, average starting salary is still around $50k-$60k/year. If you have an associates, then maybe $25-40k/year starting. But, imo, the computer job market is not as stable as pharmacy.
     
  47. Idesiretosling

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    Those numbers sound about right for CS grads. I have many CS friends graduating this year. They all have jobs lined up starting over 50k and up to 70k. Not a bad way to go at all for 4 years of school. Just not the type of job I would ever want to do.
    I am really excited to start pharmacy school this year and I hope I keep the enthusiasm throughout school. I have enjoyed the last 4 years, so hopefully the next four years will be better because I won't be wasting my time in anthropology and random bac core classes.
     
  48. gdk420

    gdk420 Senior Member

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    1.) Have you thought about release engineers/managers. I heard they make more than software engineers. I had a friend who had a gpa below 3.00 and from a no name school (not even a division I school). No internship either. He started at a job with just 9 dollars an hour testing games. From that, after less than 2 months, he switch over to QA ($25/hr) for a software company. Then one month later, he switch over to release engineer. Now, he is making 85K+ in less than 2 years after he graduated with just a bachelor degree. And I know for sure he is making at the lower end of a release engineer salary.

    2.) Who gets into pharm school with gpa below 3.00 and no volunteering pharm experience?

    3.) Over 5 years to reach 100K?? That is five years of positive income. Pharm students have 4 years of negative income. Not zero, but negative income from the debt of school tuition.

    4.) Stability? There will always be a job FOR A pharmacist in the United States, it won't necessarily be you, me or anyone on this board. Work as a pharmacist ( health care worker = public slave), is base upon licensure and some insurance company willing to cover you. A software engineer can loose his/her job. A pharmacist can loose his/her career and more. The public considers the job of a health care worker as privilege, although workers I know consider it a burden. Since when did the possibility of loosing ones career or more everyday you work come with stability. So is it really stable or is it that you just want to believe that it is stable?

    5.) No overtime? Some of my pharm friends wish they had extra time. Sure as a pharmacist you will get to work 40 hours a week. But guess what, you will be doing 80 hours of work in 40 hours. I wish I had more time to do the work, so I can at least do 60 hours of work in 60 hours. With constant budget cuts and decrease in dispensing fees, you will be understaff at most places. You will be doing the work of 2 pharmacists for the price of 1.5 pharmacist. You will be force to dispense at a rate that is not safe for you or your patient with the most minium help they can give you within the law. Your workload increases at a disproportionate amount to your compensation.

    High liability, low respect, high stress from the understaffing = 100K a year, is it worth it? Maybe yes if this is the only job that pays 100K in the world, however, there are jobs out there that pay as much or almost as much with even less education. Anybody who goes into pharmacy better go into it for the right reason, meaning you better enjoy this work and love what you do. Money? You can get more money doing something else. Stability?? As long as you keep your license and you don't get sued to death. Prestige of having letters behind your name??? Fleeting at best.
     
  49. starsweet

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    This is so very true, and the very reason I chose to switch from engineering to pharmacy.
     
  50. fidelio

    fidelio Senior Member

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    It's ok to have regrets, but it also means you know what you're regretting, you can change it if you want. Or finish what you start.

    So don't listen to all this nonsense about "if you have regrets, maybe pharmacy isn't for you." Everyone has doubts once in awhile about something.

    Grass is greener on the other side I say.
     
  51. july

    july Guest

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  52. WVUPharm2007

    WVUPharm2007 imagine sisyphus happy
    Pharmacist

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    It was either this or film school. Only 1 in 50 kids in film school actually do anything worthwhile in the craft. Though I still think I could be a better screenwriter than some out there whose works are made into films. Oh well.
     

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