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How much of your PhD do you lose?

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I am a PhD organic chemist who has done a postdoc and then worked for a couple years. This semester, I started pharmacy school. Since I started, I find myself not reading any literature, thinking much about chemistry, or otherwise keeping up with the field in any real way. Although it has only been a couple months, I can envision getting really behind in the field by the end of 4 years if nothing changes.

I know there are several people on this board who have done graduate school and professional school separately. For those of you who have done this, do you feel that you lost much or your skill set / knowledge base / edge in the field of your graduate studies while working on your professional degree? What have you done to keep up? I know that I should at least keep up with the literature...do any of you realistically do this like you should?
 
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... Since I started, I find myself not reading any literature, thinking much about chemistry, or otherwise keeping up with the field in any real way. ...

Welcome to the quest of being a clinician scientist. In combined dual degree programs, there are enrichment activities to help keeping the critical thinking skills. However, the schism between the thinking, culture, and many other aspects of professional and graduate schools is fairly large. You will need to do a post-doc at some time. The good news is that you can combine your PhD and PharmD fairly well...
 

QofQuimica

Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting....
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I am a PhD organic chemist who has done a postdoc and then worked for a couple years. This semester, I started pharmacy school. Since I started, I find myself not reading any literature, thinking much about chemistry, or otherwise keeping up with the field in any real way. Although it has only been a couple months, I can envision getting really behind in the field by the end of 4 years if nothing changes.

I know there are several people on this board who have done graduate school and professional school separately. For those of you who have done this, do you feel that you lost much or your skill set / knowledge base / edge in the field of your graduate studies while working on your professional degree? What have you done to keep up? I know that I should at least keep up with the literature...do any of you realistically do this like you should?
No. I don't know how things work for pharmacy school in terms of how much free time you have, but for med school, it is not realistic to keep up with the organic chem literature/lab skills while trying to keep up with med school. As a resident, double forget it. I can't even keep up with my reading for residency half the time, never mind trying to go back and catch up on the chemistry literature from the past five years.

One thing you have going for you that I don't though is that there is a lot more overlap between pharmacy and chemistry than there is between medicine and chemistry. If I could go back and do things over again, I think I would have done what you're doing. I do like seeing patients, but I don't love medical science per se the way I love drugs and chemistry. Ultimately I've found a chemistry-oriented subspecialty that I love, but it's going to extend my training by three years since now I have to do a general residency before my fellowship.
 
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