How much would a dual degree set an applicant apart when searching for residency?

AlwaysContrary

2+ Year Member
Apr 5, 2017
161
189
Status
Pharmacist
Hey Guys!

I am pretty much dead set on doing a residency (oncology to be exact) and I am wondering how much obtaining a dual degree would help during the matching process. My school has a pharmacotherapy gateway program that is specifically designed to make a student a stronger candidate, but the guy who gave the presentation on the program sort of hinted that dual degrees might be better.

I am considering going for an MS but I am afraid that doing so would prevent me from being able to work, hold leadership positions, network in the hospital, attend national meetings, and so on. It's causing me a great deal of stress to decide what is best so any help is greatly appreciated!
 

Amicable Angora

Lagomorpha
5+ Year Member
Oct 5, 2012
1,369
814
Status
Pharmacist
Hey Guys!

I am pretty much dead set on doing a residency (oncology to be exact) and I am wondering how much obtaining a dual degree would help during the matching process. My school has a pharmacotherapy gateway program that is specifically designed to make a student a stronger candidate, but the guy who gave the presentation on the program sort of hinted that dual degrees might be better.

I am considering going for an MS but I am afraid that doing so would prevent me from being able to work, hold leadership positions, network in the hospital, attend national meetings, and so on. It's causing me a great deal of stress to decide what is best so any help is greatly appreciated!
<5%
 

smercer

5+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
May 7, 2012
476
149
Status
Pharmacist
Of course the school would say a dual degree is better. Why would they not want you to give them extra money?
It will help, but after the residency you will just have some extra letters after your name the you don't have any use for.

My tips:
-Work hard to keep your grades up (Ideally a 3.7 or higher)
-Join the state ASHP organization and try to go to the summer meeting at least once and go to ASHP mid-year your P4 year.
-Work with school organizations that will allow you to pick up some random leadership role
-Try to get hospital experience if possible, but definitely get a fair amount of work experience in any pharmacy setting.
-Work with school organizations to go on hospital tours (good chance to meet and talk with pharmacists from residency programs)
-If your school offers a teaching elective, that would be a good choice to take. Also select more clinical type electives (diabetes, grand rounds, etc)
-When rotation selection is available, select sites that have residents and select more clinical type rotations (heme/onc, CCU, ID, etc). This will help for getting quality LoR, especially if you plan to look for residencies in your area. Also try to front load clinical rotations before December, as you will want those rotations to be your LoR and to have clinical experience for interviews
-Talk to faculty about possibly doing a research project during one of the free summers before rotations

In the end, you are just trying to prove to the residencies that you can manage more than just showing up to class and passing tests.
 

gwarm01

7+ Year Member
Oct 7, 2009
2,398
3,125
Status
Pharmacist
Of course the school would say a dual degree is better. Why would they not want you to give them extra money?
It will help, but after the residency you will just have some extra letters after your name the you don't have any use for.

My tips:
-Work hard to keep your grades up (Ideally a 3.7 or higher)
-Join the state ASHP organization and try to go to the summer meeting at least once and go to ASHP mid-year your P4 year.
-Work with school organizations that will allow you to pick up some random leadership role
-Try to get hospital experience if possible, but definitely get a fair amount of work experience in any pharmacy setting.
-Work with school organizations to go on hospital tours (good chance to meet and talk with pharmacists from residency programs)
-If your school offers a teaching elective, that would be a good choice to take. Also select more clinical type electives (diabetes, grand rounds, etc)
-When rotation selection is available, select sites that have residents and select more clinical type rotations (heme/onc, CCU, ID, etc). This will help for getting quality LoR, especially if you plan to look for residencies in your area. Also try to front load clinical rotations before December, as you will want those rotations to be your LoR and to have clinical experience for interviews
-Talk to faculty about possibly doing a research project during one of the free summers before rotations

In the end, you are just trying to prove to the residencies that you can manage more than just showing up to class and passing tests.
This is all good advice. The more exposure you have the better. Be someone the residency director knows and likes. All the degrees and certifications in the world won't matter if the other guy is on friendly terms with the decision maker.
 

KARM12

Super Member
10+ Year Member
Apr 4, 2006
2,634
342
East
Status
Pharmacist
Dual degrees can have some value.
But not for the pathway you want to pursue.
Agree, if you were more interested in administration or informatics or industry...but not for a traditional clinical position.
 

confettiflyer

Did you just say something?
10+ Year Member
Dec 19, 2004
9,187
2,455
Best Coast
Status
Pharmacist
If I reviewed your app, depending on the university and how it was described, anywhere between halo effect or it might boost you one spot on our final match list.

So...not very much. Experience and a boba ride LOR from that site trumps all


Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile app
 

Amicable Angora

Lagomorpha
5+ Year Member
Oct 5, 2012
1,369
814
Status
Pharmacist
Some clarification to make a distinction:

Multiple degrees can be helpful for your pharmacy career path.
Multiple degrees won't be helpful for you to secure a residency.
 
  • Like
Reactions: AlwaysContrary

Rockinacoustic

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
May 16, 2009
1,099
595
Somewhere Sunny and 75
Status
Pharmacist
If I reviewed your app, depending on the university and how it was described, anywhere between halo effect or it might boost you one spot on our final match list.

So...not very much. Experience and a boba ride LOR from that site trumps all


Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile app
We have yet to implement boba rides into our candidate rubric- definitely suggesting the idea at our next RAC meeting!
 

Abby Atwood

2+ Year Member
Jan 4, 2017
640
389
Status
Pharmacist
Some clarification to make a distinction:

Multiple degrees can be helpful for your pharmacy career path.
Multiple degrees won't be helpful for you to secure a residency.
That's surprising to me. If multiple degrees would be beneficial to your career, why would residency programs not value that? You would think that they would recognize the additional capabilities that someone with an MBA would bring to the table. Even if they don't care about the degree itself, the ability to manage time and earn two degrees should be valued a little bit. Maybe I don't understand the process. I hear that it might be more paper and point based than I would imagine it to be. :/
 
Last edited:
Jan 15, 2015
245
234
That's surprising to me. If multiple degrees would be beneficial to your career, what would residency programs not value that? You would think that they would recognize the additional capabilities that someone with an MBA would bring to the table. Even if they don't care about the degree itself, the ability to manage time and earn two degrees should be valued a little bit. Maybe I don't understand the process. I hear that it might be more paper and point based than I would imagine it to be. :/
Well, nowadays, many residency programs offer a masters degree alongside your training. Believe it or not, there is such a thing as overqualified.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Abby Atwood

Amicable Angora

Lagomorpha
5+ Year Member
Oct 5, 2012
1,369
814
Status
Pharmacist
That's surprising to me. If multiple degrees would be beneficial to your career, why would residency programs not value that? You would think that they would recognize the additional capabilities that someone with an MBA would bring to the table. Even if they don't care about the degree itself, the ability to manage time and earn two degrees should be valued a little bit. Maybe I don't understand the process. I hear that it might be more paper and point based than I would imagine it to be. :/
Because for the short term, multiple degrees don't overtly affect the indenture-ship work that a resident performs for the hospital. Furthermore, the more degrees and well learned a candidate, the more likely they can critically think or are independent. These traits are not desirable for residency.
 
  • Like
Reactions: PharmD500

Abby Atwood

2+ Year Member
Jan 4, 2017
640
389
Status
Pharmacist
Because for the short term, multiple degrees don't overtly affect the indenture-ship work that a resident performs for the hospital. Furthermore, the more degrees and well learned a candidate, the more likely they can critically think or are independent. These traits are not desirable for residency.
As someone who was passed over for residency, I would love to believe that might be the case. :) It seems a little unlikely though