If you were in my shoes, what would you do?

Discussion in 'Pre-Pharmacy' started by Leb, Apr 15, 2007.

  1. Leb

    Leb
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2007
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pharmacy Student
    Hello,
    I would really appreciate your opinions and feedback about my situation, so please let me know what would you do if you were in my situation:
    First of all, iam an international student (F1 visa), who will be graduating in 4 weeks from now from college. I decided a while ago to join a PharmD/PhD program, because i was recruited for it, and was told that my Pharmacy tuition would be waived. So i applied for the school, and had to get accepted to pharmacy first then to join the PhD program. I had no pharmacy experience, and have never worked in a pharmacy, but i guess because of my grades, research experience and interest in the PharmD/PhD i got accepted. The adcoms did not even ask me if i had pharmacy experience, but called me after two hours of the interview to tell me i was accepted. After that, i had to contact the director of the dual program to discuss joining the dual program. So i did, but what the director told me was that the tuition waiver is only for citizens and green card holders, thus i do not qualify for it.

    So here is my dilemma, i got accepted for pharmacy school, so if i want to join it, i have to come up with about 40K a year. I can get a loan if i get a citizen cosigner (interest rate = 8.5% very high), but iam a little scared of having something going wrong along the way, especially that iam a foreigner; I dont know if my chances of finding a job would be jeopardized after graduation because of my status. A company might not want to go through the hastle of changing my status, so i might have a hard time finding a job, or maybe i might be exploited for that fact (dont know). Also, because iam a foreigner, iam not allowed to work outside of the campus(at least that's how it is for undergrad) so i probably cannot get a job and experience as an intern or a technician while in pharmacy school, which i would really need because i've have never worked in the field before (only shadowed). So this worries me towards the future; i dont know how much does finding a job depends on me having technical experience, because i wont have much. Iam paranoid about putting myself in 200K worth of debt, which i could only pay if i could stay here in the States ( which i would like and plan to do), find a job really fast and be able to work in it for a long time, otherwise me and the cosigner would be in big trouble and i worry more about the cosigner because he would be involved in it as much as i iam.

    So if you were in my siuation, what would you do? would you go for it? or would you consider doing research (my only other option).
    I really like the idea of me being a pharmacist, because i can see myself working in the field for a long time, only if i can stay here though. Not to mention that the benefits are amazing, and satisfying for me,,assuming i would be treated like a citizen pharmacist. On the other hand, research does not really offer the flexibility, stability and income aspharmacy does, but it is something that i enjoy doing as well, and i get paid for joining the program instead of being paid.
    Please let me know your opinion, please tell me if my concerns are valid or not.
    So sorry for the long message
     
  2. Note: SDN Members do not see this ad.

  3. shaun009

    shaun009 Member
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    Messages:
    307
    Likes Received:
    0
    What kind of shoes do you wear?
     
  4. KUMoose

    KUMoose Grumpy old man
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2005
    Messages:
    658
    Likes Received:
    2
    Status:
    Pharmacist
    Without knowing if this is a troll or not, my question is, do you really need the PharmD to go into the area of your choice? In other words, could you get by with just a PhD? In the end, do what will make you happy.

    I believe internation students @ Maryland Pharmacy all receive in-state tution which means you only pay about 12k/year which can easily be paid through "US Foriegn Aid" packages depending on the country, class, etc. Also if you've been in research for a while and have ideas for grants, it's possible to write up a grant starting your second year from the schools I talked to (with a dual program). So the money may not be as hard to find.

    Just remember you get what you pay for, including advice. Do what feels/seems right and don't worry about the little things like money. ;)
     
  5. Leb

    Leb
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2007
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pharmacy Student
    Thank you for your feedback. The thing is if i join the dual degree, i wont get to research till i graduate from college of pharmacy, i would only take graduate courses and do summer work in the first 4 years, so i dont think i'll be writing grants till later on, and i have only done internships so iam not that experienced. so i still have to pay for college. However, i find it very encouraging th know that the international students at Meryland pay instate tuition, i hope the same to be charged to me (iam expecting acceptance package next week, so i still dont know what are they charging me).
    As for the US Foreign Aid that you have mentioned, i've never heard of it, but iam really thankfull that you have mentioned it. Maybe i can get something out of it if i qualify.
     
  6. krsnyf

    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2006
    Messages:
    82
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pharmacy Student
    have you tried to e-mail the school that accepted you? i would think that if they accepted you, then you are elligible for internship...

    sorry, this is irrelevant but i have a cousin doing biotechnology with a european institution based in asia. if you don't mind, i'd really appreciate it if you can share how you were able to apply as an international student.
     
  7. ForcedEntry

    ForcedEntry Lilo got stitched
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2006
    Messages:
    1,616
    Likes Received:
    3
    Status:
    Pharmacy Student
    How will you obtain employment AFTER you complete the program?
     
  8. NDGirl

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2007
    Messages:
    89
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Pharmacy
    As far as employment while in school...if your school has a student health area then most likely they have a pharmacy there too. You could try to get a tech or intern job there and it would still be on campus so you would qualify. This would give you some experience in the field.
     
  9. Leb

    Leb
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2007
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pharmacy Student
    In my case it was easier than applying from outside the States, since i have had my college experience in USA. But really a foreigner application is not that different. You still have to fill all the forms, that you can download or get them mailed to you, take the GRE in lieu of PCAT, but better both. (If you graduate from the States then you take the PCAT), take the TOEFL test to prove that you can speak english.
    I dont know if this answers your question. If not let me know what you are looking for specifically
     
  10. Leb

    Leb
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2007
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pharmacy Student
    International students are allowed to apply for a 1 year of Optional Practical Training, that allows them either to stay here to look for a job or to work legallu anywhere they want. Usually after the year is over, your employer will sponsor you to change your visa status from student visa to working visa, if they want you to stay.
    The same should be true for me after becoming a PharmD, and iam hoping that employers will be more willing o sponsor PharmDs, because of the shortage, besides, i would have graduated from here, they they know exactly what to expect.
     
  11. cdpiano27

    cdpiano27 Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2005
    Messages:
    602
    Likes Received:
    2
    Leb, I have great advice.

    Just take the PhD where you will be given a stipend, and make sure that your research area is in pharmacokinetics / pharmaceutics. This is a very hot area, and you get a job in the pharmaceutical industry. The pay starts out as much as a pharmacist about 90K per year, but after 5 years of experience you are into at least $110-130K.

    I know, since I am PhD in biostatistics (different area, but a lot of int'l students even change their major to statistics at the masters level), and I am interning at Sanofi-Aventis this summer. PK / PD is a very hot area, and you will not have to loan all that money to work in retail. It is very similar to statistics, and is like mathematical modeling related to physiology / biochemistry.

    I personally think that industry is a lot more exciting, than retail. Although retail has its definite benefits.

    Which school gave you the PhD acceptance? If it is a good research school, than I would personally forego the Pharmd, save all that money, and get a good job with PhD.


    By the way, are you from China?
     
  12. Dr.Biassi

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2006
    Messages:
    317
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Post Doc
    I will definitely recommend you to take the GRE and applied to a grad school (PhD). They even provide international students with good credential financial aid.
     
  13. lvp0021

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2006
    Messages:
    233
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pharmacy Student
    How about residency for international students after their PharmD graduation? Anyonw knows how to procedure works and if they are allowed to? Thanks for bringing up this thread guys...
     
  14. Leb

    Leb
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2007
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pharmacy Student
    Actually the PhD program that i was planning to join was the Pharmacokinetics/Pharmacodinamics. So iam glad to find that it is a hot field.
    As for the University, it is UT memphis. I have not been accepted to therir PhD program, but i would have no problem if i want to. My GRE is high enough, so is me GPA, and i've done two internships over there.
    Iam not from china, iam from Lebanon
     
  15. Leb

    Leb
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2007
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pharmacy Student
    I've already taken the GRE (score=1330), but i really wanted to do the Dual program, because i can be a licensed pharmacist as well as a researcher, however, now iam only accepted to pharmacy school, so i have to wait a whole year if i want to join a PhD program, and i dont want to waste a year, so iam thinking i would like to do Pharmacy since i can get started this year. But ofcourse i have to make sure that it is the right step for me, and that i wont get in trouble financially and this is my dilemma.
     
  16. Leb

    Leb
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2007
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pharmacy Student
    this is a very good question, because if i do pharmacy i want to do clinical, so i hope there is no problems in getting residencies
     
  17. lvp0021

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2006
    Messages:
    233
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pharmacy Student
    Yeah... I hope someone will give insight into this as an international students though. In the hospital I know a pharmacist who just got done with her 4year pharmd + 1 year residency and landed a position as clinical on ICU. She told me residency is just applying for a job, the difference is that you get paid less and work under supervision of another pharmd to learn more about the field. If it's like applying for a job, then the OPT would kick in, wouldn't it? ANyone knows more about this residency please asnwer... thanks!
     
  18. lvp0021

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2006
    Messages:
    233
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pharmacy Student
    I've seen that this sort of topics usually dies out within like a week and not very many people response at all though
     

Share This Page