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Is it difficult to find a hospital pharmacist position in California?

Discussion in 'Pharmacy' started by Keppra, Apr 18, 2007.

  1. Keppra

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    I was just wondering if it was difficult to get a pharmacist position in a hospital setting or even a retail setting in southern California? During the last 6 months, I've been interviewing for residency programs and looking at different job opportunities but to no avail in SoCal. The reason why I'm so concerned is because my fiance lives in the greater Los Angeles area and I'm finding my job search so difficult. :( We've been having a long distance relationship for over a year and plan to marry in 2008. It would make more sense for me to move to CA to find a job rather than him resigning from his job to move to the east coast where I am.
    Maybe this is so hard because I'm not intern or pharmacist registered in California? Or I'm just not from the area. I heard rumors that CA board of pharmacy is also not too fond of out-of-state pharmacists coming in to CA since they want to limit the number of pharmacists in the state. Hence they have their own law exam. It really seems that obtaining a pharmacist position in Cali entails either graduating from a california pharmacy school or if you have connections. It's rather depressing.
    It would be really helpful if someone could offer me some insight on the job market in California and if they knew of any positions available. Thanks!
     
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  3. WVUPharm2007

    WVUPharm2007 imagine sisyphus happy
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    Is it really that hard to find hospital work out West? It's the opposite in my neck of the woods. I could get you a hospital job in Eastern Kentucky, West Virginia, or Western PA in a heartbeat. Retail jobs are hard to find, though.
     
  4. Keppra

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    I think in Southern CA area, it's very saturated with a huge pharmacist population. I know everywhere else in the US, it's relatively easy to get a pharmacist position. However, the main reason to move there is because my fiance relocated there last year from the east coast for his job. If I can't make it there, then it'll be extremely hard to continue our relationship. :(
     
  5. Farmercyst

    Farmercyst On with the Poodles already
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    Have you already taken/passed the CJPE. If I read your post right you're not licensed in CA yet. If that's the case there's no surprise. I'd say you'd be unlikely to find a job until that changes. Otherwise there's no guarantee you'd be able to pass CJPE. Of course this is coming from the outside looking in.

    In terms of job openings, I saw one posted at Cal State-San Bernardino for a full-time pharmacist at the student health center. It's been a month since I saw it posted, but it may be worth looking into.
     
  6. ZpackSux

    ZpackSux Retired
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    There is a load of hospital pharmacist jobs in Los Angeles area..advertised on Careerbuilder.com
     
  7. Keppra

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    Thanks for the feedback. Unfortunately, I do not graduate until next month so I won't be able to take the NAPLEX and CPJE until mid-June at the earliest probably. I had a lot of difficulty finding any positions that would allow me to work or train in a hospital as a PharmD graduate but not licensed as a pharmacist since I was thinking of relocating to California early June. I'm just hoping the pharmacist job market is good until after I get my license. Uh, stressful!!!
     
  8. sdn1977

    sdn1977 Senior Member

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    OK - I'm a CA pharmacist, but N CA.

    You won't even get considered for a position until you've passed your CA licensure examination. Some places will hire you as an intern with the expectation that you'll pass your exam, but you're not even a CA intern.

    You can't get hired as an intern here until you become licensed - but, the good news is you can start this process now. Go ahead & apply for your intern license in CA now - it takes about 2 months to process anyway (CA is a HUGE bureaucracy!) so you might as well get that started.

    When you graduate, take the NAPLEX & schedule yourself to take the CA law exam - you need to get the CA law book & study!!! The law exam is more than just law - this is what gets out-of-state students. But, you're a new grad so everything should be fresh.

    The problem with S CA is that yes, it is saturated. For many positions within hospitals, you need to come with some experience. There are lots of folks here who have lots of experience from the time they've been in school. If you don't have that experience, particularly not as a licensed pharmacist and out-of-state, I doubt you're resume or application is getting past the dop's secretary or HR.

    You are welcome to PM me....but, my advice is...talk with your SO. You both need to be together with whatever decision you'll have to make. If/when you come here - it will be without a job. But....if you're relationship and/or locale is dependent upon your job location only, then you have to make that decision. But, if he/she already has a job history....then you need to weigh how much your uncertainty job-wise and how many other job possibilites (being an intern, working other settings - ambulatory, closed door, etc..) you're willing to consider.

    Anyway - good luck, whatever you decide! Remember this though - your job is only one aspect of your life....there really are others...
     
  9. Keppra

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    Thanks for the advice...I suspected as much. Do your recommend any good CA pharmacy law books? I bought one already called "California Law for California Pharmacists." Hopefully, if I read it from now on, it could be helpful. I guess the good thing is that I'm very flexible with pharmacist positions. I had almost 6 years experience at CVS and had 3 amb.care setting rotations and I have a decent clinical background.
     
  10. TheChemist

    TheChemist Senior Member

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    Wow I didn't realize it was so saturated in SoCAL. I was planning on going back after school. Is it saturated in both LA and San Diego?
     
  11. sdn1977

    sdn1977 Senior Member

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    Dunno for sure - just what I've heard from folks who've relocated.
     
  12. sdn1977

    sdn1977 Senior Member

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    Try to google "california pharmacy law book" - it will link you to www.ca.gov/laws - it will give you a way to purchase the law book from the state board of pharmacy directly.

    But - remember - it is now just law. That website will link you also to sample california law questions which have lots to do with judgement, clinical decisions, etc...know your kinetics, dosing, drug choice, consultation....

    Good luck and welcome!
     
  13. wrek92

    wrek92 UF COP 2007

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    How is the clinical pharmacist market in N CA? I am will be doing a residency in Southern Cal in the Inland Empire area this June/July and thought about maybe moving up to Northern California possibly Silicon Valley or thereabouts after completing my residency stint. Btw, I will be moving from the east coast and have never visited that area.

    Complicating the CPJE exam process is the fact that the CA pharmacy board is going to a new vendor as of July. Someone mentioned to me that some CA pharmacy schools are actually pushing up graduation dates so that their grads can take the CPJE before the end of June. :confused: Is this true?

    Almost makes you want to take the CPJE before NAPLEX just to make the cutoff. Is that even allowed?

    Hey, I googled 'California Pharmacy Law Review' and I found this website that has a 2007 pharmacy law book and also a 2007 pharmacy law CD-ROM. The cost is about $22 each. Here is the link: http://www.lawtechpublishing.com/webstore/page4.html

    Man, I am starting to get stressed out about getting licensed. :scared:
     
  14. sdn1977

    sdn1977 Senior Member

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    Hmmm - what to answer first?

    The CPJE vendor has indeed changed. The change will take place June 1. Quality assessment on the exam is due to start June 1 & the scores are supposed to be held until that assessment is complete. However, I don't think they anticipate much hold up, altho you never know.

    If you want to take the CPJE before June 1, you just have to satisfy the eligibility requirements - go to the website to find out specifically.

    I can't speak for all schools, but I don't think UCSF changed it graduation date. It is still the first Sat in May, I believe. So...there is plenty of time for them to take the CPJE before the change. But....it all evens out in the end, even if your scores are held up a bit. I took the board exam in June & didn't get my score until Aug - I think it still takes 6-8 weeks, but that was the last time one of my interns mentioned it.

    Yes - buy the materials - it is cheap at twice the price.

    What is the job market up here? If you're starting a residency in S CA, take advantage of all the networking which is available while you're a resident - join your local CSHP, ASHP chapters - go to the monthly meetings, volunteer for committees,meet folks from different parts of the state....you'll "hear" about more jobs than will be posted. So - keep yourself open to lots of possibilites. Certainly, Kaiser is a huge employer here, altho there are others. You will probably have to take on the less liked shifts & work lots of hoiidays, but eventually, you'll find your place. There are jobs here, but you just need to know the people and develop your resume so you are a good candidate, which is sounds like you are doing.

    Good luck!
     
  15. Keppra

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    Goodness, that all sounds so stressful. Switching vendors and delaying CPJE results? It sure sounds like California is making it hard of out-of-staters to get licensed in the state. Makes me uber-stressed out now. My goal is really to get licensed by mid-July and then head out to CA in the end of July to network and find a pharmacist position. But this sounds like it's going to delay my licensing process. *sigh*
     
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  17. Priapism321

    Priapism321 Bursting with enthusiasm

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    I don't think it is as difficult as people are making it out to be. I know two people from my graduating class that have residency positions in California, one of which being at USC (I live in Florida).

    If you are a strong candidate, and can pass the boards, I don't think it would be difficult to get a position at all.
     
  18. Keppra

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    I sure hope so! My greatest downfall is that I'm not a great interviewer. Once I'm put on the spot, I forget everything I previously was planning to say and I get really nervous. Anyone have some great tips on interviewing and showing that you're a strong candidate? Obviously, the APhA interviewing book didn't help me much. Haha. :laugh:
     
  19. DrugDealer

    DrugDealer Senior Member

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    One propranolol 1-2 hours before said interview. :)
     
  20. rxforlife2004

    rxforlife2004 Banned
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    It is extremely hard to land a hospital job in Southern CA...unless you know somebody who knows somebody....etc...or unless you have a lot of hospital experiences, or residency. But how can a new graduate (like me....) can have experiences besides the hospital rotations? So, most people will end up in retails...
     
  21. sdn1977

    sdn1977 Senior Member

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    Yes - its really hard to get a hospital job in S CA & somewhat in N CA without experience.

    How do you do it? You apply for a float position. That means you're willing to work on short notice or weekends, nights, holidays. Its bad for awhile, but its the way for a hospital to "audition" you. They don't have any responsibility to continue to employ you if you don't "fit" with them, yet it gives you the opportunity to learn their system, get some experience & move into a position when one becomes available.

    These positions are rarely advertised openly, so you need to get in some way & this is the most effective, unless you've done a residency there.
     
  22. Keppra

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  23. ZpackSux

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    Cali is very close minded???

    Before California adapted NAPLEX, out of state candidates had 50% passing rate vs 80%+ for instate pharmacists. Most of the hospitals already have interns who have worked for them throughout the pharmacy school career and have a sound understanding of the daily operation. And trust me. There are plenty of diversity in academics rather than inbreeding in California.

    Just because you're having difficulties obtaining a hospital pharmacy job in California right now should be no reason for you to make this sort of statement. California pharmacy system does not owe you a job...when there are plenty of highly qualified instate pharmacists applying for jobs. I'm sure you'll eventually find a job. But what makes you more appealing than other candidates in California when you're not licensed and haven't interned in Ca?

    How much hospital pharmacy experience do you have?
     
  24. sdn1977

    sdn1977 Senior Member

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  25. ZpackSux

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    USC druggist is the best one eh?:smuggrin:
     
  26. ZpackSux

    ZpackSux Retired
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    SDN... you won't believe this. As you know....I was working as a consultant for a GPO... one month into the job... a pharmacy management company I worked for 4 years ago called...and asked me to take the regional clinical director job...working out of my house!!!!! And only 10 hospitals with 3 outliers.. Vermont, Maine, and WV...yes WV.. and the rest in my area.

    I couldn't say no to working out of home... So I start the new job next Monday. This week.. I get to play. I kinda like not working!!!:smuggrin:
     
  27. sdn1977

    sdn1977 Senior Member

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    Yeah - I hate to say it....she's pretty good - graduated about 1990. She has a good ability to handle work & laugh - a great person to work with.;)
     
  28. ZpackSux

    ZpackSux Retired
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    Coolness! One of my best friends is a c/o 1990.. that was a good class...
    It's the USC attitude... we're laid back..and like to have fun.

    I do remember quite a few UCSF pharmacists who were really high strung.. :smuggrin:

    But I know you're not like that.....
     
  29. sdn1977

    sdn1977 Senior Member

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    I truly CANNOT believe this!:eek: Do these jobs just fall from the sky into your lap???

    So....now, let me get this stright...you send little Miss Sux off to school in the AM, Sarah & baby Sux get their day going, you start to work in your study, baby Sux gets put down for his afternoon nap and you and Sarah..........:love:

    Yeah - I can see it now. Gotta work late, who knows what happened to the day. Before we know it, you'll be working from midnight to 3AM 'cause you were out on the golf course in the AM & coaching soccer in the afternoon.

    Oh - don't let me forget the times you have to fly to Vermont & Maine - about the time the fall colors change - no??? Gotta take the family. I'm still trying to find a reason to see WV on my way to NC - now you have to go:laugh: .

    What a gig - ENJOY!:D (can I say I envy you???)
     
  30. sdn1977

    sdn1977 Senior Member

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    Nope - not me. Life's too short not to have a bit of fun!
     
  31. ZpackSux

    ZpackSux Retired
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    I'm really lucky. In 2000, I hooked up with guy who was a regional director for Owen Pharmacy management co. He took me in and showed me the gist of rx management over next 2 years. During that time, I met a bunch of people..who are now in RX management everywhere. If I was hiring, I wouldn't hire me... too many jobs everywhere. It's amazing what opportunites open up when you have a decent clinical background and have rx management knowledge. I do think Cardinal (who bought Owen) Pharmacy Management training program is great...for anyone who wants to get into this field.

    What's amazing is, many pharmacy directors do not have a sound pharmacy/clinical finanacial skills nor the knowledge... that's why outsourced pharmacy management companies are thriving still.

    Well, Sarah has it worked out...she is already planning a trip to Maine....

    But when I do work...I'll have to be working 8 to 4... But as long as I have my blackberry and wireless card on the laptop...I could be anywhere working!!:smuggrin:
     
  32. Keppra

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    I'm sorry if offended anyone about my quote about lack of diversity, but a professor has actually given me that misinformation about CA probably to dissuade me from going there. Now I don't know the reason why he would tell me that, but I believed him. It's good to know that you try, you can still get a job, but it'll probably take me a long time. I always knew our school here on the east coast isn't as superior as UCSF and USC, but we're a pretty decent college of pharmacy in east coast standards. There could be a difference in standards then. I'll see where my college stands in July.
     
  33. sdn1977

    sdn1977 Senior Member

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    I've worked with LOTS of dops. Although most have good financial skills (but, what do I know....that's not my field:p ), their clinical skills are AWFUL! They rely on people who either talk the loudest (hmmm - hospital administration), talk the longest (hmmm - surgery) or who aren't strong enough to talk at all (clinical pharmacy managers without enough experience to critically evaluate studies) to develop policies & procedures.

    The other weak area in a dop are their people skills - their staff must believe that at all times, no matter what, if a pharmacist has followed policy, good professional practice & sound clinical judgement - the dop will stand behind them. I've seen too often a dop making excuses to nursing administration or some other faction within the hospital for what they perceive is a transgression when it was not at all & this demoralizes a staff faster than anything else.

    I've always said a dop must continually walk on a fence - its a delicate balance, but the good ones are great - the bad ones can't keep staff.

    You know - Ohio State used to have a tremendous residency for hospital pharmacy administration. Does Cardinal have a residency for rx management? They could set up a great one - incorporating not just fiscal management, but the ability to critically evaluate studies and use the data in appropriate settings, use that data to set up protocols (think thrombolytic protocols, antiemetic, etc protocols), evaluating payor mix & evaluating contract pricing to maximize reimbursement, learning & evaluating new technology & where the pt census/rx load numbers had to be to have the technology be fiscally sound as an investment, learning how to change work models to incorporate JCAHO regulations......there really are lots of opportunities for someone who had an academic desire & Cardinal would get the benefit of seeing those candidates who had the "best" potential.

    Have you ever worked with Outcomes - a commercial MTM management company which is now using local pharmacies to actually do MTM, but under their protocols & reimbursement structure? Thats also an interesting non-traditional work setting, allthough retail not hospital.

    Now - don't try to blow me off - I KNOW exactly what "working" 8 to 4 means. That Blackberry will be tucked in the side pocket of your golf bag on more than one day:cool: .

    Anyway - good luck. It sounds like a great job & I wish you well. You must get back to me though & give me a reason to get to WV......WVA hasn't told me enough to get me to want to go there:p . I already know I want to get to Maine.
     
  34. sdn1977

    sdn1977 Senior Member

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    I think you misunderstand - it is not a matter of standards. Your college of pharmacy is a good as UCSF or USC I'm sure. Its just who you are competing against.

    Unless you've done the very basics - demonstrating your willingness to come to CA by obtaining a license here - no one really believes you can even obtain a job at all. How would any dop be able to evaulate you as a candidate - you've not given them any way to make that determination.

    Don't be a victim here! Be proactive & assertive. Get online & get yourself registered for the CA exam. Get LORs from your work experience in your own state & come with that.
     
  35. Keppra

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    Trust me, I've had my license application sent in to CA State Board of Pharmacy since the last week of March in anticipation that I would get the residency. But basically I talked to the Board and since I don't graduate until mid-May, the application would be pending until I get them a final transcript. I have an intern license I received a few months back but there's still many things I need to finish up here before I can leave and intern in CA. More than anything, I would love to be in S. CA job searching and interviewing but unfortunately, life's not that easy. When you make a big move like that, there are a lot of loose ends to tie up before you leave.
     
  36. sdn1977

    sdn1977 Senior Member

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    So...no worries. When you graduate & get your loose ends tied up, make your move here. You already know someone who'll give you a place to sleep & I figure he'll feed you as well & probably let you borrow his car.

    Then....take the telephone book (or computer;) ), your CA intern license, a full tank of gas & start pounding the pavement for every hospital within 50 miles of where you want to be (50 miles is not that far in S CA). There are lots & lots of hospitals!!

    Apply to every HR department, but don't stop there! Stop by the pharmacy after or before you go to HR & ask to speak to the dop. Tell him/her you've just moved here from whereever, have your CA intern license, are waiting to take the state board exam & would just love to work for him/her.

    Be sure to wear something professional & your best smile. Don't forget the VA - you don't need a CA license to practice at the VA - any state license will do & there is a HUGE VA hospital in LA, so you can apply as a pharmacist there if you're licensed in your home state.

    Be willing to work any shift, any days, do anything just to get your foot in the door as a graduate intern. You'll make it - you just need to give yourself time & be HERE - no one will hire you from that distance unless you come with a CV & are recruited.

    Good luck - you'll make it.
     
  37. ZpackSux

    ZpackSux Retired
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    Yes, OSU has a great residency....one of the guys I went to school with did a residency there... in fact he's one of the VPs of the company I'll be working for. I'm not sure Cardinal has a residency...but they do have good DOP and Clinical manager tracks. I have to say they probably lead the industry in training DOPs... And one of the first things we do is look at the GPO the hospital is using...and see the compliance. I've always had my hospital at 99.5%+ as the purchasing compliance goal. Drove my buyers nuts....

    What the heck is a MTM management?
     
  38. cycloketocaine

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    It's Medication Therapy Management. I only know of it being done on our Part D people. I don't do em, so I'm not real sure of all it entails, but I know that the girl that does them has to fill out a patient chart, disease states, blah blah, and this program suggests lower priced generic alternatives for stuff they're already taking (to save them money of course). Anyway, we get a little extra moolah for counseling and consulting (for real).
     
  39. ZpackSux

    ZpackSux Retired
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    So..MTM Management ... Medication Therapy Management Management??:smuggrin:

    Hey...are you still in the Hostiple? That's what my daughter used to call it when she was about 2 ish..
     
  40. cycloketocaine

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    Got out Friday......thought I was going back last night. I drank some milk, and didn't know I wasn't 'posed to. I thought my insides were going to eat themselves.
     
  41. ZpackSux

    ZpackSux Retired
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    hmm.... well, at least you're out. Get better.
     
  42. genesis09

    genesis09 Senior Member

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    MTM, ah, one of those buzzwords you keep on hearing about. My understanding is that a pharmacist meets with a patient to review his/her drug therapy. You check for interactions and ensure the patient is taking his/her mediations properly.
    I really should know this because I did one of my drug interviews at the UIC MTM clinic.
    MTM is currently covered by Medicare Part D, and if it goes well, pharmacists might be named medicare service providers. If that happens, medicade and private insurance will follow. As everyone at UIC knows, your job is not done until you bill.
     

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