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Is Pharmacy Dying?

Discussion in 'Pre-Pharmacy' started by ucbearcats2012, Aug 10, 2011.

  1. ucbearcats2012

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    Hi,

    I'm going to be a senior in highschool and I'm HIGHLY considering pharmacy as a career (and probably a 0-6 school). My question is, is this a bad choice? Is the pharmacy career dying? I feel like companies are trying to cut the 100k salaries of pharmacists by replacing them with computers... but on the other hand I feel like society's dependecy on drugs (especially with the aging baby boomers) pharmacy could only grow. Which one of these theories is right?

    Thanks so much
     
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  3. chemguy79

    chemguy79 New Member
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    This is not a cut and dry question, so trying to make it one is a recipe for FAIL. There are tons of other threads on the board, let alone articles on the web, so make your own choices and see what happens.
     
  4. cycloketocaine

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    :beat::beat::beat::beat::beat::beat::beat::beat:
     
  5. ucbearcats2012

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    It says your status is prepharmacy... as of right now do you regret going into pharmacy? are you happy with it? i really value the opinion of someone whos gone/ is going through it
     
  6. LazyMooch

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    Someone's gonna get blasted for not searching...

    Seriously though, I just finished my first year of undergrad and nothing looks any more promising. Sure it might be more difficult to find a job, but in my mind that's better than working my way up the corporate ladder *shudder*.

    You just need evaluate your needs and evaluate pharmacy and see if they coincide. The funny thing is that, like all professions, pharmacy is dynamic and could be totally different than it is now when you graduate. Life is a gamble like that.

    The only advice I can solidly give you is that you shouldn't build your life around your career, but rather, you should build your career around your life.

    Also, avoid student loans. They suck. Go the cheapest way possible hahaha.
     
  7. matt48

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    Consider medical school and dentistry as well as pharmacy. You may not know that the time frame that you need to get a PharmD is equivalent to DDS and MD/DO. Also, when I applied for pharmacy school, I did not know that the curriculum for PharmD involves so much clinicals, I feel like if I had a choice I would go back and apply for MD/DO instead.
     
  8. akaEMILY

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    I'm interested in pharmacy as well and I was curious about the same question. My cousin is a pharmacist, and although I haven't talked to her directly.. my parents tell me that she has multiple jobs at different pharmacies because she can't get a full time stable job at one pharmacy place. I believe she has 3 different pharmacy jobs that she has to travel to each time.. that sounds pretty hectic.
     
  9. rxlea

    rxlea Almost a unicorn
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    Contrary to what an above poster mentioned, PharmD is not the same time frame as MD/DO. Whereas with a PharmD residency is not required, for MD/DO, you will be spending 3-4 years in a residency. That is why the PharmD is appealing to many; it is a short path to a lucrative career in health care. Prior to recent years, competition for jobs was virtually non-existent. Now it should factor into your decision, as well as the increasing need for residency to get "clinical" positions. I would not say that pharmacy as a profession is dying; rather, it is changing and those that can adapt the best to these changes will continue to succeed in their chosen career. The negativity on this forum is definitely over represented.

    If you can, find pharmacists in your community to talk to. This will help you learn more about the profession and the direction it is heading. Do not limit this to conversations with retail pharmacists. There are many more sectors that pharmacists can work in.

    With that said, if you use the search function, you will be able to read several opinions on the direction of the pharmacy profession. Remember, though, that they are opinions and there are a number of factors that should go into your decision for pursuing pharmacy. Best of luck :)
     
  10. SHC1984

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  11. UNMorBUST

    UNMorBUST Mystery Man
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  12. SHC1984

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    Sure! lol...


    Hell, #3 actually looks a lot better than pharmacy! Well, if pharmacy doesn't work out I know what to do next. :)
     
  13. owlegrad

    owlegrad Uncontrollable Sarcasm Machine
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  14. matt48

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    Unless you plan on working in a retail pharmacy or go to the middle of nowhere or working graveyard, residency is a must for any PharmD grad nowadays for any hospital related position. If you wanna go to Amcare, 1 to 2 years residency is absolutely required, period. I stand correct in saying that the time frame for PharmD is similar to that of MD/DO/DDS for those who want a hospital related position. Of course if you want to work in retail pharmacy, no residency is required.
     
  15. rxlea

    rxlea Almost a unicorn
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    Uhm, no. Residency is not absolutely required. We hire plenty of RPh's without residency for clinical/staff hybrid positions and I know a lot of other hospitals in the area do too. Also, residency for PharmD is 1-2 years vs. 3-4 for MD. So, no, you are not correct.

    EDIT: I think there is a lot of hearsay about the residency required. There may be positions that state &quot;residency preferred&quot;, sure. But if you make a really good impression on your rotations, you might have the upper hand against the applicant with residency. Also, it is sometimes about who you know...that is why networking is so important. Two of our last hires were straight out of school (no residency) but they knew people in the department...</p>
     
    #14 rxlea, Aug 10, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2011
  16. LazyMooch

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    My GF is a licensed massage therapist. Try 18 to 20k a year lol. And that includes all her coworkers (across multiple salons).

    #2 looks sweet though. I have a cousin-in-law who heads security at a state mall (ex detective) and he is making bank.

    Back to topic though:

    Pharmacy takes less time to complete and is easier to get into than DO/MD. I don't know the difficulty of the course material, but as far as professional degrees go, I here that its on the easier spectrum.

    Of course, its all heresay. I can get back to you in 5 years once I get the degree.
     
  17. MeowMeowCAT

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    When people talk about saturation and such, is this just the "popular" specialities like retail? Or everything related? What about in pharmaceuticals or something, I have seen a number of jobs where you need a PharmD and you just work for some compan rather than an actual pharmacy.
     
  18. LazyMooch

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    Harder to get into, generally more competition, typically a residency/fellowship/dual degree are required or desired.

    Also, you typically start at a significantly smaller salary. However, the workplace environment is supposedly better. Once again, it depends on what you're looking for in your career.
     
  19. Rx MPLS

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    It's harder to get residencies now, too. In the past, there were more openings for residencies than placements, but this past year the number of applicants was double the number of residencies.
     
  20. LazyMooch

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    Plus, you work your ass off at a 2yr residency for a very (relatively low) salary. But again, the end job is supposedly better and statistically the positions have a lower turn over rate.
     
  21. Rx MPLS

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    I think it's really a personal decision. Some people wouldn't be happy in those jobs at all; others wouldn't be happy in any sort of retail position.

    There's a choice made when you graduate. If you choose the residency path, I've heard you can go into retail later, but if you choose a straight retail path, it can be difficult or impossible to go into a hospital setting at a later point. This, of course, is probably highly dependent on the demand for pharmacists at any given point in time.
     
  22. armorking

    armorking King of Iron Fist
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    Let's be honest here. If you don't have any type of communication skills and cannot network, then you are going to have a difficult time finding something with a Pharm.D. If you do find something, it may not be what you want.

    If all you want is retail, you still have to network (and pass pharmacy school unless grades start to become important there). If you want a decent residency, you have to put in the work and earn decent grades while in pharm school. If you want to be some type of manager, director, or something of the sort, combine your degree with an MBA. If you want to combine clinical pharmacy with a research background, do a PharmD/MS or PharmD/PhD. If you want to be some type of patent lawyer (or something similar), do a PharmD/JD. I've only listed a few of the many options out there.

    The truth is if you want the most out of any career, try to be the total package with whatever field you may have chosen. If you aren't going to put your best foot forward no matter how difficult it is, then life isn't going to be as fulfilling.
     
  23. matt48

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    I'm not talking about special circumstances where people knew other people in some department or have connections via friends/family. Those are rare cases and should not be discussed as such. I'm talking about normal situations where you just graduate with a pharmD vs someone who has a residency. All else being equal, your chance of getting a hospital related job is slim to none compared to a candidate with a residency.

    Furthermore, you are not the only one who can make a good impression on your rotation. The candidate with residency most likely have made good impression not only on their rotation but also on their residency (thats one of the reason why they got their residency to begin with).

    Pharmacy is changing very quickly. 10 years ago, you dont ever need a residency to get a hospital related job, and you don't need a bachelor degree to get into a pharmacy school, but now everything has changed. Most pharmacy schools now require bachelor degree prior to admission into pharmacy school, especially in competitive regions like California. It only gets more competitive down the line, especially to the orignal poster since he/she is only in highschool and by the time he got into pharmacy and graduates (maybe another 8-10 years in the future assuming he got his Bachelor first), residency may not be optional anymore. That's just hospital related job. For Amcare position, right now 1 year residency is required and 2 years is prefered, but in 8-10 years, that may change to 2 years requirement.

    What I'm saying is that the original poster and many others who haven't absolutely decided that pharmacy is their career choice, they may not know that they can spend roughly the same time studying other medical related fields such as MD/DO/DDS and have a much more rewarding result than pharmD in terms of job/monetary compensation. You may spend an additional 1 to 2 years for MD compared to PharmD assuming residency is the path you take, but if you already spend 10 years of schooling in either path, an additional 1 to 2 years of residency is not that significant compared to what you will get out of it in the end.

    As I mentioned before, when I decided that pharmacy is for me (by volunteering in a pharmacy/hospital/working as an inpatient tech in the weekends), I did not know how much clinical is involved in a PharmD and I wanted a quickest way to finish school, not that I am less intelligent nor capable as other MD/DO student. I'm sure many prepharm students on this forum are like me. This is my advice for them. If you are capable, hardworking, smart, don't narrow down your choice to just PharmD based on your initial thoughts of the length of study and how "easy" it is.

    However, if you don't have much time and you know your capabilities and you are absolutely sure that pharmacy is the only career you like, by all means choose pharmacy since you already knew what you want.
     
    #22 matt48, Aug 11, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2011
  24. rxlea

    rxlea Almost a unicorn
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    That was certainly long winded. I encourage you to steer clear of broad generalizations and definitive statements like "residency is required" because that is not accurate. I wouldn't say "most" schools require a bachelors degree, either, aside from schools in California. The path is still shorter than MD/DO even if you plan on a residency. Also, where are you getting your information that residency is required for AmCare positions?

    As for knowing people.. you are highly underestimating the power of networking. Pharmacy is a small world. Residency or not, if you are known to be an ass, word gets around. On the flip side, if you are known to be personable and hardworking, you might have a bit of the upper hand.

    Perhaps residency will be required 10 years from now; we don't know. However, at present moment, we should give the OP the most accurate information, as it will be hard to guess where pharmacy will go in the future, especially in the face of difficult economic times and a changing health care system.
     
  25. PhoenixFire

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    Umm... talk about "a changing health care system", how will it affect the Pharmacy profession?
     
  26. rxlea

    rxlea Almost a unicorn
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    We don't know yet...
     
  27. Digsbe

    Pharmacist 7+ Year Member

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    Pharmacy is an evolving career, but as it stands today it's very much as rxlea says. Making yourself marketable and connections are very important. In your P4 year you will do rotations, if you can impress those that you do rotations with then that can help you immensely with trying to find a job. Your professors will also most likely have connections in the pharmacy world as well.

    As for residencies, they are not required. If you are wanting to be a clinical specialist I would say that a residency would be in your best interest. However, if you are wanting to work retail or work in a hospital pharmacy a residency may be helpful but is not required. To my knowledge residency pay isn't terrible, a PGY1 residency may pay somewhere from 40-45k a year and a PGY2 may pay 50-55k a year. the MD/DO path does take longer. 3-4 years of residency are required. However, even after you complete residencies and become a licensed physician in a certain field you will still need to earn a reputable name for yourself to succeed in that profession.

    If you don't have connections in pharmacy and you are planning on going to pharmacy school I would say to polish your work ethic and impress your professors. Impress those you work with during your P4 rotations. Even if job positions are not open where you have done rotations you may be able to earn a powerful LOR for another job. Don't underestimate the power of a good work ethic. I would not say that pharmacy is dying, I would say that it's evolving.
     
  28. chemguy79

    chemguy79 New Member
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    QFT and LMAO.
     
  29. matt48

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    You are putting words in my mouth. I said the chance of getting a hospital related job is slim to none if you don't have residency, not that residency is required for hospital related jobs. The only time I said residency is required is for Amcare. By the way, if you don't know this, maybe you should do more research before coming here posting inaccurate information?

    As for networking, I didn't say anything about pharmacy not being a small world. There is a difference between making a good impression vs knowing someone personally to get you a job. I'm sure if the person doesnt make a good impression or be an ass, then that person shouldn't be applying for a job to begin with or he/she is too ******ed to know that his/her application would be rejected either way.

    As for your claim of my underestimation of the power of networking, I beg to differ. I didn't deny how important networking is, however, at this level of education, I assume everyone who goes out on rotation should be smart enough to know that networking is necessary if you want to get a job later on. So, the real question is, how do you differentiate yourself from your peers, assuming everyone already knew how to network?

    The only thing I can agree with you is to let the orignal poster know the accurate information, that is his chance of getting a hospital related job WITHOUT residency is slim compared to a candidate who has residency, not the other way around. This is even more true in 8-10 years from now, when the pharmacy field is even more competitive than it is today. Oh and before you start to jump in saying networking will help you get a job vs the candidate with residency, let me tell you this: the guy with residency knows how to network too. If you think otherwise, then perhaps I should stop wasting my time writing any further since it would be useless.
     
    #28 matt48, Aug 12, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2011
  30. rxlea

    rxlea Almost a unicorn
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    No need to get huffy. I think you need to go back and read the part where you wrote that residency is a must for any new PharmD grad for any hospital related position (and the part where you wrote that the path to MD/DO takes the same amount of time as PharmD) Once again, I ask you where you are getting your info that residency is REQUIRED for AmCare? I've been around these parts long enough to know that what you are saying is BS and most likely based on rumor/hearsay. As far as speculating about how pharmacy will be in 8-10 years? That's just silly right now.

    I've done enough research; believe me. How long have you worked in pharmacy?

    Please see the above poster's comments on residency and the job market as they are most in line with what is actually going on.
     
  31. matt48

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    Apparently your research is out of date regarding residency requirement on Amcare. Just because you've been around doesnt mean you have the most uptodate information.

    How long have I worked in the pharmacy is irrelevant to the matter being discussed. If you think Amcare doesn't require a residency, be my guest. I'm done arguing.

    For those who want to go into Amcare, please quote the above poster comment if the Amcare site rejects your application because he/she said my residency requirement for Amcare is BS.

    To the original poster, since you are still in high school, you can either follow my advice and take into account how competitive pharmacy is by the time you graduate pharmacy school (8-10 years from now) or you can follow the rxlea belief based on today job market. It doesn't take a genius to figure out if pharmacy is getting more competitive or not in a decade from now.
     
    #30 matt48, Aug 12, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2011
  32. rxlea

    rxlea Almost a unicorn
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    No one is "arguing". You still didn't answer the question. Please post where you are getting your information regarding Amcare. Perhaps it will be helpful to other SDN members?

    This wasn't a discussion about competitiveness. Everyone knows the job market is becoming increasingly competitive regardless of the field. It was a discussion about the requirement for residency and the length of time to PharmD vs MD as it relates to pharmacy being a bad choice or not. But we should get back to the OP's original question: Is pharmacy dying? No, it is not.
     
  33. owlegrad

    owlegrad Uncontrollable Sarcasm Machine
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    lol

    rxlea is correct based on everything I have seen - residency is preferred but not yet required. No one knows what it will look like 10 years from now - do you think people in 2001 knew what it would look like today? Of course not.

    Pharmacy is not dying.

    /thread please
     
  34. type b pharmD

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    Agree with rxlea. I know more than a handful of people who have gotten hospital jobs without residency, and at least one in amcare. Granted that's a small sample size but it immediately invalidates the idea that residency is required. Residency will never be required in and of itself (for licensure) because there will never be enough residency slots for the graduating classes.
     
  35. MeowMeowCAT

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    What?!

    *starts getting the paperwork out of the shredder*
     
  36. xtsukiyox

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    :thumbup:
     
  37. SHC1984

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    Have you read last month's subscription of Cosmo???? There was an article written by a massage therapist that serves celebrities...she has the job right there!
     
  38. owlegrad

    owlegrad Uncontrollable Sarcasm Machine
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    Of course, I wouldn't miss a subscription of Cosmo.
     
  39. UNMorBUST

    UNMorBUST Mystery Man
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    The girl on this months cosmo is hott. :love:
     
  40. SHC1984

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    Kim K is hot (last months) but the blond chick on this months magazine is average at best.
     
  41. SHC1984

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    You would be crazy to miss it! Even during pharmacy school...I read EVERY SINGLE subscription! :thumbup:
     
  42. UNMorBUST

    UNMorBUST Mystery Man
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    You have bad taste so I will let this slide.
     
  43. SHC1984

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    Oh whatever! You think the hottest woman on earth (Angelina Jolie) is ugly, so you have bad taste! :p
     
  44. SparkleMotion

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    too old
     
  45. xtsukiyox

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    Angelina Jolie = Mrrow. (Well, if we both swung that way.)

    Thread hijack = successful.
     
  46. UNMorBUST

    UNMorBUST Mystery Man
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    I agree she is Mrrow. If by Mrrow you mean ugly.:D:thumbup:

    I like how women like her and men think she is ugly and disproportionate.
     
  47. owlegrad

    owlegrad Uncontrollable Sarcasm Machine
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    False
     
  48. R2pharmD2

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    False indeed!
     
  49. njac

    njac Senior Member
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    HAHAHAHHA.

    I made $50K at my PGY-1.

    and then $38K at my PGY-2.

    It's all about location and individual programs, there are no generalities beyond "somewhere between $35-50K"
     
  50. Temperature101

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    It's been dead and buried...
     
  51. rxlea

    rxlea Almost a unicorn
    Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

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    Pharmacist
    I might be the only lesbian alive that thinks angelina jolie is nothin' special.
     

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