Is pharmacy school worth it?

Discussion in 'Pre-Pharmacy' started by Pharmgrad2017, Oct 9, 2017.

  1. Pharmgrad2017

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    As a recent 2017 pharmacy grad I just thought I would come on here and share my experience because I wish I would have seen a post like this before I started. If you are thinking about pharmacy school, I would highly suggest that you do your research and reconsider. The job market is currently saturated because pharmacy schools are pumping out way too many students. My graduating class has more than 14,000 new graduates coming out which is much higher than the demand. Companies like Walgreens and CVS are starting to implement wage/hiring freezes and jobs are becoming extremely difficult to come by. I can't even imagine what it will be like in 4 years, you'll never be able to find a job. I myself am also considering going back to school. Also, don't let the admissions people fool you by telling you that the job market is supposed to increase, those projected numbers were based off of a study called the Pharmacy Workforce Project, which they have since realized have made a huge mistake and EXTREMELY overestimated the number of pharmacists that are going to be needed. The Bureau of Labor Statistics only projects a 3% increase which is way below average. Also, if retail isn't your thing and you want to do hospital pharmacy or research, research is almost impossible to get a job and hospital residencies are becoming EXTREMELY competitive and very difficult to get. Pharmacy no longer has the prestige that it did years ago. Just look at what it takes to get into pharmacy school now, basically anyone can get in. Pharmacy has also become much more political and money driven, you don't really get the opportunity to help patients like you used to. If you want to help patients, you will be able to do this MUCH MORE if you become a physician or PA/NP. Nursing would even be a better idea. These are all things that you should consider when looking into pharmacy school and do not let the admissions people fool you because they just want your money. PICK A DIFFERENT PROFESSION.
     
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  3. stoichiometrist

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    If you want the highest take-home pay for the work-life balance I would still choose software engineering. The average salary has surpassed $100k, and that is without having to take out $200k+ in loans and spend another 4 years of your life in school.

    To assess supply vs demand, just look at the difference between how pharmacists and software engineers are treated. Software engineers get all sorts of perks, i.e. catered gourmet meals, on-site gym and laundry, free employee shuttles, etc. whereas pharmacists are on our feet for as long as 14 hours and would consider a bathroom break a luxury. You can tell how replaceable those in each profession are based on how they are treated overall by their employers.
     
  4. Pharmgrad2017

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    Couldn’t agree more...software engineering would be a much better option. Either that or PA school offer a great deal of benefits.
     
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  5. quickpic007

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    my ? is how did you not know when you entered in 2013 or 14 if youre a 2017 grad. Rural areas were still doing 20k bonus sure but big city bonuses had dried some time ago...
     
  6. Pharmgrad2017

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    When I entered in 2013, the job outlook according to BLS was 14% growth until the year 2025 (it is now 3%) and a lot of the more recent studies published with more accurate reflections of the job market were not out yet. It was just after I started pharmacy school that a lot of these numbers came out. I also didn't mention anything about bonus pay so that's getting a little bit off topic. Just simply referring to the job market and outlook in general
     
  7. quickpic007

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    not sure if that was your only criteria for doing rx (its a bad one as you can see)
    I used the sign on bonus model
    2004 employer pays 100 % of tuition plus 10-20k sign on (4 year commit)
    2009 50k sign on (4 year commit)
    2013 25k sign on 2 year commit
    2017 no sign on (until someone quits)
     
  8. Pharmgrad2017

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    Haha, I wouldn’t really consider your method full proof at all. Lots of careers in high demand don’t offer sign on bonuses so I highly question your methodology
     
  9. GrapePropel

    GrapePropel pharmaCYST
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    the thing is these majors are actually hard. Pharmacy school is very easy. That is why so many greedy and dumb people go into it looking for a quick handout.
     
  10. Pharmgrad2017

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    Eh, did you do a PharmD program? I wouldn’t say that at all, there was plenty of people that failed out of my program.
     
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  11. BelowTheMean

    BelowTheMean Member

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    Pharmacy profession keeps getting worse and worse every year it seems. One of my classmates who has been working at CVS for 6 years already just got fired. They said she acted "unprofessional". All that happened was she was at a really busy store and couldnt verify fast enough as the techs wanted so they were yelling and slamming baskets down cuz they were frustrated and she told them off. Long story short even #%#king techs are more treasured by these companies than a person with a professional degree. Don't waste your time, this profession is total crap. Not to mention all those areas they tell you pharmacists will do are now overrun by NP/PA and good luck trying to get those people to give that up to pharmacists. I just want to be able to help any souls on the fence about pharmacy to LOOK THE OTHER WAY!.
     
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  12. phuongkim

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    6 years only? Pssh...
    CVS fired me after 15 years for underperforming in order to hire a 28 year old to replace me for lower starting pay. They dont care one iota about pharmacists or patient safety. Not sure how old your classmate is but I'm 47 and have been unemployed for the past 8 months and the likelihood of me getting another job at this point is none. Since my husband works only part time it's so hard to get by with only that. At least the positive is my sons have that obamacare for now and reduced lunches. Oh and they will be forever saved from doing pharmacy like mommy...they better not!
     
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  13. throw_away5122

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    The problem w pharmacy is that it is dominated by big corporation like CVS, walgreens... Even if you attempt to open your own pharmacy, chances are your store won't survive.
     
  14. PharmZimbo

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    The hospital I'm currently working at just hired a new student that will soon apply to Pharmacy school in the upcoming year. Deep down I wanted to pull her aside and tell her to look into other professions such as do PA, RN or CNP, but then again who am I to change someone's mind about the career they have set their eyes on. I think many of us (Graduates or RPh's) mean well when we advise the upcoming students to look at other professions, but then again I put myself in their shoes and wonder if I would have taken their advice 4-5 years ago.

    As for the person that talked about sign on bonuses, good luck finding companies still offering such incentives. Many rural areas are getting a huge influx of graduates NOT seeking a sign on bonus, but rather full time jobs. My 2 cents regarding the pharmacy profession would be, to consider the possibility of relocation to find a job. "Be flexible!"
     
  15. BigBoss

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    You should do that student a favor by telling them the truth. Whether they change their mind is a separate matter.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  17. TheOracle

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    I am currently an intern at a grocery store pharmacy. I had to stay 2 hours to help because we were backed up 200+ prescriptions. Have in mind, I had assignments from rotation to complete and I had worked 12 days in a row. One customer had the gall to complain and say I was rude because I had to get customers quickly through the line and he had come to pick up his prescription after the gate had closed. I didn't drink one sip of water or eat one crumb that day. When I finally got home, my pee was brown and kidneys hurt. I went for a school-sponsored job interview recently and the company I am interning for IS NOT EVEN HIRING! Residency is a long shot, so it looks like I will have to go back to school and study nursing or computer engineering after I graduate with a useless PharmD.
     
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  18. stoichiometrist

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    See, this is how employers treat you when you are replaceable knowing that you have no else to go if you do not accept the work conditions. If you complain then they will gladly replace you with a new grad with $200k+ in loans who will put up with the abuse just to have a job.

    Sent from my SM-N910V using SDN mobile
     
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  19. TheOracle

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    I am currently in a state of disillusionment; I have just come face to face with reality and it hurts. I was always told that retail was something to fall back on. I knew things were getting bad when the estimated growth of the profession went from 38% to 3% over the last ~6 years. All through pharmacy school I constantly looked on the manpower website and I thought my state was doing ok, at 3.0. I did not realize the degree of saturation until I interviewed with the company I am interning for. They hired 20 interns 2 years ago, with the assumption that we would all be brought on as pharmacists some day. This weekend, I realized that they are only hiring 1-2 interns for part-time/floating positions. Why did they even hire interns and give us false hope. I wish I listened when I had the chance. I have so much regret now. I really wish these pre-pharm students consider other fields because the stuff is starting to hit the fan.
     
    #17 TheOracle, Oct 30, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2017
  20. manan982

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    This is so sad and makes me worried that 5 years from now, I'll be jobless
     
  21. TheOracle

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    Perhaps, who knows...
     
  22. quickpic007

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    There is hope- think of the most desolate, horrible, cold place and call a store in your chain there. Ask for the recruiters or DM info and briefly explain you are an intern in a saturated market. If they hang up, call the next store up the road...someone will help you get an interview if there is a need in their district.

    I am glad you realize you didn't listen when you had the chance. The RX gravy train sailed in 2009, eight years ago.


    If you have not graduated yet think about it...
     
  23. UGAZ

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    This should be a sticky post to alert pre-pharm students. A lot of them are actually blindly going to the profession without understanding how saturated the job market is and will be.
     
  24. UGAZ

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    I am surprised nobody bumps this up....Amazing relevant subject now
     
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  25. Charcoales

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    Market is super saturated atm. Many rph I work with seem scared, they feel trapped with large loans but feel forced to stay even with deplorable working conditions (staying late, no lunch, no bathroom, forced to verify so many rx's that it feels some big mistake is going to happen, yelled at constantly by entitled customers, etc)
     
  26. UGAZ

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    Which state/area are you from? Here at California, it's pretty bad too. I assume you're at populated city like me, in Orange County.
     
  27. jhawkins16

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    I believe that as the profession grows pharmacy schools will become even more competitive. Maybe not as bad as medical school, but I believe that pre-pharmacy students like myself should consider ourselves lucky for applying now instead of 10 years from now. Froms sources I've read the pharmacy profession is expected to grow by 25% through just 2020. That's insane.
     
  28. dannnielleeee

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    The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 5.6% growth by 2026.
     
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  29. luan22

    luan22 https://dichvutaichinh.tumblr.com/

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    Nó là một vấn đề khó khăn, tôi đang học và tôi cần phải cố gắng hết sức để vượt qua khó khăn
     
  30. PharmacistFl12

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    Are you being sarcastic?
     
  31. GypsyHummus

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    Now, a big question that I have is, which one is the less saturated field and overall better profession (pick your poison) to enter; Optometry or Pharmacy?

    Both have a problem with schools expanding

    Both have saturation issues

    Both are allied healthcare professionals who are now wrapped up in the cooperate money making scheme

    Both have outrageous student loans problems

    Both have trouble finding full time work

    Both will most likley work for retail chains

    Both are 4 years, but many are doing residency
     
  32. KKUO

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    from what i'm seeing, pharmacists are needed however not as much as dentists and doctors. my friend recently just got into pharm schools with 2.6-2.7 gpa. the rest of his application is meh. Here, you can see pharm schools accept wide range of people from GPA 2.6 to 3.6 but for limited range of job opportunities in the future. Dental and med schools are getting much harder to get into each year, with 2.6 you have no chance. for job saturation, i think pharmacist will have the toughest in the future. espcially technology is getting more advanced. some might say pharmacists will be replaced by robots (not now but i think its very possible in the future) well, maybe i'm just being salty because i have to study my ass off for dental school while my friend didn't study that much and got into pharm school.
     
  33. manan982

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    Yea but your friend will have to work his ass off in pharm school Bc it's no joke and then he has to take the NAPLAX and that's no joke either so we'll see how much your friend can slack off
     
    #31 manan982, Dec 12, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2017
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  34. GypsyHummus

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    If you (people looking at pharmacy) have a sub 3.0 (like 2.7-3.0) and still want to go into healthcare, but dont want to do nursing/still want to be some type of doctor, I would seriously consider podiatry. The standards right now are ridiculously low at some schools; I cant believe they let people in with 2.7 undergrad GPAs get anywhere near any body part with a scalpel.

    Dentistry is a great profession. I cant believe how expensive tuition is and how competitive it still is with said tuition.

     
  35. Rx530

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    Don’t listen to all this nonsense. You honestly need to look at the job outlook in your specific area. I live about an hour north of Sacramento California and the “saturation” is unheard of in the area. New graduates have no trouble finding jobs starting about 140-150k. Also there is actually a CVS about 45 minuets away that cannot even hire a pharmacists because the lack of applicants so they pay pharmacists gas and overtime to go work there so the store does not fall behind.
     
  36. pharm1091281

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    Are you from yuba city


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  37. jhawkins16

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    Supply is starting to meet demand though. You have to admit that the job market for Pharmacists is not what it was 10 years ago. That's why you need to make yourself as competitive as possible by being involved and networking a lot during Pharmacy school and doing internships.
     
  38. Modest_anteater

    Modest_anteater Austin, Texas, USA.

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    how are stores like this profitable? if they have to pay the pharmacist so much just to work at a rural store and rural areas are usually disproportionately poor does CVS just take a loss on stores like this? why not just close the store?
     
  39. I’m happy to hear this.
    I’m P1 and live one hour South Sacramento.
    I can’t wait to check that out!!!
    Thanks!
     
  40. Rx530

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  41. Rx530

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    Are you at Northstate?
     
  42. No. I wish I knew this school when I was pre-pharmer.
    I'm attending Roseman in Las Vegas. But my home is in Tracy-Stockton.
    I hope I can find a job near my home after graduating in 2020.
     
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  43. BC_89

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    Understand these facts:
    1) Pharmacy is very much saturated.

    2) New schools have opened and currently await regional accreditation while still holding national accreditation

    4) Student Loans are Real with compounded interest not in your favor (just like many careers).

    3) CVS and Walgreens are starting to have wage freezes that have been implemented along with undesirable metrics with little tech help (not as a whole of course, only given regions...being near a metro city and a vacant spot should tell you something).

    OP did not do his/her research and will now pay for it. Just like you if you are daring to predict no saturation in your region by the time you think to graduate with a PharmD. Of course few will have that location with desired hours and many will be floaters traveling many miles a week within a district. Some will have to be unemployed based on number of graduates and number of spots should this trend continue the next 3-5 + years.

    I will never disgruntle an individual from pharmacy if they understand the facts and competition ahead with loans (consider me one of the biggest competitors you’d have the opportunity to meet should I choose this path with experience and no debt to hold me back). OP’s statement(s) come off with emotional attachments, but to say “Don’t listen to all this nonsense” is more wrong than not.

    Know the facts. Prepare for the facts. Then make a move having a contingency plan and start enjoying the career you prepared for.
     
  44. GypsyHummus

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    Cant you find pharmacies in rural areas? Like, not everyone has to work in the city with 500K+ people. There are plenty of 50K towns that would love to have a pharmacist working overnight at either of the two the CVS or Walgreens in town.
     
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  45. BC_89

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    Many cannot. It’s getting to the point that city folks are looking rural Midwest and southern regions. Even the new grads that are floaters are just thankful to have what they have (yet you can tell who worked in a pharmacy before / during there schooling).

    So, can you? Though difficult, yes. This however doesn’t change the facts I had given. If you can hussle and get connections and allow the 50 states to work for you as opportunities and not focus on areas with “family” you may turn out great and start focusing goals elsewhere. Just have a contingency plan for worst case scenarios (something many don’t do especially for saturated careers).
     
  46. Modest_anteater

    Modest_anteater Austin, Texas, USA.

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    "Some will have to be unemployed" I would say Many will have to be unemployed. Even back in 2007 I knew recently graduated pharmacists that were struggling to to find even per diam. Now the situation in worse and will be getting a lot worse as time continues.
     
  47. What will many of them do if they can’t find a job as a pharmacist eventually?
     
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  48. BC_89

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    “Some” was/is an understatement I agree. I’m waiting for popcorn drama once amazon dips their hands in the pharmaceutical industry.
     
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  49. Modest_anteater

    Modest_anteater Austin, Texas, USA.

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    Yes I'm nervous and at the same time very excited about what our new God Bezo has in store for us peasants. I for one hope he starts his own PBM and mail order system where anyone, anywhere can order any drug online. I believe the Amazon Key (TM) (link Amazon Key is a new service that lets couriers unlock your front door) service which allows a secured delivery was introduced for the MAIN REASON OF ALLOWING SAFE DELIVERY OF CONTROLLED PRESCRIPTIONS. While it will be sad to be unemployed and collecting state unemployment again it will be amazing and I will be in awe to watch the pharmacy occupation shrink dramatically from 312,000 pharmacists to ~120,000 pharmacists. CVS, Riteaid, Walgreens will all be decimated by Bezo's iron fist. I have changed my background on my Ipad to a picture of Bezo and have been emailing Amazon HR asking to work for Amazon as a pharmacist. Amazon HQ2 will be announced soon and I will be moving to that city to try to jump on the Amazon-pharmacist jobs before it's too late.
     
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  50. Modest_anteater

    Modest_anteater Austin, Texas, USA.

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    The same thing poly sci, lawyers and art history majors do. Move back home. The more motivated will work at walmart/fastfood/restaurant using PAYE programs to pay the min on their loans while dying some 40 years later still in serious debt. Others like my brother and literally hundreds of my friends will move back home, default on their government debt and just drop out of the system in general spending their day playing LOL, DOTA, WOW, Overwatch, ect while living off their rapidly aging parents. Unfortunately a small subset of this second group will get involved in pills --> snorting heroin --> IVing heroin --> dying in their parents house or on the street in the city. I've had seven friends die from heroin in the last 4 years only one of them was an unemployed pharmacist though.

    For those that want to work i see the environment being hyper aggressive/competitive by 2030. This means a pharmacist unemployment rate of 20%, paying 10-30,000 USD bribes to the DM for your first job, moving to extreme locations, working long hours, ect.

    All of this is speculation though. Who knows what the future holds. Also please don't share this post with the pre-pharmers. Some of them are already having motivational issues and I don't want to exacerbate their less than positive feelings.
     
    #48 Modest_anteater, Dec 25, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2017
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  51. I was just thinking of going back to pharm tech job. I don't have a BS degree.
     
  52. Modest_anteater

    Modest_anteater Austin, Texas, USA.

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    Even if you do lie about not having it. My friend has a three degrees, 1 in psych, 1 in social and a masters in psych. He wasn't able to get a job at Starbucks bc he was "overqualified". So many sure you leave any degrees off your resume as degrees can really hurt your ability to get some jobs.
     

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