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Is pharmacy school worth it?

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

  1. I worked as a pharm tech before, took ~ 60 units of pre-pharm, have an associate degree and now try to earn PharmD.
    Pharm tech is the only job I've ever had.
    Looks like I have to lie that I don't have a pharmD if I want to apply for a pharm tech job again?
    I will have 160k student loan debt when I graduate and I have to pay it off by all means.
    Pharm tech or pharmacist are the only jobs I know and want to do.
     
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  3. Modest_anteater

    Modest_anteater Austin, Texas, USA.

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    Yeah you will have to lie about having a pharmD degree if you want to get a pharm. tech job. The pharmD degree would be a huge liability and hurt you if you are trying to get a tech job.
     
    EastBay80 likes this.
  4. stoichiometrist

    7+ Year Member

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    Or you can drop out and study computer science, engineering, or finance instead. I would avoid being a career tech if possible.
     
    Modest_anteater likes this.
  5. I know CS and engineering are so hard for me because I already tried. Biology and chemistry are easy for me. I won't run into things that I hate just because of job aspect. I like my tech job.
    I haven't tried finance. I was thinking of doing MBA program concurrently with PharmD program but I was afraid of not liking it.
    Between going for another 2.5 years to earn a pharmD then looking for a job in rural area and starting again 4 years on finance which I'm not sure if I like it or not and not sure how its job market is, which way is the smarter way?
     
  6. What kind of finance jobs are there? I worked as a tech, $18/h. My friend graduated from a 4 year college in accounting, making above $20/h and said that it was not easy to find that job.
     
    #55 EastBay80, Dec 27, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 28, 2017
  7. stoichiometrist

    7+ Year Member

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    How about going to a coding bootcamp? They tend to focus more on learning programming languages and using that knowledge to develop software. This is different from computer science at universities which tends to be more theory based, which the latter is much more difficult to learn.
     
  8. edgerock24

    5+ Year Member

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    Have you switched fields yourself? Or do you just tell others to do so while remaining in pharmacy?
     
    lalaland33 likes this.
  9. Art Vuilleumier
    " ... BUT one question that needs to be asked ... Are you willing to put in the gruelling work needed to do this kind of work?? After nearly 40 years in the business, I know personally I'm no longer willing to put in 4 day marathons or many many sleepless nites to get a problem solved OR a product out the door ..."

    I'd rather get an easy job, like pharm tech, and earn less.
    I think anyone who is successful in coding bootcamp will also be successful in CS at traditional college and vice versa. Once you have a hard time with college, you'll have a hard time to work after getting out of coding bootcamp.

    Pharmacy school now is for pharm techs who want to be pharmacists. It's not hard to get in and to study and it's not that harder for them to work.
    Pharmacy school is also for people with biochem degree and don't know what to do with that kind of degree.
    If they can't find a pharmacist job, they just go back to where they're at right before they enter pharm school.

    I just feel sorry for who never works at a pharmacy, who can do more than just biochem, like being able to think and do programming, doing research, going for MD...
     
    #58 EastBay80, Dec 28, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 28, 2017
  10. GypsyHummus

    7+ Year Member

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    Everyone on here acts like everyone who can become a pharmacist can just become a computer science tech geek and make six figures. Like those jobs that make low six figures are plentiful.

    Or, just waltz right into MD school. You do know how difficult it is to get into MD school, right? The 3.2 that got you into a PharmD program isnt going to work for MD and most DO schools. And the MCAT is on anouther planet compared to the PCAT.

     
    lalaland33 and bankaix808 like this.
  11. I meant:
    Back to 10 years ago, I know a few guys graduated with 4.0, got into pharm school, work as pharmacists. It was competitive back then. They regret for never trying to aim for medical school. I feel sorry for them.
    At my pharm school right now, there's one guy, graduated with 4.0, got in pharm school and is extremely unsatisfied, took MCAT and is planning to quit pharm school if possible. He'll make decision by Feb.
    I know MD program is competitive, 4% of 4.0 GPA students can get in...
     
  12. GypsyHummus

    7+ Year Member

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    Well yeah, if you have a 4.0, why limit yourself. The issue is a majority of the students entering pharmacy school are the lower half 3.0-3.5 students who probably couldn't get into MD school unless they had a spectacular MCAT and connections. There is a hierarchy breaking down with GPAs, MD will always be top dog, followed by DO (though, you have to be ready to work in primary care with the DO route).

    The next best thing for the student with a 3.2 is Optometry school, but they are saturated as well. I would say Podiatry (DPM) is the best alternative to MD/DO but frankly, the first two years are the exact same as medical school and I dont recommend people go to Pod school with low 3.0s. There is a very real chance people can fail out.

    So for the 3.0-3.4 student who majored in bio, chem, or biochem, pharmacy is the best route.

     
  13. PCATBOMBER

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    I think every profession has its flaws. Pharmacy is pushing for provider status and will in the future have pharmacist prescribe. Saturation varies from state to state and locations. It is understandable that a state with 3+ pharmschool will be highly competitive for jobs such as california. Not many are welling to relocate due to family. Many rural areas are in need of pharmacist but nobody wants to work in the unknown place. Some hospitals, and pharmacy only hire people they know or have a net work with them. Those position are like reserved even before it is offered. All jobs are like that now. Internal connection and network is necessary. It is tough but the field of pharmacy seems to be changing drastically for the future. I know old time pharmacist resist these change as who will want to do extra job that doctors,pa and nurses do? But with the growing population and every year increase in health problem the role of pharmacist will be harder not just refilling at the counter. Pharmacist will be doing just as much task as doctors, pa, and nurses. The number of people entering Medschool is dropping also and going the PA route. In the future the demand for doctors will increase due to shortage and it is predicted that some roles will be having pharmacist take over to counter the MD shortage. My advice is be prepare to see a change in the role of pharmacist. There will be more and more direct patient interaction and no more hiding behind the counter. MTM is a big thing now in pharmacy and that is likely a add on. If you live in a state with lots of pharmschool, expect to find saturation. There are also other possibility besides the normal typical retail and hospital setting. Be aware of industrial pharmacist, working for government, working for insurance, etc that are also opening up.
     
  14. stoichiometrist

    7+ Year Member

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    [​IMG]
     
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  15. Haha
     
  16. pharm1091281

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    Yeah because I’m from there too lol


    Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile
     
  17. OMG never think this... please people have a little hope
     
    manan982 likes this.
  18. giga

    Pharmacist U.S. Public Health Service 10+ Year Member

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    Always have a contingency plan. Hope for the best, plan for the worst. It's better to be aware of the reality that you may not find a traditional pharmacist job and you will have to come up with another plan for making a living and paying back your loans. If you are truly dedicated to pharmacy and willing to pay your dues to the profession, I would put that to the test before actually committing to pharmacy school. By that, I mean shadowing pharmacists that work in different settings, or taking up volunteer positions in different pharmacy settings, including any setting that you might consider your worst case scenario. Make sure, as much as you can, that you are actually comfortable with taking on the risk of ending up in a less than ideal setting.

    Even if you are a pharmacy tech who has years of experience and has great relationships with the DM and all the pharmacists they work with - none of them control the job market, and even if they would hire you in a heartbeat, they don't actually get to decide when a job is available or not. Just keep that in mind.

    There are things you can control and things that you cannot control - it is in your best interest to have a good understanding of which is which.

    Not to scare people from joining the profession, but lets be very clear, by all objective measures, the pharmacy job market in its current state and for the foreseeable future is not for the risk averse. If your top priority is job security and a debt-free life, look elsewhere.

    And before pre-pharmers jump on me for not abandoning the profession - the reason I am still in the profession is because I currently have a good job, but timing is a huge factor. I graduated at the right time in the right place, and knew the right people. Even though things have worked out for me so far, I don't feel too comfortable, and am always working on diversifying my skill set beyond pharmacy. Also, I didn't go into much debt for my PharmD, and was able to pay it off within a few months from graduating. If I had to go back and do it all over again and have 100k+ in loans? I'm not sure I would have made the same decision to go to pharmacy school. Plus, walking away from pharmacy school is a lot different from walking away from a profession that you've already established yourself in. Those are two completely different situations, and an established pharmacist doesn't have to abandon the profession to have the insight to warn pre-pharmers of the woes of the profession.
     
  19. BC_89

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    I would save this as a default to those challenging saturation with immunity and putting “hope” over “contingency.” Accurate read.
     
    giga likes this.
  20. :(
    Hello SDNer!!!
    I prefer not to argue but I respect your opinion
     
  21. MQQ

    MQQ IDK

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    I didn't even get in my first choice of pharmacy school, and reading this really makes me not want to pursue for pharmacy....
     
  22. Apothecary Aquinas

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    Reading these posts, and going off of my own observations, it is obvious the retail pharmacist job market is saturated. What about clinical pharmacy and other "specialist" jobs? That is, does doing a 1 or 2 year residency in oncology and trying to go into clinical research, for example, or another area improve the job market for you? Or are all of these "specialty" areas still just as saturated?
     
  23. headortail

    7+ Year Member

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    Generally speaking, the more training you do, the more options you have.
    Or less... At a certain point, over-qualification restricts people.
    If you did a 2-year residencies then fellowship... then apply for a staff pharmacist (or a regular clinical pharmacist job/not leadership), hiring managers will wonder why you're applying (answer: because you can't find a job in your specialty in this area; if we hire you, you may either look down on colleagues/job role, or will leave right away when a position of your specialty opens up).

    The saturation IMO isn't as bad as retail because less people are qualified... but then there are less positions to go around, so it's a close call. Just like retail (or anywhere else really), the more "desirable" the location, the less jobs available. Where I was at in a "second tier" CA metro, some people still get hospital jobs without residencies. If the timing is right and management is desperate to fill the spots, it's totally possible. In the more popular metro like Bay/LA/SD, it's unlikely, unless you've interned at the particular health system, are extremely well-liked, and both management/current staff pharmacists are willing to train you given a lack of residency. Even then, people may be hesitant hiring you over more qualified candidates with residency/board-certification. I HAVE seen it happen, but no where near as frequently as the "second tier" metro.

    Remember that with some training, you'll be more qualified than the rest. But when you choose to specialize, the number of hospitals that can afford to hire an oncology pharmacist is few and far in between. If you are set on specializing in a specific field, you'll have to be willing to relocate to wherever there are jobs that fit your specialty. Basically, observing the movement of upperclassmen has stopped me from doing a PGY-2. During my PGY-1, I found out staffing/gen med floors clinical work was plenty interesting, plus I was at the point where it was more important to settle down, than to pursue the next big clinical gig. Most of the upperclassmen who did a PGY-2 had to move to random places (with bigger health systems/teaching hospitals) to find a job of their specialty. A good majority went into academia. Neither of those options appealed to me.
     
    #72 headortail, Feb 13, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
  24. CaNvWa farm

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    I've heard that finding a retail job is easier than getting a residency. Is that true?
     
  25. lalaland33

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    Your grades and extracurriculars matter when applying for a residency I think. So I'm sure if you have a low GPA, no research, no leadership positions, etc. while in pharmacy school, it'll be harder to get into a residency.
     
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  26. headortail

    7+ Year Member

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    Yes and no. Location, location, location. Also, a retail job is a long-term job. A residency is a 1-year training gig; it by no means guarantees a job after. All it does is increasing your chances. In a way you're comparing oranges to apples. It's like asking is it easier to get a good job after high school, or to get into college?

    - To get a residency, the most important factors are: good rotations/references - work experience (preferably in the setting you want to focus residency on, be it clinic, hospital, etc) - GPA - leadership/EC. After finishing a residency, getting a job involves good references (see the theme?) and interviewing well.
    - To get a retail job, the most important factor is retail work experience (and by default impressing the pharmacists you intern with).
     
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  27. stoichiometrist

    7+ Year Member

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    The clinical jobs might be growing but not quickly enough to make a dent in the job market. They make up only a fraction of the jobs available to pharmacists. Retail employs about 70% of pharmacists.

    [​IMG]
     

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