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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


    Nov 12, 2017
    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

    stoichiometrist 5+ Year Member

    Aug 2, 2011
    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.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 28, 2017
  7. stoichiometrist

    stoichiometrist 5+ Year Member

    Aug 2, 2011
    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

    edgerock24 5+ Year Member

    Jul 28, 2012
    Have you switched fields yourself? Or do you just tell others to do so while remaining in pharmacy?
  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...
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 28, 2017
  10. GypsyHummus

    GypsyHummus 5+ Year Member

    Jun 12, 2011
    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.

    bankaix808 likes 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

    GypsyHummus 5+ Year Member

    Jun 12, 2011
    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.



    Feb 28, 2016
    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

    stoichiometrist 5+ Year Member

    Aug 2, 2011
    minette, giga and (deleted member) like this.
  15. Haha
  16. pharm1091281


    Apr 6, 2017
    Yeah because I’m from there too lol

    Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile
  17. Pharmacy Princess

    Pharmacy Princess

    Jan 8, 2018
    OMG never think this... please people have a little hope
    manan982 likes this.
  18. giga

    giga Pharmacist 10+ Year Member

    Aug 23, 2005
    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

    BC_89 2+ Year Member

    Oct 13, 2014
    I would save this as a default to those challenging saturation with immunity and putting “hope” over “contingency.” Accurate read.
  20. Pharmacy Princess

    Pharmacy Princess

    Jan 8, 2018
    Hello SDNer!!!
    I prefer not to argue but I respect your opinion

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