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Just starting pre-pharmacy curriculum, UCSF bound?

4334sunset

New Member
Jun 5, 2016
4
0
  1. Pre-Pharmacy
    Greetings;

    I am getting started a little later than most of you pharmacy students, but "life happened" and I am just getting back into school. I'm almost 30 and starting my pre-pharmacy curriculum.

    I was a board certified pharmacy technician in 2007 but never pursued that career. It was not a viable option. Just starting out, I am planning on breaking this pre-pharmacy curriculum into chunks to manage it all.

    Just wanted to hear from anyone who is starting this process with a family. I have two children and a wife and have been working 50-60 hours a week in my current job in the petroleum industry. I am probably having a mid-life crisis earlier than most people and had this realization that I need to fulfill my intellectual potential and get that pharmacy degree I have been dreaming of since age 16.

    The goal I have, and it is a long shot, is to get into UCSF pharmacy school with only the pre-pharmacy prerequisites completed. I have my reasons for avoiding a bachelor degree, namely because I have excellent work ethic and can devote 60 hours a week to study if it came down to it. UCSF does not necessarily require a bachelor's degree. With a stellar GPA, a strong essay, renewing a pharmacy tech license and getting pharmacy experience for the next 2 years, I think this can be attainable.

    I am choosing UCSF for many reasons, namely because it has the highest cost of living allowance, and I live in a region very close to the SF Bay area, but just outside of the Bay Area to have a very affordable cost of living. In theory, it is possible to drive 45 minutes, take the BART, then take the N-JUDAH to school, and avoid the insane cost of living in San Francisco--which I have experienced first-hand after living there in 2010...

    Anyone who is just starting , feel free to post in this thread. This is geared towards UCSF students and prospective students. Share as much as you can with me about your experience, especially if you have a family.
     

    PharmtoCS

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    10+ Year Member
    Aug 2, 2011
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      The job market and overall environment was very different when you first became interested in pharmacy. There were fewer than 8 pharmacy schools. Salaries skyrocketed, and chains gave signing bonuses. Tuition was also much lower. Now there are 14 schools in California. Signing bonuses are long gone, staffing in pharmacies has been cut, corporate metrics are at an all time high, and a PGY1 is essentially required for hospital positions. It's difficult for new grads to get full-time hours or even land jobs, period. If it wasn't a viable option in 2007, then it is probably even less viable now.
       

      Jersanta

      Full Member
      Jan 22, 2016
      46
      13
      1. Pre-Medical
        Yes, I agree that the job market for pharmacy is saturated compared to a decade ago. However, despite the decreased demand for pharmacists at the moment, as long as you are willing to move where the jobs are, you'll find a job as a pharmacist! As long as you are willing to work harder than the rest you'll be fine :)
        With a school like ucsf with a good reputation and good connections, you should fine. Ucsf looks for diverse students and one of my classmates who also had a child at a young age was accepted to their medical program.

        Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G900A using SDN mobile
         
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        4334sunset

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        Jun 5, 2016
        4
        0
        1. Pre-Pharmacy
          What do you people think the job market is for the Portland or Seattle areas? Of course I'm asking for the prospective market, we are talking 6-8 years out. Has anyone done this with a family? I have two kids. This is going to be rough.
           

          PharmtoCS

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          Aug 2, 2011
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            What do you people think the job market is for the Portland or Seattle areas? Of course I'm asking for the prospective market, we are talking 6-8 years out. Has anyone done this with a family? I have two kids. This is going to be rough.

            No idea about Portland and Seattle specifically, but major cities that are desirable places to live were the first areas to saturate. With chains merging and pharmacy schools cranking out graduates in record numbers, the job market will probably be much worse in 6-8 years compared to now.

            Are you considering computer science or going to a coding bootcamp at all? Software engineers are in very high demand in the Bay Area, so you will most likely not have to relocate to find a job after you graduate. You can also fulfill your intellectual potential and earn a pharmacist salary without having to take out $200k+ loans and spend another 4 years in school.
             
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            4334sunset

            New Member
            Jun 5, 2016
            4
            0
            1. Pre-Pharmacy
              Are you considering computer science or going to a coding bootcamp at all? Software engineers are in very high demand in the Bay Area, so you will most likely not have to relocate to find a job after you graduate. You can also fulfill your intellectual potential and earn a pharmacist salary without having to take out $200k+ loans and spend another 4 years in school.
              I've considered software engineering, the thing is it takes constantly re-learning material all of the time to stay relevant and competitive. We aren't talking about refresher-course continuing education stuff like pharmacy requires. We're talking about constantly learning entire platforms and possibly even programming languages. It sounds good, but I suspect the dot-com is a bubble and will bust at some point, and all the transient techies will leave SF in an exodus. I really have a resentment for the tech industry in San Francisco, it's such a limited amount of habitable space that I really think it belongs down in San Jose where the urban sprawl will not push out so many residents. But that's just an opinion ;)
               

              exiangwsu

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              2+ Year Member
              Jul 17, 2015
              189
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              1. Pre-Pharmacy
                I can understand your dilemma . Although i dont have kids, I still considered myself as a nontraditional student. I worked on the sales team for a few years in the biotechnology company. I am also completing a part-time master. I start to realize my job and degree are not intellectually stimulated or challenged enough. I never like the business side of biotechnology. My passion always lays in pharmacy and pharmaceutical science. It was a difficult decision. I realized I am risking my current job, 14k tuition and four years of time where I can enhance my professional experience. However, I choose to pursue after my dream. In this September, I will attend UCSF.

                I dont know if i will regret my decision. It is true the market is saturated. However, there are still opportunities. I am interested in the industry, work as a drug safety scientist, a medical liaison, or a clinical trial manager. I can combine my years of professional experience with my pharmacy education to pursue a job I really enjoy.
                 
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