Left pharmacy 5 years ago to raise family - how to get back now?

bobaphilic

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Asking for a friend.

The tittle pretty much summed it up. Friend went to a good established top 50 non-diploma mill pharm school. She graduated in 2014, then worked for 1 year at her school hospital's outpatient pharmacy. After that she just decided to stay home to have her kids (no debt as her tuition was entirely paid for). Now fast forward 5-6 years, her kids are more grown up and she's ready to go back to work. However she seems to have a hard time getting an interview anywhere, despite having an active license. She's also geographically restricted to the NE area because her spouse's job.

Really appreciate any advice. I myself am not in the pharmacy field so please pardon any ignorance on my part.
 

Prepharm1214

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She will have an uphill battle, the market is rough as is let alone 5 or 6 years without experience/staying relevant in the field. She needs to get her foot in the door anywhere to just have something current and erase that employment gap.
 
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Sine Cura

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I dunno, chains have been trying to hire temp pharmacists for the last 5-6 months...
 
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iamapharmacist

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As a manager, I would have a hard time justifying hiring someone with 6 year gap. Maybe she should've worked prn somewhere but zero work for 6 years is tough to overcome. Why would I as a manager pass on many other candidates who probably are way more up to date on their practice? Especially in this super saturated market, it would be almost impossible for her to find a job. I would just find a different career.
 
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bobaphilic

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As a manager, I would have a hard time justifying hiring someone with 6 year gap. Maybe she should've worked prn somewhere but zero work for 6 years is tough to overcome. Why would I as a manager pass on many other candidates who probably are way more up to date on their practice? Especially in this super saturated market, it would be almost impossible for her to find a job. I would just find a different career.
Do you advise her to seek a grad intern position even with a full license? Is that even possible? How about residency? Sorry if I am not familiar with the different pathways in pharmacy and appreciate all your insights.
 

M0df

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Did your friend start applying for jobs? She needs to be able to give immunizations. Why talk hypotheticals. Get a CVS immunization type job and see where it goes. And Boston is probably the worst place to come back in after 5 year hiatus. But I am reading between the lines, and chances are your friend will not want to move. So advice here will be rather harsh and hard to swallow.

Grad intern is someone who is not fully licensed. Residency is for people just out of school for the most part. After 6 years, does your friend posses the drive, knowledge, and connections to get into residency?
 
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iamapharmacist

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Do you advise her to seek a grad intern position even with a full license? Is that even possible? How about residency? Sorry if I am not familiar with the different pathways in pharmacy and appreciate all your insights.
Residency would be even harder to get into at this point. I would say her best bet is to start working somewhere as a volunteer for a few months.
 
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bobaphilic

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Did your friend start applying for jobs? She needs to be able to give immunizations. Why talk hypotheticals. Get a CVS immunization type job and see where it goes. And Boston is probably the worst place to come back in after 5 year hiatus. But I am reading between the lines, and chances are your friend will not want to move. So advice here will be rather harsh and hard to swallow.

Grad intern is someone who is not fully licensed. Residency is for people just out of school for the most part. After 6 years, does your friend posses the drive, knowledge, and connections to get into residency?
She does have the drive and the knowledge. She just doesn't have the connections and she's a little on the shy side. Yup it's hard for her to move because she has two small kids, and no family around. As for why they moved to Boston, away from family, at the time it was the only location that her spouse could find a job in. She already applied to many jobs but no interview offers.

I don't believe she had experience giving immunizations before but I think she got the immunization certificate. when you mentioned "CVS immunization type job" does it mean pharmacist + giving shot gig or is it just a shot-giving type of gig only? (it's kinda weird that an MA/LVN can give shots, it doesn't sound like rocket science to me). Again pardon me for the ignorance, I'm not in the pharmacy field :). And thanks for your input!
 

bobaphilic

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Residency would be even harder to get into at this point. I would say her best bet is to start working somewhere as a volunteer for a few months.
How do you even land this type of gig? Do you just walk up to a store and offers to volunteer? What type of responsibilities will you be given? How many hours a week should you volunteer? What about the legalities of malpractice insurance? Does it cheapen the profession?

If you are suggesting the volunteering route, she might as well work as a tech or grad intern. Again, as suggested by @M0df, it may not be possible to work as a tech or grad intern with a full pharmacist license because I don't even know if they allow you to have both a tech license/grad intern license AND a full pharmacist license. Maybe she can wait for her license to expire next year and get a pharm tech license instead? It sounds so absurd to me.

I guess if she's really out of options, she can try that route. But at that point it must really take a lot of efforts to leave your kids behind and volunteer unpaid for a job that you may or may not even get. Please don't ask me why she put herself in this situation. I personally will not let myself have such a long hiatus and it's not acceptable in my field to take years off either, unless it's for research. What's done is done. As a friend, I'd rather offer help and find a solution than criticizing her for her choices.

I already know the advice is going to be hard to swallow... And if it 's for her to seek another career like PA/NP, I already know these options. I'm just asking if there's any other way for her to still get to stay in pharmacy without having to switch careers. Appreciate all of you guys' help.
 

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If she is licensed in MA she cannot work as a tech (unless there's some kind of emergency rule due to the pandemic, but that would be short term at best).

In MA, to get an immunization job, she would need to have her immunization certificate and have kept up with the 1 hr/yr immunization CE requirement during license renewal cycles (every 2 years).

I am assuming she is willing to accept per diem and outpatient type of jobs? Healthcare systems in Boston are/have been opening a lot of new oupt specialty clinics so she could look into that.

If she cannot get a job in Boston, is she willing to commute out of state like NH, RI?
 
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johnpharm01

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Who does this? Goes to school for 6 or so years only to quit 1 year later. I want a 30 year career out of my efforts. Why not have worked at least part time to keep up knowledge and skill. I would never hire this person even if it were a pharmacists market. Taking a volunteer position would reinforce the concern that not working has affected work performance. Find a job that requires a science degree.
 
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grizzlesgrizzlies

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3 years absence is already a tough ask to get back into any given field, let alone 5+. In this day and age, a degree/license isn't what it used to be anymore. Pharmacy or not
 
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M0df

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Look. I am not big on asking for a friend thing. I am sure you are trying to figure it out for her as much as you can. There are jobs out there to give Covid vaccinations. Jobs that were not there 6 months ago. Every pharmacy is doing vaccinations and bigger companies need more people. They are even using recruiters to get people. I have never seen that. If she can't get a job doing shots, something is wrong. Pay is another topic.
 
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grizzlesgrizzlies

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Look. I am not big on asking for a friend thing. I am sure you are trying to figure it out for her as much as you can. There are jobs out there to give Covid vaccinations. Jobs that were not there 6 months ago. Every pharmacy is doing vaccinations and bigger companies need more people. They are even using recruiters to get people. I have never seen that. If she can't get a job doing shots, something is wrong. Pay is another topic.
Agree, COVID is literally an unprecedented opportunity for RPh work albeit temporary. Working as an immunizer is probably the best way for her to regain some sort of relevancy in her career
 

Sine Cura

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Literally the first person I stuck with a needle in retail was the 2nd time I used a syringe on someone (...else...?)

The first two in MA just posted two days ago. She may have better luck with Wags or CVS (still dismal chance).
 

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Sunshine98*

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Agree, COVID is literally an unprecedented opportunity for RPh work albeit temporary. Working as an immunizer is probably the best way for her to regain some sort of relevancy in her career

Agree. Right now every company is like "Oprah"....and you get to immunize, so do you....etc.....I mean if the president is allowing Dentists and Vets to do Covid immunizations, now is the best time to get your foot in the door. You can always still be looking at the same time.
 

bobaphilic

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Wow thank you to all of you for the tremendous support and advice. I will definitely tell her to look into these vaccination gigs. To clarify her situation: after working for 1 year post-graduation, she required an H1B visa sponsorship and was not lucky enough to land one in the competitive market in Boston (she was an international student throughout pharmacy school). Coming to the U.S as an international student, going through pharmacy school and trying to find a job with visa sponsorship are hard. I think that was the main reason she decided to stay home and have her kids.

She became a permanent resident 2-3 years ago and if I were her, I would have tried to jump back into the job market right then and there. She probably tried, had no luck and the situation dragged on till today. My bad for not explaining her circumstances better. I just want everyone understand that a person's long hiatus from their career is not necessarily be because they're lazy or unmotivated. Still not an excuse, but being a foreigner-turned-citizen, fighting visa restrictions while also trying to have your career and kids is no small feat. Again thank you all for your replies and advice :). Y'all have all been super helpful!
 

cuedee

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How do you even land this type of gig? Do you just walk up to a store and offers to volunteer? What type of responsibilities will you be given? How many hours a week should you volunteer? What about the legalities of malpractice insurance? Does it cheapen the profession?

If you are suggesting the volunteering route, she might as well work as a tech or grad intern. Again, as suggested by @M0df, it may not be possible to work as a tech or grad intern with a full pharmacist license because I don't even know if they allow you to have both a tech license/grad intern license AND a full pharmacist license. Maybe she can wait for her license to expire next year and get a pharm tech license instead? It sounds so absurd to me.

I guess if she's really out of options, she can try that route. But at that point it must really take a lot of efforts to leave your kids behind and volunteer unpaid for a job that you may or may not even get. Please don't ask me why she put herself in this situation. I personally will not let myself have such a long hiatus and it's not acceptable in my field to take years off either, unless it's for research. What's done is done. As a friend, I'd rather offer help and find a solution than criticizing her for her choices.

I already know the advice is going to be hard to swallow... And if it 's for her to seek another career like PA/NP, I already know these options. I'm just asking if there's any other way for her to still get to stay in pharmacy without having to switch careers. Appreciate all of you guys' help.
Boston is a large city that probably has several free medical clinics that need volunteers especially pharmacists.
 

Alexis_pharmD

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she can get started with independent Pharmacies. Try to approach near ones by just walk in. Summer is coming and they will need people to fill in just for a day or two. I know quite a few independent pharmacy Rphs who rely on contingents like these for their vacations. Once she gets in to the network, other independents will approach her too. (I assume she won't need insurance or benefits at this point). In the interview she can just say that she was at a point in her life where she had to choose between family and work. And she decided to choose family as she is young and have rest of her life to work. Start with independents and then move forward. I know market is rough, but if she has guts to finish her Pharm D on F1 visa, I assure you she will find her way.
Wish her good luck on behalf of me.
 

themorphinerule

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Asking for a friend.

The tittle pretty much summed it up. Friend went to a good established top 50 non-diploma mill pharm school. She graduated in 2014, then worked for 1 year at her school hospital's outpatient pharmacy. After that she just decided to stay home to have her kids (no debt as her tuition was entirely paid for). Now fast forward 5-6 years, her kids are more grown up and she's ready to go back to work. However she seems to have a hard time getting an interview anywhere, despite having an active license. She's also geographically restricted to the NE area because her spouse's job.

Really appreciate any advice. I myself am not in the pharmacy field so please pardon any ignorance on my part.
She might actually be subject to the rules of her governing board of pharmacy. I'm in the process of studying for the law exam for a different State and I was surprised to discover that they require a pharmacist to work supervised under a preceptor pharmacist for anywhere from 500 hours or more depending on how long the pharmacist has not worked. She may be a risk to the public in her current state of dormancy as medicine is a rapidly changing field. Have her look into the rules of her State and see if they have a law regarding taking that much time off and returning to practice safely as she wouldn't want to violate Massachusetts law and find herself subject to disciplinary action.
 

themorphinerule

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Asking for a friend.

The tittle pretty much summed it up. Friend went to a good established top 50 non-diploma mill pharm school. She graduated in 2014, then worked for 1 year at her school hospital's outpatient pharmacy. After that she just decided to stay home to have her kids (no debt as her tuition was entirely paid for). Now fast forward 5-6 years, her kids are more grown up and she's ready to go back to work. However she seems to have a hard time getting an interview anywhere, despite having an active license. She's also geographically restricted to the NE area because her spouse's job.

Really appreciate any advice. I myself am not in the pharmacy field so please pardon any ignorance on my part.
She might actually be subject to the rules of her governing board of pharmacy. I'm in the process of studying for the law exam for a different State and I was surprised to discover that they require a pharmacist to work supervised under a preceptor pharmacist for anywhere from 500 hours or more depending on how long the pharmacist has not worked. She may be a risk to the public in her current state of dormancy as medicine is a rapidly changing field. Have her look into the rules of her State and see if they have a law regarding taking that much time off and returning to practice safely as she wouldn't want to violate Massachusetts law and find herself subject to disciplinary action.
 

johnpharm01

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She might actually be subject to the rules of her governing board of pharmacy. I'm in the process of studying for the law exam for a different State and I was surprised to discover that they require a pharmacist to work supervised under a preceptor pharmacist for anywhere from 500 hours or more depending on how long the pharmacist has not worked. She may be a risk to the public in her current state of dormancy as medicine is a rapidly changing field. Have her look into the rules of her State and see if they have a law regarding taking that much time off and returning to practice safely as she wouldn't want to violate Massachusetts law and find herself subject to disciplinary action.
This was the same thought I had. Even if it isn't a board requirement, it's commonsense. It's like the NFL player that comes back after being off they just aren't at the speed of the game.
 

Sine Cura

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I don't recall Massachusetts even having a requirement for hours. It's kinda expected that you be working as a licensed pharmacist (otherwise why keep a license active)

I was watching The Impossible the other day and Naomi Watts' character (a physician based on a real-life person) talked about returning to work as the kids were older. That seemed to me as unlikely as surviving being overrun by a tsunami
 

BidingMyTime

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She might actually be subject to the rules of her governing board of pharmacy. I'm in the process of studying for the law exam for a different State and I was surprised to discover that they require a pharmacist to work supervised under a preceptor pharmacist for anywhere from 500 hours or more depending on how long the pharmacist has not worked. She may be a risk to the public in her current state of dormancy as medicine is a rapidly changing field. Have her look into the rules of her State and see if they have a law regarding taking that much time off and returning to practice safely as she wouldn't want to violate Massachusetts law and find herself subject to disciplinary action.

OP says she is currently licensed, so she would not be subject to supervision or anything else. What you are talking about applies to pharmacists who let their license lapse, and then want to regain their license. OP would have had to do CE to keep up with her license, and while I agree she has got to be pretty rusty not having worked for 6 years, that is irrelevant to the legality of her working (but it explains why everyone is hesitant to give her a job.)
 

mentos

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Jesus Christ of all places she's trying to get hired in Boston?? It's nearly impossible to get a job there even if you're experienced, charismatic, and have connections. You're telling me she has no experience for 5 years, is shy and has no connections? Hospital job postings literally get over 400 applicants. Not happening IMO.
 
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