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I'm going into my 5th year of pharmacy school and I know 100% that I want to work in managed care, preferably for some PBM company like express scripts, optiumrx, etc.

Since I'm still in school I'm trying to get a job as a tech at one of these companies and I'm struggling. I live in Philadelphia and have so far applied to one company and sent an e-mail out to another company that is smaller.

Where can I look to find other companies to apply to?
 

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It somewhat depends on what precisely you want to get into in a PBM. If analytics or biotechnology or clinical trials and if you're from Temple, you should go through your faculty contacts and the two PhD faculty in Practice in particular. I don't have advice for the USP side since industry doesn't tend to work with them very much. Every major PBM except SureScripts has a branch within 50 miles of the city (and SureScripts has their secondary HQ at Providence).
 
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It somewhat depends on what precisely you want to get into in a PBM. If analytics or biotechnology or clinical trials and if you're from Temple, you should go through your faculty contacts and the two PhD faculty in Practice in particular. I don't have advice for the USP side since industry doesn't tend to work with them very much. Every major PBM except SureScripts has a branch within 50 miles of the city (and SureScripts has their secondary HQ at Providence).
I see, I go to USP. When I think of working for a PBM company I think of a cubicle type job working 9-5 on a computer. That's the kind of job I would prefer actually. I don't know if industry entails that. Some of the PBM companies like optiumRX don't have positions available for techs on their careers page, do you work for a PBM company or know of anyone who does? If so, how did they come across landing a position? I think that if I were to get a job in this area I'd be satisfied with it, I can say for sure that I'd much rather work 9-5 on a computer than something like retail or hospital.
 

Lnsean

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I see, I go to USP. When I think of working for a PBM company I think of a cubicle type job working 9-5 on a computer. That's the kind of job I would prefer actually. I don't know if industry entails that. Some of the PBM companies like optiumRX don't have positions available for techs on their careers page, do you work for a PBM company or know of anyone who does? If so, how did they come across landing a position? I think that if I were to get a job in this area I'd be satisfied with it, I can say for sure that I'd much rather work 9-5 on a computer than something like retail or hospital.
I'd say your best bet is a fellowship or residency with a major PBM company to get your foot in the door...unless you have good networks and connections but like the other poster said...USP isn't known for branching off far from traditional retail and hospital. I know many people from Rutgers that have jobs with PBMs and Pharmaceutical companies and many of them did fellowships with networks and programs sponsored by Rutgers. I don't know if USP or Temple has these programs. If you do get in...it seems like a cushy job. None of them ever complained like my retail friends. 9-5...cubicle...no weekends or holidays. Pay is almost same or even higher than retail with bonuses and advancements.
 
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I'd say your best bet is a fellowship or residency with a major PBM company to get your foot in the door...unless you have good networks and connections but like the other poster said...USP isn't known for branching off far from traditional retail and hospital. I know many people from Rutgers that have jobs with PBMs and Pharmaceutical companies and many of them did fellowships with networks and programs sponsored by Rutgers. I don't know if USP or Temple has these programs. If you do get in...it seems like a cushy job. None of them ever complained like my retail friends. 9-5...cubicle...no weekends or holidays. Pay is almost same or even higher than retail with bonuses and advancements.
I should have mentioned this in the first post but I don't plan on pursuing a residency or fellowship. I'm aiming to get a tech position now to get my foot in the door so after I graduate I have some leverage to get a job offer. I know most of my classmates and people I've talked to either want to do retail or hospital. It's either or every time, it seems like there is no competition for PBM companies among my graduating class. As I said before though, I am definitely not going for a residency or fellowship
 

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I'd say your best bet is a fellowship or residency with a major PBM company to get your foot in the door...unless you have good networks and connections but like the other poster said...USP isn't known for branching off far from traditional retail and hospital. I know many people from Rutgers that have jobs with PBMs and Pharmaceutical companies and many of them did fellowships with networks and programs sponsored by Rutgers. I don't know if USP or Temple has these programs. If you do get in...it seems like a cushy job. None of them ever complained like my retail friends. 9-5...cubicle...no weekends or holidays. Pay is almost same or even higher than retail with bonuses and advancements.

Rutgers IS the industry school, Colaizzi historically lead a willing faculty into an extremely cozy relationship between PhRMA and Rutgers with both sides highly benefiting (to the exclusion of basically every other school but Temple and URI). It's pretty-closed shop for Piscataway.

Yeah, those days are over in terms of the 'cushy' job. Most PBM's implement Six-Sigma-lite personnel practices that get rid of their low performers every year (less survival stress that ChalupaBatman's supervisory work at CVS, more on par with academia's publish or perish system). There's a couple of divisions To the op, there's several good options even though I don't have specific advice for USP (I honestly don't have contacts there as they are more traditional as LNSean points out):

1. (Minnesota internal knowledge) I would ask for an appointment to talk with William McGhan on your faculty about industry and academia. He's actually well-regarded for having a comfortable relationship with pharmacoeconomics. If you can work with him on a PharmD paper, that would be good. If you're feeling really ballsy, while there, ask him for an introduction to Albert Wertheimer at Temple (if he still accepts appointments from students) on grounds that Albert was THE trainer for most of the PhD leaders in the business and is someone who has a strong relationship with both academia and industry, and you want to know how to make both of them work. Before you go to McGhan and definitely Wertheimer's office, get your act together about why you want to work in PBM (the workstyle is great, but there are different divisions there that deal with drug information, informatics, regulatory, etc. The ones that verify scripts (prior auths) and do formulary management/utilization review are being eliminated in favor of contract staff.)

2. Talk to your experiential education coordinator to request assignments in King of Prussia for your elective and admin rotations and make sure they are in PBM's/industry. King of Prussia is the HQ for many of the PBM's R&D divisions. Consider also trying to get an experiential education rotation at a "Contract Research Organization" or at Penn's or even USP's department for something called "Research in Practice" (McGhan may be able to help you with that).

3. If you're really wanting to work at this, consider working on your own time or on an elective where you work up a paper for ISPOR Boston next year.
http://www.ispor.org/meetings/meetcalendar.aspx

The standards for submission acceptance are less politicized than APhA or ASHP (you don't need to rah-rah the profession or come up with yet another pharmacy clinic practice model for ISPOR), and it's much more than both in terms of introducing/applying for jobs. Quite a number of my colleagues were hired outright at the conference and a number of my fellows as well accepted outright offers there (who didn't have their heart set on the feds). DIA 2007 in Chicago is a less industry heavy but more FDA attended conference.

With the exception of utilization review and prior authorization handling (which as stated above are getting eliminated), you're probably going to have to get postgraduate sort of experience. Don't worry about it though, if the PBM likes you, you'll do it on company time and dime. McGhan himself was sent to Minnesota on APhA and I think J&J's dime through the fellowship route.
 
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Lnsean

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Rutgers IS the industry school, Colaizzi historically lead a willing faculty into an extremely cozy relationship between PhRMA and Rutgers with both sides highly benefiting (to the exclusion of basically every other school but Temple and URI). It's pretty-closed shop for Piscataway.

Yeah, those days are over in terms of the 'cushy' job. Most PBM's implement Six-Sigma-lite personnel practices that get rid of their low performers every year (less survival stress that ChalupaBatman's supervisory work at CVS, more on par with academia's publish or perish system). There's a couple of divisions To the op, there's several good options even though I don't have specific advice for USP (I honestly don't have contacts there as they are more traditional as LNSean points out):

1. (Minnesota internal knowledge) I would ask for an appointment to talk with William McGhan on your faculty about industry and academia. He's actually well-regarded for having a comfortable relationship with pharmacoeconomics. If you can work with him on a PharmD paper, that would be good. If you're feeling really ballsy, while there, ask him for an introduction to Albert Wertheimer at Temple (if he still accepts appointments from students) on grounds that Albert was THE trainer for most of the PhD leaders in the business and is someone who has a strong relationship with both academia and industry, and you want to know how to make both of them work. Before you go to McGhan and definitely Wertheimer's office, get your act together about why you want to work in PBM (the workstyle is great, but there are different divisions there that deal with drug information, informatics, regulatory, etc. The ones that verify scripts (prior auths) and do formulary management/utilization review are being eliminated in favor of contract staff.)

2. Talk to your experiential education coordinator to request assignments in King of Prussia for your elective and admin rotations and make sure they are in PBM's/industry. King of Prussia is the HQ for many of the PBM's R&D divisions. Consider also trying to get an experiential education rotation at a "Contract Research Organization" or at Penn's or even USP's department for something called "Research in Practice" (McGhan may be able to help you with that).

3. If you're really wanting to work at this, consider working on your own time or on an elective where you work up a paper for ISPOR Boston next year.
http://www.ispor.org/meetings/meetcalendar.aspx

The standards for submission acceptance are less politicized than APhA or ASHP (you don't need to rah-rah the profession or come up with yet another pharmacy clinic practice model for ISPOR), and it's much more than both in terms of introducing/applying for jobs. Quite a number of my colleagues were hired outright at the conference and a number of my fellows as well accepted outright offers there (who didn't have their heart set on the feds). DIA 2007 in Chicago is a less industry heavy but more FDA attended conference.

With the exception of utilization review and prior authorization handling (which as stated above are getting eliminated), you're probably going to have to get postgraduate sort of experience. Don't worry about it though, if the PBM likes you, you'll do it on company time and dime. McGhan himself was sent to Minnesota on APhA and I think J&J's dime through the fellowship route.
Honestly...your definition of cushy is probably a bit skewed. I'm sure most jobs have declined in work-life balance over the years but, relative to retail, these industry and PBM jobs are still way more cushy. I here few people complaining about them in terms of stress....sure...there is office politics and whatnot and stress of its own kind too...but still much more cushy than retail.
 
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Honestly...your definition of cushy is probably a bit skewed. I'm sure most jobs have declined in work-life balance over the years but, relative to retail, these industry and PBM jobs are still way more cushy. I here few people complaining about them in terms of stress....sure...there is office politics and whatnot and stress of its own kind too...but still much more cushy than retail.
This is exactly why I want to get one of these jobs after graduation, low stress and I would enjoy it since I already spend most of my time behind a computer anyway
 
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I got a call from one of the companies I applied to. They wanted me to work 40 hours a week while I'm still in school, so I had to say no. I need to find part time positions that will allow me to work once a week
 

bacillus1

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I should have mentioned this in the first post but I don't plan on pursuing a residency or fellowship. I'm aiming to get a tech position now to get my foot in the door so after I graduate I have some leverage to get a job offer. I know most of my classmates and people I've talked to either want to do retail or hospital. It's either or every time, it seems like there is no competition for PBM companies among my graduating class. As I said before though, I am definitely not going for a residency or fellowship
Everyone wants an amazing job but no one wants to work for getting that amazing job. Being a USP grad and a practicing pharmacist for a few years, I know several people who have wanted to go into managed care. The only one I know of that actually ended up getting a managed care position did a managed care residency. I have another friend who tried to apply to managed care residencies but they were very competitive and he couldn't get one. Now, if you just wanted to be a mail-order pharmacist, maybe you could get in as a new grad (likely not without a few years of experience in retail, as many people want these jobs). Pharmacy is saturated...you have to be ready to put up with less-than-ideal working conditions, a residency, moving across the country, or all of the above, before you get the ideal position.
 
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Everyone wants an amazing job but no one wants to work for getting that amazing job. Being a USP grad and a practicing pharmacist for a few years, I know several people who have wanted to go into managed care. The only one I know of that actually ended up getting a managed care position did a managed care residency. I have another friend who tried to apply to managed care residencies but they were very competitive and he couldn't get one. Now, if you just wanted to be a mail-order pharmacist, maybe you could get in as a new grad (likely not without a few years of experience in retail, as many people want these jobs). Pharmacy is saturated...you have to be ready to put up with less-than-ideal working conditions, a residency, moving across the country, or all of the above, before you get the ideal position.
What do you think I should do now? I do have retail experience but I'm choosing to not work at CVS as much this upcoming semester, probably once every 3-4 weeks. Do you know of any other PBM companies located in Philadelphia that I could apply to? I'm going to have to find something part time that will let me work once a week, I have no choice
 

bacillus1

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What do you think I should do now? I do have retail experience but I'm choosing to not work at CVS as much this upcoming semester, probably once every 3-4 weeks. Do you know of any other PBM companies located in Philadelphia that I could apply to? I'm going to have to find something part time that will let me work once a week, I have no choice
I know express scripts has a summer internship program, not sure who else. You're a 5th yr though, so too late for that. As other posters said, try to do some pharmacoeconomic research, maybe with Dr. McGhan (if he's still there) or another professor so your residency application looks good. Finally, make sure you have some good managed care rotations your P4 year before midyear, so your residency application looks better. Yes, in most instances you will have to do a residency. There are a few places that take applicants without residency for prior auth jobs, and even one company (United Healthcare in Baltimore) sometimes takes non-residency-trained people for phone am care positions, but that's the exception rather than the norm. I know someone who just got a job at United after about 3 years of retail pharmacist experience, so that seems to be who they are hiring nowadays without residency. Why hire a new grad when there are people who have been pharmacists for 5+ years applying?
 
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I know express scripts has a summer internship program, not sure who else. You're a 5th yr though, so too late for that. As other posters said, try to do some pharmacoeconomic research, maybe with Dr. McGhan (if he's still there) or another professor so your residency application looks good. Finally, make sure you have some good managed care rotations your P4 year before midyear, so your residency application looks better. Yes, in most instances you will have to do a residency. There are a few places that take applicants without residency for prior auth jobs, and even one company (United Healthcare in Baltimore) sometimes takes non-residency-trained people for phone am care positions, but that's the exception rather than the norm. I know someone who just got a job at United after about 3 years of retail pharmacist experience, so that seems to be who they are hiring nowadays without residency. Why hire a new grad when there are people who have been pharmacists for 5+ years applying?
Honestly I would say residency is out of the question for me. I don't have the patience nor money to go back to school after graduation. I'm looking to get a position right after I graduate. This is definitely do-able, it is not required to do a residency to get a job. What do you think about my idea of contacting local PBM companies and seeing if I can get my foot in the door? Again, I refuse to take a residency. I cannot go back to school after I graduate and I would definitely not want to do that, I'd rather work at CVS to be honest with you
 

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Honestly I would say residency is out of the question for me. I don't have the patience nor money to go back to school after graduation. I'm looking to get a position right after I graduate. This is definitely do-able, it is not required to do a residency to get a job. What do you think about my idea of contacting local PBM companies and seeing if I can get my foot in the door? Again, I refuse to take a residency. I cannot go back to school after I graduate and I would definitely not want to do that, I'd rather work at CVS to be honest with you
Honestly...you can try to call them. I doubt it will go anywhere because no one will care who you are (sorry to be blunt). The only way I see you getting in without a residency is through networking or being extremely lucky. Also, you could possibly try to go through a temp agency and see if that opens out doors.
 
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Honestly...you can try to call them. I doubt it will go anywhere because no one will care who you are (sorry to be blunt). The only way I see you getting in without a residency is through networking or being extremely lucky. Also, you could possibly try to go through a temp agency and see if that opens out doors.
Yeah I expect the companies to not give 2 damns who I am to be honest, this is why I start my e-mails off by highlighting my skills, experiences, and what I can do for them. I didn't really make out calls, sent out e-mails instead. I e-mailed one of my faculty and am trying to get advice from him. What do you mean temp agency, how does this work?
 

Lnsean

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Yeah I expect the companies to not give 2 damns who I am to be honest, this is why I start my e-mails off by highlighting my skills, experiences, and what I can do for them. I didn't really make out calls, sent out e-mails instead. I e-mailed one of my faculty and am trying to get advice from him. What do you mean temp agency, how does this work?
There are some opportunities on Indeed.com posted by temp agencies now and then. Obviously these are contract positions...they can be eliminated without notice...no benefits most of the time...pay is lower...but it gets you the experience and your foot in the door.
 

TheBlaah

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Honestly I would say residency is out of the question for me. I don't have the patience nor money to go back to school after graduation. I'm looking to get a position right after I graduate. This is definitely do-able, it is not required to do a residency to get a job. What do you think about my idea of contacting local PBM companies and seeing if I can get my foot in the door? Again, I refuse to take a residency. I cannot go back to school after I graduate and I would definitely not want to do that, I'd rather work at CVS to be honest with you
Honestly, you're gonna be climbing Mount Olympus then trying to get into PBM. With no experience, no residency, boatloads of competition, there's little reason any PBM company would need to pick you up. It's not like there's a lot of rural jobs in PBM.

What Lnsean said about temp agencies is an option, but it'll be awhile before you picked up by anyone (for the reasons listed above), and chances are they won't turn into permanent positions.From what I've seen, it doesn't seem like you would want to go about with temp agencies either.
 
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Honestly, you're gonna be climbing Mount Olympus then trying to get into PBM. With no experience, no residency, boatloads of competition, there's little reason any PBM company would need to pick you up. It's not like there's a lot of rural jobs in PBM.

What Lnsean said about temp agencies is an option, but it'll be awhile before you picked up by anyone (for the reasons listed above), and chances are they won't turn into permanent positions.From what I've seen, it doesn't seem like you would want to go about with temp agencies either.
What are my options then if I want a job in this field? I don't want to work in retail so I pretty much have to make something happen or I won't have a job once I graduate
 

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What are my options then if I want a job in this field? I don't want to work in retail so I pretty much have to make something happen or I won't have a job once I graduate
Either land a rotation with a PBM who is hiring or be willing to move anywhere in the U.S. to get an entry level position (PAs, adherence calls, etc).

Does your school have AMCP? Lots of networking opportunities within that organization are to be had.
 
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Either land a rotation with a PBM who is hiring or be willing to move anywhere in the U.S. to get an entry level position (PAs, adherence calls, etc).

Does your school have AMCP? Lots of networking opportunities within that organization are to be had.
Yes my school does have AMCP. I will definitely try to get involved in the meetings for that. Maybe there I can speak to some important people and get advice on where I can apply. My rotations are next year, when I have them I will be taking a managed care rotation. I think by that point though it would be best if I already had a position at a company
 

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Honestly, you're gonna be climbing Mount Olympus then trying to get into PBM. With no experience, no residency, boatloads of competition, there's little reason any PBM company would need to pick you up. It's not like there's a lot of rural jobs in PBM.
This. OP, do you really think that anything less than 90% of pharmacists would like a "cushy" job with a PBM? There is a reason why the vast majority of pharmacists are not working at a PBM. The chances of your getting a job at a PBM with no internship residency or fellowship with a PBM (and all of these are also highly competitive) and/or no friends or family who are already a high executive at the PBM, well your chances are slightly above nil. Better chances than the fired pharmacist from Canada getting a new HB-1 visa, but only slightly better than his chances. The vast majority of pharmacists work in retail or hospital, with the large majority of those working in retail. Retail or hospital are your realistic options...and hospital only if you are willing to move or do a residency.
 
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giga

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You might also want to consider jobs with CMS. You would qualify for a GS-11 position straight out of pharmacy school. But again, without experience, postgraduate training or strong connections, you'll have a tough time competing for those jobs. Plus with CMS (and with the PBMs, depending on the divison) you aren't just competing against PharmDs - but also nurses and other clinicians, and PhDs, MPHs, MPPs, MBAs, etc.

ETA: to clarify, consider jobs at CMS after graduating from pharmacy school, as they typically don't offer part-time jobs or internships. For now, there's nothing I can add to the already great advice others have given you in this thread.
 
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This. OP, do you really think that anything less than 90% of pharmacists would like a "cushy" job with a PBM? There is a reason why the vast majority of pharmacists are not working at a PBM. The chances of your getting a job at a PBM with no internship residency or fellowship with a PBM (and all of these are also highly competitive) and/or no friends or family who are already a high executive at the PBM, well your chances are slightly above nil. Better chances than the fired pharmacist from Canada getting a new HB-1 visa, but only slightly better than his chances. The vast majority of pharmacists work in retail or hospital, with the large majority of those working in retail. Retail or hospital are your realistic options...and hospital only if you are willing to move or do a residency.
Sorry but I don't believe that. I'm not very big on limiting myself, I've never done that my whole life and I'm always one to explore my other and all options. I think most students end up in either retail or hospital because several other people like you feed them the exact same speech you wrote. And they eat up that information, never pursue anything else and fit into that mold of either retail or hospital.

You might also want to consider jobs with CMS. You would qualify for a GS-11 position straight out of pharmacy school. But again, without experience, postgraduate training or strong connections, you'll have a tough time competing for those jobs. Plus with CMS (and with the PBMs, depending on the divison) you aren't just competing against PharmDs - but also nurses and other clinicians, and PhDs, MPHs, MPPs, MBAs, etc.

ETA: to clarify, consider jobs at CMS after graduating from pharmacy school, as they typically don't offer part-time jobs or internships. For now, there's nothing I can add to the already great advice others have given you in this thread.
What is a GS-11 position? CMS is centers for medicare and medicaid?

These places do not hire many part-time employees and don't hire any 1 day per week employees. That's a retail thing.
Yes I'm starting to think this too. I know retail and hospital do this and allow students to work weekly. It's kind of a bummer because I was hoping to find someplace I can work during the semester. Right now I work at CVS and spending once a week there isn't as exciting since I already know I'm not going to pursue retail pharmacy after I graduate.

If these places don't hire part time employees then I would have to apply when I'm nearing graduation and hope to get in that way?

I'm going to get involved with the ACMP group at my school to see if they can steer me in the right direction
 

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Sorry but I don't believe that. I'm not very big on limiting myself, I've never done that my whole life and I'm always one to explore my other and all options. I think most students end up in either retail or hospital because several other people like you feed them the exact same speech you wrote. And they eat up that information, never pursue anything else and fit into that mold of either retail or hospital.
http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/pharmacists.htm#tab-6 The XLSX file under Employment by Industry.

What exactly don't you believe? PBMs/insurance jobs literally make up ~0.6% of jobs according to the BLS. People tell students that it's a hard field to get into because it's the truth. Besides that, exactly what evidence do you have that this isn't the case, other than your "gut feeling". There are already plenty of options to get your foot in the door: fellowship, residency, full-time technician job, or having a very good connection with a hiring manager all of which you refused or don't have. You're already limiting yourself by the sheer fact that you're unwilling to work retail (and possibly hospital), unwilling to do residency/fellowship, unwilling to work full-time during school. At this point, the better question would be what ARE you willing to do for this job?


If these places don't hire part time employees then I would have to apply when I'm nearing graduation and hope to get in that way?

I'm going to get involved with the ACMP group at my school to see if they can steer me in the right direction
PBMs, like hospitals, don't hire external people until you're already licensed. Too much risk in the applicant not being licensed in time (and why should they wait 2-3 months to keep a position open anyway?).
You can try the AMCP, though I doubt they'll have much to add. The guests they have to talk generally talk to hundreds of students; it's unlikely they'll give special treatment to someone they just met.
 

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You really need to reconsider if pharmacy is the right profession for you. Just by being unwilling to work retail or hospital and unwilling to do residency, you have eliminated about 99% of the jobs that are available, and that's if you're willing to relocate anywhere.
 
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http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/pharmacists.htm#tab-6 The XLSX file under Employment by Industry.

What exactly don't you believe? PBMs/insurance jobs literally make up ~0.6% of jobs according to the BLS. People tell students that it's a hard field to get into because it's the truth. Besides that, exactly what evidence do you have that this isn't the case, other than your "gut feeling". There are already plenty of options to get your foot in the door: fellowship, residency, full-time technician job, or having a very good connection with a hiring manager all of which you refused or don't have. You're already limiting yourself by the sheer fact that you're unwilling to work retail (and possibly hospital), unwilling to do residency/fellowship, unwilling to work full-time during school. At this point, the better question would be what ARE you willing to do for this job?

PBMs, like hospitals, don't hire external people until you're already licensed. Too much risk in the applicant not being licensed in time (and why should they wait 2-3 months to keep a position open anyway?).
You can try the AMCP, though I doubt they'll have much to add. The guests they have to talk generally talk to hundreds of students; it's unlikely they'll give special treatment to someone they just met.
I do not want to do fellowship or residency because I don't want to dedicate more years to go to school and spend more money to go to school. I've already completed 4 years of college and I have a bachelors in health science. I could get a full time job right now if I wanted to and start making money now which is much more important then spending another 1-2 years in school. I can't do a full-time technician job because I'm still in school. I do have some connections with my faculty and I could possibly get more connections if I join the AMCP organization. What I am willing to do for this job is to perform well once I get the job. In my opinion getting a fellowship or residency is complete and utter bull and seems like a waste of time. You don't need a little certificate that says you've completed a residency or fellowship to get a job. It's all about how driven you are and what results you produce in the workplace. I'm sure top companies understand this well and if I were to be interviewed I'd have a solid shot of landing something because employers would see how driven I am to work hard.

If I can't get a job lined up after I graduate that would put me in a bad spot. I want to avoid running around with no end in sight shortly after getting licensed. I would like to have something ready while I'm in school so I can smoothly transition to working in the real world.

You really need to reconsider if pharmacy is the right profession for you. Just by being unwilling to work retail or hospital and unwilling to do residency, you have eliminated about 99% of the jobs that are available, and that's if you're willing to relocate anywhere.
I prefer not to work in retail and based on my hospital rotation I would prefer to not work in a hospital.
 

TheBlaah

7+ Year Member
Apr 10, 2010
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I do not want to do fellowship or residency because I don't want to dedicate more years to go to school and spend more money to go to school. I've already completed 4 years of college and I have a bachelors in health science. What I am willing to do for this job is to perform well once I get the job. In my opinion getting a fellowship or residency is complete and utter bull and seems like a waste of time. You don't need a little certificate that says you've completed a residency or fellowship to get a job. It's all about how driven you are and what results you produce in the workplace. I'm sure top companies understand this well and if I were to be interviewed I'd have a solid shot of landing something because employers would see how driven I am to work hard.

If I can't get a job lined up after I graduate that would put me in a bad spot. I want to avoid running around with no end in sight shortly after getting licensed. I would like to have something ready while I'm in school so I can smoothly transition to working in the real world.
You think people WANT to be a resident for an extra year or two? Of course not. If you get an interview (and that's a big if), how are you going to show how driven you are and what results you can produce in a 1-hour interview with no previous work experience in the field? Are you going to somehow show you're more driven than the people who were willing to do residency for a year to get that job? Are you going to use the same argument that residency/fellowship is basically bull and a waste of time when they ask you why you didn't do one?

Reading this post is almost like reading the pre-pharm posts about how they'll be "fine" because they have "passion".

In any case, as I said before, very few jobs other than retail are willing to hire external applicants, or applicants that don't already work for them, before they graduate.
 

bacillus1

10+ Year Member
May 27, 2008
2,810
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Pharmacist
Most SDN threads:
OP: I want job X
Replies: You have to do X Y and Z
OP: X Y and Z is too much extra work, schooling and is bull. I am confident I can do it anyway.

Except usually, the first line reads: I want job X in Southern California only. At least that wasn't the case this time.
 
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Amphetamine Salts

2+ Year Member
Oct 31, 2015
364
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Pharmacist
What about mail order? Do I have a chance at getting a position in that after graduation and if I do how would I go about it? I heard for mail order you don't need residency
 

ChalupaBatman86

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Oct 12, 2013
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It's actually not that hard to get into mail order. Might have to relocate. These places are concentrated in Chicago area, Dallas Area, Phoenix, Orlando, and a few other large facilities in random cities.
 

giga

U.S. Public Health Service
10+ Year Member
Aug 23, 2005
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What is a GS-11 position? CMS is centers for medicare and medicaid?
GS = general scale, it's the most common pay scale for civilian white collar federal employees. The scale runs from 1 to 15, with 11 being the typical grade for entry level positions for someone with a PhD or other doctorate level degree. For reference, staff and clinical pharmacists at the VA usually start as a GS12. Clinical pharmacists with a collaborative practice protocol are usually at GS13. Associate chief of pharmacy is a GS14 and chief of pharmacy a GS15. The folks higher up in the organization leadership are classified as SES, senior executive service, but I digress...

And yes, CMS = centers for medicare and medicaid services.
 
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BidingMyTime

Lost Shaker Of Salt
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Oct 2, 2006
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Sorry but I don't believe that. I'm not very big on limiting myself, I've never done that my whole life and I'm always one to explore my other and all options. I think most students end up in either retail or hospital because several other people like you feed them the exact same speech you wrote. And they eat up that information, never pursue anything else and fit into that mold of either retail or hospital.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Ah, the naivete of youth. I know I didn't believe this when I was young, but its 100% true the older you get the more you will realize the less you know. If you were serious about exploring other options, you would do a residency/fellowship, because that is what all your competitors for the PBM job will be doing. Whether its a "waste" is irrelevenat, we could all probably name classes in mandatory classes in pharmacy school or undergraduate school that we thought were a "waste." Doesn't matter what we think, if we want a pharmacy degree, we do the classes, and if you want a PBM job you will do a residency/fellowship.

What about mail order? Do I have a chance at getting a position in that after graduation and if I do how would I go about it? I heard for mail order you don't need residency
Curious as to what you think you would like about mail order, that you don't think you would like about retail or hospital (given that verifying orders/dispensing is the major part of retail/hospital jobs and also the major part of mail order pharmacy.) Do you have any actual experience with a retail or hospital pharmacy, that has caused you to have such a strong opinion that you don't want to do those jobs? I'm guessing not, because I can't imagine why you would consider mail order, if you wouldn't consider retail or hospital pharmacy.
 
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Amphetamine Salts

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It's actually not that hard to get into mail order. Might have to relocate. These places are concentrated in Chicago area, Dallas Area, Phoenix, Orlando, and a few other large facilities in random cities.
I see, do you know how I would go about this? Do they hire part time employees such as once a week? I know CVS has mail order, which companies should I be looking into?

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Ah, the naivete of youth. I know I didn't believe this when I was young, but its 100% true the older you get the more you will realize the less you know. If you were serious about exploring other options, you would do a residency/fellowship, because that is what all your competitors for the PBM job will be doing. Whether its a "waste" is irrelevenat, we could all probably name classes in mandatory classes in pharmacy school or undergraduate school that we thought were a "waste." Doesn't matter what we think, if we want a pharmacy degree, we do the classes, and if you want a PBM job you will do a residency/fellowship.

Curious as to what you think you would like about mail order, that you don't think you would like about retail or hospital (given that verifying orders/dispensing is the major part of retail/hospital jobs and also the major part of mail order pharmacy.) Do you have any actual experience with a retail or hospital pharmacy, that has caused you to have such a strong opinion that you don't want to do those jobs? I'm guessing not, because I can't imagine why you would consider mail order, if you wouldn't consider retail or hospital pharmacy.
I think I'll like mail order because it seems like a straight forward job. From what I have heard, you come in 9-5 and verify scripts all day on a computer. I am perfectly happy doing that 5 days a week for several years. I do have retail experience, I work at CVS and I've worked there for 2 hours so far. I don't like the hectic and chaotic environment, there's too many things to do, this is why I don't like retail. I don't like hospital because during my hospital rotation it seemed like all the pharmacists had giant sticks up their asses. None of them would loosen up and it was obvious that they took their profession in hospital way to seriously. It's funny because clinical pharmacists are not even the most vital part of a healthcare team since the physician practically knows everything that the pharmacist does. Yet for some reason pharmacists that work in a hospital believe they are big shot key players when I would say they are not. But that is just based on my hospital rotation.
 
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stoichiometrist

7+ Year Member
Aug 2, 2011
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What do you think I should do right now if I want to get a job doing mail order after I graduate?
Pay your dues and just work in retail first, if you can't land a job in mail order when you graduate.
 
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Amphetamine Salts

2+ Year Member
Oct 31, 2015
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I've worked in retail for 2 years. I can't see myself doing it for the next 10, 15, or 20 years. Sorry I just can't, I need something a little more low stress and I'm just being honest
 
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Amphetamine Salts

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You think working mail order will be low-stress when your sole job is to verify each prescription in under 10 seconds for 8 hours a day?
Honestly I think I would actually like doing that lol. As long as I can sit at a desk and have no customers or supervisors over my head 24/7. Sounds like a great job to be honest, I can even listen to music while I'm verifying
 
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Amphetamine Salts

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Another question: how important are references and connections in terms of getting a mail order job or working for a PBM company? The APPE and IPPE coordinators at my school aren't particularly helpful, in fact the IPPE coordinator this past summer rotation was terrible.

Do people get these jobs by being referred by faculty? Or are they applying on their own and being selected based on pure skill and not references? I do have a couple references and connections that can vouch for me but I've also had bad run ins with a few faculty because they are absolutely terrible
 

TheBlaah

7+ Year Member
Apr 10, 2010
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Pharmacist
Another question: how important are references and connections in terms of getting a mail order job or working for a PBM company? The APPE and IPPE coordinators at my school aren't particularly helpful, in fact the IPPE coordinator this past summer rotation was terrible.

Do people get these jobs by being referred by faculty? Or are they applying on their own and being selected based on pure skill and not references? I do have a couple references and connections that can vouch for me but I've also had bad run ins with a few faculty because they are absolutely terrible
Faculty references are borderline useless for applying to a job other than for the simple fact that you can obtain 3+ references. More useful references would either be from someone currently in the industry along with previous supervisor.
 

PumpkinSmasher

Pharmacist
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I am on the west coast, all the pbms and insurance companies in this area hire their internal residents and also outside residency trained and those with significant experience.

I think it is only fair to be honest with you and your chances of landing one of these positions is very slim. Putting all your eggs in this basket is not smart.

Mail order may be a possibility, you should do a rotation at a mail order facility to make sure you like it. It can be a mind numbing experience, one of the most boring pharmacist jobs and as more metrics are applied, the stress will go up to meet performance measures. Still as a new grad with no pharmacist experience, any employet would much rather hire a pharmacist with experience, competition will be tough, most candidates better options than you because of experience.
You should also know that mail order jobs are not all 9to5, many are 24hr facilities with weekend shifts and new people do not get the coveted easy 7to or 9to5 shift. You may be on call and/or working swing or graveyard.

Maybe you will prove us wrong, but you will be competing again't applicants with more experience and residency trained...your application will likely go in the garbage. You will likely have to pay your dues in retail since you won't apply for residency.

Good luck, you will need it. Network your ass off!
 
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R xxx

5+ Year Member
Jun 30, 2011
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OptumRx just announced that they will hire 75 contractor pharmacists for prior authorization between all their sites including Costa Mesa and mission valley in California, sugarland, Texas. Florida, OKC. Last year this time they hired about 200 pharmacists through a company called EGS and all those pharmacists were eventually let go by March. So if you're looking for something temporary, this is a good opportunity. I think they prefer someone with retail experience.

Last year was so easy. They only did a 10 min phone interview and you were hired and all contractors got to work from home. But this year seems harder and contractors will be on site.

I don't think the job will even be posted on their site, but rather, through an agency.