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Many Questions For All of You! (Pre-Pharm and Pharm Students)

Discussion in 'Pre-Pharmacy' started by bsson, May 14, 2008.

  1. bsson

    bsson 2+ Year Member

    May 14, 2008
    Hello all this is my first time at this forum (which is pretty helpful i might add for pre-health). Anyways I just decided not too long ago that I wanted a career in pharmacy. I had some additional questions that I couldn't find so I'm hoping you guys can help me.

    First some background information on me. I have a B.S. in Chemistry (Emphasis in Pharmaceutical Chemistry) at UC Davis. I went to community college for my first 2 years and had a cumul. GPA of about 3.5. At UC Davis my GPA was a bit higher at around 3.6. In terms of E.C. activities, I don't have much because I was actually planning on getting a Ph.D in Chemistry. I was a Research Assistant at UCD (graduated '07) in a Chemistry group for about 1.5 years and have one publication. Now I'm at a pharmaceutical company as a Research Associate I and do various research on potential drug products. I want to apply for admission fall '09.

    Right now I'm finishing some pre-reqs -microbio, physio, anatomy, speech (really wished I took them back in undergrad!!). I plan on studying on PCAT solo and take them in October. I have a LOR from my undergrad research advisor and another one from my manager at my job right now (both are pretty strong LOR). As born and raised in the Bay Area, California I would love to stay instate (UCSD, UCSF, UOP, USC).

    Right now I'm obviously looking for volunteer opportunities at Hospital Pharmacies. I suppose my whole "edge" in terms of competitiveness is my research mentality/background relating to drugs and pharmacology. I am hoping it will sort of off set my lack of experience (of course I know I will need some..SOON). Here are some q's:

    (1) In PharmCAS, does it require you to put information on Pharmacy experience? -asking because I have zilch for now and PharmCAS is opening soon for '09

    (2) I noticed that UOP requires one LOR from a pharmacist. I may be in denial, but is it true?

    (3) Actually I don't know too much of what goes into PharmCAS. Can someone tell me a quick overview?

    For those of you wondering why Ph.D into Pharm.D...As I got more experience in the Pharma Industry I saw more and more what other roles Pharmacists can do than traditional ones. I actually saw a few Pharm.D positions in pharmaceutical companies that did a lot of interesting things. Anyways what do you guys think? THANKS!

    -a thankful fellow pre-pharmacist
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  3. beancow

    beancow 2+ Year Member

    Nov 14, 2007
    1) PharmCAS does not require you to specifically list pharmacy-related experience. They give you a section to list any work/research/volunteering experience, and it's up to you to specify what you've done.

    2) Unfortunately, it appears that UOP does require a LOR from a pharmacist. Although I'm not a part of any admission committee, it seems like the norm to have a LOR from a pharmacist, or to have some pharmacy-related experience. Schools want to make sure you know what you're getting into.

    3) Since you've gone to a UC, I'm sure you're familiar with the online UC applications. PharmCAS similar to that, being an application service that will forward your single application to multiple schools of your choosing. Not all schools use PharmCAS. Most schools in California use PharmCAS, with the exception of Loma Linda and Cal Northstate. *** Note, almost all schools (if not ALL) require a supplemental application to be submitted in addition to the PharmCAS application. These supplemental applications are school specific, and can be found on the schools website. This means more essays to write and more fees to pay! ***

    Here's some advice, when PharmCAS opens up, create an account, and enter in the schools that you've attended. They'll have you print out a letter for each school that you've attended and you'll be sending the letters with the school's Official transcript. Have your school send out the transcripts w/ the letters as soon as possible because PharmCAS will need these to verify your grades and to calculate your GPAs. The reason why I recommend you to do this as soon as possible is because sometimes it might take a while for a school to send out transcripts or PharmCAS might take a while to process your GPAs.

    Specifically, here are the fields for PharmCAS 2008:

    Contact info
    Personal Info
    Parent Guardian info
    Secondary School
    Background (Felonies? If so, explain)
    Tests (PCATs)
    Research and Work Exp (Position title/Brief description, Avg Hrs/Week, Date)
    Professional Licenses and Certifications
    Relevant Honors and Awards
    Personal Essay (Something in the realm of "Why Pharmacy?")
    Colleges Attended
    Course work (list your classes, when taken? grade, units)
  4. bsson

    bsson 2+ Year Member

    May 14, 2008
    Thanks a bunch beancow, that helped be quite a bit.

    Just curious, does anyone else have limited/no experience like I do in actual pharmacy settings and was accepted into schools? How was that experience (in terms of interviewing and how competitive you actually were compared to others).
  5. chibipinkbunny

    chibipinkbunny 2+ Year Member

    Feb 1, 2007
    San Francisco
    I felt like I had limited pharmacy experience. I was in no pre-pharmacy clubs, and by the time I had applied, I had only volunteered for a few months at the Intensive Care Unit at my Student Health Center. I had never worked in a pharmacy actually. So yeah I was really scared that I wasn't competitive at all with the other students. Oh yeah, and I had done no research at all either. Hmmm, ha, ha, I'm making myself sound like I was a bad applicant ^_^' Anyway, I'm now a first year student at UCSF so I guess it was okay.

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