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My advice to pre-pharmers

Discussion in 'Pre-Pharmacy' started by Somatic, Mar 23, 2011.

  1. Somatic

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    Dear pre-pharmacy students,

    I was once in your position and would like to offer some words of advice...

    Don't go into pharmacy if you're only looking at the $$$!! Seriously with how much it costs for school and all the uncertainty associated with the future of pharmacy..and lack of jobs... I'm not sure it's worth it anymore. Only go into pharmacy if you TRULY LOVE pharmacy and don't care about how much you potentially will (or will not make). I mean seriously with how expensive some schools are and the amount of debt you accrue, you really don't take home that much money. There's much better ways to make 100k or close to it. If I wanted a secure career with a lot of earning potential then I would probably suggest doing something like software engineering over pharmacy.

    Just my honest advice!
     
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  3. 30Percent

    30Percent Big boy shoes
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  4. crazybob

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    :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:
     
  5. tlt2796

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    well, if you said so, why don't you quit pharmacy school and won't be a pharmacist then someone else will have that position. I mean, why do you discourage anybody like that?
     
  6. crazybob

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    :thumbup::thumbup:
     
  7. Somatic

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    Not trying to discourage. I'm just saying make sure money isn't too big of a factor in your decision to become a pharmacist. Just trying to help some pre-pharmers out. Pharmacy education is quite corrupt similar to law school. Schools don't care what happens to graduates after they graduate. They just wanna make $$$ off of naive people...
     
  8. atpsynthase

    atpsynthase Protons and Pumps, Baby!
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    Just what we need.. another person who thinks 100k "isn't that much." I guess we can't all be born with a silver spoon in our mouths. :confused:
     
  9. crazybob

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    Yup. And some of us think our $15K cars are nice cars compared to what we had to drive while learning.
     
  10. Somatic

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    OMG pre-pharmers can be so naive!!! (but I was too when I was in your position)

    100 k is a good amount! BUTTT after taxes AND students loans you really don't take home a whole lot. I know a pharmacist who has been a pharmacist for 4 years and is living paycheck to paycheck in his apartment since he attended a costly private school and is paying a lot back in student loans...

    Not to mention, how long do you think the 100k salary of pharmacists is actually going to last with hospitals and chains trying to cut back and all of the other threats??
     
  11. crazybob

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    That's just ONE pharmacist. And if he attended an expensive pharmacy school, and that was his choice, he's working to take care of himself.

    Are you assuming all of are going to end up like that pharmacist you know?
     
  12. Somatic

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    No I am just encouraging people to be VERY cautious about going to pharmacy school. It's not hard at all to get into pharmacy school anymore because like I said pharmacy education has become very corrupt and schools are out of control. Many corrupt schools are making bank off of people who just look at the 100k salary....
     
  13. Pharm LND

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    I'm going to chime in on this just because it is one of my pet peeves. Somatic is right in everything that he/she has said thus far. I know many, many pre-pharmers that the only reason they are in it is because a. they think it is easy money, b. it's shorter than pre-med, pre-dent, pre-whatever programs, and c. because their parents told them to because of what they heard from their friends and their friends' friends that you get hired straight out of college easily.

    I think that if you are in it just for the money then you should be looking at non-health related fields like business or engineering. I mean seriously, most students will leave pharmacy school with over $100,000 in debt with interest that is compounded since P1 year. I almost feel bad as these people that came into the field with making fast money in mind won't last very long in the real world.

    My advise would be to only go for pharmacy programs and the like only if you have a strong interest in the pharmacy field and what this field represents (helping people through drug management and the development of new drug therapies, etc.) If you have the passion for pharmacy, you can be almost guaranteed to have any job or residency that you like as you will love the time you spent in pharmacy and would more than likely excel in it as well. Therefore, all this gloom about the pharmacy field saturating is rubbish. It may be a bit harder since there are now many naive people going to no-name schools (i.e. diploma mills) but it'll be the people that have a genuine passion for pharmacy that will succeed and uphold the integrity that the pharmacy profession stands for. :)
     
  14. Somatic

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    :thumbup: Well said. However all these diploma mill schools are hurting the profession. I think we should get together and tackle this problem as a large group of pharmacy students and pharmacists. We should all confront ACPE on the corruption they are allowing. I think rotation sites should also refuse to precept students from diploma mills as well
     
  15. crazybob

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    Have you talked to any professors about this?
     
  16. Somatic

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    Not really. Have you? You should talk to every pharmacist you know about this!! Come on let's finally take action
     
  17. Pharm LND

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    We should all definitely not take this sitting down. You can guarantee that I will take an active stance in the pharmacy council to confront ACPE about the corruption they are allowing. If they allow this to continue, our future careers and the integrity of our profession will take a huge hit unless we stop it now. If not, pharmacy will fall by the wayside along with the law profession, the housing crisis, and the banking bubble burst. :mad:
     
  18. Somatic

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    It's good that you realize this and it's SOOO true! I started this post to raise awareness, not to try to discourage people. Let me know your ideas on confronting ACPE and dealing with this pharmacy school corruption crisis.
     
  19. Pharm LND

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    Just wanted to reiterate this part. The idea of this is definitely not to discourage as I definitely believe that those that have a passion for the field should definitely go for their dreams. But again, it's to raise awareness of the corruption that is going on today in the field and what steps can be taken to combat these issues. :)
     
  20. All4MyDaughter

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    Yes it's a good thing that established schools have NO role in the increasing numbers of students entering pharmacy schools. No established schools have increased class sizes or created branch campuses or anything like that. That would be corrupt!
     
  21. All4MyDaughter

    All4MyDaughter SDN Mommystrator
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    The last time you told this story the pharmacist in question had been a pharmacist for over 10 years and was taking home the same amount per month as a technician.

    I agree with whoever said :beat:
     
  22. Somatic

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    Well believe it or not, I have met several pharmacists in these situations and it's only going to get worse as the market gets even more saturated and more graduates are pumped out. That's why something needs to be done NOW. There's too many ignorant people in this profession who are contributing to the demise of pharmacy...
     
  23. Pharm LND

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    I agree this issue is being beaten to death like a dead horse but it's because of the fact that most people are looking at the wrong angle!

    What you're looking at is the end result and consequences. Yes, the issue between established schools and new schools arise from the main issue here. The problem we are facing is the FACT the ACPE is NOT regulating these new pharmacy schools popping up in the capacity that they should be. The ACPE today can be compared with the Articles of Confederation that used to be the governing law of the land in the United States. In theory, sure it had the power to do many things. But, in the end, it was weak and could not perform the way it was meant to.
     
  24. chemguy79

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    It's somewhat ironic that current pharmacy students who are complaining about the demise of the profession are those who potentially received their spots in their current program because of the increased number of pharmacy schools and subsequent diluting of the applicant/acceptance pool.

    In a sense, YOUR acceptance to the program and YOUR choice to attend pharmacy school has contributed to the excess number of pharmacy students and consequently, the number of pharmacy graduates. Therefore, it's a bit hollow to "scare" new applicants from applying to the profession when your acceptance and subsequent choice of attending pharmacy school is contributing to the deluge of new graduates.

    Furthermore, this discussion is not new (the saturation of the industry), so let me pose the question ... Why did you choose to attend pharmacy school when this issue has been present for the past 5 years? It did not arise overnight and you should have been aware of the influx of applicants and subsequent graduates when you applied to the program.

    Therefore, once pandora's box has been opened, it's rather trite to close the door to new applicants. The door has been opened, it's important to accept that having a degree won't entitle you to a guaranteed 100K job post-graduation. Pharmacy school is becoming akin to law school and instead of fighting a battle that you may not win, how about control what you can regarding your degree, i.e., get better grades, perform novel internships, pursue a residency, and make yourself the best graduate that you can instead of trying to hinder people from pursuing the career that you chose to pursue.
     
  25. sharlita

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    :thumbup::thumbup::thumbup::thumbup::thumbup:
     
  26. atpsynthase

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    How is thinking around $6,000 take home per month is plenty to live comfortably on naive? Get off your high horse that you seem to be on. It must be easy to talk down to "pre-pharmers" like you do. Explain to me HOW you could not live comfortably off of $6,000 per month?

    Ever work in your life? Try taking home a lot less than that then maybe you'll realize how much money that actually is. Your pharmacist buddies must not have a clue about securing their financial future or present for that matter. If you can't live comfortably with $100k gross, you're doing something wrong.

    Also, Somatic... "it's not hard to get into pharmacy school at all anymore?" Way to discourage everyone in this forum who are working extremely hard to get in, just to hear someone like you say that its really not that hard anyway. I mean... really? If you didn't start this post to discourage people, then why discourage people farther down the thread? Doesn't make sense.
     
    #25 atpsynthase, Mar 24, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2011
  27. All4MyDaughter

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    You should read up on confettiflyer's posts about what the ACPE can and cannot do, by law. Then elaborate on what you think ACPE should be doing.
     
  28. owlegrad

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    Are you fimiliar with closing the door behind you?
     
  29. megandupe

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    ACPE has no control over the quantity of pharm schools that open, only the quality. If a school opens that meets all standardized criteria then they have to certify the school, they just can't so no due to volume.

    I agree that you better be passionate for what you're getting yourself into, but i think that that should be the case regardless of what you choose for a career. You won't be successful at what you hate, which will likely be the case for many of pharm students who do this for the money and end up shifting gears to something else.
     
  30. chemguy79

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    Of course, but we both know that it's not going to happen.

    Furthermore, what was your response, as a pre-pharm student, to the 'advice' that is dispensed today regarding the saturation of the industry? You obviously didn't listen to the advice, as evidenced by your pharmacy student status, so what makes you think that new applicants would take such advice?
     
  31. R2pharmD2

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    Based on all of the superb advice given here, I've decided to turn down the pharmacy school acceptances I've received this year. I'm going to start my truck driving school prereqs this summer.
     
  32. Farmacist2011

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    I know a truck driver and I love how people in here only looks at the positives of truck driving, just like what others do for pharmacy and are called naive. Professional health schools will always fill their seats so we should encourage everyone and their grandmother to do pharmacy in order to ramp up the competitiveness to prevent all these sub 3.0 bone headed people from getting in.
     
  33. Passion4Sci

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    After reading this thread, I marched over to the registrar, threw my laptop down, and promptly enrolled in truck driving school.
     
  34. owlegrad

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    Perhaps I should have used an emoticon in my response, you seem to think that I am in favor of the fear-mongering. I am not. My reference to closing the door behind me was meant to further illustrate the point of how ridiculous it is that people who are in pharmacy are trying to persuade others not to. It is bulls***. Now that you are in, others should not be allowed the same chance? Give me a break. I was agreeing with your point, perhaps that was not clear.

    But you did ask me a question, and I would like to answer it. When I was a prepharm student the only negative things I ever heard about pharmacy came from SDN. The pharmacists I spoke with were all overwhelmingly positive with what a good field it is, job prospects, etc. I believe in what I see with my own two eyes - specifically that pharmacy is a great field and anyone who thinks it is competitive has probably never competed for anything on their life. (I will allow that it may vary by location.) Assess the job market yourself and see what you think. I still think the complainers don't know what they are talking about.

    I have classmates who gripe they cannot get a pharmacy related job - I have two (during the summer). Am I an amazing student? God no - I may end up repeating a year. Extra circulars? Nope - I think the clubs/groups/etc are a waste of time and money. So what is my secret? I don't have one. I am fortunate in that I don't have to work near my school, but I don't give all the credit to that fact. I put in applications all over town and followed up with each one until I had one retail job and one hospital job. If you want something, make it happen. Otherwise please shut up.
     
  35. druggeek

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    What If i got 20-25k student loans MAX (or less), and I live in Canada :)
     
  36. R2pharmD2

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    Let's all move to Canada! :rolleyes:
     
  37. chate

    chate Pharmersaurus
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    I graduate in 2 months. Jobs are hard to come by, residencies are even harder.

    I have some offers, all are far away from the so cal that i grew up in.

    I also give the same advice to people who ask me about pharmacy, if you're doing it for the money, there are better choices. If you're doing it for patient care, there are better choices. If you're doing it because you love mechanisms of action, memorizing names of brands and generics, dosing etc, then yeah go for it, but just know, if you're in california and get into the cheapest schools you're paying 10K per quarter nowadays, which means 120k or so in debt at graduation MINIMUM if you're self funded.

    Pharmacy WAS a great profession, but...

    That kinda sums it up.
     
  38. chate

    chate Pharmersaurus
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    OH

    And its not about discouraging people, its actually about ENCOURAGING people/students to really explore their options and open their minds to the new(er) healthcare professions that are coming about. I work with a neurosurgery PA...i didnt even know that existed!!

    Nurses, PAs, NPs etc are taking a very important role in DIRECT patient care, and honestly, those should all be careers (in addition to the physician and pharmacist) that students should be considering.
     
  39. Somatic

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    This is exactly right. This is coming from pharmacy students that will be pharmacists within a few months.

    I always wanted to do a residency but decided against it because of how difficult it is to land a clinical job these days even after PGY1. There's more residency spots than clinical openings per year which makes for a lot of competition. I plan on doing retail until it totally goes to hell (which may not be too long) then I will find another career to go into. Oh and retail is a main pillar of pharmacy, if it goes under then so will other areas of practice.

    Things are getting worse and worse every year. There's no way in hell I would go to pharmacy school now. If things are this bad now, imagine how much worse they will get. Things are not going to just magically improve with the rate new graduates are being pumped out. The reality of things is not looking so good...

    I would have appreciated this advice when I was pre-pharmacy.
     
  40. chate

    chate Pharmersaurus
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    haha Somatic, i agree, but u know, i doubt I woulda listened, so i doubt anyone will listen to us...sometimes u just gotta live and learn...i know i did and have a feeling that the next 5 yrs i'm gonna be learning more than i have about life in the last 25 yrs hahahaha
     
  41. Somatic

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    True true. I should be excited to be graduating from pharmacy school but I have a feeling of doom and dread. Feel like I have wasted so much potential by doing pharmacy.

    They won't listen to us because they can't handle the truth about pharmacy. They don't want to believe the reality of it all and the fact that the future looks quite grim.
     
  42. KingOfDoctors

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    my friend was a pharmacist for 50 years and he died cuz 100k a year is soooo low and he can't feed himself
     
  43. Somatic

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    A 100 k salary for pharmacists will soon be a thing of the past...
     
  44. R2pharmD2

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    Oh no, I think you're OK. I'm sure you don't have THAT much potential. :smuggrin:
     
  45. crazybob

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    How can you know that? Do you have any business/economics background that allows you to predict this accurately? How do you know how the economy will be in the next few years? What about inflation?
     
  46. pharm B

    pharm B Phar Noir
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    Is this the point where we ask "are you even in pharmacy school?!"

    :smuggrin:
     
  47. chate

    chate Pharmersaurus
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    Nah i wouldnt call it a waste, i'm glad its done and i'm sure we'll be fine for the short term. But going INTO it now probably isnt the best decision, def not the worst either, but one should consider what they're getting into, especially the newer schools, not just because of reputation or whatever but really, since tehy're private, its going into a school that is going to cost upwards of 50k a year for 4 years and net you, realistically, 100k/yr is risky...and eventually its going to come down to if it really makes economic sense.

    I got lucky and went to a state school, worked a LOT, so i'll have ~100k to pay off...but most ppl who go into pharmacy live pretty lavishly (student loans plus decent intern income with no liability means a nice apartment, lots of alcohol and lots of restaurants) and end up spending above their capacity and come out of school with about 200k in debt. 100k a year is like 65k net...

    So, to all you folks being sarcastic about 100k a year not being enough, it IS NOT enough when you have 200+ in loans (plus interest) so half ur income is going to that, and from what you have left you have to pay ur rent, food, etc so yeah...its really not that awesome
     
  48. pharm B

    pharm B Phar Noir
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    I agree with what you're saying about living lavishly and accruing debt, but I don't know many students who would actually rack up 200k. It seems like 100-150 (tops) is normal for most of us.

    I really wish they made a Student Loans for Dummies book to explain the repayment process and all the options associated with it.
     
  49. chate

    chate Pharmersaurus
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    hi

    i dunno about it being a thing of the past right away, but really its about supply and demand, in cali alone there are SD, SF, SC, UOP, Western, northstate, loma linda, touro, and i'm sure i'm missing some putting out an avg of 100 students each so like 800+ new pharm Ds PER YEAR eventually CVS is gonna say "hm, well, we're dropping pay down to 90k, take it or leave it" and if your choice is 90k or 0k, you'll take it...and if your pride doesnt let you take the pay cut, there are goign to be 800+ newbs ready to take that 90K :)

    and yeah the whole residency thing...maybe 10-15% of those grads will get residency, so i wouldnt really hold that as a contributing factor

    its not gonna happen tomorrow, but it doesnt take an economist to figure out that its gonna bust eventually...unless some regulations/laws change (IE 1 pharmacist per x number of scripts filled at a pharmacy) but the way it is now, its a bust waiting to happen
     
  50. chate

    chate Pharmersaurus
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    I'm speaking for california, where out of my pharmacy collegues (at my school and elsewhere) graduating this year, i have literally the LOWEST debt, with the highest being over 250k, cost of living in cities like Los Angeles and San Fran even san diego is very high, so paying 1000 a month for rent for the 48 months of pharmacy school is pretty significant already...and then theres gas...ugh gas, books, technology, and blah blah, the 12k-18k or so a year we make as interns really doesnt cut it, especially after taxes:laugh:
     
  51. trap

    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2011
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    Status:
    Pharmacy Student
    The problem is that everything is glutted, with the possible exception of MD - and has been for the last few years at least. It's not just pharmacy. We have about 50% too many college graduates, period.

    The OP suggests software engineering? That's glutted too - to the point that Indians are starting to go back home for better opportunities.

    This advice would be fair if it were just pharmacy that was glutted. Or just pharmacy and one or two other fields. But it's not. Most of us are looking at a pile of bad options, and picking the one that smells the least like faeces. At least from where I'm standing, my only realistic alternatives are $7.25/hr and IBR for life, or suicide.

    I don't see a gravy train in Pharmacy. I see a fighting chance to escape purgatory one way or another. Not a fair fight, but a fight at least.
     
    BidingMyTime likes this.

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