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Need Some Advice on Research

Discussion in 'Pre-Pharmacy' started by xNeenax, Aug 19, 2011.

  1. xNeenax

    xNeenax Delano's Minion
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    q
     
    #1 xNeenax, Aug 19, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2011
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  3. xtsukiyox

    Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

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    What kind of LoRs do you need, and what do you already have?

    What kind of research? I would say yes go ahead and join, if you can balance it with school, anything directly pharmacy applicable you're doing, work, & any other commitments you have. Even if you don't feel like the research prof will write you a good LoR, I think putting research as an EC would look good.

    Caveat: Also a first-time applicant, so my opinion is probably no more informed than yours. :p
     
  4. Digsbe

    Pharmacist 7+ Year Member

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    I earned a summer research fellowship grant from my university and I can say that I really loved doing research.

    When you say research group, is this a social club or will you be on a team with lab partners doing research?
     
  5. xNeenax

    xNeenax Delano's Minion
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    Research as in a lab type setting with lab partners and professors. It sounds like it can take up a lot of time. I initially had 12 hours, but then I had to have 15 hours, so I'm kind of scared that my grades might slip.

    I have one LOR so far from a faculty staff at my university. I need two more and it can be from anybody, but I can't think of anyone, who is available, who can write one for me.

    One pharmacy school recommends (not requires):

    • Employer
    • Faculty Adviser
    • Pre-Health Adviser
    • Supervisor
    Another recommends (but not requires):

    • Employer
    • Pharmacist
    • Professor (Science)

    Is asking LORs from pharmacy technicians a bad idea? I volunteer at a hospital pharmacy but since July they've closed down due to inspection. They failed the requirements and they're still shut down. I can't go there anymore and I only know one pharmacy techs email. I asked her if she could get a pharmacists contact info for me, but she didn't know who I was talking about (it's a big hospital and they're A LOT of pharmacists there so I don't blame her). I tried to look up that pharmacist but she isn't anywhere on the registered pharmacists list. She might know some pharmacy techs contact info, but the ones I know of are not native speakers of English.
     
    #4 xNeenax, Aug 19, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2011
  6. xtsukiyox

    Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

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    Who was your supervisor at the hospital pharmacy? Is it possible that person still works at the hospital in some capacity? Can you get the information for the pharmacy director? (Is it the pharmacy or the whole hospital that was shut down?? :eek:)

    I've read about SDN'ers asking a pharmacist for an LoR after having just shadowed a few times... Maybe that's an option?

    Do you have any other work / club / volunteer experience? Trying to see if there might be someone you've overlooked who could write you an LoR like the schools are asking for. (There probably isn't but it doesn't hurt to ask, right?)

    Barring all that - have you considered only applying to schools requiring fewer than 4 LoRs? :(
     
  7. xNeenax

    xNeenax Delano's Minion
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    I don't know of any pharmacy supervisor or director. I only know of pharmacy techs and pharmacists.
    Only the pharmacy is shut down their report said that they had a lot of problems.

    I don't have any work or club experience, well I do have club experience but nothing special...I was an active member.

    The schools I'm applying to require 3 LORs and so far I have one.

    How do I shadow a pharmacist? I don't know much about shadowing.
     
  8. xtsukiyox

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    If it's like the hospitals near where I live, there are at least two pharmacies in the hospital - outpatient (sort of like retail) or inpaient (people actually in the hospital - IVs, drug carts, etc.). If the hospital is still functioning, I would guess the inpatient pharmacy would have to be as well. Either way, the hospital still has SOMEONE in charge of the pharmacy - I might try to dig to find out who that person is. If you appeal to that person, you might be able to make some headway on that route, but they may be limited by HR policies as to what information they can give you.

    The hospital should still have a volunteer coordinator - you might try talking to that person to see if they can help or at least point you in the right direction. Actually, now that I'm thinking about it, that makes more sense to me as a first step.

    Have you considered asking a different sort of professor? What about a physics professor or a higher level math professor (like for Calculus)? This wouldn't be my first choice, but it'd do if I was in a pinch.

    I have never actually shadowed a pharmacist, so I can't give you advice there. This thread looks pretty promising though (Google also thought so ;)): http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=516099
     
  9. xNeenax

    xNeenax Delano's Minion
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    All the volunteer coordinator does is put people in their desired positions in the hospital. My volunteer coordinator was the one that gave me that techs contact info, so she can show me around the place. However, I think I just thought of a plan to get that pharmacist's contact info. Hopefully it will work :xf: I don't really have enough time to ask around every pharmacy asking if I can shadow a pharmacist.

    As for a professor, I haven't really talked to a physics or math professor. I talk to a history professor at a community college, but he's a history professor...U.S. History the most useless subject in the science field....I don't know if I still have his syllabus with me.
     
  10. xtsukiyox

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    I think it would only take a few dedicated hours, a phone book :eek: or Google, and access to a phone. Narrow down by phone to save some shoe rubber. Can the volunteer coordinator hook you up with a shadow for the inpatient pharmacy (if they're separate)? Sounds like you'd just rather not pursue shadowing, which is fine too (especially if you've got some hands-on pharmacy experience for your app already). :D

    History is a science? Huh, I guess it would be, I totally forgot about "soft" sciences. :laugh:

    ETA: Good luck with your plan..!
     
  11. xNeenax

    xNeenax Delano's Minion
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    Oops I said that wrong, I meant history is the most useless class I've taken as a science major :p PharmCAS doesn't consider history a science.
    I can't think of anyone besides him. I hope there's nothing bad about choosing a history professor instead of a science professor to write a LOR.
    If I can't get a pharmacist then I will resort to shadowing.
     
    #10 xNeenax, Aug 19, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2011
  12. xNeenax

    xNeenax Delano's Minion
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    Asking my history professor is really bothering me because he is a history professor. When I have questions about course materials, I ask my TAs sometimes, who are graduate students (in the science field). Is asking TAs (graduate students) for LORs a bad idea?
     
    #11 xNeenax, Aug 21, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2011
  13. metallideth

    metallideth PharmD 2015
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    if you look up a school's info on pharmcas it states whom they want you to get your lor from.
     
  14. xNeenax

    xNeenax Delano's Minion
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    Oh I know. My schools doesn't require anything just recommends a few people. I was just wondering in general, if it was ok to get an LOR from a TA, who is a science grad. student because I'm not sure if a history professor would be fit to write an LOR.
     
  15. owlegrad

    owlegrad Uncontrollable Sarcasm Machine
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    In general, no.
     
  16. xtsukiyox

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    Check out xNeenax's response in post #4. She's listed what her colleges request.
     
  17. xNeenax

    xNeenax Delano's Minion
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    YAY I found my Pharmacist! :D:D:D:D


    Bad News: no reply from history professor....:(:(:(
    What's a better option:
    1) Ask for one from my lab or genetics professors who might not write me a good LOR
    2) I'm taking the PCAT in September and I heard that scores take like a month to show up on Pharmcas, so maybe I can ask a current lab professor who I would know for a month to write me an LOR.
     
  18. xtsukiyox

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    :highfive:

    I would probably go for option 2. However, I would mention it in person (hopefully during a good casual moment) and offer to schedule an appointment so you can discuss your PS, resume, transcript, or whatever else may be helpful in writing an LoR. From what I understand, you really want the prof to know a bit about your background so s/he can write to support your strengths (rather than "yeah, boy, can she fill a pipette").

    Have you tried calling the history prof or dropping by during office hours, if that's who you really want to write the LoR?
     
  19. xNeenax

    xNeenax Delano's Minion
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    The only thing I have from my history professor is my syllabus, which only has his email address.

    I have three references right now, which is all I need from the following:
    Faculty/Staff- knows my personality
    Pharmacist- knows how I work in the pharmacy
    Another Pharmacist- don't know me that well, but I was desperate...

    The 2nd pharmacist wrote a letter that was 6 sentences long and I think the 1st did too. But the last sentence of the LOR basically said that pharmacy schools should accept me. Is this bad? just wondering. I know they're busy people, but I read some posts from users who said their letters were at least half a page.
     
  20. xtsukiyox

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    I tracked down one of my profs from a few years ago just by knowing his name. He now teaches at different schools than before. :ninja:

    Rate my prof is an underrated tool for finding teachers who have moved... Certainly an off-label use, though. ;)
     

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