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Newbie here...

Discussion in 'Pre-Pharmacy' started by joejoe75, Apr 6, 2007.

  1. joejoe75

    joejoe75 2+ Year Member

    Apr 5, 2007
    so Im gonna pick your brains to make a well informed decision. Im contemplating heading back to school and becoming a pharmacist. I got my Bachelors in 2003 in a totally unrelated field so unfortunately I'll probably have to start as a freshman. Im also 26 yo, not exactly a spring chicken anymore, so thats another thing I have to take into consideration. Although I have talked to a few pharmacists in nearby retail pharmacies and they said when they went to school, there were some older students in their class. I got mixed reactions when I asked these pharmacists if they were happy with their choices. One lady said she really liked it and that it was definitely worth it, even at this stage of the game for me (a little later in life), salary wise (which she said would pay for itself in no time) and just overall job satisfaction-wise. Then there was this one guy last night, when I asked him if he was happy with his choice, he said, "no, i regretted it from day one. " when i asked him why, he said because its very boring. I thought he was pulling my leg, but he was dead serious. He went on to say that its very good at first because you start making excellent money right off the bat, but if you talk to that same pharmacist a year later, they will tell you that they hate it (if theyre honest, he added). I was actually pretty shocked at his response. Anyway, I would like to hear some of your feedback, whether or not you are happy with your choice, if you have any advice for me, whatever. Any feedback is greatly appreciated.

    As per proper message board etiquette, I searched for my answers before posting my questions. Like I said before, Im a newbie in these parts, so I'll probably be asking a few more quesitons in order to make my decision. Again, thanks in advance.
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  3. Farmercyst

    Farmercyst On with the Poodles already Pharmacist Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    If you want to hear from some pharmacists that seem to enjoy what they're doing and get some ideas as to what they do, I'd suggest searching posts by SDN1977 and Zpaksucks. You'll have to filter through ZPaks, he doesn't stay on topic very often:smuggrin: . They've got a lot to say. There are some bitter pharmacists as well, but we won't name names.:rolleyes: If you're not familiar with some of the board functions, the easiest way is to find someone you'd like to read more about and left click on their name from any post. Then, click find more posts by... You might also read some posts by eddie269, specifically the one in his signature. I'd say start with those and if you read the posts above and below, you'll probably get a good idea who to ask and who to avoid suggestions from. (You know, people like me.;) )
  4. cp5lb

    cp5lb Go Browns!!! 2+ Year Member

    Nov 3, 2006
    Ocean City, MD
    I was 28 when I decided to go back to school. Coming from an unrelated field also. I had 0 college chem or bio when I started, so I had 2 years of prereqs to do first. I'm entering pharm school next fall and will be 35 when I graduate. I know there are people on here that are older than I am. There were people in my prereq classes who are older than I am, and who want to go to pharm. school as well. Age won't be the issue. The only issue is making sure you are interested in the field.
  5. dogmom

    dogmom 2+ Year Member

    Feb 20, 2007
    I am in the (almost exact) same boat as cp5lb...I am 31, and just finishing up pharmacy pre-reqs. I'm starting pharm school in the fall, and I will be 35 when I graduate...I'll still have at least 30 years to practice. Indeed, age is not an issue if it's what you really want to do.
  6. joejoe75

    joejoe75 2+ Year Member

    Apr 5, 2007
    Im definitely taking that into consideration. I'll be doing it for 30, 40, 50 years, who knows how long, so it wont make that much of a difference if I graduate when Im 33 from pharmacy school.

    Im still doing as much research as I can to gauge whether or not its the best option for me. Unfortunately, as much research as you can do, the only way you are really going to know is after you have already started the schooling.

    If you dont mind me asking, what do you guys do for income, since you are going to school full time? Thats a big question mark for me.
  7. Farmercyst

    Farmercyst On with the Poodles already Pharmacist Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    I'm 29 , but have been doing 12-15 units/ semester/qtr since I was 23 working towards my BS. I have worked since 1999 for a utility answering phones. Started part time averaging 30 hrs/wk. Went full-time 2 weeks before I got married in 2003. With the exception of the 12 weeks after each of our two kids were born, I've been working 40 hrs/wk. Since I'm done with school at the end of the Spring qtr/sem (I use both because I'm going to two different schools right now) I'll probably send in for my tech license unless I get into school somewhere this year. If that happens, I'll probably just try to volunteer since the license processing takes almost the full summer anyway. I haven't bothered working as a tech before because I can't afford the pay cust and I can't work as a tech, go to school, and keep my current job. So if I get in this year it'll be without any pharmacy experience. I didn't get accepted from Western, I have yet to find out my official status, and I got rejected from LLU. Right now I'm still waiting on USC and Oregon State.
  8. Julianne

    Julianne War Eagle!! Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    Feb 9, 2006
    I was actually able to work full-time (as a tech/market scheduler) until last fall when I transitioned from a local CC to a university and began taking the "higher level classes" (i.e. Microbiology, Genetics, Biochemistry, and Immunology) that point I cut my hours way back to spend more time on my studies. Luckily I'm married so I was able to tell the hubby he'd have to take up the slack :p

    P.S. The CC I attended tried really hard to come up with class schedules that could accomodate working adults...IMO, this is one of the (many) advantages of a "2-year" college.
  9. Julianne

    Julianne War Eagle!! Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    Feb 9, 2006
    **Disclaimer: The following is wayyy OT and all in good fun**

    Farmercyst is a weath of knowledge... for example, who else here knew that:

    "...Bugs Bunny likes to say sassafras"?!? (From another thread)

    Not me, that's for sure :laugh:

    But, seriously, there are quite a few folks here (some that have been in the profession for years and some that are just starting out) with really good advice to share. Good luck to ya!
  10. joejoe75

    joejoe75 2+ Year Member

    Apr 5, 2007
    well heres the problem with where i live. theres 3 programs that are accesible to me. One of them is next to impossible to get into. The problem with the second one is they make you take classes for 2 years and then you apply to the pharmacy school in the 3rd year, and its not a guarantee that youre gonna get in, therefore making the first two years a waste. the third school is a bit more expensive than the other two, but they accept you from day one, so you start the six year program as freshman, going by a freshmans schedule. In other words, they dont take into account older students that may have to work. your classes are most likely during the day, like any other students.
  11. WestTXisGr8

    WestTXisGr8 Live with passion!!! 10+ Year Member

    Aug 29, 2006
    Williston, ND
    Well, you're never too old. I'm 37 and still have a year of pre-pharm to go.
    And I don't feel "too old" AT ALL!

    And as far as the second school you listed where you take 2 years of classes and then apply but it's not a won't get much sympathy on this board. I think that's what at least 95% of us are doing. There's no guarantee any of us will get in. If you are dedicated, you are most likely going to get in *somewhere*.

    Next, from my point of view, if you're worried about working Pharmacy school into your schedule, you probably should re-think that. You have to WANT it greatly and enjoy it, no matter what you do. So you're thinking really should be working everything else around Pharmacy school. I'm taking 19 hours this semester, working 2 jobs, and have a family. Everyone in the family is dedicated to making this work. So we all realize we must work hard to make it happen, and our time together just got extremely precious and appreciated. Fortunately, my daughter is a teenager. I would not have commited to this type of schedule had she been younger, but that's my choice.

    If you really want it, working everything else out around it is an easy decision, although not necessarily an easy task. Good luck!

    "My 2 cents worth...and priced just right!"

    LECOMorBUST 2+ Year Member

    Feb 11, 2007
    Excellent advice here! I know someone who is 40 and we both were just accepted to the same pharmacy school. We both have families and the works. Serious commitment is required for success and to overcome the setbacks which litter the path to success.
  13. twester

    twester Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Aug 3, 2004
    Denver, CO
    I'll be 45 when I graduate. I'm almost finished with my first year and I don't regret pharmacy school so far. I really enjoy it, especially now that we're getting beyond the basics and learning about drugs.

    It's important to make sure that pharmacy is really what you want. (This might be the step that a bitter pharmacist skipped. I've talked to some classmates who are regretting their decision. So, future bitter pharmacists there.) The path requires a big investment - both of time and money. The further you get into it, the harder it will be to back out because of the increased size of the investment.

    I suggest taking your pre-reqs a semester at a time. If the first couple of semesters go well, then keep going. If not, step and back and re-analyze. Keep in mind that usually pharmacy school is harder than undergrad. I was a little naive about that. If you can stay competitive GPA-wise and get some extracurricular exposure to pharmacy, you'll get in.

    Good luck!

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