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No Pharmacy Experience, chances?

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EyeC92

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I'm planning to apply this cycle but I wonder, is it possible to get accepted into pharmacy schools with no prior experience (ex: pharm tech). Also, if I wanted to gain experience besides pharm tech, what are my options? Any answers would be appreciated thanks!!
 

DrNyvia

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I just graduated from pharmacy school at Oregon State University and I had zero experience in pharmacy prior to applying. I didn't even know what acetaminophen was! Yes, it's harder to get in without experience, but it is possible. Also, my GPA was nowhere near perfect (~3.2). What set me apart was a strong personal statement that is unique and true to yourself, being active in student organizations (I was the president of APASU), and an interview that gives a memorable personality (confident and motivated). Turn your weakness into a strength. For me, I went into pharmacy because I knew nothing about pharmacy. I hate not knowing things and so this is what motivated me to learn. Also, I did not know a single pharmacist so I had to ask my friends if they knew any. One of my friends knew one so I messaged her to see if I could meet with her for dinner, tell her about my motivation for pharmacy, and request if she could write me a recommendation letter. After 3 hours of talking, she agreed to write me a recommendation letter! I had a professor (microbio), pharmacist (from Walgreens), and supervisor (of APASU) write me my recommendation letters.

As for gaining experience besides pharmacy tech, you can try to be a clerk somewhere (which doesn't require a license). A Bi-Mart usually has a clerk on board that works at the pharmacy but can't dispense/fill. You can also go to your local pharmacy or compounding pharmacy and let them know you are a pre-pharmacy student and would like to shadow for a day. Colleges love when you take initiative and are able to articulate what you learn from that experience.
 

Dalteparin

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You can probably get in, but it would be a good idea to get pharmacy experience so that you know what you're getting into. Hospitals might let you volunteer or shadow in the pharmacy. For retail, I often suggest getting a job at a place that has more than just pharmacy, like Walmart, Target or a grocery store. Even if you can't get in as a tech right away, eventually they'll have an opening and you can move into the pharmacy. Good luck!


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DrNyvia

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You can probably get in, but it would be a good idea to get pharmacy experience so that you know what you're getting into. Hospitals might let you volunteer or shadow in the pharmacy. For retail, I often suggest getting a job at a place that has more than just pharmacy, like Walmart, Target or a grocery store. Even if you can't get in as a tech right away, eventually they'll have an opening and you can move into the pharmacy. Good luck!


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Agree with this. But on the flip side, do not get discouraged if you shadow a place and find that it's not right for you! There are plenty of other opportunities within pharmacy that work completely different from each other! I've currently found a home in ambulatory care, although I wouldn't have minded retail or inpatient.
 
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PharmtoCS

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It is possible (and in fact very easy) to get into pharmacy schools without experience, but most people here would highly recommend that you do get experience to get to know what the field is like, especially when you are going to be signing away $200k+ in loans and spending another 4 years in school.
 
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ldiot

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All you need is a pulse to get in, but I would recommend seeing what it's like to work in a pharmacy before you are in 6 figures of debt and miserable
 
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pharma93

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Hey, you sure can get in to pharmacy school without any prior experience. I got accepted to three top schools in my area plus interview invitations to several others that I applied to but rejected because I wanted to stay close to home. I would say have a good GPA (3.0 or above) and a decent PCAT score (70 range). Pharmacy experience looks good but is not as important as GPA and the PCAT.
 

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