Jul 28, 2009
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So, ever since I was born, my parents have drilled it into my head that I need to be a doctor (yes, I'm Indian). For 3 years in college, I tried to please them. However, I HATED studying for the MCAT, and dreaded thinking about going to medical school. I knew this was something I definitely did not want to do. However, I did find a field that I was interested in which is pharmacy.
My father wants me to become a doctor, and basically forced me to sign up for medical school in the Caribbean. He has already paid for this semester's tuition, but I really want to do pharmacy, and I know I won't be happy doing medicine. My family does not support me in any way. I have to take a couple of pre-requisite courses this fall before I apply for pharmacy school. Is it going to be hard doing this without their support? A part of me wants to give up, and just please them, but I know this is no reason to become a doctor. Sorry if I sound so whiny, but I was just wondering how hard pharmacy school would be without any support from family? I know 4 years is going to be rough, but I really want to do it. What are some good convincing arguments to use for my father. I have tried telling him that pharmacists make a six figure salary (the only reason he wants me to become a doctor is because of the money), the fact that pharmacy is a rising field, but he simply does not care. It sucks doing this alone :(
 
Jun 9, 2009
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1) pharmacists spend only four years in professional school and start working as soon as they get their licenses. after you get your license, you can start your job the next day. it's a six figure salary with only four years of professional school work.
2) in medicine, however, it's usually at least 7 to 10 years in professional school before you start working as a licensed doctor on your own. it's a six figure salary with 7 to 10 years of professional school work. also, as an intern and a resident after med school, you won't make enough to pay off a lot of your loans. you'll just make enough to live somewhere and buy groceries and pay bills.
3) also, you take out more loans while in medical school and have to take longer to pay them off. in pharmacy school, you take out loans for only four years, and pay them off easily as soon as you start working.
4) when you work as a pharmacist, you are given a certain shift to work, and you won't be called in for emergencies. as a doctor, you might be, and you never know when you are going to be called.
5) in pharmacy, you realize that patients see the pharmacist more often than they see their doctors. from that way, you get to know your patients well and they feel more comfortable talking to you about things. sometimes they'll come to talk to you instead of their doctors.
6) in doctor's offices, patient often feel rushed and nervous about talking to their doctors, because their physicians are usually in a hurry and on a tight schedule, so patients don't always get to talk to their doctors about everything they want to.

you said "he has already paid for this semester's tuition." do you mean the semester's tuition for medical school in the caribbean?

and also, in pharmacy school, you are going to work so much with people other than your family and get to know them from working together, and then later, they can get you your first job as a pharmacist from having connections.
 
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Pharmacy is a very well respected field in itself, and of course the pay is excellent. I don't know why your father would complain at a pay rate of $95k - $135k per year. He should be proud that you decided to choose a career of high prestige.
 

mass

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Listen, I am asian too and have suffered the same problems. My family always wanted me to be a dentist. However, I did not want to stare down peoples mouths all day. They tried to force me into it for a good part of 2 years. I applied to pharmacy as I knew I woudn't get the grades for dentistry but my parents wanted me to do the course abroad.

The time came and my grades were poor and I got rejected into pharmacy school. It seemed as though I was going to be heading of into a place I didn't want doing a course I didn't like. I luckily scraped into pharmacy and in all honesty my parents still don't accept pharmacy but I don't care. I have finished 2 years and have 2 years left, less stress, great pay.

The morale of the story is : you don't need anyones support, give your own support and fight.

I actually went into depression during my first year of pharmacy as I had no support but there is no point at all.

Chin up and do pharmacy.
 

avuong

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Pharmacy high prestige?
Try getting your face screamed at at the top of the lungs, and then tell me which working environment you prefer.
 
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dahopeful

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So, ever since I was born, my parents have drilled it into my head that I need to be a doctor (yes, I'm Indian). For 3 years in college, I tried to please them. However, I HATED studying for the MCAT, and dreaded thinking about going to medical school. I knew this was something I definitely did not want to do. However, I did find a field that I was interested in which is pharmacy.
My father wants me to become a doctor, and basically forced me to sign up for medical school in the Caribbean. He has already paid for this semester's tuition, but I really want to do pharmacy, and I know I won't be happy doing medicine. My family does not support me in any way. I have to take a couple of pre-requisite courses this fall before I apply for pharmacy school. Is it going to be hard doing this without their support? A part of me wants to give up, and just please them, but I know this is no reason to become a doctor. Sorry if I sound so whiny, but I was just wondering how hard pharmacy school would be without any support from family? I know 4 years is going to be rough, but I really want to do it. What are some good convincing arguments to use for my father. I have tried telling him that pharmacists make a six figure salary (the only reason he wants me to become a doctor is because of the money), the fact that pharmacy is a rising field, but he simply does not care. It sucks doing this alone :(
First, you have to understand that your father wants the best for you. He probably thinking you do not like his decision for you to go to med school now, but he figures you will thank him later.

Next, you have to understand that pharmacy is a field that does not get the respect that it deserves. You father's idea of a pharmacist maybe one who works at the local CVS-or any other retail store-that tells him it will take 15-20 minutes to fill his prescription. I'm sure he do not want his son to be some overpaid pill pusher.

Now I can't tell you how hard pharmacy school will be without your family's support. I can tell you that it is better to go where your heart is than where the money is. My family pushed me to take a job because it paid good money. I hated going to work. I honestly tried to like the job, but couldn't. I felt that I was there filling the space of someone else who has a passion for this job. Now consider this. If you go to med school with your family support you will be taking the seat of some other applicant who wants to be there . You probably will hate going to class or stop going all together.

I would suggest you tell your dad that while money is important, you want a career that will you enjoy. Tell him that you wish to make your future family the center of your attention because as a pharmacist once you are off the clock you are off the clock. You cannot say the same thing for a doctor. If I was you I would research pharmacy and what it will become in the future. Research a particular area you are interested in. Then tell your dad about the field and that way you will have a better argument than "pharmacy is a rising field".

Remember your dad may feel he is doing this for your good, and to top it off the man has paid the tuition for the first semester. All you can do is talk to him and show him you researched this field and this is where your heart is at.

Best of luck
 

Spock87

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So, ever since I was born, my parents have drilled it into my head that I need to be a doctor (yes, I'm Indian). For 3 years in college, I tried to please them. However, I HATED studying for the MCAT, and dreaded thinking about going to medical school. I knew this was something I definitely did not want to do. However, I did find a field that I was interested in which is pharmacy.
My father wants me to become a doctor, and basically forced me to sign up for medical school in the Caribbean. He has already paid for this semester's tuition, but I really want to do pharmacy, and I know I won't be happy doing medicine. My family does not support me in any way. I have to take a couple of pre-requisite courses this fall before I apply for pharmacy school. Is it going to be hard doing this without their support? A part of me wants to give up, and just please them, but I know this is no reason to become a doctor. Sorry if I sound so whiny, but I was just wondering how hard pharmacy school would be without any support from family? I know 4 years is going to be rough, but I really want to do it. What are some good convincing arguments to use for my father. I have tried telling him that pharmacists make a six figure salary (the only reason he wants me to become a doctor is because of the money), the fact that pharmacy is a rising field, but he simply does not care. It sucks doing this alone :(
I've received no support from my family ever since I started college. I worked 2 jobs to survive. It's tough, but it's doable. I might not be able to work 2 jobs while in pharmacy school so I'll have to take out loans. However, once I graduate, I should be able to pay it off

Your dad probably wants the best for you, but sometimes it's not enough. You gotta do what you really want to do. If you're miserable working as a doctor, you're the only one that suffers
 

will7678

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Pharmacy high prestige?
Try working at an inner-city Walgreens or CVS, see how the pharmacy staff is treated and then tell me how "prestigious" pharmacy is.

Just stick with medicine. You wanna be the big shot making all the calls or do you want to be the cashier? Thats how youre gonna be treated working retail. Dont listen to pre-pharms or yahoo articles. Get some first hand experience.

Or become a pharmacist and work in the hospital setting where the pharmacists are treated as a valuable part of the healthcare team. At least in the places that I have worked the doctors seek out the opinion of the pharmacist and listen to what they have to say. Then while the doctor is still at the hospital trying to catch up on his workload the pharmacist is home sitting next to his pool.
 

inquirer89

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Being a doctor isn't what it's cracked up as it used to be. Stick with pharmacy, get a clinical residency, become Director at a huge hospital, laugh it up to your dad!

Also coming from an eastern background, I understand your dad's feelings. Prestige and money is big for our cultures. And he is being harsh on you. But playing his game, he should understand how behind the times he is. At this point in time (subject to change ::cough), pharmacy is seen as that progressive and well-paying career that you've talked to him about. Keep trying to convince him. Afterall and to reiterate, being a doctor is not as great as it used to be....
 

yappy

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It may not be your dad's view, however; a lot of people don’t respect medical doctors anymore. Many now view it as a service oriented profession - what can this guy DO for ME. Patients are now customers.
 
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Actually, I really want to go into clinical pharmacy. I work with doctors, nurses, and patients. Is this field still respected, or no?
 

DoctorRx1986

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Tell your father you will be a doctor anyway since you will be working on a PharmD. You will be a doctor, Doctor Pharmacy, that is, and NOT a physician. Therefore, he should be satisfied because he is getting what he wants...for you to become a doctor. :D
 

delano2000

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Actually, I really want to go into clinical pharmacy. I work with doctors, nurses, and patients. Is this field still respected, or no?

Very much so. In fact I respect my pharmacist more than i do my physician.:cool:
 

xxxhotstuffxxx

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How important is respect/prestige of a doctor anyways? I mean, as long as you're happy doing what you are doing, who cares how other people view what you do.
 
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gatewasani probably meant "in the same situation" not necessarily "i'm indian too, and also in the same situation"
 

Passion4Sci

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How important is respect/prestige of a doctor anyways? I mean, as long as you're happy doing what you are doing, who cares how other people view what you do.
Mom and dad, who are paying for it, care... thus, the problem.
 

gatewasani

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gatewasani probably meant "in the same situation" not necessarily "i'm indian too, and also in the same situation"
indeed i did, and i have absolutely no idea what im gonna do about it and im losing sleep over it
 

Maxpwer222

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My Mother and Father passed away 3 years ago and they had nothing to leave me. This means that I did half of my undergrad and I am doing all of my Pharmacy school on my own. It is possible, just expect to have more loans when you get out. Also, learn to live below your means.
 

miko

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I see your parents care a lot about you and you care about them. I think the way to win your dad over with pharmacy is to get him to see that you completely see and understand what/why he has these aspirations for you, and then gently point out the equivalent highlights of a pharmacy career. Try not to sound rebellious, try to sound like he is completely right in his reasons for choosing medicine for you, and then talk about pharmacy like it's the best of both worlds for you and him. Parents tend to listen to their children when they see that their children understand their parents' reasoning.

Crazybob posted some good points about pharmacy.

Good luck!
 

SHC1984

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Asian parents don't like it when their sons want to do feminine jobs, which includes nursing, pharmacy, flight attendent, housewife, secertary, receptionist, babysitting etc.

My uncle was pissed and call his son crazy when he suggested pharmacy and told him he needs to do either dentistry or medicine. And stop choosing female jobs! :laugh:
 
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Asian parents don't like it when their sons want to do feminine jobs, which includes nursing, pharmacy, flight attendant, housewife, secertary, receptionist, babysitting etc.

My uncle was pissed and call his son crazy when he suggested pharmacy and told him he needs to do either dentistry or medicine. And stop choosing female jobs! :laugh:
how? lol

and also, i think you're just generalizing because not all of them are like that. asians and indians are different. the OP said that he's an indian, not asian.
 

kern07

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to the OP,

if you sincerely feel that you belong in pharmacy, the biggest mistake YOU could make is to try to appease your parents by going into a field in which you're not passionate about.

i agree with most posters that are saying that your dad is looking out for you, but i also can't help but wonder if he's looking out for himself. it's okay to disagree and have no support from your family. however, i'll suggest that you research up on different fields in pharmacy, and tell them to your parents. have a 5 year/10 year plan, and tell them that this is what you want to do.

regardless of what your parent's reaction may be, only YOU know what's best for YOU.

my parents wanted me to go out of state for college, and when i told them that i wanted to stay instate ('cause it was basically free for me) to save money and use that for pharmacy/medical/nursing school, they FLIPPED.

the stigma of going to this particular school was particularly bad within the community (even though there was no factual evidence on WHY this school was deemed horrible). and my parents thought i would disgrace them by going to this school. but i stood firm in my choice.

flashfoward 3 years later, they are more than happy that i chose to stay instate while some students that went out of state for college regret doing so.

the moral of the story: be firm in your beliefs, and stick to your guns. support doesn't always have to come from your family. they can come from your counselor, advisor, friends, etc.

best of luck to you! :)
 

Pharmpills

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The problem with society in general is that they don't realize how broad the medical field is and who it includes. A Pharmacist is a type of Doctor and makes nearly the same as a general physician or pediatrician. Alot of students think once they get into medical school it's all fine and dandy but what they fail to realize is that they need to make a good or strong GPA to get into a good residency. On top of that most MD's with the exception of those who go into complex residency like anesthesiology, surgery, etc aren't paid pass 250,000. If an average physician make 200k then after taxes it comes out to 134k. A pharmacist is not very far behind that figure.

Most ppl say they become an MD to help people but which Doctor do u see donating 5-10% of their paycheck to charity?? The fact remains most doctors don't donate alot of the money they make to charity. It's their money so yeah they can do what they want but when u or ur family might say u should be a Physcian to help ppl that's BS to me bc there will always be Doctors to help ppl but not nearly enough to donate to charities.
 

Pharmpills

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Pharmacy high prestige?
Try working at an inner-city Walgreens or CVS, see how the pharmacy staff is treated and then tell me how "prestigious" pharmacy is.

Just stick with medicine. You wanna be the big shot making all the calls or do you want to be the cashier? Thats how youre gonna be treated working retail. Dont listen to pre-pharms or yahoo articles. Get some first hand experience.
I work at retail for over 3 years and it's the techs who are treated bad and not the pharmacist. I mean once in awhile you might have a few customers who might be a pain to the pharmacist and show no respect but it's all about how u handle the situation. One thing i learned is that to never let someone constantly walk over you or take out their anger on u. If they lack understanding the pharmacist can always give them back their rx or call a store manager to handle any problems. I do think pharmacist need more respect though bc alot of ppl just think they simply read doctor's writing. Even though that view is changing it's at a slower pace than how the field is changing.
 
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Thank you all so much for the advice! I really do care a lot about my family, and I do want to make them happy, but just not when it comes to my career. I will keep trying to convince my dad, and I will lay out my 5/10 year plan so that he can see I am serious about this.
The reason I am so bent on making my parents understand is that in Indian families, or even Asian families, it is very hard when you just leave the family like that. In order for me to go into pharmacy and start taking the pre-requisites I need this fall, I would have to literally leave my family for one year, or at least until my father sees that pharmacy is a good career. I am living with a friend right now, and if I go home to live with my parents, it means that I am going to be do medicine. I hate to leave my family, but I finally found something I actually want to do. I lose sleep over it all the time, and I had to go see a therapist a couple of weeks ago to talk about my problems (I guess I just feel guilty going after my goals).
 
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Thank you all so much for the advice! I really do care a lot about my family, and I do want to make them happy, but just not when it comes to my career. I will keep trying to convince my dad, and I will lay out my 5/10 year plan so that he can see I am serious about this.
The reason I am so bent on making my parents understand is that in Indian families, or even Asian families, it is very hard when you just leave the family like that. In order for me to go into pharmacy and start taking the pre-requisites I need this fall, I would have to literally leave my family for one year, or at least until my father sees that pharmacy is a good career. I am living with a friend right now, and if I go home to live with my parents, it means that I am going to be do medicine. I hate to leave my family, but I finally found something I actually want to do. I lose sleep over it all the time, and I had to go see a therapist a couple of weeks ago to talk about my problems (I guess I just feel guilty going after my goals).
correct me if i'm wrong, but here's why i think your father wants for you to become a doctor
  • you are well respected in your community as well as in the world for being a doctor
  • you have the ability to care for your patients
  • you have a good salary to live without problems with being short on money
  • you will have enough money to buy whatever you want and to take nice vacations

one thing you could try to do, is explain to your father that pharmacists can do similar things. such as:
  • be well respected (usually) in the community for being a pharmacist
  • you also have the ability to care for your patients
  • you also have a good salary to live without problems with being short on money
  • you will also have enough money to buy whatever you want and to take nice vacations
 

Passion4Sci

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Don't forget that the father can't tell all his friends/family that his son is a "doctor." He has to call him a "pharmacist." Not as prestigious.
 

Spock87

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For goodness' sake, just do whatever the f**k YOU want!! :D
 

Pharmpills

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Don't forget that the father can't tell all his friends/family that his son is a "doctor." He has to call him a "pharmacist." Not as prestigious.
A pharmacist has a Doctorate degree so the father can call his son a Doctor but not a physician. Pharmacist can prescribe in some states and can make decisions such as changing meds without a physician approval. In today's world it's not as hard to get into medical school due to caribbean schools and DO schools so being a doctor isn't that prestigious until u actually get into a good residency and do something well.
Remember taxes will take away alot of your high earnings and on top of that the tax rate is expected to go up for the wealthy :laugh:.

To the original poster i would shadow an MD and try to get some pharmacy experience before i make any final decision.
 

Passion4Sci

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"My son is a doctor but not a physician" is a whole lot more confusing than "my son is a doctor", don't you think?

I mean, when I was studying in graduate school for psychology, I never expected my parents to call me a doctor, despite conferral of a doctorate degree.

Additionally, you wouldn't call a lawyer "Doctor" would you? Of course, it is a Juris Doctor degree.

I wasn't saying that I think it's a legitimate concern for OP, but undoubtedly that's what daddy wants. "My son's a doctor" sounds a whole lot better to the untrained folk than "my son's a pharmacist." When someone not in the know hears "pharmacist" they immediately associate it with Rite-Aid, Wal-Mart, $4 prescriptions and a drive-thru bell. When someone hears "doctor" they immediately associate it with ER, Scrubs, Mental, and House.

That's just the way it is, irrespective of what the reality is.
 

Passion4Sci

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As an aside, I wonder how this very traditional family that is paying for a very expensive Ross Medical School tuition took the news of your underage drinking and DUI...
 

UBCmicrobi

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For goodness' sake, just do whatever the f**k YOU want!! :D
I agree with this! After all, it's YOUR life.

When you say "no support" do you mean financial or emotional support? or both?

No financial support - get loans like most people.

Emotional support - on a day to day basis, you shouldn't really need it. It's not like high school where your parents help you with your homework and put motivational notes in your lunch box. If you aren't living with your parents while in pharm school, you should be ok. You'll be too busy studying to worry about what your parents are thinking.

Don't get me wrong, I can see how it would be difficult to have conflict/tension between you and your parents, especially if you are living at home, but as I said, on a day to day basis, you're the one doing the work, not them, so you really shouldn't need "support". You're an adult now.
 

UBCmicrobi

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Don't forget that the father can't tell all his friends/family that his son is a "doctor." He has to call him a "pharmacist." Not as prestigious.
You're right, Passion4Sci, this is probably exactly what his dad is thinking....and it is complete crap.

Doctor = good, pharmacist = bad. Are you worthless in your parents eyes if you are not a physician? If only your father could just be proud of you for working hard, achieving your goals, being highly educated, and, as others have said, having a good-paying, respectable job. I hope you learn from this experience and don't perpetuate this attitude onto your children if you ever have any.

Others have pointed out all the "pros" of being a pharmacist, but you should also talk to your dad about how it is your personal choice and you want to do something that makes you happy (or do they not care about your happiness?)

Good luck, I hope it all works out.
 

UBCmicrobi

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As an aside, I wonder how this very traditional family that is paying for a very expensive Ross Medical School tuition took the news of your underage drinking and DUI...
lol. Where I come from underage drinking and driving and a DUI would bring more "shame" on the family than "not being a doctor" sheesh, these people need to get their priorities straight.
 

Passion4Sci

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the DUI thread

i would imagine it didn't go so well. but it also has been a long time since that DUI, so it's probably old news.
I remember the DUI thread very well... In fact I connected the name to that thread only a few minutes before I posted that question.

I also believe that in that thread, OP declares that she is a girl. Not sure if that is cogent here, but it's a fact nonetheless worth bearing in mind.