futuredoc331

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What is the best path to becoming a pharmacologist? I am a 24 year old non traditional student. I served in the air force and now im in the army reserve. My undergrad will be finished this summer, but it is in business administration. I have to take all science pre reqs still. Would it be best to go for a pharmD or DO if my end goal is pharmacology?
 

racerwad

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You might want to do some research into the difference between the two degrees. PharmD is what you want if pharmacology is your end goal. If clinical medicine is your end goal, then you might want a medical degree (MD/DO).

The two fields are complimentary but not the same.
 

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If pharmacology is your end goal you need a PhD in pharmacology.
 
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futuredoc331

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Thanks for the quick replies. I'd like to study the effects of drugs/medications and take part in the creation of new ones. Is this necessarily the job of a pharmacologist? What other path would I look into? I'd also like o do this through the military, either through hpsp or uniformed services university.

Thanks again.
 
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Thanks for the quick replies. I'd like to study the effects of drugs/medications and take part in the creation of new ones. Is this necessarily the job of a pharmacologist? What other path would I look into? I'd also like o do this through the military, either through hpsp or uniformed services university.

Thanks again.
First, this is the forum for pre-med osteopathic. You are at the wrong site.

Anyway, Studying the effects and creating new drugs definitely belong to the pharmaceutical research field, which is the job of pharmacologist. To do that, you will need the PhD in pharmacology. To go this route, students usually first get the undergraduate degree in health science, then go to graduate school to get their PhD in pharmacology. Of course you can apply for military scholarship (you will need to have a serious commitment to military service if you do so). Even if you don't get into the military route, the costs of PhD education are usually covered by university through regular TA, RA and graduate scholarship.
 
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futuredoc331

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I apologize. I should have been more clear. I've already completed an undergraduate degree and am not going to go back for a science degree in order to go to grad school. I'd like to either go to med school or pharmacy school and I'm wondering which would be the best path to pursue with the intent of getting a pharmacology fellowship. I know that both pharmD and MD/DO are eligible.

Does it come down to what I woukd rather do if i were to not get the fellowship?
 

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Doctors can specialize in pharmacology? I didn't know that.

How are they different from pharmacists in this respect?
 
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I apologize. I should have been more clear. I've already completed an undergraduate degree and am not going to go back for a science degree in order to go to grad school. I'd like to either go to med school or pharmacy school and I'm wondering which would be the best path to pursue with the intent of getting a pharmacology fellowship. I know that both pharmD and MD/DO are eligible.

Does it come down to what I woukd rather do if i were to not get the fellowship?
As you know, pharmD and MD/DO programs are aimed to train professional practitioners. So although researches can be involved, it is usually not extensive enough for the graduates to become research scientists (including pharmacologist) without further research training. That is why MD/PhD, DO/PhD joint programs are created for that purpose.

So I would say you will need some forms of further research training after the pharmD and MD/DO. So fellowship in research is highly recommended.
 
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futuredoc331

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Doctors can specialize in pharmacology? I didn't know that.

How are they different from pharmacists in this respect?
So I'm not the only one who is a bit confused by this. Thank you.

From doing some more reading I take it that people who always knew they wanted to go into Pharmacology and made the right arrangements for making that happen go to to school for the sciences, get involved with research, then go to grad school and postgrad for Pharmacology specifically?

My problem is I'm not in that boat. I'm going to be earning a B.A in business administration with no science courses and no research. My chances at a grad program for pharmacology specifically are slim to none.

Alternatively, PharmD's and DO/MDs are eligible for fellowship training in pharmacology. I am interested in both career paths. Additionally, both of them will enable me to go to school on a military scholarship and serve as an officer in the military.

Right now I am going to be busting my ass for the next year and a half to be eligible to apply for med school or pharmacy school and seeing that both can lead to where I want to go I am wondering which is the best path.
 
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futuredoc331

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As you know, pharmD and MD/DO programs are aimed to train professional practitioners. So although researches can be involved, it is usually not extensive enough for the graduates to become research scientists (including pharmacologist) without further research training. That is why MD/PhD, DO/PhD joint programs are created for that purpose.

So I would say you will need some forms of further research training after the pharmD and MD/DO. So fellowship in research is highly recommended.
Thanks SkyRider. I posted my last post before reading this one. I'm very new to this idea and haven't looked into the dual degrees yet. Honestly, I'm not so sure I will be prepared for one. I think one step at a time would be best. I'm in no rush to become a researcher. I am in a bit of a rush to support my family, serve in the military as an active duty officer, and have a career that will help change people's lives.

On a side note, up until recently I thought that meant being a very wealthy/successful entrepreneuer. (That's why I earned the business degree) I've learned that at 24 with a network of almost nobody and no money backing me this dream will have to be put on hold until after I have a successful career elsewhere.
 

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Thanks for the quick replies. I'd like to study the effects of drugs/medications and take part in the creation of new ones. Is this necessarily the job of a pharmacologist? What other path would I look into? I'd also like o do this through the military, either through hpsp or uniformed services university.

Thanks again.

This is without a doubt a PhD's field of study. PharmD and MD/DO are all tenured towards clinical practices, you want to study and create new drugs, which is research i.e a PhD.
 

Jamie561

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So I'm not the only one who is a bit confused by this. Thank you.

From doing some more reading I take it that people who always knew they wanted to go into Pharmacology and made the right arrangements for making that happen go to to school for the sciences, get involved with research, then go to grad school and postgrad for Pharmacology specifically?

My problem is I'm not in that boat. I'm going to be earning a B.A in business administration with no science courses and no research. My chances at a grad program for pharmacology specifically are slim to none.

Alternatively, PharmD's and DO/MDs are eligible for fellowship training in pharmacology. I am interested in both career paths. Additionally, both of them will enable me to go to school on a military scholarship and serve as an officer in the military.

Right now I am going to be busting my ass for the next year and a half to be eligible to apply for med school or pharmacy school and seeing that both can lead to where I want to go I am wondering which is the best path.
I think being a pharmacy phd is the way to go for your specific goals, but if you insist, a pharmd is probably second best.

Sent from my HTC Sensation Z710e using Tapatalk
 

clinke

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Thanks for the input.
This is off topic, but it's the first thing that came to my mind. How do you know you will like the topics of pharm if you have never taken a science course?

And as all the rest have said - phd or DO/phd
 
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futuredoc331

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I've taken introductory chem and bio, but my interest comes from bodybuilding. I'm very interested in the science behind the supplements and drugs that people take. I've spent countless hours studying these chemicals from an academic and deep perspective (not just what they can do for an athlete). That's where my interest comes from and it extends to what many drugs, specifically steroids, can do for people if they were studied more. Their abilities to help peope suffering from crippling diseases is amazing.
 
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I can't imagine why you would want to become a physician if your goal is bench or even clinical research at the PhD level. You will need the education and research training involved in getting a PhD in Pharmacology or at the very least PharmD. You simply won't get that by becoming a physician. Another thing to consider if you go the physician route is that you will be going through ~2 years of prerequisites prior to medical school, then 4 years of medical school, then as a bare minimum 3 years of residency and then another 2-4 years of the fellowship. There will a lot of hoops and there is no guarantee that you'll be able to get into medical school, residency or even the fellowship....all while possibly incurring a tremendous amount of debt.

Honestly, it doesn't sound like you've really looked into this. Is there a pharmacy or medical school near you? You ought to schedule a meeting with an academic advisor to discuss your educational options. Also ask about getting some experience shadowing or working in a lab and also a physician's office and perhaps sit in a few pharmacy classes, too.
 
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futuredoc331

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I can't imagine why you would want to become a physician if your goal is bench or even clinical research at the PhD level. You will need the education and research training involved in getting a PhD in Pharmacology or at the very least PharmD. You simply won't get that by becoming a physician. Another thing to consider if you go the physician route is that you will be going through ~2 years of prerequisites prior to medical school, then 4 years of medical school, then as a bare minimum 3 years of residency and then another 2-4 years of the fellowship. There will a lot of hoops and there is no guarantee that you'll be able to get into medical school, residency or even the fellowship....all while possibly incurring a tremendous amount of debt.

Honestly, it doesn't sound like you've really looked into this. Is there a pharmacy or medical school near you? You ought to schedule a meeting with an academic advisor to discuss your educational options. Also ask about getting some experience shadowing or working in a lab and also a physician's office and perhaps sit in a few pharmacy classes, too.
There are two goals that I am trying to intertwine. I would like to one day be a researcher, but I'd also like to serve on active duty as an officer in the military. There are several programs for becoming a pharmacist and a physician through the military. I am interested in both of them and would be happy with either one. One day I would like to be a researcher though.

I know that both paths can lead to a fellowship in pharmacology so I was wondering if either path held an advantage. I see from the replies that the PharmD program would.
 

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But as many have already said, a PharmD isn't going to provide you what you want. Unfortunately, I doubt you can intertwine the two perfectly, because I doubt the military is going to need researchers for steroids. You need a pharmacology PhD. This would also be shorter than the MD/DO path.
 
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If you don't need to touch and smell people for your research, don't bother with med school. Get a PhD.
 

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This is without a doubt a PhD's field of study. PharmD and MD/DO are all tenured towards clinical practices, you want to study and create new drugs, which is research i.e a PhD.
This, OP. As others have stated, pharmacology is not really a field for physicians. MD/DOs can do clinical research with drug trials which has a lot to do with pharmacology, and you don't need a PhD for that. But if you want to be the scientist developing the drug itself, a PhD in pharmacology is what you need to look into. My graduate background is in pharmacology and I was taught by PhDs. The lectures by physicians discussing pharmacology did so in the context of drug trials and clinical application, not R&D.
 

racerwad

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There's always a wise ass on forums isn't there?
I like how there's always someone on the forums who doesn't know what they're talking about but insists that no one else does, either. It sounds like you have a lot of goals which together constitute a long road. As others have mentioned, you should try and shadow people in the different fields you're thinking about to get a sense of where you want to go. There certainly are people who split their time 50/50 between bench work and clinical medicine. But, that isn't for everyone and most people decide that they ultimately prefer one over another (and prefer not being in school that long most of all!). Good luck. And really, give that google thing a shot. They've got it pretty well worked out.