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Pharm vs. Med?

Discussion in 'hSDN' started by jefgreen, Dec 29, 2008.

  1. xnfs93hy

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    As some of you know, I am continuing to explore careers, and this thread is going to be focused on what the title suggests.

    First and foremost. What does being a pharmacist entail? What would I be doing day to day?

    What is the annual income. The reason I say this is because it seems that A LOT of new Pharmacists are getting paid 80-100k out of school. If that's true, that's pretty good. Is there any overtime you can put in to make more?

    Would I be working in a lab or at Rite Aid? Or is that up to me to decide? Which is better?

    With the 100k income, will that go up as I become more experienced or will it plateau at around 125k or so?
    ---
    Does this job involve a lot of Chemistry? I know all medical careers involve science but as a pharmacist, will I have to go through heavy doses of Chem during school?

    Lastly, how long does it take to become fully licensed?

    If there are any accelerated programs out of HS (like BS/MD), don't list them because I do not have the grades.
     
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  3. CScull

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    There's a good thread on this topic here:

    http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=578027
     
  4. tennisball80

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  5. glowworm

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    From what I have read on these forums and elsewhere, your don't get paid much more-if any- as time goes on. Maybe in a hospital you could move up a little in salary, but not much. in retail I haven't heard of any pay raises based on experience.

    As for lab or retail, retail jobs are the easiest to get. Not sure about the pay in research either.

    I think ~100K is for 40 hrs/wk, so if you worked 80 hrs/wk like a doctor would I suppose you could double your salary. You might have to work for a different company though if your company didn't want to pay you overtime. And if they do pay overtime, thats even more money.

    And then of course your school is much shorter than a doctors-no residency. And less debt.

    I know you said no accelerated programs, but one public school in my state has a 2 years undergrad program that any freshmen can get into that got accepted to their school-pretty much anyone can get in. Then you apply normally to their pharmacy school. They only require 60 hrs undergrad work as opposed to 90-120 hrs most places, and they strongly prefer applicants from their own undergrad. So while its not a guaranteed admissions program, it does make the path somewhat easier and shorter.

    I know that last bit doesn't help you much since they primarliy accept OK residents, but I thought maybe you could look for something similar in your area.
     
  6. xnfs93hy

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    This helps me a lot. Yeah, I kind of figured unless I work more hours or do overtime my salary probably won't go up.

    Pretty much all grads are getting 100-120k now which is good, and if I can double that by working an 80 hour work week, all the better.

    Could you give me more info on this program though?

    As long as I don't have to spend more than 7 years in school I'm good.
     
  7. glowworm

    glowworm inching along
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    The school is SWOSU- southwest oklahoma state university. Its a regional university, nothing fancy at all. Like I said, this particular program probably won't help you much, just look for something similar near you.
     
  8. CScull

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    I've heard of some schools doing a 4 year undergrad and then 2 year pharmacy and then others do something like a 2 year undergrad and 4 year pharmacy as more of an AP.

    I'm planning on doing the normal 4 years of Undergrad with a declared major (probably biology) and then possibly applying to both Med School and Pharmacy School if I still haven't reached a final decision.
     
  9. KempDrumsalot

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    More money talk? :thumbdown:
     
  10. CScull

    CScull Is Positive, O Positive
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    Seriously.:lame:
     
  11. xnfs93hy

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    Alright, in all seriousness, I understand that you should not go into a field that you will not succeed in or just have no interest in. I do have an interest in the health field, I do need improvement in my sciences though, I understand that.

    I figure if I can land a 100k job after graduating and work 80 instead of 40, maybe I can pull in 200k. That is all I said. I wanted to know how much I will be making. I am just assuming that I would be able to work overtime and double my income. That's it.

    If you read my first post, most of my questions were geared more towards how long the Pharm route is and what a Pharmacist actually does day to day.

    I like money. So What? Why is it that every time I make a post and ask a question about money, someone has to come in and just start bashing me for it? I'm not trying to come of as a jerk and I appreciate the help you do give.
     
  12. xnfs93hy

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    I have another question. Say I want to go to a four year school out of high school instead of applying to one of these programs.

    How long is Pharmacy school? Once I'm at a four year university, are there any shorter paths or do I have to apply through the regular cycle?

    What I mean is that, once I'm a senior in UG, can I apply to Pharm programs that let me get my Pharm D in a shorter amount of time? orrr is that just not how it works?

    I do not have the grades to do a 5 year PharmD, so, am I just screwed then? Are there no shorter paths after that point? That is what I am trying to ask.
     
  13. docB

    docB Chronically painful
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    Just my $0.02 here but I think pharm might be a good field for you. You have experessed some interest in the economics of medicine, business and in how you could turn those interests into more personal income. Pharmacist can open small businesses and expand them. It's a tough climate these days as pharmacy retail is dominated by giants like Wallgreen's, CVS, WalMart and so on. But if you can turn an independent pharmacy into a success you are your own boss and, if you can expand to create a chain of pharmacies there is a lot of money potential. If you can create a successful business of it there's even the possibility of selling out to one of the big chains which would be very lucerative. Just some thoughts.
     
  14. CScull

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    I like money as well, but the questions I ask are geared towards improving my chances of being able to do something I will enjoy, not increasing my paycheck. In any career in the medical field you will live comfortably; it's a given. Your questions are always about making two hundred thousand dollars a year or more.

    Do you realize that as an average American you're in the top 6% of the worlds wealthiest people? That if you're making 200k a year you're in the top 1%? That if you do it means all the money you're keeping to yourself you're keeping from children in other countries that can't afford food and clean drinking water? Children who have parasites constantly?

    What are mansions and Ferraris really worth, anyways, when you never have time to live in them or drive them? And why would you even buy a Ferrari if you're not a car enthusiast (who would buy a Porsche because they do everything a Ferrari can in America anyways... unless you join a racing class and drive it on the track which you certainly won't have time for)?

    Maybe you're not trying to sound like a jerk, but none the less you do.
     
  15. CScull

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    I'm fairly certain that at Samford they normally do a 4 year undergrad with a declared major and a 2 year graduate Pharmacy School. They also have an accelerated program where you're considered Pre-Pharmacy but I'm not sure how long it is... I want to say it's 6 years as well because of the required core classes... but I'm not sure.

    I would pick up a course catalogue in your guidance department for a college you know has a pharmacy school... it's normally pretty helpful.
     
  16. xnfs93hy

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    Thank you, I will look into this. FYI, I knew that if you earn over 200k that puts you in the top 1%.

    Although, I do not understand why you brought the starving kids in Africa into the picture. I understand that there are less fortunate people. I volunteer in my community, I do not know what else you want me to do...heh.
     
  17. Bacchus

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    Re: Compensation

    The more you specialize usually the less you earn. I have a lot of friends that have graduated and been offered 105,110, even 115k a year to work at CVS. Clinical is a bit less. Things like nuclear are even less from what my friends have told me.
     
  18. CScull

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    You're welcome.

    I brought it up because I don't think you realize how unfortunate some people's situations are. You were born into a very wealthy home and nation; for that you should be thankful. You may volunteer in your own community but it's not your community that needs help.

    We're all guilty of overlooking people who have next to nothing because we hardly ever see it. "Out of sight; out of mind" kind of logic. It's still there though and by ignoring the problem we only make it worse. I'm not saying we all need to sell our fancy houses and cars and donate all of our money to the poor; but you have to realize what superfluous spending does to 3rd world countries whose economies are mainly supported by low budget farming that isn't always prosperous. They don't have big companies that pump out lucrative merchandizes or provide necessary skills. By spending money on italian cars and designer cars you're just giving that wealth back to the already extremely wealthy.

    I can admit that my family and I just as bad as a lot of people, but I hope when I get older I'll make an effort to help those countries gain the means to support themselves.
     
  19. CScull

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    That's interesting, I would think Nuclear Pharmacists were paid more than normal Pharmacists... from what I've heard it's quite a bit more school and a tad more competative... although it would be fun working in a lab all day...
     
  20. I love you! :thumbup:
     
  21. KempDrumsalot

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    The reason is you AREN'T doing something because you like it, you've looked into at least 2-3 careers just because they make money. You already don't like the sciences that much and are trying to find the shortcut to a big paycheck. That is why people continue to bash you. And yes, you did ask some valid questions, but then you had to add in more money talk, hence my comment.
     
  22. CScull

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    haha, erm thanks? :oops:
     
  23. KempDrumsalot

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    CScull, all I have to say is :love:.

    On a serious not, I, for one, have a serious problem with the "out of sight, out of mind" philosophy on a day to day basis. For this reason, I recommend others start a simple bank account and put around 5-10 dollars a week/month (varies depending on income and financial situations of course) and not touch it. Once the money begins to grow I plan on sending this money to be spent on those less fortunate.

    Now, Jeff, how about we give to those in that 99% instead of trying to get a mansion when your 24? Volunteering is a good thing to do, even in our community, but don't make it sound like your saving the world by doing it, and justifying yourself being in the top income bracket while letting otherrs suffer in pain and agony.
     
  24. CScull

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    Haha, you guys are making me blush.

    That's a really good idea, I hadn't thought of doing something like that. I'm looking to do some missionary work after I'm situated in my career. This February I'm going to Honduras on a medical mission trip with my church for 10 days. If I'm lucky I'll get to work in the Pharmacy and help hand out over-the-counter type drugs to the people in the village we'll be stationed at. It's really exciting because I'll be working with the Pharmacist and getting to ask questions... it'll be like shadowing and volunteering all in one! :)
     
  25. KempDrumsalot

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    Well, at least we can't see you blushing :p.

    Awesome! Is your church charging or was there a fundraiser? The most trouble I've had with trying to do mission trips is my family simply can not afford it.
     
  26. jvanewportnews

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    :cool:Well let's see... working a double shifts would mean what 16-20 hours a day?(pharmacist shifts can be kinda long) That's like 4-8 hours left to sleep, eat, and do family stuff. Guess that's cool if u really want money, but what if u found someone to marry while in pharmacy school? There's two pharmacist salaries right there from normal shifts. But keep in mind that some pharmacists work odd hours such as 12-hour shifts for 3 days a week (36 hours worked & paid for 40) and that's it. Or they could work normal hours every other weekend. If you own your own pharmacy it would be a bit of a risk, but once it gets going you could easily get over $250,000 per year but LONG hours at first (you leave when your work is done not when your shift is up). I really haven't heard of pharmacists working double shifts because the job is tedious enough as it is. If u could do it, it probably would average around $200,000, excluding benefits (healthcare, dental, etc.), sign on bonus ($6,000-$11,000), a yearly bonus ($0-$5,000?) & maybe other stuff. When choosing your job remember to look for college reimbursement (I think Walgreens helps u with that) where ur employers give u like $40,000 or some amount of money to help pay off college loans. I myself would choose a normal (40 hour, 5 day) schedule because i see better things in life than just money lol (like social life). :cool:

    :laugh:I hope your not one of those people who would kill themselves if all the money in the world were gone.:laugh:
     
    #25 jvanewportnews, Dec 29, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2008
  27. CScull

    CScull Is Positive, O Positive
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    Haha, true that.

    They did some fundraising for us but we have to pay our own way mostly. I'm very lucky and have an aunt who's helping me out but I'm getting a job over the summer to pay her back.
     
  28. UNMorBUST

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    Pharmacy schools require at least 2 years of undergrad, while some require a bachlors. Pharmacy schools are either 3 year ( which are condensed with less time off) or 4 years.
     
  29. UNMorBUST

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    Please realize that being a pharmacist is a demanding job. Working anything above a 12 hr shift is tiresome as well as dangerous to the patients you are serving. If you make mistakes you could possibly lose your licence. It is good to have desires, but as mentioned 100k is putting you in the top 10% in the country of household incomes. You will learn one day that the more money you have does not mean much when you are sacrificing your life to earn it.

    In closing relax guys, earn decent money, and have time to spend it. You will be much happier that way.
     
  30. CScull

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    Cool, thanks for clearing that up.

    :)
     
  31. tennisball80

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  32. tennisball80

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    Kemp and CScull, you guys are saying the darn right thing. I have not seen many Americans like you guys for a while. That's nice see some people have those ideas in my opinion anyway.

    Keep up those clean minds ! ! !

    That's my $0.02
     
  33. tennisball80

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    Jeff,

    I can understand it doesn't feel nice whenever you create a thread and you get negative comments about money stuff. I know you are just want to have a good life.

    But I think you can really worry about money later in your life. For now, I think it is best for you to discover what you are interested the most in your life.

    If you really like to think about money all the time, you should go into Health Care Management.

    How about get a B.S or B.A degree in health care management ? If you still feel you want to go into med school, then go for it. If you want to going for money or business, you can work in insurance company and still have good salaries.

    We are all just trying to help you out here. Don't feel discouraged when you see some negative comments about "money".
     
  34. CScull

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    Haha, will do. Thanks Tennis.
     
  35. xnfs93hy

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    Do you really want to know what career I want?

    I want to be a Brain Surgeon. I looked into surgery because not only do Neurosurgeons and Spinal Surgeons make insane amounts of money, they have such a huge impact on a patients life.

    The reason I am looking into other careers is because I do not think that I am smart enough to become a neurosurgeon or a Spine Surgeon. It isn't even the hours that are turning me off. It is not having a paycheck for so many years. Many surgeons are in their THIRTY'S by the time they actually start practicing. I do not know if I could hold out that long.

    Does that mean that maybe I shouldn't be a surgeon? Maybe it does, I really don't know.

    What I do know is that I am extremely lucky to be able to have my parents put me through college.

    I know I do not want a career in business or law. I know I want a career in the health care field. That much I know, which is good.
    ---
    What has really turned me off about becoming a surgeon:
    NS is EXTREMELY DIFFICULT to match into, you need to be at the top of your class wherever you go. You need to score very high on your boards and do very well when you do clinical rotations.

    It isn't the commitment, it is the worrisome factor that I will bust my butt through college, get into medical school, do well but never match into the specialty that I want. There is NO GUARANTEE. There is no guarantee that you will match into the specialty that you want and there isn't a guarantee that you will get into medical school either.
    ---
    Will Pharmacy give me a good income, yes but I fear that somewhere down the line I will look back and say to myself "I should have gone to medical school."
    ----
    Being realistic. I am a very smart individual, but my parents have JUST ENOUGH money to get me into a good college. After that, I have to pay for everything and medical school tuition is VERY HIGH and, again, there is NO GUARANTEE that I will get into medical school, or that I will match into the specialty that I want. So I thought, why not Pharmacy? Very nice salary, flexible hours. Maybe later on down the line I can pay to put myself through medical school and switch careers.
    ---
    If you ask me what job I actually would enjoy, I would definitely have to say an ER doc, Neurosurgeon, or an Orthopedic surgeon. Any specialty where the stakes are high, the pay is high, and you have the opportunity to actually hold someones life in your hands.
     
  36. CScull

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    So basically your response to the comment: "The reason is you AREN'T doing something because you like it, you've looked into at least 2-3 careers just because they make money." is yes. Making this post necessary why?
     
  37. KempDrumsalot

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    Thanks, I wasn't really sure how I was supposed to respond to that post. :thumbup:
     
  38. xnfs93hy

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    That is true but I just wanted to say that I HAVE looked into careers because I have interest in them. Do I like Pharmacy? Well, I don't really know much about it but as long as I can work in a hospital setting and do fairly well for myself, maybe I should look into it more then. Sometimes you can't "Do what you love" right away. Med school is like 40-50k a year!

    Wake up!

    How many people can actually afford that without taking out loans? I also need a roof over my head, and food.

    Not to mention interest on the loans. Again, there is no guarantee that I will match into the specialty of my choice. If I don't, then what was the point in even going to medical school.

    "Doing what you love" is great, and it makes it that much better if it pays well, but sometimes you have to look at things realistically and weigh your options.

    That is why I am looking to focus more on Pharm now. I can still work in the field, and make a good salary. And by the way, I don't know who posted that I hated the sciences but that isn't true, I have interest in all the sciences. I am more of a physics/astronomy guy. Chem is difficult for me but I enjoy it. I am very interested in Bio. I just do not have much of a "passion" for the sciences, but I do have a high interest, so lets just leave it at that.

    I don't know why you guys care so much about doing what you love, to be honest. I sincerely appreciate all your advice but I cannot help but argue with you sometimes...I personally think that looking into a career in Pharmacy for the reasons I have stated is VERY WISE.
     
  39. Druggernaut

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    Have you ever worked back to back sixteen hours days? I can't imagine doing that five days a week for decades.
     
  40. xnfs93hy

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  41. KempDrumsalot

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    Most can't afford it without taking out loans, thus the average debt out of med school is around 160 thousand dollars. However, you will not gain interest on these loans until you're out of school (most can be delayed out of residency as well, but they may have just changed this).

    You don't have a passion for sciences, my mistake. You struggle in chemistry but you are looking at doing a high paying job that IS chemistry? What in the world does it mean to not have a "passion" but a high interest anyways? Sounds like your trying to make your small liking of the science field more prominent. Either way, you need a passion for your job or you will be miserable. Especially if you have more money.

    There is never a guarantee. No matter what it is, there is no guarantee. However, to increase your chances, all you have to do is work hard and study your butt off. Does that mean you may have to sacrifice a little bit? You bet. Will it pay off? Absolutely. Do I trust this mentality for someone who will have lives put in their hands? No.
     
  42. CScull

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    It's obvious that both professions are lucrative though; you'll never want for a roof over your head or food. I do know I will be taking out loans for most likely college AND grad school. I realize loans are paid off in time; they are extremely expensive but the reason banks allow these types of loans is because they realize that Doctors and Pharmacists will be able to afford to pay them off. I may be living off of ramen noodles in a tiny apartment for my first few years after graduating, but if I'm enjoying my work it won't matter to me as much as it would if I wasn't passionate about my job. Money isn't what you're sacrificing here; your life, time, efforts, and skills are.

    Money talk aside now, the only reason to choose which specialty or division of the healthcare field you choose is because it interests you above all others. You must realize that the hours are stressful and long even for doctors and pharmacists who do really love their jobs.

    Think about your patients too; do you really think someone wants a person cutting them open or checking their medication who doesn't really care about them? Whose purpose for working there is mainly the paycheck?

    The reason why we get so worked up over this is because we ARE passionate about medicine. We want to help people. We want to save lives and help those in need. To think that someone whose goal in life is to be rich would get a seat in Med School rather than someone who really wants to make a difference is upsetting.
     
  43. james07

    2+ Year Member

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    I would take Pharmacy any day over being a doctor. I mean you may make a couple more 100k and higher a year but for me I rather work a 40-50 hrs shift versus working 60-80 hours a week and being on call 24/7. I rather have a little more stability in my life. Plus Pharmacist make the 100K range and that's good enough for me. I can still make good money and have time to pursue other hobbies. What I think you need to do is do some soul searching and find out what you really want without bringing money into the equation. Although it should be a concern but don't let it be the primary motive. that's just my two cents.
     
  44. KempDrumsalot

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    Exactly!!! :thumbup:
     
  45. MossPoh

    MossPoh Textures intrigue me
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    Lay up on ripping him for the money thing. We get the point. We all get the point. It is a reasonable thing to wonder about, especially at a young age. When you get older your priorities shift accordingly usually. You can spout off all the self-righteous stuff about 3rd world countries, but they are dependent on us too. While I haven't met many people in the health profession that HAVE italian sports cars, a surprising amount of resources comes from those countries. The little man gets screwed, but that is the case everywhere. Bringing Africa into the picture is all nice and fuzzy. Volunteering is of course good but as the world gets increasingly interconnected, everyone relies on the big picture of transactions.

    It is good that you are a caring and responsible person but that does not make the OP uncaring. The top whatever percent talk is nice but the differences aren't THAT large. Comparing people that never graduated high school, people with associates degree, and people with undergraduate degrees in art, philosophy, psychology or elementary education with a person that went through 8 or more years of education and then maybe even MORE training is comparing apples to oranges. Trust me, I am about as close to being a euro hippy as one can come, but I still know there is no crime in liking shiny new things. We don't NEED the vast majority of the stuff we have. The computer I am typing on is not needed...but I enjoy it and won't get rid of it even though it was probably made by some vastly underpaid chinese person in a factory. Sad but true.

    OP, the best way to learn about pharmacy stuff is to talk to one. Try to get a job as a pharmacy tech and learn as much as you can. It is good to start here to get a footing and we all understand that you are searching for your future career, but once you start diving deeper things will become MUCH clearer. When I look back to my high school years, my freshman year of college and even my sophomore year...I had no damn clue what I wanted. I had no real understanding. I knew what looked cool to me on the outside. I was good with computers, so I changed out of Engineering and went into Information Science. I soon learned that being good and liking it is only a minor component of a career path. Messing around with code, taking stuff apart, etc. was fun but when I delved deeper I realized there were a ton of aspects I didn't like....such as demanding and whiney clients, deadlines, ridiculous budget constraints, non-compliance, being away from home for months, and all that crap.
     
  46. CScull

    CScull Is Positive, O Positive
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    I think the point is it isn't nice and fuzzy. I was just trying to provide a bit of perspective; as I said when we spend money frivolously we're, in your words, screwing the little man. It's not something I want to take part in. I realize my computer was made in china and that it is a luxury but I see it as a means to an end; I use my computer for entertainment but it's a vital tool that will help me with research and writing and reading; furthering my education.

    We're very good at ignoring facts to justify our lifestyles but it remains that with 6% of the worlds population America has 33% of the worlds wealth. Something's wrong with that picture.

    I know that there are many people with the same views as Jeff out there, it doesn't mean that my opinion will change without valid reasons. We're so used to being wealthy and comfortable that it's easy to discard the misfortunes of others; easier to not think about it so we don't feel guilty for keeping all the wealth to ourselves. It's normal for us; but the fact that it's normal doesn't make it any less wrong.
     
  47. xnfs93hy

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    I do not know what you mean by people with the same views as me.

    I do not know why you are making me up to be some spoiled rich kid. I may live in a wealthy area of the country but let me tell you something, my father deserves every single penny he gets and I am thankful for every single thing they buy me. I have no control over what is happening to dying kids in Africa. Do I run around all day saying "Oh, I want to be successful in life, I don't care about dying kids in third world countries!"? NO! But what do you want me to do? I appreciate what I have and maybe when I actually have a decent amount of money I will donate some of it.

    I also think it is great that you are doing a mission trip with your church, it is just annoying to me that you are (I assume) building me up to be something that I'm not (a rich kid who doesn't care about people). If I really did not care about people I sure as hell would not be volunteering in the ER or volunteering at all for that matter, I'd be hanging out with my friends. I guess I'm just a jerk, right?
     
  48. CScull

    CScull Is Positive, O Positive
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    I mean the kinds of people who choose careers mainly for monetary reasons rather than personal interests. I don't think you're a jerk, I just think you're misguided and it's frustrating.
     
  49. Bacchus

    Administrator Moderator Physician 10+ Year Member

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    From Salary.com for Philadelphia:

    Retail: 110,000
    Clinical: 100,000
    Nuclear: 107,000

    In Philadelphia there isn't a very big difference, but there are regional effects. Retail almost always will pay the best. A lot of my friends will take the possible 10-15,000 paycut to avoid the hassles of retail. It does suck that with residency training your salary has the potential to decline.
     
  50. xnfs93hy

    7+ Year Member

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    I appreciate your concern but I don't know why you seem to...care so much. I mean as long as someone does their job correctly/well, does it REALLY matter if they are passionate or not?

    I have a HIGH INTEREST in the field. What do I mean by that?

    I mean that the field is very appealing to me but being a physician isn't something I've wanted to be my entire life. If I do get into medical school it will be a challenge.

    TBH, the only reason I keep coming back here is because whenever I keep researching other careers...nothing really clicks. When I come back here to these forums and go to the hospital I feel like "This is where I want to be until I'm 70." Like I WANT to become a surgeon, and I love volunteering, and I'm smart, etc. I just don't know if I can make it all the way. Sometimes it requires more than hard work...
     
  51. xnfs93hy

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    I got lost. You have to do a Pharm residency? What?
     

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