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Pharmacist and research

Discussion in 'Pre-Pharmacy' started by badears, Dec 17, 2005.

  1. badears

    badears Junior Member
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    It just occurred to me: Is it possible to be a pharmacist and do research as well? And by research I mean something like working at Lily Co. or maybe some academic setting. I would like to have a career in retail pharmacy (with the intention of going independent someday :eek: ) but also make some discoveries and/or contribution to development of new medicine. Any ideas or links to thereof?

    Thanks!
     
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  3. usi

    usi
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    As a pharmacist you don't make discoveries (drug discovery) you will be in the development aka clinical trials, provided you work in pharmaceuticals or biotech, you will be helping in the Phase I II or III ect.... If you are on the hospital you can be in the clinical side on site as well.
    I don't think retail has anything to do with development.
    If you want to discover drugs you have to be a Scientist: Chemist, Biologist, Pharmacologist, PK person, etc...
     
  4. manapharm

    manapharm Member
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    Some school offer PharmD/PhD dual program. This way you can work in both fields. The only bad part is that this will take you 8 years to complete. I know UCSD offer one this coming year. Others.... anyone know?
     
  5. A PhD will get you into research? I thought that was more for teaching.

    Anyway, the research oriented jobs in the pharmaceutical industry are more for the pharmacologists, which are also in high demand. However, the pay isn't as good, and you pretty much need a PhD.
     
  6. Fatpharm

    Fatpharm Member
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    You can do anything with a PharmD you can do with a PhD. You will just have to jump through some hoops. For instance you can do the last phase of clinical trials, you just need to have an MD review your protocol and supervise your experiment.
     
  7. S_R_N83

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    So can you teach pharmacy with a PharmD or do you need a PhD?
     
  8. TheChemist

    TheChemist Senior Member
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    You can teach with a PharmD, although some schools prefer a PhD. I do think a PharmD limits what you can teach. If you are more interested in teaching I would suggest getting a PhD. As for research a PhD is also more useful unless you want to get involved in clinical trials. But as for drug discovery, which is what I'm doing now as medicinal chemist, I believe it would be better to get a PhD in pharmacology, immunology, molecular biology, chemistry, etc. Of course this is my opinion, and I am interested what other people think about it.
     
  9. usi

    usi
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    Hi. Med chemist in drug discovery here too! How do you like them purifications of inactive compounds?
     
  10. usi

    usi
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    I disagree,
    PHD in pharmcacology in industry = $$$$.
    Must have pedigree.
     
  11. rxlynn

    rxlynn Senior Member
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    My sister has a PhD and has done solely research and drug formulation in her career. She got her PhD from a pharmacy school that also offered degree in pharmaceutical sciences, and she actually took some of the same courses that the regular pharmacy students took. She would be qualified to teach, but was not interested in that. There are a lot of PhDs doing research for the pharmaceutical industry. As the other posters note, they make a lot more money than the BS or MS chemists who work under them.
     
  12. Well, I'm not from America, so I wouldn't know how it works down there. I think Pharmacologists make much more in the states than they do up here.
     
  13. lol. You don't compare PhD's vs BS's or MS's.. If you are trying to make a point, talk in equivalent degrees only.
     
  14. Requiem

    Requiem Senior Member
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    Haha, good point.
     
  15. caligirlpharmd

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    At my school a representative from Glaxo Smith Kline just came to talk to us about working for their company, and I specifically asked what the difference was between having a PhD and PharmD in terms of being able to do clinical traisl. Her response: Nothing. She said you would train under someone and then very quickly be running your own trials, that it didn't make a difference which degree you had.

    To whomever asked, many schools offer the dual PhD/PharmD option. Even schools that don't have a formal program offer you the ability to do it, thats the case where I am at.
     
  16. TheChemist

    TheChemist Senior Member
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    Inactive compounds are my specialty. You give me the target I can give you an inactive compound. The joy of drug discovery.
     
  17. PublicHealth

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    How much $$$$?
     
  18. TheChemist

    TheChemist Senior Member
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    I would guess that in southern california a starting pharmacologist with a PhD would make around 80K a year.
     
  19. usi

    usi
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    I know a pharmacologist that was hired at a small biotech right out of school, and because his starting salary was soo big, they had to give him a title of director...That means in the 100-120K range.
    I am surre he specialized in something the biotech had special interests. So I think you have to be well conected to land something like this...
     
  20. SomeGuy

    SomeGuy Senior Member
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    I dunno, I've done quite a bit of personal study on this topic, and it would appear on the face of things that a PhD is for anything but teaching.
     
  21. cdpiano27

    cdpiano27 Senior Member
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    Well, the PhD is NOT a professional degree or at least it should not be.

    In statistics, my field, the PhD is ALMOST like a professional degree since there are many, many exams and courses. Most statistics is actually taught at the GRADUATE level, and NOT THE UNDERGRAD level. I have both masters and bachelors, and believe me, you learn twice to three times as much in the masters as in the undergrad. The PhD courses then delve into the theory of probability and mathematical rigor, which the masters courses do not. This is yet another big jump. The masters courses are more about basic theory, linear models (which is tied to expeirmental design), and applications to clinical trials, survival times, missing data, experimental designs. Many of the pharmaceutical companies absolutely want the PhD, and will not take a masters, although that is not necessarily true with the financial companies. However, a professional degree per say prepares to take the licensing exam to be a certain title, or profession, just like the name and IS NOT RESEARCH BASED AT ALL. In fact the rotations in the fourth year almost serve as one's INTERNSHIPS in pharmacy school in the diferent possible settings. I still think the PhD would be better if there was something similar as to the fourth year of pharmacy school but in conducting research. However, this might be different in PhD programs in pharmacy. I only know about statistics.

    PhD is all about research. It is supposed to open your doors to academic or industry research. Academic research does involve teaching as a component.

    Sometimes, a PhD is not enough, as is the title of the famous book related to the science fields, "A PhD is not enough". Many factors contribute to your success or lack of after you receive a PhD. Some of it depends upon reputation of your advisor, quality or your resaerch, and MOST IMPORTANTLY, either YOU or YOUR ADVISORS CONNECTIONS INTO INDUSTRY. If you are applying for an academic position, sometimes a postdoc is required sometimes it is not.

    The postdoc is a chance to better prepare one for academic research usually. It is like buying more years in graduate school to publish papers. Again the effectiveness of the postdoc depends upon the same factors as the effectiveness of the PhD. I have a friend in my statistics program who has been doing a postdoc for 5 years in chemistry after a PhD from Peking University, the best school in China, published several papers in physical chemistry, and could never land an academic position. He is currently pursuing a masters in statistics.

    Drawbacks of PhD: Unlike professional school, one's fate is often unknown.
    You could graduate with no job, an OK job, or a very good job depending upon several factors, including hotness of the field, your connections, and who you are working with on research.

    Advantages of PhD: Allows for more independent thinking and the potential to really delve into your field with a true passion. The PhD in pharmacy, by the way IS NOTHING AT ALL LIKE THE PHARMD! Nothing in the PharmD can even prepare you, since you never conduct much research. It seems like at UF, the long projects that some people on this forum complained about, are opportunities to see whether you will want to pursue research after the PharmD. At UF, which is a research based school, the professors seem stricter and give more projects because they are hoping that some PHarmD students WILL actually go for their PhD later. hence you see that the magna or summa cum laude students HAVE A MANDATORY RESEARCH PROJECT. Hence these projects seem to not have much to do with the NAPLEX, but instead are trying to give the students a glimmer into what it is like to delve deeper into their field.

    A PharmD scratches the surface on the sciences, while a PhD delves deeply into them.

    I repeat, only pursue a PhD in pharmacy if you have a true passion for it and YOU NO THAT YOU WANT A PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY JOB OR A FACULTY JOB. If you are in the PharmD and can't wait to get out and make money in retail, then do not do it. But if you truly love what you are learning in your curriculum, then by all means go ahead. The PhD will help use the basics (in other countries, PharmD is still the B.S. in pharmacy which is just a college degree!) and go far, far beyond. Prepharm is usually taught in high school somehwere else and is incorporated into the college entrance exam, at least in China.
     
  22. TheChemist

    TheChemist Senior Member
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    What you can do with a PhD
    Academic
    In order to teach at a University you must have a PhD (A PharmD may work for pharmacy schools but why would you want to limit yourself if what you want to do is teach). There are usually two tracks at a University you can be hired as; a lecturer (where your sole job is to teach classes) or a Professor (where you teach classes and conduct research for the university).

    You could also teach a junior college, but you only need a master’s degree to teach there.

    Industrial
    You can get hired as a research scientist by a Pharmaceutical company or Biotech.

    Other
    Get a law degree and become scientific patent attorney.
    Get an MBA and get hired by Venture capitalist firm or just enter the business side of drug discovery.
    I’m sure there are others I missing but I think I hit the main ones.


    This information is for biology/chemistry PhD degrees only. I’m not very familiar with other PhD degrees and other career paths.
     
  23. PublicHealth

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  24. TheChemist

    TheChemist Senior Member
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    I mostly agree with you. I think the take home message is.

    If you want to become....

    ..... a Pharmacist get a PharmD

    ...... a Scientist get a PhD

    ...... a Professor get a PhD

    ...... a ditch digger get a shovel
     
  25. TheChemist

    TheChemist Senior Member
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    They write patents and they fight to protect patents. In the drug discovery world they write patents for such things as a new class of drugs that are produce for a certain biological target. They do make a lot of money, but it is a lot of paper work and it is not the most exciting of jobs. You have to have a real eye for the details.
     
  26. 40wada

    40wada Junior Member
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    Would you happen to know how much the average income of a lecturer at a University makes?
     
  27. TheChemist

    TheChemist Senior Member
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    I think it is around 50K a year.
     
  28. Pharmwannab

    Pharmwannab Senior Member
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    Average salaries for lecturer's vary quite widely. Depends on the university and depends on the field, tenure, etc. I've known of professors at Berkeley that were making 110k or thereabouts and professors at Cal state that were only making low 40's. It's all over the place.
     
  29. TheChemist

    TheChemist Senior Member
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    That’s all true but a lecturer and a professor are two different positions. A professor always makes more then a lecturer. And of course with more experience and tenure you salary is going to rise.
     

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