Pharmacist Job Market SATURATED: Think again about going to to Pharmacy School

Discussion in 'Pre-Pharmacy' started by PharmerRPH, Oct 31, 2013.

  1. PharmerRPH

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    I just wanted to share this with all the pre-pharmers looking to go into pharmacy school. I wished someone had told me or looked into the job prospect in pharmacy after going to pharmacy school. If you haven't noticed, there are A LOT of pharmacy schools opening up which means PHARMACY IS GETTING SATURATED (already is!). Check out the pharmacy forums, etc. Graduates and minted pharmacists are having a hard time securing jobs. This is disheartening giving all the efforts, blood, sweat of getting in, going through a doctorate program, etc.

    I strongly advice all pre-pharmers to think really hard before deciding on a pharmacy career. IT IS tough out there after graduation. Look into other health careers..... or other careers if possible.

    Just trying to help out before it's too late.....
     
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  3. PharmLife4Me

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  5. TheWeeIceMan

    TheWeeIceMan And like that... *poof*... he's gone.
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    You do realize that the job prospects section of BLS is generally considered to be ridiculously simplistic, right?
     
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  6. lisinopril

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    One way to find out about job market is very simple. All you have to do is calling pharmacies and asking for a job as a pharmacist. Pretend you are a licensed pharmacist already and see how they respond.

    The truth is : pharmacists won't be able to find job in future...actually even now in some areas.
     
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  7. Right. Let me do that other retail job that will get me six figures.
     
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  8. Pharmpills

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    I think alot of pre-pharms don't want to face the truth that the job market for pharmacist is super saturated. My best advice is this: if you are in pharmacy school already then you are stuck so just continue and not worry about it until your 3rd and 4th year (try to gain connections as much as you can), if you haven't entered pharmacy school then think about the amount of loans you will have, the fact of not getting employed at all, patients bitching at you all the time and the phones ringing all the damn time. I work in FL as a pharmacist and this state like many others have many students who don't have jobs yet.
    Now, if being a pharmacist is what you have always wanted to do for your whole life then don't let anyone stop you from your dream but do have a realistic outlook of what may happen when you graduate.
     
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  9. pharm6

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    I think that there are more than enough of these posts in here. We have been "warned" plenty of times, and honestly I think the negativity should be taken elsewhere. I am a tech in retail and we just hired 8 pharmacists just in our area a couple months ago (mostly recent graduates). Anyways, I just felt the need to rant because this same type of thread pops up constantly and it's getting old.
     
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  10. Corpseman

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    Quite a few of the graduates I know from last year also got sign on bonuses, so there is that as well.
     
  11. grumps

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    Remember Logan's Run. Once you hit 30 you're "retired". The fact that it's new grads being hired should worry these same grads, for it won't be long before they are the 5 year veterans eligible for 3 weeks vacation and the green eye-shaders will be licking their chops at all those hungry, shoeless grads outside the door ready to do the yab for less. Once you are in the workforce and realize there is no security it will make additional long term financial commitments such as a 30 year mortgage impossible to undertake. You'll already have a educational note collateralized by future income breaking your back. Think how aggregate future demand has already been stunted by student loan debt. To whom are the boomers going to sell their homes at inflated prices? The Chinese?
     
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  12. People don't sink in six figures for a future career because they have options. It's because the health care market as a whole is getting saturated due to its bimodal pay structure of underpaying b.s. degrees and overvaluing professional degrees resulting in students making the logical choice to incur more debt and seek specialization for the long term payout. Also the jobs in health care are fueled by the hulking bureaucratic system whose payment for services has remained questionable from hospital to hospital. If you compare saturation in the pharmacy field to saturation in the legal field the two are incomparable. The field of law is so saturated that people go to firms on pro bono basis just to gain actual skills that law schools do not teach them. It's bad. It's bad all over. And the thing is stating that it is bad doesn't change because everyone is bemoaning the future and their diminished 401k or if they will even have a 401k. But for some tech who is making min wage and for all intensive purposes is living on the bare minimum the pharmacy profession is a gold mine even if there is competition and salary gets reduced to 50k there is a substantial difference even with debt between working a job that pays out $7 an hour v. $24 an hour even if it means taking a longer route to pay back the debt with IBR the living conditions at the moment will allow you to buy a car, buy a house, buy anything. People go to pharmacy because they've already run through the health care check list of ruling out dental, nursing, allopath, osteopath, ect. and have self-selected this field. If you are truly going to dissuade people from going into pharmacy then you are going to have to come up with real alternatives that 'pay out' and how they 'pay out' because no one is really paying for anything. And no grumps, truck drivers on average do not make six figures nor is it easy to get those positions without having union affiliations. So I don't think that it is a really legitimate alternative career path to pharmacy.
     
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  13. grumps

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    There was once a time when it was abhorrent to work for somebody. Sole-proprietorship was the norm. To countermand this the university model was implemented to socially engineer a compliant class of worker bees and manager drones. Let's face it. Our owners have won. Instead of fighting back they have us voluntarily lining up single file for the abattoir. If the youth would wake up and realize what political power they could wield simply by withdrawing from the system. The current paradigm only works if the young chose to participate. Who says you have to have a nice car, big house, fashionable clothes, the latest etoys, eat out everynight, etc. You have to wonder who is the smarter, the girl going to rx school or the girl with dependents on welfare gaming the system? The latter has no debt, the former negative equity. Who is happier, less stressed?

    Higher education is going nowhere. The current model of matriculating at a campus is overpriced, a poor value. The price of college is now in its blow-off peak stage. MOOC is becoming more and more a viable option. An 18 yo can audit some online courses to stay in academic shape, wait a few years until the bubble deflates, then peruse the available options.
     
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  14. College pricing won't adjust. A diploma is not the same as gauging the price of a resource or commodity because of the stipulation that it is a long term investment and one that improves the human condition. Law Schools haven't adjusted their price tag, instead they've simply grabbed more applicants at the bottom of the barrel to fit into their class. Certain law schools have contracted, reducing the amount of seats while still maintaining the same price tag. They may entice students with additional scholarships, but this is nothing more than a readjustment scheme to source tuition payment of bottom barrel students to subsidize top performing applicants that are in the same class.
     
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  15. kaidou1412

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    Or just be prepared for vigorous job hunting when you become P4..
     
  16. type b pharmD

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    1. Chinese RE investment stateside is barely out of the gate.

    2. Your argument about new grads replacing experienced pharmacists doesn't hold for markets where starting salaries are climbing faster than raises. In my market, rphs get 3-4% raises per year but starting salaries are going up around 6-8% per year.
     
  17. kaidou1412

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    I really don't trust that 'job outlook' one.. there are too many variables for the number of projected employment.
     
  18. PharmerC

    PharmerC You Straight Jelly
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    Curious as to where your market is. East side, raises have been <3%, and starting salaries are stagnant if not decreasing in the past few years.
     
  19. type b pharmD

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    All I can say is west/southwest, think idaho Nevada utah arizona colorado . Fairly populous metro area (> 100k) .

    I think it is just different in different locations. Starting salary for chain here was ~$59 last year, $63 this year .. but again I don't exactly have all the data, have only talked to a couple of people.
     
  20. type b pharmD

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    I heard good things about phoenix a little while back but that was probably before class of 2014 got offers.
     
  21. rxlea

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    There is another pharmacy school up there with 120 students I think...or 150? I can't remember.

    Lots of people have been trickling in from Cali too.

    Our professors have been real with us about the job market and challenges we'll face. We have a pretty good selection of OOS rotations to help get our foot in the door in other markets.

    But, yeah, they offered people jobs at our career fair and even before that.

    I have a friend that actually got offered a position in San Diego, which surprised me (because of the market out there). Looks like I'll have a place to crash when I need to get to the beach :D
     
  22. kaidou1412

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    I can't imagine how many more new schools are openning next year.. I know one more school in NC will be starting next year.
     
  23. Amicable Angora

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    I like your posts.
     
  24. lisinopril

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  25. kaidou1412

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    I know. I miss Steve Jobs so much.
     
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  26. lisinopril

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    Iphone 6 is out...
     
  27. VP_Pharm2004

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  28. PharmDCandidate2014

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    Type in pharmacy under google search and many of the top hits, oddly enough, will yield articles written by pharmacists in the workforce that predict the same doom and gloom that SDN is notorious for sharing - hint: that can't be a good thing for future graduates or employees.

    I see a lot more hope for pharmaceutical scientists, but that really does not require a PharmD dead-end degree which requires the cost of $150K+. A 2 year Masters degree in Pharmaceutical science or even better, chemical Engineering combined with a JD degree from a top 10 law school can position a student for success as a patent attorney. Engineering is useful for obtaining critical thinking skills, while law school engrains a type A personality into the student, a valuable asset in today's cutthroat world.

    I guess there's always hospital pharmacy (seems like a relatively cushy job), but pharmacists over there are on the bottom of the totem pole, with physicians, PAs, and nurses being the major dominators in decision making. And getting a job in this setting most likely requires an inside contact. Damn, what a depressing topic. Back to watching the Steelers and Ravens game. Go Ravens! (I HATE BEN RAPEISTBURGER)
     
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  29. fewaopi

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    Wow I hope prepharmers have readjusted their expectations. If their only argument is throwing up a BLS chart then LOLOLOL that's pretty naive. I'd love to see them in the real world or come back and tell us how their class did. Hopefully they will be great students and actually get a job but likely we will see an increase in some posters lamenting the pharmacist job situation on these boards. It's gonna get real negative in the next coming years.
     
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  30. monkieez

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    I don't think BLS necessarily analyzes the plethora of new schools opening up left and right. I am sure they do to some extent but not locally and probably not frequently. it's really crazy in California. New schools decrease the educational opportunities of older schools because they take rotation sites/slots from older schools because they enough money to pay for it. As a P4, I know it was a much tighter squeeze for our coordinator to arrange everyone's rotations because more hospitals were cutting our slots back and it means that we have to go much further to find a hospital wiling to take us. New schools have loads of money from doe-eyed students with lots of loans to feed/bribe hospitals.

    The reality is that you guys are all right, I do not doubt that there are places in the US that are not saturated, but at least the West Coast is. However, many of classmates go on to do residency which is competitive but also increasing slots. What I'm worried about is after residency since many hospitals/programs cannot absorb their residents when they are done. Most recent residents that I know that have "jobs" are working PRN which means zero job security and zero benefits. That might be okay as a temporary hold-over, but more and more so it is becoming more long term which worries me further down the line.. if people are holding onto their PRNs and not moving up to a FT job, what will happen to us? So yes, I will move/do whatever but it's not that simple to transfer your license around.

    For retail, there is the equivalent of PRN...floating from store to store and many chains are hiring for not full-time, like 30 hours a week. So yes there are "jobs" but not what you think for the amount of debt you are taking.

    However, are pre-pharmers realistic in that they might have to move to the middle of nowhere? Or they might not get full pay because they won't be working full-time? This is what you have to realize when you sign on, and if you are okay with taking that risk then go for it. However, if you think that just getting that degree and or getting that residency will be a clear path, it's not. You need to be committed to the profession and not to the job outlook and be willing to go wherever it will take you.
     
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  31. VP_Pharm2004

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  32. PharmDCandidate2014

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    When the market becomes insane, it's not unreasonable to assume the road to working retail will require a community residency.

    Most likely by 2020, this will become the norm? And if this isn't the norm, I can see graduates taking a $60K paycut vía residency to ensure FT employment after, at that particular chain - as an 'investment.' Being a solid intern and impressing preceptors will be PART of the game, but not all of it. Sacrifices will be made and extra hoops (unnecessary) will have to be navigated to ensure survival.
     
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  33. VP_Pharm2004

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    Completely agree with PharmDCandidate2014.

    When I was in pharmacy school I heard statements like... "2 years of residency will eventually be required to land any hospital position." I thought people were being too dramatic, but guess what has happened now? No hospital would even consider you without residency or inpatient experience. You can forget about those clinical positions in the hospital. Those are rarely available.

    Sadly, same will happen to retail pharmacy eventually.

    What's interesting to note is that the link I pointed out earlier addresses the same issues some of us bring up on this forum (see below). Yet, these pre-pharmers don't get it or they fill like they're immune to saturation because they're the "top dog". We are trying to save you from making a mistake and end up regretting pharmacy as a career option!!!!!!!!

    Here are some of the top 5 responses:
    JOB MARKET SATURATED: 55%
    STRESS LEVEL TOO HIGH: 51%
    LACK OF JOB SECURITY: 45%
    MY AGE PUTS ME AT A DISADVANTAGE: 35%
    FEEL STUCK IN MY PRESENT POSITION: 34%
     
    #32 VP_Pharm2004, Jan 4, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2015
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  34. Baller MD

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    I have stocks to sell you. I promise you'll make a lot of money!
     
  35. PharmDCandidate2014

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    The BLS is like that worthless hint on a Mastering Physics homework problem. Mastering Physics will give you the 'hint' F = (m)(a) for a ridiculously long question. The BLS, for lack of a better word, is also worthless in providing valuable information to carving out career plans.

    But hey, if everyone wants to read things at face-value without taking the time to think about long term consequences . . . a lot of experienced pharmacists and preceptors really tried to help.
     
  36. dosepak

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    This is very true. The pharmacists I work with have told me that the saturation in CA and many other states is really bad. I've heard that pharmacists who float (ie work at more than one store) are not getting 40 hours a week. Rather, they are getting 13 hours weekly if they are lucky. To pre-pharmers: If you aren't in pharmacy school now, get out while you can.
     
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  37. oldstock

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    Sadly, no one is going to listen to you until they are unemployed or got PT offers w wages like 20-30s buck an hour. Everyone is thinking they are some "go getters" who can get jobs anytime anywhere regardless of the states of the market.
     
  38. stoichiometrist

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    But then again, I am not to judge whether someone will succeed because they are a go-getter, a special snowflake, or just lucky.
     
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  39. SClENCE

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    I'v worked with about 12 different pharmacists at CVS in the past 6 months (floaters, new hires, etc.) and the youngest one was 29. The percent of pharmacists that are "new grads" in the big picture is small, thus the significance that they have on the job market is small. In 10 years this may be different, but if you cannot find a job at the present time you simply are not desirable.
     
  40. GuyJoe1987

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    The Job saturation is everywhere; Medicine, nursing, law, PhD, Accounting Finance, every job. STOP DISCOURAGING PEOPLE PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
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  41. stoichiometrist

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    Software engineering and investment banking are not. In fact, there is a huge shortage of software engineers and they are being paid $100k+ right out of college (or even without college) without the need to spend 4 additional years and $150k+ in tuition. After 4 years they can easily earn $150k after bonuses and stock options.
     
  42. DesertPT

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    Gotta love that old BLS screen shot a few posts up. At some point in the last couple months even the BLS had to finally cave, change their story on pharmacists and admit (albeit begrudgingly and only half-heartedly) that there is, indeed, a healthcare job in existence that does not have a stellar job market:

    Pharmacists_Occupational_Outlook_Handbook_U.S._Bureau_of_Labor_Statistics_-_2015-02-17_13.06.24.png


    If it's a healthcare field and even the BLS is admitting that there is a so-so job market, you know things are getting bad.

    If their new numbers are accurate, than the pharmacy workforce is growing/will grow by ~4000 jobs per year. How that is going to accommodate the 15,000+ grads that will start coming out of school each year in the near future is hard to imagine. Pharmacists would have to be retiring or leaving the profession at a rate of at least 4%/year....that sure ain't gonna happen.

    If you assume a more reasonable retirement rate of maybe 2-2.5%/year and crunch some rough numbers, that popular quote about 20% unemployment of new pharmacy grads by 2020 comes out to be pretty much spot on.
     
    #42 DesertPT, Feb 17, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2015
  43. fewaopi

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    yeah to be honest the 50% figure some are throwing out in my opinion is unrealistic. 20-30% seems a lot more realistic, especially with new schools graduating their first classes in the coming years. healthcare is expanding but nowhere near the rate to employ even current pharmacy graduate size let alone the increase in coming years. there might be more job turnover like CVS which isn't good for the profession at all. you get a job, work 5-10 years, then you're out on the street with no luck. I remember BF7 knew a pharmacist who worked many years, got laid off and in 6 months had 1 interview and didn't get it because he was too old and he was only in his 30s-40s. It's one case but these types of cases never happened before.

    what happens after 2020, oh i don't even want to know. i imagine after a couple years of high unemployment or low stability, schools will close as the prepharmers will wake up and realize you know...pharmacy isn't actually that great a field that it used to be. similar to dentistry before when some dental schools closed. the ones that closed are generally private, for profit, newly opened or little history in the school. state/public/federal funded will always be around, they are so entrenched it's near impossible to get rid of them and produce better pharmacy students you'd want to work with to begin with.

    Job saturation isn't everywhere. Go look at US News, there are 26 fields now better than pharmacy when there used to be 4 last year. Pharmacy is at 27 which is pretty damn good right? Good enough for prepharmers maybe.

    PhD, law, are saturated. Nursing some may disagree and say it's great but imo there's some saturation there too actually. Not necessarily from flood of nurses but poorly trained nurses at crap newly opened for profit schools (again watch college inc). I mean a nurse who never set foot in a hospital? Really now?

    It's just the reality dude. If the reality is discouraging you then maybe reconsider other fields, there's a lot to choose from. If you're set on pharmacy and understand the risks and that it's not all sunshine and roses and you know yourself well then go ahead do pharmacy. In the end you make your decision. We're not making it for you. Maybe you'll stand out and be better than your peers and competition we don't know that. We're just telling you the reality that current pharmacists are experiencing and what more and more pharmacy experts in the field feel about the profession. Why...is that discouraging you? It should only discourage you if your expectations don't meet reality. Unfortunately some prepharmers have unrealistic expectations based off what they are fed and sold by the ones selling the product, the schools. I'm sure you know it's basic advertising 101.

    I wish someone had thrown the book at me and recalibrated my expectations of the field. i would've worked harder in school and taken it more seriously. It wasn't until my last year of school that I realized, "oh crap this field is actually incredibly hard to get a job in my "saturated" area no matter how good a worker i am." it was hard to take anyone voicing the saturation seriously before because there was no evidence and people were still getting sign on bonuses. mind you this was 4-6 years ago which isn't that long ago. i ended up quite fortunate actually. some of my peers don't have jobs and it's almost a year now...others are doing some type of residency/fellowship or w/e training there is which even after that, maybe not so many jobs. note this is now. later there will be more schools/grads.

    just don't come back and say i was duped into pharmacy i thought it was a great field but it's totally different than what i anticipated and it's the school's fault! it's not, it'd be your fault. if things turn terrible take responsibility. if things turn out great take responsibility for decisions. in the end, you've been warned and there's real published evidence of current saturation and anticipated unemployment. Those most likely at risk are your small private, newly opened schools trying to survive and make money. otherwise if you have little debt, free ride, go for it regardless of field pharmacy, theater, nursing, computer, whatever. is it so painful for prepharmers to hear actual stories of currently working, actively job seeking pharmacist struggling to find work or keep their jobs because of the constant flood of new grads? i mean come on what were you expecting, a job with your name on it already before you started? some will find work, some won't. even lawyers find jobs. it's just more and more pharmacists, lawyers, aren't going to find jobs due to there not being enough seats. nothing wrong with taking chances but just keep that in mind. hopefully it'll make you work and compete harder in school if anything.
     
  44. SanMateoRph

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    hey guys. i am in the west coast region and have heard nothing but scary stories about saturation. it is really hard to find a job and have heard of pharmacists trying to work as pharmacy technicians so they can keep their skills sharp in the chance they get a call to work retails. it's really hard out there. i live near silicon valley and asked some of those programmers if they think pharmacists will get replaced. many said yes, as they have friends who are getting affected who are mostly staff pharmacists. some might get lucky but it is sure risky
     
  45. JayHawks1983

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    A few regions are desirable for future pharmacy graduates. Alaska is rumored to have a high demand for health care workers in general.
     
  46. MatCauthon

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    From what I've heard, Hawaii may be the most oversaturated market in the country
     
  47. musicplease

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    these talks have been rampant on this forum for years.
     
  48. stoichiometrist

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    I wonder how the saturation deniers and downplayers from the past are doing now.
     
    BidingMyTime likes this.
  49. BelowTheMean

    BelowTheMean Member
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    Probably still in denial.
     

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