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PHARMACIST or DENTIST

Discussion in 'hSDN' started by ucbearcats2012, Aug 10, 2011.

  1. ucbearcats2012

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    Hi,

    Im going to be a senior in high school, so its that time for me to start applying to schools. I know I want to do something in the medical field, but I cant decide between pharmacy or dental (or maybe sports medicine). My question for you is which would you choose considering these guidelines? (please don't tell me to get a BS and then decide, because if i choose to do pharmacy I want to do a 0-6 program)

    - Job security
    - Job stress/Challenge (I dont want to be overwhelmed but I dont want to be bored out of my mind)
    - Starting salary
    - Salary potential
    - Ease/stress of school
    - More connection to the business world (Ive always had a passion for business and I want to incoporate it in anything I do)
    - Quality of life
    - Amount/Cost of schooling (I want to live my life before im 30)

    Im a pretty smart guy (30 ACT, 4.0 GPA) and I work really hard, but I'm not crazy smart. So I think either direction I choose, I should be able to make it through school. The one thing that really turns me away from dental is that I would have to bust my *** for 4 more years to keep my GPA around a 3.5 and then apply for dental school as opposed to being admitted strait into a 4 year pharm school and guaranteed a near 100K salary if I graduate.

    Thanks so much for opinions.. especially if you've gone through one of these programs.
     
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  3. AntiHouseMD

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    Welcome. I would just warn you that right now, pharmacy is a rather bleak field. You can visit the pharmacy forums and see what I mean. To summarize, there are too many pharmacy schools opening up and the field is becoming saturated. Too many pharmacists for too few jobs. Personally, I would tell you to take a closer look at dentist. If you're more interested in pharmacy, though, take a closer look at that.

    Good luck!
     
    PhoenixFire likes this.
  4. Phlame217

    Phlame217 PGY-1 IM
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    Pharmacy is bleak and the work sucks. I started as that and would have graduated this year, but i switched to medicine. I worked as a Pharmacy Tech for 4 years and that showed me the true job style of a Pharmacist and I knew I couldn't do that for the rest of my life.
     
  5. HH Holmes

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    You seem to be solely focusing on the costs and stress of professional school and not the actual aspects of the job and the long time it takes to become fully educated, trained and licensed. Plus, dental medicine and pharmacy are extremely different fields.

    I agree with Pharmacy becoming over-saturated... It is extremely evident and by the time we all graduate from undergrad, there will probably be anywhere from 5 to 10 new Pharm schools.

    About the whole 'don't tell me to get a BS then apply'... I would listen to the people on this board. Everyone in high school wants instant gratification. There is no problem with deciding on another career. Keep your doors open. I'm in a guaranteed admission medical program, but I am fortunate enough that I can walk away from it and change my career path at any point in time.
     
  6. ucbearcats2012

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    What medical field are you in?
     
  7. HH Holmes

    7+ Year Member

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    .
     
    #6 HH Holmes, Aug 10, 2011
    Last edited: May 27, 2015
  8. AntiHouseMD

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    I'll second HH Holmes on the college thing. In the past few years, I've gone from wanting to become a sportswriter to a journalist to a biochemist to a physician to a environmental scientist to a physician assistant. Writing is something I enjoy, so that may be a side thing. By the time I get to college, there may be several other careers on that list. Don't limit yourself too narrowly right now. High school really is too early to decide on a career path. Make sure that you have other options during your collegiate life.
     
  9. Noble6

    2+ Year Member

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    My answers in red. I admittedly don't know much about pharmacy school although I do personally know a number of pharmacists. Honestly, you should shadow the two professions and see what you think.
     
  10. yushin

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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ucbearcats2012 [​IMG]

    Hi,

    Im going to be a senior in high school, so its that time for me to start applying to schools. I know I want to do something in the medical field, but I cant decide between pharmacy or dental (or maybe sports medicine). My question for you is which would you choose considering these guidelines? (please don't tell me to get a BS and then decide, because if i choose to do pharmacy I want to do a 0-6 program)

    - Job security Equal
    - Job stress/Challenge (I dont want to be overwhelmed but I dont want to be bored out of my mind) I'm biased but I'd say dentistry is more of a challenge.
    - Starting salary Dentistry
    - Salary potential Dentistry
    - Ease/stress of school Equal
    - More connection to the business world (Ive always had a passion for business and I want to incoporate it in anything I do) Dentistry
    - Quality of life Dentistry
    - Amount/Cost of schooling (I want to live my life before im 30) Idk about pharm school but dental school is freaking expensive.

    Im a pretty smart guy (30 ACT, 4.0 GPA) and I work really hard, but I'm not crazy smart. So I think either direction I choose, I should be able to make it through school. The one thing that really turns me away from dental is that I would have to bust my *** for 4 more years to keep my GPA around a 3.5 and then apply for dental school as opposed to being admitted strait into a 4 year pharm school and guaranteed a near 100K salary if I graduate.

    Thanks so much for opinions.. especially if you've gone through one of these programs.

    My answers in
    red. I admittedly don't know much about pharmacy school although I do personally know a number of pharmacists. Honestly, you should shadow the two professions and see what you think.




    Lol,, I would think that dental school is more stressful than pharmacy school.

    OP. Comparing dentistry to pharmacy is like comparing a bar of chocolate to an apple. They are completely different. Instead of asking financial aspects of the two professions, you should ask yourself what profession will suit your interests and personality. If you cannot tolerate working inside of a mouth all day long for +30 years, you should not go into dentistry even if it provides great financial rewards.
     
  11. LazyMooch

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    Don't just shadow retail pharmacy.

    Also, it depends on what you're looking for. Dentistry is more of a commitment, but from my research it provides a better quality of life in the long run. If there were 0-6 dental programs, I might have gone that route. As it stands, undergrad pisses me off to no end, and I'm trying to blow through my pre-reqs as fast as possible.
     
  12. DentistDMD

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    Good luck.
     
  13. CoolRX

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    At the risk of being redundant, I can't stress enough the truth in this quote. Without going in too many details, please take time to earn your bachelor's degree. In undergrad, it doesn't matter what you majored in as long as you've completed the requirements for your chosen career path. The downside of choosing an 0-6 program is that you are limited to that career path. Most other major health professions require a bachelor's degree. Also, you'll find out that retail pharmacy, while ironically provides more money than someone who take 1 or even two more years of schooling (residency), is most certainly dry. For me it was the (care through) the drive-thru (?), lobby customers who pick-up and gone. It was about filling the Rx with no real provider (dispenser here)/patient professional contact. It was about very little break (if at all) depending how busy it was. As a professional, one should be entitled to lunch imho. Though pharmacy is still way better than most jobs out there (e.g. air conditioned room).

    I saw almost no correlation from what I was learning in class to the real world. I learned a lot of science believing at some point it can be useful. In retail, at least, I was wrong. Furthermore, perhaps it is a coincidence given the dismal economy, but with so many schools opening up, your value as a pharmD goes down and hence, pay and opportunities go down too. Realize some of my comments may be biased, and are based on my experience. But a lot of what I said is what is going on in the field. But you may be lucky! You may find that pharmacy is truly the career for you and if it is, pat yourself on the back because you would have done what many of us could not figure out when we set out to become pharmacists. There is residency school but it is less pay for the cost of school and there is no guarantee of acceptance. Thus, leaving retail or hospital pharmacy, with retail being the major player (unfortunately) because of more pay and ease of entry to this niche.

    Just be wise in your decision and buy time to assess your future by getting a bachelor's degree. I joined healthcare, not so much for the money (it is important after all), but because I really want to feel like I've accomplished something intellectual or made a real difference in someone's life (e.g. a better smile [DMD/DDS] and boost confidence, alleviating certain pain or diseases as does the physician [MD/DO/PA]. Please read the following articles. There are, I'm sure negative articles for each of these professions, but the key is knowing what one is getting into. So as to be objective, I post a negative post about medicine AND what PHARMACY should be like:

    DENTISTRY

    PHYSICIAN

    DRAWBACK OF MEDICINE

    PHARMACY VIDEO
     
    #12 CoolRX, Aug 18, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2011
  14. pfaction

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    SO envious of you. So envious.
     
  15. UES Girl

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    Just work and explore both fields. I worked for years at a very successful dental office and hated it with passion. Pharmacy was such a better fit for me. As long as you get a good mix of things, youll be able to decide.
     
  16. SN1

    SN1
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    LOL. I worked as a pharmtech for 4 months and quit. A pre-dental student now.
     
  17. Antuan

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    We in Ukraine the situation is the same. Dentists work less but earn much more..
     
  18. owlegrad

    owlegrad Uncontrollable Sarcasm Machine
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    The trick is to shadow or get some experience in both and see what you like.

    Pharmacy is not that bad, promise. ;)
     
  19. owlegrad

    owlegrad Uncontrollable Sarcasm Machine
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    Congrats!
     
  20. ORDPM

    2+ Year Member

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    Have you ever considered podiatry? I didn't until my senior year of college and I LOVE IT!

    First, to answer your questions.

    1. Very secure job. Podiatrists are doctors who are the specialist of the foot and ankle.
    2. Stress and challenge can be what you make of it. If you want more challenge, do more surgery, I'm sure an ankle reconstruction is challenging. Most podiatrists work at least once a week doing hospital surgery. the rest of the week is in their clinc. Look at this http://www.podiatrytoday.com/article/7500
    3. starting salary depends on how hard you work and where you work. There are places a first year doc could go and make over $250,00 the first year. (example Klamath Falls, Oregon has a podiatrist selling his practice in a market with very little competition. I grew up just over an hour from here) scroll down on this page http://www.podiatryexchange.org/classifieds/practicesale.htm
    Also look here http://www.podiatrytoday.com/article/2683 But as with any business location matters
    4. Salary potential is similar to above question. Where do you work? How many hours a week? Do you do surgery? Are you in a partnership that has reached critical mass? consider this as well http://www.podiatrytoday.com/article/8467
    5. School is not easy, it is very similar to medical school. However, requirements for admission to podiatry school as well as competition for residency are much less that medical school. You do not need to spend all day in you textbooks with a 4.0 GPA to get in.
    6. Owning a podiatry office is a business. look at this http://www.podiatrytoday.com/term/27 and you can have you hand in real estate as well. quality of life is great. I know podiatrists in Oregon who make well over $200,000. The podiatrist in Klamath Falls no doubt has a 6 figure income working 2.5 days a week. Plenty of time and money to do what you want. Sure the income is not that of a heart surgeon but it is still great.
    7. Tuition for 4 years can range from $100,000 total to $135,000. not bad.

    There is also a growing need for podiatrist. Baby boomers needing regular podiatric care. You can focus on sports medice of podiatry, you can work in a solo practice a partnership or a multi-specialty group.


    Podiatrists are health professional specialists who examine, diagnose, and treat conditions of the human foot by medical and surgical methods.

    They perform more foot surgery and provide more foot care than any other group of health professionals in America.

    Following undergraduate school podiatrists attend a four-year podiatric medical college, after which we obtain up to three years of Residency training. The professional school curriculum is very similar to that of MD's and DO's, except that from the very first day we emphasize the foot and ankle. Residency training is done alongside Medical Doctors, with rotations including Internal Medicine, General Surgery, Dermatology, Rheumatology, Radiology, and Orthopedic Surgery. By the time a podiatrist enters practice he or she has dedicated up to seven years of training focused on diagnosing and treating the foot and ankle via medical and surgical means.
     
  21. dentalWorks

    dentalWorks Nights Watchmen
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    between comparing Dentistry to pharmacy to sports medicine is like comparing an orange to a car to then a railroad station.

    The only 2 things they have in-common are:
    a) "healthcare" in the title and....
    b) they all make good money ~ usually 6-figure incomes

    I worked at CVS for a while when I was younger and let me tell you, majority of the times, those poor pharmacists... all they ever did was count pills, respond to angry old patients whom didn't get their prescriptions filled out in an hour, and CONSTANTLY complain to the store manager for not assigning enough assists, etc. I could never do that.

    However, I do know of 1 pharmacist (an older one) who owns 7 pharmacies, and this guy is extremely wealthy. And...from what I understand, opening your own shop with this field isn't soo easy anymore cause of all the CVS/rite-aid/walgreens/etc competition going on.

    Dentistry vs sports medicine (medical doctor) is.... a personal preference. Some people don't wanna work in the oral cavity their whole career and some don't like it but can tolerate it cause dentistry gives ALOT of other benefits (excellent pay, promotes starting your own practice, very business oriented field, less than 40 hrs per week, never on call, overall less stressful than medicine, and most importantly, less years in school. etc).

    As far as the schools go, dentistry / pharmacy / medicine, they will all kick your behind. There is some SERIOUS workload thrown at the student.
     
  22. Bman1047

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    You still have some research to do, because there are 6 year programs for dentistry as well. Those programs (including pharmacy) are hard to gain admission to, and even harder to maintain admission. If I were you, I would start thinking of a college major you want to major in, and yes....get your bachelors. There is no quick way to a "guaranteed" 100k....unless you're crazy smart, which you already said you weren't.
     
  23. Seahawk

    Seahawk Nothing to do here
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    ^ This is funny. :laugh:
    Don't do podiatry.



    OP: Dentistry is a better field, in most every way you can examine it (ex: salary, lifestyle, career options), but that's no way to make a choice. If all I wanted was the money I would probably be trying to do some kind of surgical specialty.

    The nicest thing about pharm is it's easier to get into (more schools and lower average stats from what I have seen) and you can get into it sooner.

    At one strange point back when I was in high school I looked into pharmacy for like a week....Talked to some pharms....That was the end of that.

    Shadow some pharms, shadow some dentists, see which one you like more
     
    #22 Seahawk, Sep 25, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2011
  24. shenanigans327

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  25. shenanigans327

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    What's so funny? :confused:
     
  26. Bman1047

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    This is about to get good.... :corny:
     
  27. Seahawk

    Seahawk Nothing to do here
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    His........Umm......Avatar............


















    .........Yeaaaahhh......................
     
  28. ChubbyBaby

    ChubbyBaby Extremely Vetted Bear
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    Do you like working with your hands? Do you have any interest in teeth? If you're not actually interested in dentistry you'll burn out after a few years.
     
  29. ORDPM

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    Seahawk, I have many good friends who are either in podiatry school or in a podiatric residency. I have multiple close family friends who are practicing podiatrists. All of them love their choice and are passionate about it. All of them have more experience in the profession than you do, and all of them would recommend it to a person who is unsure of what career path they would pursue. Granted it is not for everybody just as dentistry is not for everybody. Both dentistry and podiatry are fantastic, satisfying careers, with huge rewards and many similarities.

    In response to the original thread question, my grandpa was a pharmacist as his first career choice, then in his mid 30's went to dental school and much preferred it over being a pharmacist. Really it is just a matter of what fits you better.
     
  30. amgen

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    I am going to be honest, the pharmacy job outlook isn't good right now. At the same time, it's very difficult getting into density
     
  31. Rx MPLS

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    Best post in here.

    Go shadow a pharmacist and a dentist, and talk with both about the direction of their profession. Pharmacy isn't all roses, but dentistry might not be right for you, either. Try to pick something you can see yourself doing for a long time. A lot of dentists end up with bad backs, but pharmacists are often standing, so that can be hard on your body, too.

    You need to physically explore these careers, not just ask a bunch of folks on a message board. Forget the pain of getting into either career; that's short-term and won't matter much in the long run. Think about the long term benefits and trade-offs of both choices...then go for it! :)
     
  32. Morsetlis

    Morsetlis I wish I were a dentist
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    A lot of pharmacists have resentment issue about holding all the drugs but not being able to prescribe the Rx ones. Then again, a lot own several pharmacies, are great businesspeople, and/or just don't want the complications that comes with diagnosing a patient.

    Dentists... probably a lot less headaches than physicians do. They typically get reimbursed about the same as a primary care physician, but fellowships and specialization will get them a lot more salary: this is because cosmetic procedures such as braces and teeth whitening aren't covered by a lot of public insurance. However, you really have to get used to working with the oral cavity. If you are within the top 10% of your class, you can bridge into an oral-maxillofacial surgery fellowship (after going through medical school, AGAIN) and become an MD dentist :p

    Podiatrists... are mostly unknown by most people until they need em. Primary care / office podiatry has a lot more demand than surgical podiatry, but most of the postgrad podiatrists just want to be ankle-reconstructive-surgery superstars. Podiatrists don't have a big-chain-store encroachment problem like pharmacists and optometrists do.

    Obviously, being a physician leads to the greatest freedom in determining your speciality and what you want to do later in life. It is also the most challenging.

    If you like sleeping, become a dentist or pharmacist.
     
  33. whatbout2morrow

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    Those two years you save may end up costing you in the end. Go to college. Shadow some dentists and pharmacists.
     
  34. torshi

    torshi Squirrel
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    dentist= $$
     
  35. Seahawk

    Seahawk Nothing to do here
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    K.

    Awesome.


    Now why you in a pharmacist vs dentist thread spreading your propaganda...?
     
  36. wahd2005

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    I have to agree. My brother in-law was going into pharmacy but changed after he worked as a pharmacy tech for a while. Unless you really thing it will be a passion for you I would stick with something a little more challenging.
     
  37. PharmD for Me

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    I would just keep in mind that you need to shadow in multiple areas of both professions before making a decision. I don't know much about dentistry, but I see a lot on here about pharmacists counting pills and working with angry patients. Yes, that it one aspect of pharmacy. However, there are sooooooo many different areas of pharmacy that all do completely different things. If all you're banking your view on is experience as a pharm tech in a retail pharmacy, you're will have an extremely limited viewpoint. Here's some areas of pharmacy that I can think of off the top of my head: community, hospital, nuclear, vet, compounding, MTM, specialize in pretty much anything, industry, research, insurance, business, ambulatory, home care/infusion, nutrition support, academia, long-term care, drug information, poison control... and each of those have their own varieties.

    But yes, in the last decade or so pharmacy schools have been popping up like dandelions and saturating the market. However, if it's what you want to do and you work at it, you can make it work.

    I'm sure dentistry is awesome too, though :)
     
  38. ORDPM

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    Seahawk, Thought you would enjoy this tid bit of 'propaganda'. Consider it a Christmas gift from me to you, Happy holidays, hope finals turn out well for you.


    Podiatric surgery video...
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ky-XcEQdWGk
     
  39. Pharmamamama

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    I do believe you answered your own question. I'm currently a pharmacy student. Job security is great, both careers have a liability issue, but if you work for a large company in pharmacy they have lawyers for that. You can def get into a 6 year program for pharmacy but I'm not sure exactly how competetive it is. Good thing that you decided early. Stress of the job depends on where you work because some pharmacies can be relatively calm, and some can be super chaotic. Your best in between bet would be to do hospital pharmacy or something of the sort because you get the best of both worlds and you work with doctors all the time =)
     
  40. nateriver

    Classifieds Approved 5+ Year Member

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