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Pharmacist turned Pre-Med

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by meeninit, Jul 31, 2015.

  1. meeninit

    meeninit Membership Revoked
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    #1 meeninit, Jul 31, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2015
  2. partypantss

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    I can't speak about the pharmacist aspect, but if you ace the MCAT then your GPA won't be a problem. With a good MCAT, 3.6+ will be good enough for you to get in somewhere.

    The other factor is your extra curricular activities.. Have you ever shadowed a doctor? I assume you haven't since you weren't planning on going this route. Do you have volunteer experience? Other clinical exposure? Research experience?
     
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  3. meeninit

    meeninit Membership Revoked
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    I had a lot of extra curricular and volunteer activities from when I applied to pharmacy school (it was a 6 year program, but still had to apply during 2nd year)... But not much since 2009. I have 1 year of research experience involving clinical trials but not published. I can secure good recommendations from my pharmacology and pathology professors. I plan to job shadow soon. I am currently in correspondence with a neurologist and am waiting for him to get back to me for shadowing, I plan to take a vacation week off of work to shadow him during it. I also plan to shadow a family doctor and an internist.
     
  4. Gorne

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    You really need to ask yourself if the hassle of going to medical school just because of your current situation is worth it. Medical school is likely going to cost you 200-300k + 450k you would have made working. Your going to graduate and guess what? Those irritable patients you were dispensing medication to, where do you think they got the scripts?

    Truly consider if changing careers completely at this stage is worth it, because being a 34-35 year old intern may not be all you hoped it was going to be.

    My advice is to explore options in your own career first (such as switching companies/cities) , study and take the MCAT if you'd like, and shadow/volunteer in a healthcare setting before embarking on this journey.

    Goodluck to you.
     
  5. meeninit

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    Thanks. I've been interested in trying out clinical pharmacy since my friends there say it's a rewarding job and more respect comes with the job. The salary there is about 100-110k, so a little lower but that's fine. But the issue is that it is very hard to find a clinical job without getting a residency... Other jobs like industry (drug development) would be amazing but very few positions. But bottom line what I want to chase is respect and not money. A job as a pharmacist is not glorious at all. The "doctor" in the degree name is very misleading. I know this sounds egotistical of me, but it is what it is. I love healthcare and the same mundane work is no longer intellectually stimulating and the lack of respect makes me dread it.

    I'll keep what you told me in mind but I'll still follow with the plan to apply next summer nevertheless.
     
  6. mock94

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    I'm in a similar-- but not too similar--situation. I am starting my first year of pharmacy school (also 6 year program) but want to go for MD after. I just decided to do MD a few months ago and the problem for me is that if I want to stop and pursue a bachelors it would take me 3 more years, so I'm sticking with the Pharm.D program to have a more advanced degree in 4 years (versus just a bachelors in 3). My undergrad gpas are eerily similar, 3.6 cumulative and science is 3.64.

    In my opinion, the switch will be 100% worth it. I know you mentioned lack of respect, but really that doesn't matter because doctors get disrespect from people too. Rude people will be rude regardless. But if you do choose to study medicine you will not regret it when you're in your 50s, it is very worth it financially and there are many more career options for physicians.

    MD or DO is fine too, but I'm guessing you'd prefer MD with all of the respect talk. But either way, I'd say go for it. Just study for your MCAT and do well (like 4 hrs per day for 4 months, take it seriously), complete your shadowing and secure good rec. letters and you should be able to get an acceptance somewhere.

    There are some schools that look favorably on a good grad school (or pharm school) gpa, like Drexel, Wayne State, Temple, Tufts. Others look at it as merely a good extracurricular. But it will be a testament that you have the ability to do well in medical school, so it will be looked at favorably wherever you apply.
     
    #6 mock94, Jul 31, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2015
  7. genericpremedstudent

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    pardon my ignorance, but does the PharmD degree supersede the need for a bachelors in terms of med school admissions?
     
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  8. genericpremedstudent

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    and the argument about quitting a high paying job to pursue medicine is dumb. I quit a job at the age of 28 where I made as much as you are to pursue medicine. i hated my job more than anything. don't stay in a career you cant stand just because you'll make more money in the long run if you stick around. happiness should always outweigh money.
     
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  9. meeninit

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    For most schools, yes. Actually the requirement for many MD schools is 90 credit hours even though a very small minority (2-3 every graduating class) don't have a degree. I called many schools that state that a bachelor's degree is a requirement. Most said that they would be fine with Pharm.D as a replacement. I called both MD and DO schools. Only a handful said no.

    Agree 100%. Exactly my thought process. Thank you.
     
  10. Gandyy

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    Hey, I say if he or she doesnt like his pharmacy career, and thinks medicine would be a better fit for them/they would be happier with medicine, then OP should go for it.
     
  11. md-2020

    md-2020 The Immaculate Catch
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    @OP it seems compensation is a foremost consideration of yours (nothing wrong with that). From purely financial POV, there is no reason to switch to medicine now. The stress/frustration/tiredness exists just as commonly in medicine, with many studies pegging med student burnout @ almost 50% and up to 20% physicians being depressed/burned out.

    Unless you know medicine is the only way you can regain hope in life, I'd rather suggest looking for a different pharmacy job that perhaps will bring better scenery/compensation/fulfillment.
     
  12. Banco

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    From your reasoning, it seems like you want a career where you are intellectually stimulated more than as a regular pharmacist (and something that pays more). I would probably recommend you become a clinical pharmacist; yeah it requires residency, but at least it saves you 4 yrs + cost of med school.

    But some of your reasons are a bit lofty. You hate customers cuz they are "idiots", but your patients will likely drive you up the wall as a doctor as well.

    If medicine is the only option you want, then you can definitely get there if you do well on the MCAT and have the sufficient ECs. @mik30102 is a pharm to med convert and maybe he can help you out here.
     
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  13. gyngyn

    gyngyn Professor
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    Those "idiot customers" will be your patients in this professional re-incarnation.
     
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    #13 gyngyn, Jul 31, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2015
  14. NewHorizons

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    Yeah that's what I was thinking... I mean I'm all for sacrifice to pursue your dreams... but the nature by which you interact with people do not differ greatly. Those "annoying people" are still going to be there, especially if you focus in primary care. If your reasoning is that you dislike customers... this would be an awful choice.
     
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  15. Holmwood

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    I would think a pharmacist's knowledge about side effects and drug interactions would complement well with the physician job.

    Usually, dual-degree websites offer some information as to what a dual degree can be used for. . . but Rutgers' website was pretty scarce in detail in my opinion.
    Check it out for yourself: http://news.rutgers.edu/news-release/rutgers-pioneers-dual-doctorate-pharmacymedicine/20130904
     
  16. Dohnut

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    BA, Pharm.D., R.Ph. of 6 years, pharmacist preceptor here.

    I think this is a "grass is greener on the other side" thing. Hate working with people? Then go get a Ph.D. in drug delivery systems or something. It'd be the same "idiotic" patients you'd be dealing with even after you became a physician, so excuse me but I smell hypocrisy here. In health care, you just deal with the same "idiotic" people you so hate with a passion. They're "idiotic" because they don't know, and that's exactly what health care professionals are there for. I'm guessing you were never a pharmacy technician before pharm school?

    Learn people skills, learn mindfck skills, start feeling gratified when in your professional eyes you helped the very same "idiotic" people who may be cursing you out, the word is altruism I believe, then you'll be fine. Perspectives my friend, perspectives.

    If medicine has become your true passion then by all means do it. Don't do medicine simply because you hate your job. Losing the 10 best years of your life that's left to school and residency training is the commitment you have to make to do medicine, not out of hate for your current job.

    Higher grad level GPA would only help your chances to get in med school. And personally I think (so does the surgeon that interviewed me whose family had 3 pharmacist-turned physicians) having been a pharmacist would make you a much better physician - providing greater care for the same "idiotic" patients you hate so much. I sound like a broken record but to go in med school you have to have the right mindset, a Pharm.D. and good numbers won't help any.
     
    #16 Dohnut, Aug 1, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2015
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  17. frosted_flake

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    There are idiots everywhere... In the hospital, gas station, driving down the highway (you get my point) There is no escaping idiots... From working in environmental services to research in a lab, there is bound to be an idiot nearby who drives you nuts.
    Heck, sometimes even I act like an idiot
     
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  18. meeninit

    meeninit Membership Revoked
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    You know, you're right and I'm sorry for disrespecting our profession by putting my thoughts before those of the patients that I'm supposed to help. Your claims are valid and I made this post yesterday on a Friday after being berated yet again for the billionth time.

    I thank you and everyone else for the advice. The feedback here is making me reluctant to do medicine. Nevertheless I'll still initiate the motions (shadowing physicians, MCAT) but I'll be constantly re-evaluating my position to be able to see if I still want to do it. Either way, I'm going to start looking for a new job as this retail position at a major chain store is grueling.
     
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  19. ewax

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    I'm a PharmD and now 3rd year med student.

    I was too lazy to read whether or not you have a spouse/children/people who depend on you to eat everyday, but if you don't, I'd recommend you do well on the MCAT and apply to med school next year. Sure, you'll be 30+ once you matriculate and of course med school has a lot of suckage (read: long hours studying, feeling like an impostor on rotations), but it is also very rewarding at the end (or at least that's what the more senior people tell me).

    Anyways, medical school was the best decision I've made bar none. If you really think you want to be a physician, go for it...you only live once.

    If you have any specific questions, feel free to PM me.

    Good Luck.
     
  20. Goro

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    If you hate Pharmacy, you'll absolutely slit your wrists after being in Medicine.

    I also can't feel any sympathy for someone is is making more than me, either.



     
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  21. GypsyHummus

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    Six figure income and a free car is such a difficult life.
     
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  22. meeninit

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    I meant to write that to highlight how the career has changed. People no longer receive sign-on bonuses, pay cuts are the norm. I expected to be making 125k by now when I graduated but I'm at the same level or a little lower than when I started when you factor in inflation.

    But sure, you're right in the big picture I'm privileged and well-off but I came into the career expecting it to be much better than it is and it's objectively worse than when I started.
     
  23. Jared.mock

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    I'm not well versed in philosophy, but I don't think there's a such thing as 'objectively worse' in this case. As seen in your eyes it's worse than it was 4 years ago but other pharmacists may look at it otherwise considering other seemingly positive changes to the field. It's all about how you weigh each individual change. I'm sure there are some positive changes for pharmacy in general (perhaps stemming from the Affordable Care Act?) and then negative ones like lower pay and such. If you value your salary more than the other more positive changes then it's subjectively worse.

    Maybe some pharmacists are more altruistic and look at more stress/workload as being a good indicator that more people are able to get medication because now they're insured and would not have been 4 years ago... etc etc.
     
  24. ramifications

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    wait did anyone just notice that the OP called potential patients as idiots? Bud you gotta get some patience and appreciation for them before you head off to medical school. Being a doctor would mean even worse hours (especially during your glory years) and loads of insurance problems that await you. I sat in on a conference and basically the bill settled on the type of insurance the person had. You can never escape this.
     
  25. partypantss

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    I don't think he was trying to say "woe is me, look how hard I have it" he was just outlining his current situation and his thinking for why he wants to make the move. Money is clearly a factor that OP considers, which is fine. This is in no way a post looking for sympathy, so why be a dick saying "poor you." OP is just looking for advice...
     
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