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Pharmacist vs. dentist

Discussion in 'Pre-Pharmacy' started by yo21, Mar 8, 2007.

  1. yo21

    yo21 Junior Member
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    What do you guys think is better?
    Pharmacist or dentist. I just want to hear you opinions. Don't tell me teeth are digusting or mouths are nasty?
    Both are medical professions, so ....crazy people at the pharmacy, screaming and yelling at you is not nice either.
    Just give you opinion based on the job, skills, salary, future oportunities, etc.

    Thanks everyone.
     
  2. acetyl

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    Dentists make more money, but dental school also costs more; probably neglibile after 10 years working, though. Dentists have to memorize both the pictures and the names of stuff. Also, most likely dentists have higher malpractice insurance where most pharmacists probably don't have malpractice insurance at all. I don't know that for sure, so someone correct me if I'm wrong.

    Pharmacists are going to be in greater demand in the next 10 years than dentists I suspect due to the current generational movement. I think pharmacy school seems much more interesting than dental school because you learn about how drugs works, and not what pathologies look like and how to treat them.

    My suggestion, go to a dentists office and watch them for a day, and think to yourself as they do everything that they do, do I want to do that too? Do the same thing for a pharmacist and then decide which one is more appealing to you.
     
  3. gators14

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    well dentist do make more money,however, pharmacists can get overtime pay and work as much OT as they want. You can make around 120,000 as a pharm. if you work overtime. If you actually want to make more money as a dentist you have to do a residency like an MD. General dentist are around 130,000. Also remember that as a dentist how muc you make DEPENDS ON YOUR PRACTICE. meaning that your business skills and patient base. I agree with the above poster saying that pharmacy school is more interesting as a personal opinion. As a pharm. you prob . cannot set up your own practice, you can if it is an independent pharmacy but those are rare as the big chains dominate. So there are pros and cons of each field, I would shadow both a dentist and a pham and evaluvate on your own which one you like.
     
  4. Lurkerkat

    Lurkerkat Junior Member
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    For me I prefer pharmacy because dentistry seems like it'd be too much based on mechanical skills. I'm not interested in physically manipulating the human body and I'm a clumsy person who sometimes has shaky hands. Hands on jobs like that aren't for me, I prefer pharmacy because I'm using my mind mostly to treat patients.
     
  5. gators14

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    I agree with Lurkerkat.....dentist is very hands on. I am not good with hands on things. YOu have to be good with your hands to do dent. in my opinion. Something to consider.
     
  6. calipharming

    calipharming member
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    Sorry for bringing up the teeth issue, but can you stand looking at teeth every single day? So definitely, like others said, get a job at a dentist's office or shadow a dentist in order to answer that question.

    Not all pharmacists have to deal with angry customers. If you work in a hospital, there's a very low chance of people yelling at you. Good luck!
     
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  7. Farmercyst

    Farmercyst From the shadows
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    But teeth are disgusting and mouths are nasty. Same reason I don't want MD. I can handle coursework, I can't handle fesces, blood, bones, spit, vomit, urine, and semen.

    Aside from that I don't mind working with my hands, but not in tight spaces and not where precision counts. My hands shake when holding a beaker, don't put a drill in my hands. I could do titrations and mix creams with Parkinson's, but I'm not going to make the poor guy in the seat sweat as my less than nimble hands approach his face. If I mess up a drug calc, somebody dies, but I can do a drug calc three times in my head and twice on paper if necessary in less than 2 minutes. If I make a cut, put in a mold/crown/braces, and I screw up I've got to take the next 1/2 to 2 weeks recasting, replacing, etc. And then I've lost business on top of it.

    FYI, this is a good question to PM SDN1977 with if you don't want to read the posts about it in the Pharmacy forum or in the older posts in pre-pharm.
     
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  8. Future Opps : I'm not sure about the future of dentists but there's a huge demand for pharmacists right now. It'll stay like that for a good decade or so.

    Pay : Dentist > Pharmacist

    Reason I chose Pharmacy: Bodily Fluids.
     
  9. bugslife

    bugslife Member
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    what does "opp" stand for?
     
  10. KellyBean

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    opps = opportunities??
     
  11. Idesiretosling

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    Hands on doctor and dentist tasks just weren't for me. I enjoy learning about drug mechanisms so pharmacy was the obvious choice for me.

    Dentist offers more of an opportunity to open up your own shop than pharmacy does.

    Good luck in your search for the right career path!
     
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  12. OP
    OP
    yo21

    yo21 Junior Member
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    Thank you everyone for your comments.
     
  13. indentition

    indentition Junior Member
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    I was near advancing to pharmacy school, but when I experienced it, I couldn't bear myself the repetitiveness of the job. Thus, I switched to dentistry.

    With dentistry, you have the autonomy and entrepreneurship aspects, as well as the hands-on aspect. You're like an engineer, a doctor, an artist, and an entrepreneur all-in-one.

    Contrary to belief, hand skills can be acquired; you'll never beat the one-on-one experience with the patient (although I'm not a dentist yet!).

    My friends went into pharmacy, and they said even though it can be repetitive, it's stable, relatively high pay, and no headaches at the end of the day. With dentistry, you can be as flexible as you want.

    Pretty much, it all depends on who you are as a person.
     
  14. twester

    twester Senior Member
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    I never considered being a dentist, much like I never considered nutritionist, audiologist, PT, PA or MD. I don't understand PharmD vs DDS (or whatever their abbreviation is these days). I would suck as a dentist. I have absolutely no interest in teeth or gums (aside from my own). I'm good with dealing with people's ailments in an indirect fashion (meaning I don't want my hands in goop).

    The drug actions are interesting, though. Lido+Epi - now that's cool.

    I have a friend who's worked as a dental hygienist for years - she's going to dental school because she loves dentistry and feels her talents would be better utilized with further training. I'm going to pharmacy school because I love pharmacy. With perseverance, I might succeed.
     
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  15. fidelio

    fidelio Senior Member
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    I like pharmacy better.

    Less drilling, blood, and pain. I'd rather be a surgeon than be a dentist honestly.

    And don't dentists have the highest suicide rate?
     
  16. cycloketocaine

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    After looking at the teeth of the patients that come in my pharmacy, I would rather be the trash lady than a dentist. Some of these people's teeth make me want to vomit. And I don't have to stick my fingers in their mouth's.
     
  17. Mentis

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    Dentists scare the living poo outta me. I do not wish to become that which I fear most.
     
  18. SirShagaLot

    SirShagaLot Move Maker Extraordinaire
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    those would be the people that dont go to the dentist, so dont worry about them :cool:
     
  19. cystapharm

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    it all comes down to: do you like standing or sitting all day???
     
  20. sdn1977

    sdn1977 Senior Member
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    They've both been good for me!

    I'm a pharmacist & my husband is a dentist. We've been doing both for a long time & you're questions will vary based on at the beginning or after you're well established - for both professions.

    Personally, I don't think there is a way to quantify "better". You can compare actual "facts", but after knowing lots & lots of dentists in all specialties & having worked with even more pharmacists, I think it comes down to the kind of person you are.

    I really do believe there are personality types which lend themselves to each profession.

    I'd say go shadow both - but, my husband jumped into dental school decades ago knowing absolutely nothing about it. (We told our daughter that - "do as I say, not as I do" kind of thing). But, when I actually look at his skill set, his knowledge base, his likes & dislikes & his natural abilities.....had he given much thought to it - dentistry would have been a perfect match, which it has. He would have been a terrible pharmacist, but he's got me!:D (& I would be a terrible dentist!) But....in the 70's we didn't think so hard about all of this.....
     
  21. ffpickle

    ffpickle Thread Killer
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    i've analyzed both professions (among others) and myself. pharmacy suits me better than dentistry, but in the back of mind, every time i see someone in a really nice $100 000 car, i think to myself, "boy, i would love to drive that car," and then the urge to go to dentistry emerges once again. i wish i wasn't so shallow, but i can't help it when i a see a nice bmw 750i. i know myself and know i would make a great pharmacist and that i am legitimately much more interested in that profession (and would enjoy pharm school more than dental school). i like the pharmacy curriculum better than the dental one. But again, 1) $ keeps attracting me to dentistry, 2) along with the fact that i feel like i am not satisfying my aptitude and potential if i choose pharmacy over dental school, and 3) many of my friends are going or are in dental or med!
     
  22. chibipinkbunny

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    Well salary wise I don't think it's that big of a difference. Ha, ha, I mean in San Francisco the starting salary for a Walgreens pharmacist is $120,000/year. I had one pharmacist tell me that he worked a lot of overtime, and made $180,000/year. Ha, ha, though if you make $180,000 you might be in a higher tax bracket, so its really not that much money. I don't know what dentists make in San Francisco. I know orthodontists make about $500,000. Ha, ha, that's quite a difference. The salary difference between a doctor, and a pharmacist can be quite different though. I'm happy I'm not a doctor though.
     
  23. OKgirl

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    The thing that I don't like about denistry is that most of them have to open their own office and deal with that. I rather depend on someone else for a job. My family has owned businesses my whole life, and quite frankly, I don't want to have to deal with what they do. Sure, they may make more money, but when you have to pay for business starting fees, rent, other people to work there, is it really that much more?

    I would never consider doing denistry. I'm not interested in touching people all the time and dealing with nasty stuff. The schedule is appealing, but I rather not deal with that stuff.
     
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  24. RNtoPharmD

    RNtoPharmD Love
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    If I care more about earning potential/respect and helping my family, I would have applied to dentistry. I still thought about it recently. Dentist definitely earn much more!! Hand-on jobs and dealing with customers with perfect chairside manner isn't my niche. Yes, I will encounter this pharmacy but I am trying to direct career goal toward an area that would match my personality.

    But if you want to work until you retire (65), you have to find the career that you can make good money and you enjoy what you do. But the working schedule of Dentist is very nice. If you have other side interest outside work, you can work 3 days a week and earn enough money to enjoy other stuff. But again, I don't want to choose the job based on earning potential and flexibility.
     
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    #24 RNtoPharmD, Aug 14, 2008
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2008
  25. Sparda29

    Sparda29 En Taro Adun
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    Dentistry isn't for me. The thing is that, for dentistry you can't just walk up to a hospital and ask them to hire you. Generally, most dentists have their own private practices and all of that has business costs, and I suck at business/finances.

    It's not the body fluid factor for me because I wouldn't mind going to medical school, but the only thing is that the path to medical school for me is going to be a lot longer because my gamble of "winging it" for the MCAT didn't pay off as much compared to when I "winged it" on the PCAT.

    If I get into Touro for this year, I'm pretty sure that I'm going to become a pharmacist and work part-time as a paramedic for the adrenaline rush.

    The other thing I'm considering is joining the Air Force as a pharmacist. It would be awesome to fly one of these puppies.

    [​IMG]
     
  26. inquirer89

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    I'm sure this was mentioned somewhere above, but I'm to lazy to read :) but dentists are also yelled and screamed at by crazy people. Pharmacists can choose to work in industries other than you local retail pharmacy, so they don't always work with aggravating customers.
     
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  27. Dr 14220

    Dr 14220 Junior Member
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  28. Jahrizzone

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    I find it very odd that you are looking for advice for which practice is better. Because of the fact you are asking that question on a pharmacy forum, therefore, everyone on the pharmacy forum will no doubt give you biased opinion that pharmacy is better.:idea:

    All things considered, I believe if you have "GOOD" manual dexterity you can do dentistry. Also, If you do not mind constant drilling noises, not to mention the amount of uncooperative kids and adults screaming and biting your fingers from time to time, then do it. :D The pay is better when you invest the extra time and money on a specialty program , but do not let money become the overall reason to be a dentist, you will obviously regret it . Aside from money , dentistry can be a rewarding and fulfilling career if you like focusing on an improved smile on your patients.


    Further, pharmacy is great if you have a good interest for chemistry and the role chemistry plays with drugs on the body. You work with strictly drugs and the interactions between drugs and the patients that consume them. The pay as a Pharmacist is good just like any other medical career. However , if you work at a retail pharmacy , which is where most pharmacists work, keep in mind that you WILL find that people will treat you more like a "Mcdonalds" worker than an actual DR and yell and scream at you, and usually treat you like dirt. So to repel those nasty those people I would presume that you should have a descent amount of good interpersonal communication skills available at your disposal.

    Sorry to bring out so many negatives , but I feel that you should consider those variables when deciding on dentistry or pharmacy. I can list pros and cons all day , but those are just a few things I can touch base on that may be of importance to your decision in deciding which profession would be more suitable for you. A better way to research your question would be to go to the pharmacy forum and ask WHY people like or is like pharmacy and go to the dentistry forum and ask the same. I am sure everyone has different reasons why they are pursuing their chosen careers. Good Luck.
     
    #28 Jahrizzone, Aug 14, 2008
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  29. Jahrizzone

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    HaHA, i agree completely . I think that way every time I look at people driving those cars also. But I think those kind of cars are not that FAR out of reach of pharmacists as you may think. ^.-
     
  30. Sparda29

    Sparda29 En Taro Adun
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    Over-rated car. Why would you buy a BMW 750i when you can get a Subaru WRX STI or a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X for thousands less.
     
  31. ^=^

    ^=^ S.D.N.'s BATMAN
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    +1
    But it has to be a older sti, not the new one.
    Or a IX MR
    :D
     
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  32. nerv12345

    nerv12345 ...
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    because a bmw is a thousand times classier
     
  33. ffpickle

    ffpickle Thread Killer
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    plus i'm thinking a few years down the road. those cars are cool if you're 22, but what about when you're 42 (when you might even have a family and kids)?
     
  34. Sparda29

    Sparda29 En Taro Adun
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    Well, you always have one family car, and the rest are for racing and stuff. And you really shouldn't have those cars until you're like 25-30 because the "judgment" section of the brain doesn't really mature until those ages.
     
  35. medicalCPA

    medicalCPA Actually, it's medicalCPA, PhD now
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    You know, all this talk about cars is way over my head. When I get a car, one of the most important criteria is that it must get above 30 mpg. And, for some reason, I'm drawn to cars on the small side.

    ...Now what was that saying about the car a man drives and the size of his genitalia?:laugh:
     
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  36. Sparda29

    Sparda29 En Taro Adun
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    That generally applies to people who buy expensive cars more for luxury options.

    Personally, performance and safety are my top 2 priorities.

    I have no respect for traffic speed laws, so a super fast car is my number one priority.
     
  37. SDRV

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    This is exactly my problem too!...i want to do pharmacy but the money factor for dentists keeps attracting me. If i do become a pharmacist i am definitely going for industrial pharmacy so I had a question: Is it worth doing a Pharm.D+MBA...does an MBA make it easier to get a job in industrial pharmacy and salary wise too?
     
  38. ValeRx

    ValeRx PharmD
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    you will not fly a jet if you are in the air force unless you are a pilot.
     
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  39. tieungao35

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    dentists can sit on chair, but pharmacists must stand whole long day !!!!!!!!!
     
  40. YiYaoYue

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    1.) I'd rather stand all day then be bent over on a chair. Standing may hurt my feet a bit, but i rather have a sore foot than a sore back.

    2.) Not all pharmacists stand. Outside community pharmacist, most actually spend a good amount sitting and walking around.
     
  41. Happy Hounds

    Happy Hounds snorfles = happiness
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    Interesting. I really don't see much in common between Pharmacy and Dentistry. Yes, as a pharmacist you have the option to own your own store and start from scratch, but I'm pretty sure it's the norm with dentistry to have to begin from the ground up and build a practice (I'm not aware of many dentistry groups around my area, with the exception of surgery centers.)

    You'll always have a degree of separation from patients as a pharmacist. You will never be able to diagnose (unless you certify in a specialty like diabetes, heart disease, asthma, etc.) and have that "hands on" interaction with a patient the way doctors, nurses, and dentists do. That works for me though--I'd prefer to have that bit of space. As a dentist, you'll be missing out on the major advisory role of pharmacists--they're often the first line of "free advice" patients will seek out before going to a doctor. Granted some of that might change if legislation for cognitive services reimbursement comes around (but that's probably not going to happen any time soon...or ever.)

    If you're unsure, I'd suggest you speak to a career counselor about both careers and consider taking some helpful tests such as the Myers Briggs or Berkman exams--they help to show you what qualities are strongest in your personality and workstyle. Along with the guidance of a good career counselor, these can help you find a path that suits your personality and life goals in the best way.
     
  42. Happy Hounds

    Happy Hounds snorfles = happiness
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    An MBA will only help you in the corporate sector at the mid-level up. If you're starting out, whether you're a PharmD MBA or just a PharmD, you'll still have to start as a pharmacist--you might get fasttracked for management, but realize that once you get above the store levels, it's very very difficult to land a regional or district position (there are fewer and fewer managers now covering much larger districts, and they hold on to their jobs.) At the mid level you'll work more hours and travel a lot--if you're completely mobile and can go to wherever in the country a regional manager is needed, you'll be fine (so long as you don't mind where you end up whether it's south side Chicago or the middle of Wyoming.)

    Unfortunately, MBAs are not worth what they used to be in terms of salary benefits...in the busines world, they're almost a dime a dozen now. In the pharmacy world they're still valuable, but there are fewer positions.

    An alternative use for an MBA with a PharmD would be to go to the dark side and work for the insurance companies starting out as a PBM or for Big Pharma (though I've heard they don't care much for pharmacists in their sales force anymore...) at the managerial level. Those are also options. :)
     
  43. Jdario86

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    In pharmacy, you can do more than just retail pharmacy (cvs, rite aid etc). You can go into psychiatric pharmacy, hospital pharmacy, pharma industry (doing things for novartis, pfizer ranging from research to marketing), MTM (working with a doctor, a nurse etc.) and the options are gradually expanding.

    I'm not really sure what other specialties you can go into with dentistry other than cosmetic dentistry. But I think pharmacy might give you more options in terms of variety.

    BTW, doing a residency after pharmacy school is optional.

    In regards to malpractice, I think the occurrence of malpractice within pharmacy is relatively lower than other medical professions like medicine and dentistry. I think it's because most pharmacists usually work for big business companies like Pfizer and Walgreen. These companies usually have corporate lawyers who are willing to bend over backwards to help a pharmacist if a patient ever charges them with malpractice. Very rarely do I ever hear or read about a pharmacist being involved in malpractice.
     
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    #43 Jdario86, Mar 15, 2009
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  44. thephoenician88

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    lol, when i saw that post i just laughed at the thought of being a pilot yet having a pharmD, what would be the point!

    "i'm going to dispense this z-pack while i fly this f22, oh no, my label printer is jammed!"




    ok op, here's what you do. Decide for yourself, do you want to be holding a diamond drill bit in your hand drilling the enamel of a shaky/scared child. If yes, than this is the job for you. Don't forget that long as needle you'll be sticking in their jaw, don't miss!
     
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  45. BearDown

    BearDown Accepted Pharmacy Student
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    As far as pay is concerned, my dad is a pharmacist and, with his new job starting tomorrow, he will make $160,000 with the possibility for a bonus of up to 25% of total salary, so he can possibly make $200,000 in one year. This is less than what he used to make at Caremark where every 3-4 years he would get a bonus of at least $250,000 along with yearly salary. Keep in mind he was pretty high up but the possibility is there. So not every dentist makes more than a pharmacist.
     
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  46. touchedarling

    touchedarling Accepted Pharmacy Student
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    I thought about dentistry briefly but when it came down to it I didn't choose dentistry for the same reasons I didn't choose medicine.

    It's sometimes taxing to have a lot of face time with patients. I get queasy at the sight of too much blood and feel uncomfortable dealing with body fluids. People often forget that you need good hand skills too.

    On the flip side, I chose to go into pharmacy because I genuinely enjoy chemistry and learning about drugs. The job itself is relatively clean and the hours are more or less fixed. :) I also don't have pressure to open up my own business which is a huge plus!
     
  47. touchedarling

    touchedarling Accepted Pharmacy Student
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    How long has your dad been in the field?
     
  48. Kruton

    Kruton Professionally Rad
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    What is his position, duties, degrees, etc?
     
  49. TrjTraddie

    TrjTraddie Accepted!
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    Well... Dentists DO hage a HUGE overhead cost to start up a practice. It also takes time for recent graduates to establish their clientele as well.

    If you ask me....being a dentist seems pretty interesting too. However, I don't want to touch people's mouths all day, you know... im not very good at dealing with other people's pain.
     
  50. BearDown

    BearDown Accepted Pharmacy Student
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    He graduated top of his class from U of Arizona with a BS in Pharmacy in 1982. He's worked with Caremark from roughly 1995 - 2003. At Caremark he got the big bonuses but Idk his yearly salary, well above 100k if I had to guess since he was a VP or Director if I remember right.

    Now he's working from home for a healthcare company and is making the 160k salary with the 25% salary bonus potential.

    He actually does very little work relating to pharmacy, it's mostly consulting and work with big files from PBMs, however the pharmacy knowledge he has comes in handy when making sense of data.
     
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