worriedperiod

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Compare the financial situation of a Pharmacist against a doctor with the following circumstances: the Pharmacist starts making $120k (after taxes) at age 24 and the doctor starts making $300k-$500k (before taxes and malpractice) at age 32-34. Compare them when they are both 45. Assume that they both bought a $800k house and two $20k cars. Who comes up on top, leaving aside other complexities? I think the pharmacist does.
*Prays that this doesn't turn into a flame war* :thumbup:
 

DoctorPardi

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A few things I think I should point out. Let's say "everyone" graduates high school at age 18.

Then most pre-pharms finish a 4 year bachelors as do almost all pre-meds. So that puts both at 22. (While most or all pharmacy schools do not require a bachelors, many or even most pharmacy students do complete a 4 year degree.)

Now both the pharmacist and doctor graduate from their respective schools at 26. Both have comparable debt load, 4 years of undergrad, 4 years of professional school.

The pharmacist now begins earning what is their regular salary, which I thought was generally in the 80-120k range, not necessarily 120k. The doctor begins his residency which could take anywhere from 3-5 years. Assuming he does a pretty standard 4 year residency he will finish at 30.

So now the pharmacist has be earning say 100k for 4 years while the doctor as a resident was earning about 40-50k. Both having to somehow deal with their loans.

Then the doctor now an attending physician is making his regular salary which could be anywhere in a huge range of salaries from 120k to 350k, but let's assume something like 150k.

During Residency:
So far the pharmacist has earned: 400k after 4 years
The doctor has earned 160k (40k X 4) after 4 years of residency

4 years Post-Residency:
Pharmacist: 800k (100k X 4)
Doctor: 160k (residency) + 600K (150 X 4) = 760K

So in the 5th year of this scenario the doctor's earnings would over take that of the pharmacist. Your original scenario was more like the worst case scenario (longest schooling, residency etc) for a doctor and the best case scenario for a pharmacist (does 2 years of undergrad + 4 years of pharmacy school and is out in a total of 6).

Plus people often forget that residents do earn money, and although if you looked at it as an hourly wage (40k/year for someone working 80 hours a week) it might be close to minimum wage, it is still worth accounting for.

Of course much of this whole thing is dependent greatly on the wide range of salaries a physician could make. Some doctors come out making 200k+ some make barely above 100k. While I would expect pharmacist salaries to be regulated within a narrower range because many pharmacist (as far as I know, and if this is wrong please feel free to correct me) go into retail pharmacy, whereas doctors encompass a number of widely different specialties. That isn't to say pharmacists couldn't do research or a number of other things, but I would guess an extreme majority of pharmacy graduates do go into retail pharmacy.
 

DoctorPardi

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Also I want to point out, and I know I did touch on it a bit, but 32-34 is like the oldest a doctor would finish IF you assume both students started at 18 and stayed on track.

Doctor Path:
4 years of undergrad - 22
4 years of medical school - 26
3 -5 years of residency - 29 - 31
1-2 years of fellowship (not required in anyway for almost all specialties) - 30-33

So someone on the "straight" path from high school to attending wouldn't likely be able to even reach the age of 34.

While I think it is very likely many students encounter obstacles and put things off I don't think we can assume this will happen to the pre-med and not the pre-pharm if we are trying to make any kind of comparison.

Pharm Path:
2-4 years of undergrad - 20 -22
4 years of pharmacy school - 24-26

Now that is the pharmacy school path as far as I know it, maybe some internship type things are available, or research positions etc but this is what I assume a retail pharmacist might do (also by retail I don't mean to distinguish between walmart/grocery and hospital, because I assume they are doing a similar job in a different setting and are likely compensated similarly as well)

So it is possible a pre-pharm could have as large as a 9 year lead over the pre-med and as small a lead as 3 years over the pre-med. So comparing the two can be very difficult, but again something to note is, during the 9 years the "pre-med" is not making attending salary he is making a salary of 40-50k as a resident and probably more as a fellow.

Also the length of a doctor's residency and fellowship probably has a positive correlation with his yearly salary (although not necessarily so). That is orthopedic surgeons who do 5 year residencies and often times fellowships do make more than pediatricians who do 3-4 year residencies and are done. So while a lead of 9 years is significant the difference in the doctor's salary and the pharmacist's salary may also be significant when the doctor has completed a long training program.

Edit: I want to point out I am writing from a decidedly biased stand point. I am defending the doctor in much of this, but I am in no way meaning to slam pharmacists or what they make. As a medical student to be, I just want to make sure the argument is represented in such a way that does justice to both the process of becoming a pharmacist and that of the process of becoming a physician.
 
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michaelrack

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since this is a finance forum, let me bring up that you need to account for the time value of money ( a dollar earned today is worth more than a dollar earned tomorrow). I don't have my financial calculator with me so I can't do the exact calculations, but the point at which a doctor overtakes a pharmacist depends heavily on the discount rate chosen for the calculations.
 

mgdsh

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Yes, with out a doubt. My friends parents are both pharmacists and the value of their house is 2x that.

Let me also add, that they did it with out whorish lending standards.
 

The White Coat Investor

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The numbers are easy to calculate. The assumptions are the tough part. Garbage in, garbage out. The pharmacist has several advantages:

1) Starts earlier, so gets a head start on compounding gains for retirement.
2) Less expensive school, so less money to pay off loans.
3) Lower salary, so lower taxes and able to take advantage of more tax credits, deductions and accounts such as Roth IRAs that many physicians cannot use.
4) Doesn't work nights

The doctor has a few advantages too:
1) Higher salary eventually, so the longer he works the bigger his advantage
2) At least his job doesn't suck ***

Make some assumptions pharmacist head start, pharmacist pay, physician pay, some basic tax decisions, a "discount rate" or what you think that money the pharmacist is putting away could make if invested and voila...the answer to your career question.

P.S. If it is all about the money, try investment banking...highly lucrative, although just as cutthroat as being pre-med.
 

crewmaster1

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I think you should clarify that you are comparing the pharmacist to a primary care physician. There aren't many specialist making 150. It is a whole different calculation when you put in an income of 300k/year as with emergency medicine, anesthesiology, derm, etc. Go big and compare to ortho...a 5 year residency making about 500-600k, add on another 1-2 years for an ortho spine fellowship and now your making closer to 1mil/yr. Or maybe just do neurosurg from the get go with a 6 year res and then move to florida and make 1.5-2 mil/yr. There are just too many variables to account for. We can moonlight in our 3rd and 4th years of residency so the income jumps from 50k to about 100k. The moral is DO WHAT YOU ENJOY.
 

mgdsh

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The doctor has a few advantages too:
2) At least his job doesn't suck ***
That's a cheap shot. I'd bet that pharmacists have a higher job satisfaction rate.

I'd also bet that the biggest drag on a pharmacists day is dealing with a disgruntled MD/DO.
 

The White Coat Investor

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That's a cheap shot. I'd bet that pharmacists have a higher job satisfaction rate.

I'd also bet that the biggest drag on a pharmacists day is dealing with a disgruntled MD/DO.
A survey of job satisfaction, sources of stress and psychological symptoms among New Zealand health professionalsAuteur(s) / Author(s)

DOWELL Anthony C. (1) ; WESTCOTT Travis (1) ; MCLEOD Deborah K. (1) ; HAMILTON Stephen (1) ; Affiliation(s) du ou des auteurs / Author(s) Affiliation(s)

(1) Department of General Practice, Wellington School of Medicine, University of Otago, Wellington, NOUVELLE-ZELANDE
Résumé / Abstract

Aim. To assess job satisfaction, job-related stress and psychological morbidity among New Zealand physicians, surgeons and community pharmacists and provide comparison with New Zealand general practitioners (GPs). Methods, 411 physicians, 330 surgeons and 400 randomly sampled community pharmacists, were surveyed, Psychological morbidity was assessed by the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) and job satisfaction by the Warr Cook Wall scale. Results. Response rates were 70.5% for physicians, 69% for surgeons and 76% for community pharmacists. Job satisfaction scores for surgeons were similar to scores for GPs. Pharmacist and physicians scores were lower. Job atisfaction varied according to gender, the relative amount of time spent in public practice and the perceived ill of work on health. Pharmacists had the highest number of cases with significant scores on the GHQ-12 scale, with physicians and surgeons scoring similar to GPs. In each of these health professional groups approximately 10% described a level of symptoms that is associated with more severe psychological disturbance Conclusions. All three groups were generally satisfied with their jobs. Pharmacists were significantly less so.
 

mgdsh

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A survey of job satisfaction, sources of stress and psychological symptoms among New Zealand health professionalsAuteur(s) / Author(s)

DOWELL Anthony C. (1) ; WESTCOTT Travis (1) ; MCLEOD Deborah K. (1) ; HAMILTON Stephen (1) ; Affiliation(s) du ou des auteurs / Author(s) Affiliation(s)

(1) Department of General Practice, Wellington School of Medicine, University of Otago, Wellington, NOUVELLE-ZELANDE
Résumé / Abstract

Aim. To assess job satisfaction, job-related stress and psychological morbidity among New Zealand physicians, surgeons and community pharmacists and provide comparison with New Zealand general practitioners (GPs). Methods, 411 physicians, 330 surgeons and 400 randomly sampled community pharmacists, were surveyed, Psychological morbidity was assessed by the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) and job satisfaction by the Warr Cook Wall scale. Results. Response rates were 70.5% for physicians, 69% for surgeons and 76% for community pharmacists. Job satisfaction scores for surgeons were similar to scores for GPs. Pharmacist and physicians scores were lower. Job atisfaction varied according to gender, the relative amount of time spent in public practice and the perceived ill of work on health. Pharmacists had the highest number of cases with significant scores on the GHQ-12 scale, with physicians and surgeons scoring similar to GPs. In each of these health professional groups approximately 10% described a level of symptoms that is associated with more severe psychological disturbance Conclusions. All three groups were generally satisfied with their jobs. Pharmacists were significantly less so.
Just out of curiosity, do you practice in NZ? I'm guessing most people here don't and would be more interested in a study that was conducted in the US.
 

The White Coat Investor

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Just out of curiosity, do you practice in NZ? I'm guessing most people here don't and would be more interested in a study that was conducted in the US.
Every similar survey I've seen had the same results. This was just the first one found on google. I'm just pointing out it isn't me saying pharmacist's job satisfaction is less than doctors, it's PHARMACISTS.
 

StallionRx

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A study from NZ? Youve got to be kidding me. So you posted the weakest study to support your argument because it was the first one that came up when you googled it? LAME. Hope you use better techniques when you care for your patients.

And regardless of any study you post on here I can tell you I enjoy my profession and so do many others.

To answer the OP I think their are ALOT of individual factors that come into play and everyones situation is different, but in the long run a specializing MD should take a significant lead.

Take myself for example... I graduated on time at the age of 23. I pull in significantly more than the 120k mentioned above and my student loan debt is under 30k. Even with my advantages regarding age and low debt, a specialist making 500k in his early 30s would start pulling me really hard financially by the time we both hit our 40s.

If money is a big factor in choosing your career, go for the MD not the PharmD.
 

mgdsh

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Yep, most pharmacists I know are pretty happy with their jobs.

Another factor to consider relating to money, is how long can you live off of the basics. Pharmacists can't achieve the high end salary that physicians eventually do, but they also start enjoying a higher standard of living at an earlier age.
 

IceMan0824

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Ahhhh, get this crap out of here. Isn't this what pre-allo was meant for?
 

Darqueness

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Hey, how many hours do various doctors tend to work?

Because as far as I know a pharmacist rarely goes over 40 hour weeks in the retail setting (the company usually doesn't want to pay for extra hours),
but I suppose if a pharmacist wanted they could pick up extra hours (w/o OT pay) or work part time at another employer they could do so easily.

There is also the whole can-O-worms of independent pharmacy (unique business venture) that can potentially pay off ~300k-500k~ ... or put you in more debt...

But I do have to agree that working chain retail is not exactly ... satisfying to say the least.
 

atomi

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Compare the financial situation of a Pharmacist against a doctor with the following circumstances: the Pharmacist starts making $120k (after taxes) at age 24 and the doctor starts making $300k-$500k (before taxes and malpractice) at age 32-34. Compare them when they are both 45. Assume that they both bought a $800k house and two $20k cars. Who comes up on top, leaving aside other complexities? I think the pharmacist does.
*Prays that this doesn't turn into a flame war* :thumbup:
I don't know where you get your information from, but entry-level pharmacists (age 24) don't make $120k/year. Not where I'm from anyway.
 

StallionRx

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I don't know where you get your information from, but entry-level pharmacists (age 24) don't make $120k/year. Not where I'm from anyway.


I dont know where you get your information from, but I know what my pay check reads and I can tell you some of us do.

<------------- 24, 1st year out.
 

maxbaner

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whats your hourly pay? I've seen offers of $50-60+/- per hour
 

Aznfarmerboi

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I don't know where you get your information from, but entry-level pharmacists (age 24) don't make $120k/year. Not where I'm from anyway.
I can confirm what most of my posters are saying. You can always look up salary.com, pharmacist to see what the median wage is for your neighborhood. I am 23 years old making 160k with 21k bonus (8k sign on plus 10k to work in an undesirable area- suffolk county on long island in NY, and performance/holiday bonus) for a 60 hour week. Of that 160k, 40k is cash since I work one or two days off the book a week. Most of my colleagues are making about the same.

I also think no matter what, most doctors do come out ahead. Sure they have to work 80 hours during their residency while being way underpaid, but they come out making 200k and a lot more after the first few years. That and their job has more purpose in life!
 

Rfour

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I don't know where you get your information from, but entry-level pharmacists (age 24) don't make $120k/year. Not where I'm from anyway.
You're right they don't make that much - More like $130 to $140 (at least in CA).
 

DoctorPardi

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I think you should clarify that you are comparing the pharmacist to a primary care physician. There aren't many specialist making 150. It is a whole different calculation when you put in an income of 300k/year as with emergency medicine, anesthesiology, derm, etc. Go big and compare to ortho...a 5 year residency making about 500-600k, add on another 1-2 years for an ortho spine fellowship and now your making closer to 1mil/yr. Or maybe just do neurosurg from the get go with a 6 year res and then move to florida and make 1.5-2 mil/yr. There are just too many variables to account for. We can moonlight in our 3rd and 4th years of residency so the income jumps from 50k to about 100k. The moral is DO WHAT YOU ENJOY.
I am not 100% on the numbers, but I would guess you are correct. Most "specialists" do make more than 150k/year.

Check out this data compiled from a thread in Allo. It discusses hourly wages, but mainly if you look at the average salaries for physicians in years 1-2 and then years 3 and beyond you'll find only about 8-10 of all of those specialties have pay at or around 150k and all others are above that.

My example of 150k is pretty spot on, considering for an IM (primary care) physician the first two years salary is 154k. If you were to choose any one of the majority of specialties which have a higher starting out pay then the example would skew more towards the physician financially.

Basically I am just backing up your post and reminding everyone to take notice of that fact. Also consider that non-specialists or primary care physicians generally have shorter residencies. So they are able to start earning earlier than those physicians with higher salaries and longer training. So if you want to choose a physician salary on the low end of the scale to compare with you will likely also have to choose a specialty that doesn't give pharmacists too long of a head start earning wise.
 

The White Coat Investor

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A study from NZ? Youve got to be kidding me. So you posted the weakest study to support your argument because it was the first one that came up when you googled it? LAME. Hope you use better techniques when you care for your patients.

.
Why not post a study showing the opposite instead of complaining that the one I found wasn't in your favorite country? I've seen 1 or 2 other surveys over the years with similar results.
 
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StallionRx

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Why not post a study showing the opposite instead of complaining that the one I found wasn't in your favorite country? I've seen 1 or 2 other surveys over the years with similar results.
You brought it up in support of your arguement. Now your being asked to produce and you cant.

Put up or shut up.

In all honesty, dont bother wasting your time pulling studies. Any health care professional could care less what your studies say, because being content with your job is an individual feeling. I have no idea what you do, but I bet somewhere out there somebody thinks your job sucks. However, if your happy with it then who cares what anyone else thinks. As long as you leave with a smile on your face then what the hell does it really matter?
 

PilonDoc

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The answer is simple.

1. A person who will invest wisely enough to take advantage of the "time value of money" likely will not be asking this sort of question.

2. Any person who believes that a comparison of an orthopedic surgeon (400-600K) vs a pharmacist deserves a thorough response, is foolish.

3. The question posed is likely a comparison of pharmacist vs. hospitalist/pcp (4 years of residency included) and it would likely be a wash for the first 3-5 years a hospitalist is in practice.

*compare: 79K after taxes for 8 years vs. (36K for 4 years plus 133K for 4 years), and you'll see the latter averages ~84K after taxes

**good investor with compounding interest on investments currently outside the S&P 500 (India?), max 401K contributor, and frugal... you'll match the pharmacist in 2 -3 years (you'll also likely do nights weekends as a pharmaicst, and this will be a wash as you will quickly achieve financial independence where you can make $$ off your investments in 12 years either way).

*** choose what career makes you happy.
If you're a control freak, want to work in a hospital, and want to make your own decisions about pt care then be an MD.
If you're willing to work in retail pharmacy, and don't mind the boredom because you "work to live" not "live to work" then go for it.
If you want to be a clinical pharmacist, and don't mind the md's making the calls then choose pharmacy.
If you love working with patients, and want to diagnose/treat/etc then choose to be an md.
 

OUundergrad

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Some of you are forgetting that tuition for med school is way more than pharm school. At OU, med school tuition is almost $4,000 more per semester. So, 8 semesters means that a med school student will typically be $30,000 more in debt than a pharm student. And, the pharm student comes out making, on the low end $75,000 a year, or on the high end $100,000 a year. So, they can start paying off debt a lot fast than a post med-school student, who is doing his or her residency and making probably $40,000 a year, which is pretty much enough to get by for one person in debt. They are also slaves running around like chickens with their heads cut off. Doctors also have waaaaay high malpractice insurance (OB/Gyn is around $200,000). I switched from pre-med to pre-pharm. I can change my mind b/c the prerequisites are similar, but I think I'll stay right where I am. I am a female so I want to get married and have kids someday, and that seems unattainable if I were to be a doctor. I have talked to way too many people and read too many articles about how female doctors have a higher tendency to get divorced and end up not having a family. Not for me!
 

bigdogc

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i dont think its about money for your profession, but there are some very unique things about each.
a 24 year old pharmacist can be making around 120k. this puts that person in the top 1% of income for that age bracket.
a 32 year old doctor can make upwards of 400k which is also in the top 1% or so for that age too.

so basically the pharmacist gets to be a big-time money maker between ages of 24-32. the doctor pays his "dues" for quite more time, but is ready to be "ballin' out of control" at the ripe age of ~32-38.

oh yeah, OU Sucks!
 

foil

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Hey Kid,
Are you sure about this occupation?
It's not like you get to put all your Chem knowledge
together in a Lab.
From what Ive read, perhaps you are an intelligent person
who enjoys the Medical field, but would like a safer,
less threating occupation.
Research CIT
Certified Industrial Hygienist. You'll utilize your Chem knowledge,
always active, field work, teaching and inspecting.
Pay: Aprox $120k
CSUN has the best program in the nation....check it out


Foil
 

Aznfarmerboi

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I think ActiveMD is right. A pharmacist's job is pretty ****ty especially in retail. While we can most certainly afford an 800k house, we do have the least satisfaction in life.

We now have to work longer hours with less help, to do a lot more paperwork (Ours is a lot more time consuming imo), and deal with corporate bull****.

I dont mind spending an hour trying to get a $300 drug approved for a patient, but then theres the grandmother that took awhile explaining why her copay went up, the phone ringing off the hook, 5 guys with 2-3 rxs waiting to be filled in 15 minutes, and trying not to make a mistake at the same time.

Oh yeah. . . forgot to mention the guy who asked for otc advice but repeats the same question 2-3 times because he doesnt trust you and ends up just leaving.
 

turtledog

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Everyone hates their job at some point. Even that Orthopedic Surgeon making $500k.
 

ffpickle

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The avg. salary of a pharmacist is 100k, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Those reporting 120k salaries are atypical results. 160k would easily put you in the 95th percentile of pharmacists.

Why are pharmacy students always trying to convince everyone about how much they make?

The original post is patently false and based on completely fabricated data.
 

Tours2

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I think ActiveMD is right. A pharmacist's job is pretty ****ty especially in retail. While we can most certainly afford an 800k house, we do have the least satisfaction in life.
There are a lot of people out there convinced that they can buy an $800,000 house. I'm not sure why this is the case. Are you planning on having $200K combined income? Even if you're pulling in $150K per year, 800K seems waaaay too inflated to me unless you live frugally for years and build up equity in a far lesser-priced home.

The rule of thumb is that the amount of house you buy should not exceed 3x-4x of your annual gross income unless you're making a huge downpayment. A huge reason the California and Florida real estate markets are collapsing (along with the national economy) is that a lot of less-than-financial-savy people didn't take heed.
 
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Aznfarmerboi

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There are a lot of people out there convinced that they can buy an $800,000 house. I'm not sure why this is the case. Are you planning on having $200K combined income? Even if you're pulling in $150K per year, 800K seems waaaay too inflated to me unless you live frugally for years and build up equity in a far lesser-priced home.

The rule of thumb is that the amount of house you buy should not exceed 3x-4x of your annual gross income unless you're making a huge downpayment. A huge reason the California and Florida real estate markets are collapsing (along with the national economy) is that a lot of less-than-financial-savy people didn't take heed.
While it is a lot, I can do it if I live frugally. In NYC, my monthly paycheck after taxes... (We get taxed at federal, state, city, among a bunch of other ****) is ~6.5k. While I can afford it, I shouldnt as I'll be screwed for other things. That is why I am hoping to marry a gal who will be working, keep my credit in good order, and save up for a 20 percent down payment.. :thumbup:

That or renting also works.
 

Aznfarmerboi

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The avg. salary of a pharmacist is 100k, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Those reporting 120k salaries are atypical results. 160k would easily put you in the 95th percentile of pharmacists.

Why are pharmacy students always trying to convince everyone about how much they make?

The original post is patently false and based on completely fabricated data.
The Bureau of Labor statistics is not accurate in where it get its information from. For most retail pharmacists working in major metropolitan areas, the average starting is 120k. You can look it up in Salary.com which provides a more accurate result. 160k is usually the result of working more than 40 hours and includes bonuses, overnight, etc.

Here are some links...

http://www.rxcareercenter.com/search/jobs/job.cfm/86847/Costco Wholesale/MGR & Staff

http://www.rxcareercenter.com/search/jobs/job.cfm/126690/Costco Wholesale/Pharmacist/Manager

I provided Costco links because they are one of the few companies that sometimes provide salary information upfront.
 

Hallm_7

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Compare the financial situation of a Pharmacist against a doctor with the following circumstances: the Pharmacist starts making $120k (after taxes) at age 24 and the doctor starts making $300k-$500k (before taxes and malpractice) at age 32-34. Compare them when they are both 45. Assume that they both bought a $800k house and two $20k cars. Who comes up on top, leaving aside other complexities? I think the pharmacist does.
*Prays that this doesn't turn into a flame war* :thumbup:
There are a couple issues with your scenario that need correction:

1. I would dare say no pharmacist will make 120K after taxes unless they are evading taxes. 120K is possible, although generally on the higher side, before tax. Taxes (income and payroll for local, state, and federal) at 120K will probably run 25%, so take-home pay is 90K. Of course then you have another chunk for sales tax and real estate tax. To have 120K of take-home you'll probably have to make at least 180K.

2. Quoted physician salaries are pre-tax (which you are correct in saying), but they are post med mal premiums. Malpractice insurance is a business cost, and as such is not reported as income. When someone says an orthopod makes 400K a year that is after they paid their 50K for med mal coverage.

Just curious, but why would you calculate a pharmacists income as post-tax and a physician's income as pre-tax? Almost without exception, all Americans report income as being pre-tax.
 
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xscpx

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Um....if you live in an 800K house and have a 20K car....you are doing something very wrong.
 

jefguth

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Um....if you live in an 800K house and have a 20K car....you are doing something very wrong.
whats wrong with that? Sounds actually quite wise to me. My parents live in a house worth that much or more and drive cars that are worth far less...

homes generally appreciate with time - generally. Cars on the other hand...
 

KYTNOH

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Um....if you live in an 800K house and have a 20K car....you are doing something very wrong.
I disagree. The reason they can afford the $800,000 house may be because they buy a $20,000 car. Cars aren't investments, and they will cost you a whole lot of money over time....money that you will never get back. I know of people who can easily afford to pay cash for brand new luxury cars but instead choose to buy used cars because they are smart with their money. I fully intend to always pay cash for my cars and never buy a brand new car. I'll buy a one or two year old car with a warranty and put the 30% or so that I would have lost buying a new car into my retirement.

The majority of people driving a new BMW or Mercedes have absolutely no business driving a car that expensive.
 

dragonfly99

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KYTNOH
Are you my mother in disguise? :laugh::laugh::laugh:
I actually agree with you, though :)
 

Finally M3

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Doesn't the original scenario imply the pharmacist is making ~200K pretax year 1?

Sounds a bit high.
 

MagicDrumSticks

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The numbers are easy to calculate. The assumptions are the tough part. Garbage in, garbage out. The pharmacist has several advantages:

1) Starts earlier, so gets a head start on compounding gains for retirement.
2) Less expensive school, so less money to pay off loans.
3) Lower salary, so lower taxes and able to take advantage of more tax credits, deductions and accounts such as Roth IRAs that many physicians cannot use.
4) Doesn't work nights

The doctor has a few advantages too:
1) Higher salary eventually, so the longer he works the bigger his advantage
2) At least his job doesn't suck ***

Make some assumptions pharmacist head start, pharmacist pay, physician pay, some basic tax decisions, a "discount rate" or what you think that money the pharmacist is putting away could make if invested and voila...the answer to your career question.

P.S. If it is all about the money, try investment banking...highly lucrative, although just as cutthroat as being pre-med.
Why do you say investment banking is just as cutthroat as pre-med? I'm in it all for the money, so is there a good chance in that field and financial security?
 

dragonfly99

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If you are in it for the money primarily, then choose something other than medicine. Medicine has more job security (if/when you make it through residency and get an unrestricted medical license) than most jobs in the business world, but unless you do something like orthopedics or radiology, in general the big, big money is not there. There are health insurance executives who make $1 million/year easily...very, very, very few physicians who do. If you do something in the business world, you'll also start making money a lot sooner/younger than any physician - up to 10 years sooner. If you are halfway smart about saving and investing the $, and you are an ambitious person in some field of business who attended a good business school (and/or just have a good head for business) I think that the business world is potentially more rewarding, financially speaking.
 
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Hello,

Come on people let's not quibble and argue over minutia. Physicians and pharmacist both make a secure living. We both play important roles in distributing health care. It's all a matter of commitment. It doesn't matter if you are physician or pharmacist, you still get screwed paying taxes, an unless you own your own insurance company or HMO you had better be happy with the work you do because you will never be rich like Bernie Madoff once was. The way I see it, the money we make is just icing on the cake that we get to eat. Look at all the other unfortunate people out there who do not have the opportunity or the smarts to do what we do. Let's not get greedy in this forum. Let's talk about the commitment that you are willing to invest from your life to get make a living. To be good physician or pharmacist you have to do it because you want to not because you will make more money. That is exactly why medicine and pharmacy are not the same profession, that is why these two distinct professions emerged in history. If I was a doctor and got paid for selling drugs, do you think I would prescribe a drug that cost me $1000 to stock so I could make $20 from the insurance company or would I be more proned to give you 5 drugs? Maybe these drugs would not harm you and one or two may even help you, but it cost me a total of $50 and each would make me $20? I can't imagine any of us thinking that way, but I am sure that there are some of these people in both professions. This is where the insurance companies come in,,, oh,, and do I hate them with a passion.
 
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I think the reason that most those who do not support health care reform (or at least the those that see past the smoke and mirrors) is because they know that too few hands are involved in the raging river of money used to control it.

The insurance companies carefully built a dam on this river and greedily cherish their lake of unprecedented wealth behind it. The most that will happen with this bill is that it will allow other companies to be formed to help plug up and maintain the leaks on this damn dam.

The people who don't want change, do not want to see the tiny bit of control that they have left of their irrigation channels sustaining their life disappear and care could less about the unfathomable amount of vulgarity that goes on in the system that allows them to live.

"Health care for everyone" is an oxymoron in our capitalistic society. Since this paradox can not exist any reform will sadly fail to help people down stream and only strengthen those who control it.

A big mountain that stands in our way to the keys to the sluice gates is the level representation that these huge entities have in our system of government which greatly overshadows any other agenda. We are subject to the scrutiny of the damn builders, have to deal with their police, when something is needed and are forced back down when we get too close. How can we consider ourselves a free nation if one of our fundamental requirements to sustain life are controlled by a select few.

Too many of us (my self included) have become cynical about this issue. Although we may see past the smoke and mirrors we fail to conglomerate to find a solution. It is amazingly evident that this is the case and even though those involved blatantly dangle the corruption in front of us we sit idly by powerless waiting to see what will happen next.

The cynic will tell you that change is all but impossible. Take a look at the level of money involved here. The depth of the lake behind the damn is almost an unfathomable abyss. I understand that we live in a capitalistic society. Companies that make profits support the economy and our way of life. We take a look at an American Express charge card, ( I am not talking about a credit card company just a simple charge card in which the charges must paid back every month). The retailer pays a small fee maybe ~ 1% each time a transaction occurs and the member a nominal fee of less than $100 each year. Of course there are millions of transactions every day and even in a sour economy that mere pittance of a transaction fee is more than enough to sustain American Express; we can use their service and never have to worry about not physically carrying cash. When you compare that to the over 30% that the health care companies are allowed to keep you can see how their wealth is unfathomable. The proverbial Devil himself could never dream of this much avarice and is jealous that these companies even trumped his evilness of preying on society.

You got me fired up here and I better stop now before this becomes a book.
 
Jan 28, 2010
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I need help deciding between pharmacy or med school. I will be attending Notheastern University next year and am enrolled in the pharmacy direct entry 6 year program already. I have always wanted to go into the healthcare field but always imagined i would be going into medical school to be a doctor and always didnt like the pharmacy field. Im starting to like the pharmacy field more and more and am getting a job as a pharmacy technician at a local rite aid so ill see how that goes.
As far as my decision for pharmacy goes... the reason i changed my mind from premed to pharmacy 6 year direct entry is because my father works at Northeastern University and because of that i get free tuition to the school which is an awesome perk. There was no way i could pass up a free tuition for become a pharmacist rather than spending the money for med school and the years and the eventual more taxes to be taken from the government. I just am still on the fence.

Should i stick with pharmacy at least for the first 2 years of schooling (the liberal arts phase) adn then go into premed, or should i stay with pharmacy. How does OT work with a pharmacist, i heard there is little growth with pay, how will my finances be. I will come out of school with no debt. whereas if i go to med school ill have a lot of debt. please help.

I will post more as i get some replies.
 

TMP-SMX

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Work in the pharmacy a bit in retail. Volunteer at the hospital or shadow a pharmacist on rounds in the hospital as they are different aspects of pharmacy. See if you enjoy it. If you enjoy it, go for it. If you desire to be a physician do it. You have to spend the rest of your life doing what you choose so make the correct decision based on what you will enjoy.

As for medicine, do the same. Go see the field. Volunteer, shadow, learn about everything.

We can't answer that question for you.
 
Feb 6, 2010
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I think you ALL (Pharmacists and Doctors) need to remember that it takes BOTH of us to have a functional health care system. I hate to burst ANY one's bubble, but Doctors....you couldn't do your job with out us. As WE couldn't do our job with out you. Salaries range in every job....so there is going to be a pharmacist that makes more than a doctor....and there will be a doctor that makes more than a pharmacist, but considering BOTH our salaries national average is WELL in the 6 figure range why does it really matter??? Because if your in either of these professions to have a salary argument, QUIT....and go ask Bill Gates or Steve Jobs how they do what they do!!!!!!!!! If not appreciate the additional resources you have in an area that you yourself aren't educated in.
 
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Old_Mil

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Compare the financial situation of a Pharmacist against a doctor with the following circumstances: the Pharmacist starts making $120k (after taxes) at age 24 and the doctor starts making $300k-$500k (before taxes and malpractice) at age 32-34. Compare them when they are both 45. Assume that they both bought a $800k house and two $20k cars. Who comes up on top, leaving aside other complexities? I think the pharmacist does.
*Prays that this doesn't turn into a flame war* :thumbup:
For starters, your salary assumptions for physicians are wildly optimistic. The only people who see those sorts of numbers are Radiologists, Specialty Surgeons, Anesthesiologists who manage CRNAs in large groups, Dermatologists, and Emergency Medicine physicians in production based practices at Trauma I-II facilities. That's a small minority of physicians.

The large majority of pediatricians, internal medicine physicians, and family medicine physicians will be paid $90,000-$175,000 a year.

As far as financial reward vs work, when compared to pharmacy, dentistry, and some other fields medicine has been a bad deal for a while now.
 

Lonestar

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Anesthesiologist here. 32 yrs old. Making 350K this yr, add 36K for 401k. Will max out next yr at 385-390K. Malpractice paid for. Have 160K student loans @ 4.25%. will not pay that off. Kept my residency house 138K @ 4.5% (worth 185K).
will probably invest my money rather than pay off these loans. Probably start a business on the side within a year. Hope this helps.