Pharmacists dissuading me to go to pharmacy school

Oink

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Hey everyone!

There are some pharmacists and pharmacy techs that are telling me that they hate their jobs and are telling me to go to something else like dental school. They tell me that pharmacy nowadays is more about competing with prices, answering phones all day, and standing around instead of actual pharmacy related stuff. I've been volunteering at a compounding pharmacy and all I do is paper work and label and seal bottles but that was expected. However, I look at what the pharmacists are doing and I never see them do much pharmacy related work either. Basically the stuff they do is what I mentioned above. The pharmacist that I volunteer for actually gave me a list of dental clinics and told me to talk to the dentists as soon as I can.

This is kind of putting me down and making me doubt whether or not I should pursue pharmacy school. So basically I want to ask you guys how pharmacy makes you happy or will make you happy. Are there some aspects in pharmacy that are just way better than others such as hospital vs. retail/independent pharmacy? If so then how? I'm in my third year as an undergraduate at a UC and I just want some insight before I go and talk to dentists about going into dentistry. Any advice is greatly appreciated!!
 
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You definitely should look into hospital pharmacy. It is waaay different than the retail/independent ones. I'm currently volunteering in both hospital pharmacy and a pharmacy at a small clinic. In the hospital, there are different types of pharmacists for different stations. Like, there are TPN pharmacists making a nutrition solution for each patient base on their weight, medical history... etc. Or a pharmacist who's just entering the doctors' orders. And then every week or so, they rotate to another station.
 
Jan 2, 2012
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What do you think "pharmacy related stuff" is? All of those things are pharmacy related. Retail pharmacists aren't going to be doing anything crazy in depth. If you want a more clinical view of things then you need to try and shadow or volunteer in a hospital pharmacy.

If you aren't dead set on pharmacy then explore before you settle. You are going to meet plenty of pharmacists who aren't happy. It's definitely something you really should be passionate about especially now that it's not this golden ticket job it once was. But ultimately choose the career YOU want and not what other people tell you to want. If you need affirmation then go ahead and shadow some other fields like denistry, maybe you'll end up loving one, or maybe you'll end up deciding why pharmacy is for you.
 
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Oink

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You definitely should look into hospital pharmacy. It is waaay different than the retail/independent ones. I'm currently volunteering in both hospital pharmacy and a pharmacy at a small clinic. In the hospital, there are different types of pharmacists for different stations. Like, there are TPN pharmacists making a nutrition solution for each patient base on their weight, medical history... etc. Or a pharmacist who's just entering the doctors' orders. And then every week or so, they rotate to another station.

What kind of stuff do you do at the hospital pharmacy? Also, do you possibly have an idea of what the lifestyle of a hospital pharmacist is? Because that's one of the reasons why I'm thinking of dentistry because I heard from the pharmacist at where I'm volunteering that dentists work through appointments and pharmacists work 40 hour/week shifts.
 

Oink

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What do you think "pharmacy related stuff" is? All of those things are pharmacy related. Retail pharmacists aren't going to be doing anything crazy in depth. If you want a more clinical view of things then you need to try and shadow or volunteer in a hospital pharmacy.

If you aren't dead set on pharmacy then explore before you settle. You are going to meet plenty of pharmacists who aren't happy. It's definitely something you really should be passionate about especially now that it's not this golden ticket job it once was. But ultimately choose the career YOU want and not what other people tell you to want. If you need affirmation then go ahead and shadow some other fields like denistry, maybe you'll end up loving one, or maybe you'll end up deciding why pharmacy is for you.

Sorry, I should have specified more. I mean "pharmacy related stuff" as in involving the actual drugs like making/dispensing/sorting drugs. Instead, I see them doing paper work or computer stuff. The pharmacist told me that "being a pharmacist is just standing around, not using your brain, and answering phone calls all day."

I definitely understand it's what I want to do and I'm definitely going to explore to see what interests me the most. I'm also planning to volunteer at a hospital pharmacy in a few weeks so maybe I can get my hopes up about pharmacy again. I was just worried because I've been hearing a lot of these bad stories from pharmacists for quite a while now and just yesterday I had a long conversation with the pharmacist about how pharmacy is really bad. I know I shouldn't do what they tell me and that it's my decision but I was just considering it because I'm still young and I want to make sure that I won't regret my decision in the future.
 
Mar 6, 2012
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Hey everyone!

There are some pharmacists and pharmacy techs that are telling me that they hate their jobs and are telling me to go to something else like dental school. They tell me that pharmacy nowadays is more about competing with prices, answering phones all day, and standing around instead of actual pharmacy related stuff. I've been volunteering at a compounding pharmacy and all I do is paper work and label and seal bottles but that was expected. However, I look at what the pharmacists are doing and I never see them do much pharmacy related work either. Basically the stuff they do is what I mentioned above. The pharmacist that I volunteer for actually gave me a list of dental clinics and told me to talk to the dentists as soon as I can.

This is kind of putting me down and making me doubt whether or not I should pursue pharmacy school. So basically I want to ask you guys how pharmacy makes you happy or will make you happy. Are there some aspects in pharmacy that are just way better than others such as hospital vs. retail/independent pharmacy? If so then how? I'm in my third year as an undergraduate at a UC and I just want some insight before I go and talk to dentists about going into dentistry. Any advice is greatly appreciated!!

Just keep in mind that you are hearing the stories/opinions of a few pharmacists who work in the same pharmacy correct? They can only speak for themselves and maybe it's just the environment they work in, but I don't know them. There are many different fields within pharmacy that you can work as a pharmacist. I have worked as a tech in military pharmacy and those pharmacists don't seem to be doing so much standing around. The biggest reason is that they don't have to deal with insurance related stuff which makes a big difference!! I have also had the privilege of working with many different types of clinical pharmacists who work directly with patients (diabetic clinic, coumadin clinic, etc..) and I've also met a pharmacist who does home care type work where he goes to peoples homes and handles their medication care/administration directly. Almost all of them enjoy what they do. And hey, if you really want to put a twist in it then join the military after you graduate!:laugh: You can also consider teaching after as well. Bottom line is don't base YOUR life decisions on the negative things a few people say, do what you think will make you happy.
 
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Well, if you are basing your experiences off of only one practice site, then you definitely need to go to some other pharmacies as another poster said. Make sure you check out a regular retail pharmacy as well, as that's where a lot of pharmacists do end up.

However, I would also encourage you to do your research on the expansion of new schools and potential coming(?) surplus of pharmacists before making a decision.
 

AlPacino

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If you change your mind about your career every time somebody gives you their input, then you are going to have a hard time finding what you are going to do in life. I made up my mind to become a pharmacist and have received positive/negatives comments. Did that discourage me? NO! I made up my mind and am not going to let some technicians or 1 pharmacist change it. Very few technicians enjoy their job and their are pharmacist who dread it as well. So of course they are going to try and discourage you.

Also you just volunteered at one place. Try shadowing different pharmacy settings and get their input. I guarantee you 100% that you are not going to get the same results. Pharmacy can be stressful at times, but what job doesnt have that? The benefits and rewards outnumber it.

Reminds me of a quote by Steve Jobs;
"Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary."

Do that and youll be fine.
 

chrispharm

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I heard the exact same things from my friend who does retail, but my cousin who does independent and some other friends who work in a hospital do not share the same resentment as him. You have to look at who the information is coming from.
 
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Yeah, I got the same thing from a pharmacist at a health department pharmacy where I used to volunteer. He went right out and told me to be a doctor instead. Does that scare me? Not really. I've experienced a few different practice areas as a volunteer or technician: retail, independent, health department, and hospital. I've met many pharmacists, some who hate what they do, and some who love what they do. I don't think that pharmacy is for everyone. I think it takes a certain doggedness and flexibility to be happy in a pharmacy setting; if you've got those qualities, along with a genuine interest in pharmacy, you're golden.
 

AlPacino

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Yeah, I got the same thing from a pharmacist at a health department pharmacy where I used to volunteer. He went right out and told me to be a doctor instead. Does that scare me? Not really. I've experienced a few different practice areas as a volunteer or technician: retail, independent, health department, and hospital. I've met many pharmacists, some who hate what they do, and some who love what they do. I don't think that pharmacy is for everyone. I think it takes a certain doggedness and flexibility to be happy in a pharmacy setting; if you've got those qualities, along with a genuine interest in pharmacy, you're golden.

:thumbup:
 
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Lawyers will tell you not to go to law school. Doctors will tell you not to go to med school. Dentists will tell you not to go to dental school. People who are married will tell you not to get married. People who never married will tell you to find a life partner before it's too late and you end up like them. People without children will tell you to have them. Some people with children will tell you never to have kids. And around and around and rinse and repeat.

But these people don't have any business recommending another profession since they have no experience in that profession. And honestly, the sooner you figure out who is worth listening to and who isn't, the better off you'll be.

Am I saying don't listen to them? No. You just need to continue investigating what is right for you. And the way to do that is getting work experience.
 

FLaCoPHaRm

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I agree with Elisaveth, there are many factors that go into an opinion. There is personality type, their day, week, month. Maybe they were pressured into pharmacy, maybe their going through a divorce? Who knows?

Consider these episodes of "negativity" as just another obstacle to deter you from your goal. If you doubt it and go elsewhere then you weren't meant to be a pharmacists in the first place and it is possible that you were going in for the wrong reasons. Negative opinions can be a good thing, which is why you are shadowing to begin with.

Every career has a bad side and a good side. I know of an MD friend of mine high-fiving me after I told me I am going into pharmacy. He hates the toll the residency hours has on him, and would prefer the lifestyle of a pharmacist. You would think MD=ultimate career right? Not the case for everyone. You have to fit the bill otherwise any career/job will be a headache.
 
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You know that there are tons of people out there who don't really like their jobs, right? Just swing up to physician forums and you'll see plenty of people talking about wanting to go back for a different residency because they like the money that they make in anesthesia but hate the job itself so they want to pursue endocrinology or something.

If I were you I'd get in as a retail pharmacist and figure out if I like the environment before I spend another dime on anything other than undergrad classes which can be applied to any health-care profession.
 

Oink

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Thanks everyone for the input, it really helps! However, it's not only the pharmacists at where I volunteer which is an independent compounding pharmacy. I've also heard it from a pharmacist from walgreens and CVS. I'm going to a hospital pharmacy tomorrow because I have an orientation to volunteer there and I'm going to ask the pharmacist there about their experiences.

I'm not saying I'm switching to dental because they're telling me to. I'm just being open to the possibility because I want to have more confidence in the decision I'll make for my future. The pharmacists also told me about the dentist lifestyle and how they work only by the patients appointments. I don't know if that's true or not so I'm planning to ask a dentist just to get some more insight.

Also another question: Do hospital pharmacists have to do deal with insurances and phone calls all day like the retail pharmacists?
 
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Thanks everyone for the input, it really helps! However, it's not only the pharmacists at where I volunteer which is an independent compounding pharmacy. I've also heard it from a pharmacist from walgreens and CVS. I'm going to a hospital pharmacy tomorrow because I have an orientation to volunteer there and I'm going to ask the pharmacist there about their experiences.

I'm not saying I'm switching to dental because they're telling me to. I'm just being open to the possibility because I want to have more confidence in the decision I'll make for my future. The pharmacists also told me about the dentist lifestyle and how they work only by the patients appointments. I don't know if that's true or not so I'm planning to ask a dentist just to get some more insight.

Also another question: Do hospital pharmacists have to do deal with insurances and phone calls all day like the retail pharmacists?

Hate to break it to ya, there is some truth to what the pharmacists are saying. However, you will have to get more experience in more settings (not just one single session.. see if you can actually volunteer/shadow/practice hands-on to get a REAL feel for it) to determine if this path is right for you. Only you can decide if it's worth it or not. Pharmacy is still a viable career if you are really passionate about it... and you will never know 100% sure until you actually go into the real world and start practicing. However, I'm sure most will agree that the job market isn't going to look pretty in the next few years... Just browsing through the current practitioner's forum and I see: http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=914320 :scared:
 
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FLaCoPHaRm

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I think most of us are not trying to Decide for you. You're actually doing the right thing by shadowing and diving into different areas. I just hope that what you do understand is that all occupations have a bad side and you're always going to hear them first. Dentistry is great all but is a bitch during the first years. Oh, and I know that at one point (not sure if it still stands) dentistry had the highest suicide rate of any occupation.

I know a dentist that said it was hell at first but he is now finally enjoying what he does by working with children.
 

pharm B

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Lawyers will tell you not to go to law school. Doctors will tell you not to go to med school. Dentists will tell you not to go to dental school. People who are married will tell you not to get married. People who never married will tell you to find a life partner before it's too late and you end up like them. People without children will tell you to have them. Some people with children will tell you never to have kids. And around and around and rinse and repeat.
This is the way I approach questions like this. No matter what profession you investigate, you are almost guaranteed to find something "wrong" with it, find people who are "discontent" (but keep doing it), and so on. You have to feel out for yourself if pharmacy is compatible with what you want to accomplish in your life.

But I always play the long game. ;) Some people just think it's a job to pay for a flash car and decent clothes. :rolleyes:

Oh, and I know that at one point (not sure if it still stands) dentistry had the highest suicide rate of any occupation.

I found this ranking by profession:
The Straight Dope said:
Food batchmakers
Physicians and health aides (excluding nursing)
Lathe and turning machine operators
Biological, life and medical scientists
Social scientists and urban planners
Dentists
Lawyers and Judges
Guards/sales occupations were tied
Tool and die makers
Police, public servants

http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/1588/what-occupation-has-the-highest-suicide-rate
 

PharmaSex

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Listen, I am a 4th year pharmacy student at a highly rated pharmacy school and I highly suggest that you do not pursue the pharmacy route. I have had this conversation many times with my fellow classmates and many have agreed that if we had the choice to go back in time, we would most definitely choose another profession. Reason being is the immense saturation that is currently being experienced. There are new schools opening up EVERY year and in just a few years time there will be many THOUSANDS more PharmD grads. Good luck on finding a job with this type of environment. Unless you want to do retail then I suggest pursuing something else like nursing or PA.
 
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Here's what I think the best advice for ANY student trying to figure out what they want to do in life (pharmacy or not):

1) Go find someone whose working in a field/job that you think you would like.

2) Watch carefully what they do in and out. Ask them to give you active hands-on experience that simulates day-to-day tasks in the real-world setting. Observing is just too passive. Spend some careful thought and evaluation.

3) If you absolutely love their work, ask yourself exactly WHAT you need to do in order to acquire that job/position. Is it further training? Is it another degree? Is it something else?

That way, you will know if any field, including pharmacy, is right for you. The pharmacy world is constantly changing, and you just have to look at it from a real-world perspective that schools unfortunately don't teach nor provide. If you do all the steps above, absolutely love, and truly want to be in or have that role/job, then go for it.

This advice works on many levels... I see too many college undergrads unsure of what they want to do, only to find that after graduating from college, they still don't know what they want to do. Many end up back in school or with a career change altogether, but it isn't until 10+ years later until they find out what they really want, ultimately wasting all those years, time, and precious energy.

The downfall with today's modern education system is a lack of career formation. Many high schools tell students indirectly to go to college to "get further in life." But they never teach them how or what they must do to get there. It then becomes a game of "finish these pre-reqs and get your degree to move on." After that, life hits you when all you see are college grads scratching their heads pondering about what the last 4 years they were doing. Unfortunately, if you were like me and ended up with a useless degree (i.e., General Science/Pre-Pharmacy), you'll hate the system even more. Trust me, it becomes MUCH harder after you've grown older, with a family (or not), and start to incur debt/bills to pay/etc. :(
 
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Great advice from pharmaguide, and remember that most people with a bitter taste in their mouths probably didn't even enjoy the meal in the first place.
 

diastole

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I would caution people investigating their future career path in pharmacy to allow for the possibility that the type of job they really want might not be available. This year around 40% of the people who applied for residency and thought they were going to eventually get that great clinical position did not get one. As the jobs dry up and more schools pump out more grads, the chances of getting a residency keeps going down. The truth is most people end up working in a retail setting and for some, it wasn't their first choice.
 
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I would caution people investigating their future career path in pharmacy to allow for the possibility that the type of job they really want might not be available. This year around 40% of the people who applied for residency and thought they were going to eventually get that great clinical position did not get one. As the jobs dry up and more schools pump out more grads, the chances of getting a residency keeps going down. The truth is most people end up working in a retail setting and for some, it wasn't their first choice.

What everyone seems to forget is that this scenario is not at all unique to pharmacy. There are MANY, MANY fields where supply > demand (especially in the current economy), and new grads must take whatever job happens to be available upon graduation--that is, if there's even a job available at all. Anyone who goes into ANY field, not just pharmacy, expecting to be handed their dream job immediately upon graduation with no effort involved, is an idiot and/or exceptionally lazy.

BTW, why are so many of the anti-pharmacy people on here pharmacy students? If you're truly so concerned about the dire state of the job market, why wouldn't you get out while you still can instead of investing tens of thousands more into your schooling to finish a degree you seem to think will be utterly worthless at securing you a job? Just curious.
 
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Shadow...shadow...shadow......I have worked at a neuroscience hospital, inpatient hospital and retail for over 5 years as a technician and there is so many different positions and areas you can go into. You learn what you like and do not on a personal basis. You need to ask yourself why do you want to go into this profession?

My theory is if you love the work and realize it is work, not a walk in the park you will be fine. If you are willing to relocate and get the experience as a new graduate you can find a job anywhere. Just had a friend relocate to no man's land in a small hospital....$10k sign on, $95k a year and $30k repayment tuition with no residency and he did have a few years as a pharmacy technician before he applied to pharmacy school. That sounds pretty nice to me!
 
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What everyone seems to forget is that this scenario is not at all unique to pharmacy. There are MANY, MANY fields where supply > demand (especially in the current economy), and new grads must take whatever job happens to be available upon graduation--that is, if there's even a job available at all. Anyone who goes into ANY field, not just pharmacy, expecting to be handed their dream job immediately upon graduation with no effort involved, is an idiot and/or exceptionally lazy.

BTW, why are so many of the anti-pharmacy people on here pharmacy students? If you're truly so concerned about the dire state of the job market, why wouldn't you get out while you still can instead of investing tens of thousands more into your schooling to finish a degree you seem to think will be utterly worthless at securing you a job? Just curious.

There's always a disconnect between aspiring pre-pharmacy students versus actual pharmacy students/practicing pharmacists. The saying goes, "You never know until you actually work in that field." Even as pre-pharmacy students, there were things (politics, profession expectations, outlook, etc.) that was hard to foresee. However, pharmacy is a great profession but too many people go into for the wrong reasons. If you take it for what it is, then you'll do fine. :D
 
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BTW, why are so many of the anti-pharmacy people on here pharmacy students? If you're truly so concerned about the dire state of the job market, why wouldn't you get out while you still can instead of investing tens of thousands more into your schooling to finish a degree you seem to think will be utterly worthless at securing you a job? Just curious.

:thumbup::thumbup:
 
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There's always a disconnect between aspiring pre-pharmacy students versus actual pharmacy students/practicing pharmacists. The saying goes, "You never know until you actually work in that field." Even as pre-pharmacy students, there were things (politics, profession expectations, outlook, etc.) that was hard to foresee. However, pharmacy is a great profession but too many people go into for the wrong reasons. If you take it for what it is, then you'll do fine. :D

I agree with you completely: you MUST experience the field you want to work in before committing to it; this is not unique to pharmacy. Everyone I've ever met who has any job of any sort, from flipping burgers at McD's to heading up supply chain for a large company, has complaints about their job. Politics, expectations vs. reality, etc. are EVERYWHERE, not just pharmacy. There is, as of yet, no career that I've seen that's 100% perfect, where you show up to work and everything is sunshine and roses for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. It all comes down to loving what you do enough to deal with the s*** that comes with it. In my 3 years of working full-time alongside pharmacists as a technician in retail and hospital, I've come to the conclusion that I can do that, which is why I'm continuing to pursue pharmacy.
 
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I would caution people investigating their future career path in pharmacy to allow for the possibility that the type of job they really want might not be available. This year around 40% of the people who applied for residency and thought they were going to eventually get that great clinical position did not get one. As the jobs dry up and more schools pump out more grads, the chances of getting a residency keeps going down. The truth is most people end up working in a retail setting and for some, it wasn't their first choice.

This is very true. You might have a plan for your great career in pharmacy, but it can easily be shot to he!! with the saturation/competition in this field.

I also cringe every time I hear someone from my class who worked at a mom and pop during school and has now signed on with Walgreens or CVS. I really hope they know what they are getting themselves into and that they will be happy in the future.
 

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I would caution people investigating their future career path in pharmacy to allow for the possibility that the type of job they really want might not be available. This year around 40% of the people who applied for residency and thought they were going to eventually get that great clinical position did not get one. As the jobs dry up and more schools pump out more grads, the chances of getting a residency keeps going down. The truth is most people end up working in a retail setting and for some, it wasn't their first choice.

Agreed. Even if you can get a residency, there's no guarantee you'll get a job after. Back in the day, hospitals would hire their residents FT after residency ended. With the rocky economy, nobody has any openings anymore. I know of a few hospitals in my region that are forcing pharmacists to take unpaid days off or even considering pharmacist layoffs so that the department can stay in budget.

Don't get me wrong, I like my job and I wouldn't do anything differently, but I also wake up every day worrying that today is the day I get a pink slip. :(

Reconsider.
 

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Hey everyone!

There are some pharmacists and pharmacy techs that are telling me that they hate their jobs and are telling me to go to something else like dental school. They tell me that pharmacy nowadays is more about competing with prices, answering phones all day, and standing around instead of actual pharmacy related stuff. I've been volunteering at a compounding pharmacy and all I do is paper work and label and seal bottles but that was expected. However, I look at what the pharmacists are doing and I never see them do much pharmacy related work either. Basically the stuff they do is what I mentioned above. The pharmacist that I volunteer for actually gave me a list of dental clinics and told me to talk to the dentists as soon as I can.

This is kind of putting me down and making me doubt whether or not I should pursue pharmacy school. So basically I want to ask you guys how pharmacy makes you happy or will make you happy. Are there some aspects in pharmacy that are just way better than others such as hospital vs. retail/independent pharmacy? If so then how? I'm in my third year as an undergraduate at a UC and I just want some insight before I go and talk to dentists about going into dentistry. Any advice is greatly appreciated!!

If you have very good handskills and don't mind blood or saliva...then dentistry is a great profession to go into.

The salary is about 3X the salary of a pharmacist and their job market is great. No saturation and no need to worry about being unemployed or not being able to find a good job etc.

If the sight of blood didn't make me faint, I would do dentistry. If I could easily do wax ups and make crowns, I would do dentistry. The money in insanely good and the job market is great in that profession too.

Pharmacy however, is not a bad field, the job is CLEAN and NICE....but the job market is terrible.

Lets just say the chances of you NOT finding a job is much higher than the chances of you landing one. I hope that explains it for you.

If you need a better picture than just go read the SURPLUS THREAD, it's on a sticky...I hope that paints a picture of how serious this problem really is. Good luck.
 

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Graduating class of 2012 for our school is about 15% unemployment. I expect that number to increase in the next few years for future P4's.

It's actually MUCH higher since some people are taking a residency b/c they can't find jobs.

If you count all the unemployed folks and all the folks in residencies...it would be near 40% to 50%.

And a residency does NOT mean employement either...it most likely mean...*maybe* employment if you move to a really sh*tty place to live! lol...
 
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Graduating class of 2012 for our school is about 15% unemployment. I expect that number to increase in the next few years for future P4's.

That's about what my school is too for class of 2012. Fifteen of the class signed on with WAGS, though. They used to be on a hiring freeze so it was good to hear that.
 
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It's actually MUCH higher since some people are taking a residency b/c they can't find jobs.

If you count all the unemployed folks and all the folks in residencies...it would be near 40% to 50%.

And a residency does NOT mean employement either...it most likely mean...*maybe* employment if you move to a really sh*tty place to live! lol...

Well, 3 pharmacists that I knew got laid off in the past six months. One was working at a PBM, one was in the industry as a MSL, and the other was at a retail chain. So you're probably right. Guess no position is immune now. *sigh*
 
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It's actually MUCH higher since some people are taking a residency b/c they can't find jobs.

If you count all the unemployed folks and all the folks in residencies...it would be near 40% to 50%.

And a residency does NOT mean employement either...it most likely mean...*maybe* employment if you move to a really sh*tty place to live! lol...

I have to agree with SHC on this one. Historically at my school, it has been about 20% of the class doing a residency each year. This year the class size was about 110 with >30 of my peers going into a residency program. If you took away residencies, how many would still be looking for a job? It would be a much higher number.

Somedays I think residency is slowly becoming to PharmD what postdoc is to PhD. We aren't there yet, but that's what it will turn into if more residencies keep opening and/or residency is made mandatory.
 

awval999

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I'm not sure I understand why we shouldn't count residents as being 'employed'?

Well, it pays minimum wage adjusted for work hours. Might as well work at Starbucks honestly. It's becoming the only way to get a hospital job due to saturation, soon community pharmacies will require it as well because they can due to the saturation. It turns our education to possibly a 10 year process. 4 year BS, 4 year PharmD, 1-2 year residency. For what? To graduate with $200K in student loans and make ~$100K/year at age 28 to work at Walgreens and be facing a ~20% unemployment rate?
 

All4MyDaughter

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Well, it pays minimum wage adjusted for work hours. Might as well work at Starbucks honestly. It's becoming the only way to get a hospital job due to saturation, soon community pharmacies will require it as well because they can due to the saturation. It turns our education to possibly a 10 year process. 4 year BS, 4 year PharmD, 1-2 year residency. For what? To graduate with $200K in student loans and make ~$100K/year at age 28 to work at Walgreens and be facing a ~20% unemployment rate?


OK. I like you, and enjoy reading your posts, but this Starbucks BS is just dumb. Do you really think Starbucks is more productive than pharmacy residency?

I very rarely worked > 45 hours per week during my residency. My stipend was 40K, which was OK, not great. But I was able to keep up with my part time jobs and consulting projects and add 10K to that easily. I also started my own business halfway through residency and have already earned [*redacted - but it's in the five figure range*] just in the first two quarters of the year. I just met with my accountant, who told me that the business is making too much money for my current tax arrangement (LLC) and I need to incorporate to save on taxes, so I guess it's going well enough. I got the skills and contacts I needed to start that business DIRECTLY from things I did/people I met during residency. Unlikely to have happened if I were working as a barista.

After residency is over, I will be concentrating on my business (working from HOME) as a mostly full time endeavor. I have three student interns currently and will be keeping one of them. The other two will be graduating and one is staying on as part time pharmacist. I'll earn a % of all her claims without actually doing the work myself. I also have one part time pharmacist who handles my patients who reside in a state where I'm not licensed. Again, she keeps most of the fees but I keep a % for administrative costs. Once I see how much my patient load increases, I'll consider whether I need more students and/or pharmacists.

I have turned down two full time job offers (both PIC jobs) and declined one major consulting contract I was offered. I have accepted a part time teaching job that will supplement my income a bit (not much, honestly), but is mostly because I enjoy teaching. So I feel pretty satisfied about things.

One caveat about residency: it will not magically fix someone who has "issues" or pre-existing barriers to employment. So if someone is truly doing residency because they can't do anything else, they aren't likely to easily find employment afterwards either. But how do these people match to begin with? I'm not sure...

For full disclosure - it's not perfect out there. Of my co-residents, three of us are employed (one full time teaching, one full time independent pharmacy and one self employed [me!]). Two are still looking (as far as I know). I don't have employment stats on my COP's current graduating class... but anecdotally can share that the students I know mostly have jobs that they are happy with. I'm sure some don't, but I don't know who they are.
 

owlegrad

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One caveat about residency: it will not magically fix someone who has "issues" or pre-existing barriers to employment. So if someone is truly doing residency because they can't do anything else, they aren't likely to easily find employment afterwards either. But how do these people match to begin with? I'm not sure...

That is something that confuses me. I thought residencies were competitive? If you are doing a residency to avoid the job market...I don't see how that makes sense. If you can get a residency it seems like you should be able to get a "real" job. :shrug:
 
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Well, 3 pharmacists that I knew got laid off in the past six months. One was working at a PBM, one was in the industry as a MSL, and the other was at a retail chain. So you're probably right. Guess no position is immune now. *sigh*

For the PBM pharmacist, do you happen to know what company it was at? I figured those jobs were relatively "recession-proof" but I suppose not.
 

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Well, 3 pharmacists that I knew got laid off in the past six months. One was working at a PBM, one was in the industry as a MSL, and the other was at a retail chain. So you're probably right. Guess no position is immune now. *sigh*

Wow I considered PBM and MSL....I guess I only look at jobs that are not secure at all! lol...

I think hospital positions are the most secure. They are the ones least likely to get laid off or fired. But they are also the hardest to get. :rolleyes: If you don't have a good connection (your father is the DOP there or something) you most likely won't get a spot.


That is something that confuses me. I thought residencies were competitive? If you are doing a residency to avoid the job market...I don't see how that makes sense. If you can get a residency it seems like you should be able to get a "real" job. :shrug:

I count residency as being unemployed b/c a residency only last for 1 year and then you are DONE. And since hospitals now will NOT provide you a job after you finish a residency there...well what does that make you? UNEMPLOYED!

Years ago when they give you a job after you finish your residency, than that is fine you are count as employed...but now you only have 1 year and then you are OUT. No jobs offered or anything. Good luck with that. Your chances of finding a job is as good as anyone else.

Here is what I defined employed. Working full time (40 hrs a week) at a company making six figures for a LONG TIME. A resident does not fit that defination. Only about 50% of the graduating class fit that. :(

I can even go further and say that you should be working 40 hrs a week at ONE place....those people that are floating around a million different cities....I am not even sure if they count by defination. They def do NOT have job security that's for damn sure. Most likely will get laid off soon if they don't get settle into one place.
 

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OK. I like you, and enjoy reading your posts, but this Starbucks BS is just dumb. Do you really think Starbucks is more productive than pharmacy residency?

Yes. Perhaps an exageration yes. Actually of course an exageration. But you know you are the exception and not the rule. How many pharmacy residents start their own MTM consulting business? You have to realize that the pharmacists (not necessarly students) that post on these boards are self-selected as top tier as it is, such as yourself.

The current high school seniors should know that the supply/demand curve is taking care of the high salaries and high job placement numbers, ie: by new schools opening up to increase graduates. Our salaries will plateau and stagnant while inflation will take care the excesses of our profession. Yes some will continue to have high job satisfaction like you All4mydaughter, just like I do at this time in my career, but others will not, and they let you know reguarly on this forum. The market adjusted for law, just as it will for our profession.
 

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Yes. Perhaps an exageration yes. Actually of course an exageration. But you know you are the exception and not the rule. How many pharmacy residents start their own MTM consulting business? You have to realize that the pharmacists (not necessarly students) that post on these boards are self-selected as top tier as it is, such as yourself.

The current high school seniors should know that the supply/demand curve is taking care of the high salaries and high job placement numbers, ie: by new schools opening up to increase graduates. Our salaries will plateau and stagnant while inflation will take care the excesses of our profession. Yes some will continue to have high job satisfaction like you All4mydaughter, just like I do at this time in my career, but others will not, and they let you know reguarly on this forum. The market adjusted for law, just as it will for our profession.

Something else this board seems to self select for is negativity. Of the pharmacists I work with, and those I know through professional activities, very few are as negative about their jobs and the profession as some of the posters here. I think most of them are realistic about the challenges faced by our profession, but the level of real life "doom and gloom" seems much lower than the level on this board. We all know that the internet attracts axe grinders and complainers, and this board is no exception. I think the level of negativity is excessive and many of the posts are packed full of unsupportable hyperbole. Pharmacy is by no means as rosy as it was when I started pre-pharm seven years ago, but it's not on its last legs yet, either.
 

awval999

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Something else this board seems to self select for is negativity. Of the pharmacists I work with, and those I know through professional activities, very few are as negative about their jobs and the profession as some of the posters here. I think most of them are realistic about the challenges faced by our profession, but the level of real life "doom and gloom" seems much lower than the level on this board. We all know that the internet attracts axe grinders and complainers, and this board is no exception. I think the level of negativity is excessive and many of the posts are packed full of unsupportable hyperbole. Pharmacy is by no means as rosy as it was when I started pre-pharm seven years ago, but it's not on its last legs yet, either.

I'm not negative about my individual job. But the vast majority of my classmates are on facebook complaining on a daily basis about their careers. I will note that every single one of the complainers work for one of the chains tho.

I also know that this country cannot continue to spend 16% of its GDP on healthcare.
 

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I'm not negative about my individual job. But the vast majority of my classmates are on facebook complaining on a daily basis about their careers. I will note that every single one of the complainers work for one of the chains tho.

I also know that this country cannot continue to spend 16% of its GDP on healthcare.


But everyone complains about their jobs. My friend is a letter carrier. She complains about the weather and lazy coworkers. My friends who are teachers complain. My physician friends complain. It's blowing off steam. At least when we pharmacists complain about our jobs, we still know that we are very well compensated for our inconvenience.
 

Dalteparin

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Something else this board seems to self select for is negativity. Of the pharmacists I work with, and those I know through professional activities, very few are as negative about their jobs and the profession as some of the posters here. I think most of them are realistic about the challenges faced by our profession, but the level of real life "doom and gloom" seems much lower than the level on this board. We all know that the internet attracts axe grinders and complainers, and this board is no exception. I think the level of negativity is excessive and many of the posts are packed full of unsupportable hyperbole. Pharmacy is by no means as rosy as it was when I started pre-pharm seven years ago, but it's not on its last legs yet, either.

I agree with much of what you said. People on this board (myself included) can get a little hyperbolic when the job market comes up.

I'm glad things have turned out well for you and that you have a secure job! You worked hard and you earned it! However, I work for a department that's threatening layoffs and there aren't too many places hiring where I live. It sucks, but that's my reality. If someone thinks that pharmacy school or residency is a golden ticket to a great job then I'm doing them a disservice if I don't set the record straight.

As I said before, I'd do pharmacy school again. I like my job, but sometimes I worry that I won't have my job for much longer. :(
 

All4MyDaughter

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I agree with much of what you said. People on this board (myself included) can get a little hyperbolic when the job market comes up.

I'm glad things have turned out well for you and that you have a secure job! You worked hard and you earned it! However, I work for a department that's threatening layoffs and there aren't too many places hiring where I live. It sucks, but that's my reality. If someone thinks that pharmacy school or residency is a golden ticket to a great job then I'm doing them a disservice if I don't set the record straight.

As I said before, I'd do pharmacy school again. I like my job, but sometimes I worry that I won't have my job for much longer. :(


I don't mind the realistic talk, but the exaggeration isn't helpful. And there's a ton of it.

I wouldn't say that my job is secure. The contract with the state we work under could get cancelled. The PBM could decide to go with nurses as providers (have seen this happen). Basically, anything can happen. But that doesn't mean it isn't worth trying.

I think I'm one of the least naive on this board. I already lost a job in another industry that took a downturn. I know what can happen. But that type of uncertainty has been a part of life in OTHER industries for a long time. It's new to pharmacy, and that's why it feels so unusual and terrible. Pharmacists are used to easy access to jobs and signing bonuses and not used to having to compete for scarce resources. I think that competition and uncertainty will continue to be with us as long as the economic downturn continues, and potentially beyond. We're just dealing with what members of other professions have lived with for decades.
 

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I also started my own business halfway through residency and have already earned [*redacted - but it's in the five figure range*] just in the first two quarters of the year.

Was it very diffcult starting your own business? Did your husband help you out with the start up cost? I am sure it's not cheap. Do you own your own builting/pharmacy?

You are doing PBM? My rotation now is in PBM. I love it. All I do is make write ups and powerpoint presentations everyday! lol...

My preceptor told me her job is very hard to land though...but I know that's not new info.
 
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Its amazing how little some people know - we all know who I'm talking about.

Talk to a real pharmacist, shadow pharmacists in different industries, and sensitize yourself to the new mentality that no job is stable - gone are the days of the baby boomer generation where you could work at the same company for 30 years and then retire with a pension. On average, Generation X'ers switch jobs every 5 years.
 
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