doglover201

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Hello. I am a high school senior and I got accepted to the St. John's 6 year Pharmacy program. I will be attending this fall 2010 and I was just thinking about all the pharmacy careers. My family really wants me to work in a hospital instead of retail pharmacist, but i was thinking pharmaceutical company. Which pharmacy career is the best? and can you work in a pharmaceutical company with just your pharmD degree or would you have to earn a phD?
 

type b pharmD

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Hello. I am a high school senior and I got accepted to the St. John's 6 year Pharmacy program. I will be attending this fall 2010 and I was just thinking about all the pharmacy careers. My family really wants me to work in a hospital instead of retail pharmacist, but i was thinking pharmaceutical company. Which pharmacy career is the best? and can you work in a pharmaceutical company with just your pharmD degree or would you have to earn a phD?
All pharmacy careers have their high points and low points. You have to choose one that you enjoy and that fits your lifestyle. Think about how many hours per week you want to work, how flexible you want your schedule to be, if you are willing to take call ins, weekends, etc, if you want to deal with the public or professionals, the level of drug information you will be supplying will be different. What kind of advancement do you want available? What career avenues do you see yourself going down far into the future? Pharmacy can be a stepping stone toward management in some corporations.

Yes you can work for a pharmaceutical company without a phd. You will not be doing drug research (as is commonly envisioned by pre-pharms) but work in other areas such as customer service, clinical trials, etc.

One thing to consider. Careers in traditional pharmacy settings such as hospital or retail are going to have more flexible hours, and better starting pay, but less opportunities for advancement, and more weekend, night work. Corporate or nontraditional careers will probably have lower starting salaries, more opportunities for advancement, and more "set" hours like 9-5 every day. But really it's all about doing what you love. The best advice i can give you as a newcomer is get some cool internships. BUST YOUR ASS to get some nontraditional internships, this will open major doors for you in your future, and internships are going to be highly valued in the tough job market that is ahead of us.

Try different things. Personally, I havent held a pharmacy job yet that felt like work - once you find what you love, things will start falling into place.

Congrats on your acceptance and beginning pharm school! Dont ever get bogged down - keep the end in sight - working will help you do this.
 

Monalyce

PharmD-to-be in 2013!
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A

Yes you can work for a pharmaceutical company without a phd. You will not be doing drug research (as is commonly envisioned by pre-pharms) but work in other areas such as customer service, clinical trials, etc.
That's not true...PharmD's can absolutely do research without a PhD, even for a pharmaceutical company. You will definitely need to have a research background, though.
 

type b pharmD

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That's not true...PharmD's can absolutely do research without a PhD, even for a pharmaceutical company. You will definitely need to have a research background, though.
Cool! I was not aware of this.

Generally I think it is a foolish idea to count on a pharmD to take you to these positions. Several family members work for pharma and their thoughts are basically, unless you have a phD from a "name" school and years of post doc from a "name" school, it is almost impossible to get a job in drug discovery.

Are you referring to other areas of research? Typically when people think of pharma, they think of bench work and organic chemistry, synthesis, design, and discovery research.
 

bacillus1

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Trust me, as you go farther along in your curriculum, your career interests will keep changing. I actually started out wanting to go into the industry for research as well when I was applying to 0-6 programs, then I wanted to do drug info. My current interest as a 4th year student in a 0-6 program is ambulatory care (I haven't worked in am care yet, but it seems like a mix between retail and hospital, something I think I'd enjoy). So try to learn about all kinds of pharmacy, try to get some nontraditional internships farther along in your curriculum (as typeB said) and open your mind about the different opportunities you could have as a pharmacist. This year I applied for about 10 jobs/internships, in several completely different areas of pharmacy, just because I want exposure to things I wouldn't normally be exposed to.

Also, I'm going to advise you to do what you want to do, not what your family wants you to do. I have met people that really do like retail, or switch to retail from hospital for personal reasons. As you go through school, just think about what YOU would like to do, and go for it.
 

Argentium

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Cool! I was not aware of this.

Generally I think it is a foolish idea to count on a pharmD to take you to these positions. Several family members work for pharma and their thoughts are basically, unless you have a phD from a "name" school and years of post doc from a "name" school, it is almost impossible to get a job in drug discovery.

Are you referring to other areas of research? Typically when people think of pharma, they think of bench work and organic chemistry, synthesis, design, and discovery research.
Its pretty difficult to get bench work research (ex. drug discovery) without a PhD. I know several PharmD's in industry that serve in other functions though - medical literature, clinical trials, business - sales, marketing, strategy, etc.
 

Monalyce

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Yes, basic science research is less common (although I know several PharmDs that oversee both basic science and clinical research).
While you likely will not be in "drug discovery" you can study:
drug stability/storage, PK, pharmacogenomics, new dosage forms, new drug applications, drug-drug interactions...the list goes on.
Yes, clearly if you want to work in "drug discovery" you should get a PhD. I just know (and have worked for) PharmDs that have had amazing research careers. I too hope to be involved in clinical research (actually...I already am) during my career. I have a BS, a strong research background, and now, work in research at a known research university alongside PharmDs, MDs, PhDs, DVMs, etc.
Having a clinical degree with research experience actually puts you in a good position to be involved in research!