Pharmacy school with chemistry, but little pharmacy experience?

May 4, 2020
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Hi all,

So I have about two more years until I really need to start applying to graduate programs and I'm starting to think pharmacy may be a better route for me than PA or MD, just judging from my current career and my setting preferences. A little background, I'm 24 and currently work as an analytical chemist (HPLC/GC/ICP and wet chemistry) on mainly OTC personal care products. No pills or medications, but some "pharmaceuticals". And I really don't mind it, but I want to work in healthcare because I really feel like my current job gives me zero purpose.

The only thing I'm confused about is if I need gain prior pharmacy experience to get in? I could get a job as a pharmacy technician, but their wage is so low, I could never pay my bills/rent, let alone continue to put myself through school on it. Moving home isn't an option for me unfortunately. My chemist job pays well though, and I think it is somewhat related. Would I stand a chance if all I have is unrelated volunteer hours and a somewhat related chemistry job?

This is all hypothetical at this point, just looking for some guidance.
 

BC_89

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Hi all,

So I have about two more years until I really need to start applying to graduate programs and I'm starting to think pharmacy may be a better route for me than PA or MD, just judging from my current career and my setting preferences. A little background, I'm 24 and currently work as an analytical chemist (HPLC/GC/ICP and wet chemistry) on mainly OTC personal care products. No pills or medications, but some "pharmaceuticals". And I really don't mind it, but I want to work in healthcare because I really feel like my current job gives me zero purpose.

The only thing I'm confused about is if I need gain prior pharmacy experience to get in? I could get a job as a pharmacy technician, but their wage is so low, I could never pay my bills/rent, let alone continue to put myself through school on it. Moving home isn't an option for me unfortunately. My chemist job pays well though, and I think it is somewhat related. Would I stand a chance if all I have is unrelated volunteer hours and a somewhat related chemistry job?

This is all hypothetical at this point, just looking for some guidance.

Many students that enter pharmacy school have never stepped foot in a pharmacy. Also, many students who enter pharmacy school do not hold a bachelors. As of now, schools are also starting to drop the required PCAT exam as part of the pre-entry requirement.

Some students do a 0-6 program straight out of high school. 2 years of pre-reqs and 4 years of pharmacy school. Assuming you have all the pre-reqs which would reflect as also having a bachelors (based on your current job) as well as volunteer hours and work as an analytical chemist then yes, you have a high chance of getting multiple interviews.

For small guidance, I suggest visiting the following links:


 
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deleted562805

Hi all,

So I have about two more years until I really need to start applying to graduate programs and I'm starting to think pharmacy may be a better route for me than PA or MD, just judging from my current career and my setting preferences. A little background, I'm 24 and currently work as an analytical chemist (HPLC/GC/ICP and wet chemistry) on mainly OTC personal care products. No pills or medications, but some "pharmaceuticals". And I really don't mind it, but I want to work in healthcare because I really feel like my current job gives me zero purpose.

The only thing I'm confused about is if I need gain prior pharmacy experience to get in? I could get a job as a pharmacy technician, but their wage is so low, I could never pay my bills/rent, let alone continue to put myself through school on it. Moving home isn't an option for me unfortunately. My chemist job pays well though, and I think it is somewhat related. Would I stand a chance if all I have is unrelated volunteer hours and a somewhat related chemistry job?

This is all hypothetical at this point, just looking for some guidance.
I am curious what made you come to the conclusion that pharmacy is a better route than medicine or PA. I hope you are watching the news on COVID-19. Due to COVID-19, medicine and PA are in demand. Physicians were in shortage pre-COVID and also in post-COVID. BLS growth for pharmacy is 0%. I would do a MS in pharmacology and work for Big Pharma because your experience is related to what you would be doing in Big pharma
 
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zNoodlez

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Hi all,

So I have about two more years until I really need to start applying to graduate programs and I'm starting to think pharmacy may be a better route for me than PA or MD, just judging from my current career and my setting preferences. A little background, I'm 24 and currently work as an analytical chemist (HPLC/GC/ICP and wet chemistry) on mainly OTC personal care products. No pills or medications, but some "pharmaceuticals". And I really don't mind it, but I want to work in healthcare because I really feel like my current job gives me zero purpose.

The only thing I'm confused about is if I need gain prior pharmacy experience to get in? I could get a job as a pharmacy technician, but their wage is so low, I could never pay my bills/rent, let alone continue to put myself through school on it. Moving home isn't an option for me unfortunately. My chemist job pays well though, and I think it is somewhat related. Would I stand a chance if all I have is unrelated volunteer hours and a somewhat related chemistry job?

This is all hypothetical at this point, just looking for some guidance.
What you will need is experience in retail pharmacy where you will be dealing with customers in a fast-paced work environment on a daily basis.
 

Timbo

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You don't need pharmacy experience to get in pharmacy school. Some schools encourage it but it's not needed. You already have a lot of experience in chemistry which is very beneficial because pharmacists make so many chemicals and drugs. A pharmacist career will be so rewarding for you because you get to help people everyday by teaching them how to take their medications. Every day you will work with physicians and nurses. You will get so many phone calls from physicians because you are the medication expert on the healthcare team while MDs/DOs don't know anything about medications because that is not taught in medical school.

I see you are concerned about low wages. You will not have to worry about that as a pharmacist because your starting salary will be about $120k a year (wow!). This will likely increase in the future because demand for pharmacist will keep going up thanks to growing older population.

PS here are pictures of pharmacists making use of their vast knowledge of chemistry for studying and making medications and save patient lives (maybe they are developing a cure of COVID even???)
pharmacist microscope.JPG pharmacist pipette.JPG
 
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mentos

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Nov 22, 2009
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You don't need pharmacy experience to get in pharmacy school. Some schools encourage it but it's not needed. You already have a lot of experience in chemistry which is very beneficial because pharmacists make so many chemicals and drugs. A pharmacist career will be so rewarding for you because you get to help people everyday by teaching them how to take their medications. Every day you will work with physicians and nurses. You will get so many phone calls from physicians because you are the medication expert on the healthcare team while MDs/DOs don't know anything about medications because that is not taught in medical school.

I see you are concerned about low wages. You will not have to worry about that as a pharmacist because your starting salary will be about $120k a year (wow!). This will likely increase in the future because demand for pharmacist will keep going up thanks to growing older population.

PS here are pictures of pharmacists making use of their vast knowledge of chemistry for studying and making medications and save patient lives (maybe they are developing a cure of COVID even???)
View attachment 307274 View attachment 307275

Wow, those pharmacists look so happy! I wonder what they're looking at through the microscope? Looks so fun!
 
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Xenophylia

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Wow, those pharmacists look so happy! I wonder what they're looking at through the microscope? Looks so fun!
Sorry....pharmacy and fun should NEVER be in the same discussion lest someone get the wrong idea. Pharmacy is whatever the OPPOSITE of fun is....
 
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