Dismiss Notice
Check out the new Application Assistant, where you can calculate your LizzyM score, see how you rank compared to other applicants, and see a list of schools where similar students were accepted.

Pharmacy Student interested in DO school

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical Osteopathic [ DO ]' started by Digsbe, 01.14.14.

  1. SDN is made possible through member donations, sponsorships, and our volunteers. Learn about SDN's nonprofit mission.
  1. Digsbe

    Digsbe 5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    08.06.11
    Messages:
    1,004
    Status:
    Pharmacist
    Hi there, I'm a P2 pharmacy student and I've taken an interest in osteopathic medicine and I am strongly considering applying to DO school after I graduate in 2 years with my Pharm.D. I would like to look for some advice as far as making this kind of a change and some feedback.

    At this point I am strongly considering applying, I have not taken the MCAT yet but plan to if anything to see how I would place.

    Personally, I love patient centered care. I'm blessed to be in a curriculum in pharmacy school that focuses heavily on patient centered care, meeting specific patient needs and being aware of those needs and other general public health issues. I really want to take a more patient-centered model and apply it in practice as a physician. I have nothing against MDs or allopathic medical school, but I feel that if I go to medical school that DO is probably a better fit for me. I am interested in OMM and learning more about it. Given my background in pharmacy I am comfortable in my knowledge of pharmaceutical treatment and would like to learn more about physical techniques and non-pharmacological treatment for certain ailments while also making full use of pharmaceutical agents when it comes to treatment. I have a few areas of interest ranging from general primary care, internal medicine and up to a specialty in oncology.

    I started pharmacy school with the full intent of graduating and becoming a pharmacist. I have a personal love for molecular biology, pharmacology and healthcare and knew that pharmacy was my fit. However, as I've progressed through the curriculum I find myself wanting to do more treatment, have more patient interactions and manage a patient's disease state as a physician and get into diagnostics and go beyond what a pharmacist can in terms of scopes of practice and available jobs. I feel that a career in pharmacy won't fulfill my desire to treat patients and my dream and career goals are changing as I get more exposure to therapeutics and the medical content we are receiving in school. I love learning about various disease states in detail, learning about the drug therapy used and how to be the drug expert and make recommendations and aid in managing pharmacologic treatment while also not allowing for dangerous treatments. I've worked in community pharmacy and felt that isn't for me, and as far as clinical pharmacy goes I want more patient interaction and to be putting my knowledge to full use in practice as well as getting into diagnostics. This is why I am strongly considering medical school and becoming a physician after I graduate pharmacy school. I know that it is a massive sacrifice of time (4 more years on top of 3+ years of residency) and also a financial sacrifice by having to possibly take out loans and put off years of labor where I could have worked full time as a pharmacist making six digits. However, I want to get the most out of my career, and given my interests and desire I am strongly considering medicine and strongly considering applying to DO schools after I graduate with my PharmD. I do not plan on dropping out of my program. In my timescale I will be graduating in 2016 from pharmacy school and would like to apply to medical school during the 2015-2016 cycle so I can enter shortly after completing pharmacy.

    A few questions I have are probably fairly obvious. Would a background in pharmacy or a PharmD degree be something that would hurt me from being accepted into a DO school? Would it be a benefit?

    When should I take the MCAT? I am considering registering for one this May but I know the MCAT is being revamped for 2015, would it be better to delay it and take it then or just take one soon and then take another in 2015 if I do not like my score?

    My background is that I graduated with my B.S. in molecular biology. My undergrad GPA was a 3.11 (low for DO and Pharmacy, I know). Right now my GPA in my PharmD program is 3.12. During undergrad I worked and also had a death in the family one semester. I've never failed anything in undergrad but didn't pull off a ton of A's. I have worked in community pharmacy for 2+ years and have 1 year of research experience with a publication. I have also professionally presented my research at conferences and meetings and have won awards in presenting. So far I have hundreds of patient contact hours and experiences through being in pharmacy school and having rotations. I'm also certified to immunize and can do so under pharmacist supervision and have volunteered to work on several flu-shot clinics and patient health outreach projects. When I graduate in 2016 I'll have had 2,000+ hours of clinical and patient exposure with the last year of pharmacy school being full time rotations in various areas like internal med, cardiology, ambulatory care, etc. giving me a diverse exposure. Do I even have a chance if I chose to apply? Thanks everyone for your time and for advice/recommendations :)
     
  2. SDN Members don't see this ad. About the ads.
  3. VisceralFlame

    VisceralFlame Medical Student (MS4) 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    01.13.13
    Messages:
    445
    Location:
    Chicago
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Hello there. I'm a first year Osteopathic student in Chicago. I had a slightly similar experience to yours except that I switched to medicine before I applied to any pharmacy programs. I've been working as the senior pharmacy technician for almost 10 years now. I find this to be extremely interesting and I think you would would be very successful if you pursued this route. Not only would you have a great understanding of the pharmaceutical aspect of the medical program, but I think that this would make you a very unique applicant. I can't imagine that your pharmacy degree would hurt you in the application process in any way. I feel that it would be seen as very beneficial to the committee members. One of the big differences with the new MCAT is the removal of the essay portion (which likely doesn't hold much weight anyway). It probably wouldn't make much of a difference for you if you took it this year or next content-wise, however, taking it this year would place you in a better position to retake it if need be
     
    Digsbe and WalSlave like this.
  4. Isha2018

    Isha2018

    Joined:
    09.26.13
    Messages:
    329
    Status:
    Medical Student
    I don't believe a PharmD would be a detriment at all! My personal family practice physician is a DO who first became a pharmacist. You would be just fine because you aren't a 22 y.o. with no real life or work experiences. You don't fit the mold, and that's a good thing. I am a registered nurse, and I'm going to DO school this fall.

    I would take the MCAT before it changes in 2015. Why burden yourself with an even longer 2015 test with extra subjects?
     
    Digsbe likes this.
  5. DoctorKrieger

    DoctorKrieger Exit Van Left 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    05.28.13
    Messages:
    633
    With your background and reasons you give for wanting to switch to medicine, just take the MCAT when it would be convenient for you, regardless of format change. I'm guessing that with an even halfway decent score you'd get a lot of love from DO schools.

    Having a PharmD would only benefit you in the application process. I can't imagine the adcoms would look at pharm school gpa the same as undergrad. With good letters of recommendation and a 25+ MCAT, you'd be sure to get in somewhere.

    Make sure you really want to do it. That's a ton of school and debt.
     
    Digsbe likes this.
  6. Digsbe

    Digsbe 5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    08.06.11
    Messages:
    1,004
    Status:
    Pharmacist
    I really appreciate the encouragement and information being shared! Do you think having a PharmD and making better grades in pharmacy school would offset having a lower undergrad GPA? My GPA was low for pharmacy school (average admission at my school was around 3.4) but not unacceptably low. I think I was able to get in due to my research, work and higher PCAT score and applying as early in the cycle as possible (rolling admissions). I know that graduate level coursework doesn't replace an undergrad grade, but courses like biochem and immunology where I've made C's in undergrad I have made B's or higher in pharmacy school with these courses being much more difficult and having much more content in them.

    In pharmacy I was planning on doing a 2 year residency and possibly specializing in oncology or being a general clinical pharmacist. However, now I'm strongly considering going to med school to be a physician and I feel that clinical pharmacy may not be my best fit. Not to say that it isn't a great career, but I feel it may not be for me especially now that I've fallen in love with therapeutics and diagnostics and of course drug therapies and planning out the best therapy for a patient. In my opinion, life is too short to do something sub-par with a career when you could achieve what is in your heart and what you know would be fulfilling. Loans would be an issue, but if I graduate pharmacy school and work during breaks as a pharmacist and a little through med school I'm sure I could put a nice dent in tuition/living expenses (probably around 40-60k per year doing more work during breaks and part time and a shift or two during school weeks) so I wouldn't have to take out a large amount of loans.

    Luckily in my undergrad I've taken all the courses required for the vast majority of medical schools so the only missing piece would be the MCAT which I may register for to take in May of this year after finals are over. I plan on applying broadly to pretty much any school where I meet requirements but have looked into LECOM, PCOM, CUSOM, LMU-DCOM.
     
  7. DoctorKrieger

    DoctorKrieger Exit Van Left 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    05.28.13
    Messages:
    633
    " Do you think having a PharmD and making better grades in pharmacy school would offset having a lower undergrad GPA?"




    In your situation, I'm not sure that adcoms would really pay too much attention to your undergrad gpa. I can't remember how AACOMAS would calculate that (all combined or separate undergrad and pharm school), but even with a 3.11 undergrad, you'd have a chance at--some--DO schools (assuming decent MCAT). Adcoms will realize that pharm school is a tad more difficult than undergrad...I think you're okay gpa-wise. Of course get the best possible grades for the remainder of your PharmD program. I'd think it would be more beneficial to concentrate on a good MCAT score than gpa at this point.

    As for the working during school issue...go to the med student forums and ask what they think about that. They can give much better advice than the pre-meds.
     

About the ads

Share This Page