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Pharmacy vs Dental

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by starsmich, Jul 26, 2006.

  1. starsmich

    starsmich New Member
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    I wasn't sure where exactly to post this question but..I just graduated and during my undergrad I was following the pre-pharm track however I recently decided that I might want to go into dentistry. This decision came about after talking to some pharmacists and a dentist. Also the pre-reqs overlap eachother so I don't have to take any additional classes. I guess I just wanted to get some feedback and see if anyone can give me some pros and cons of each field? Also what made you guys decide that dentistry was the right thing for you? As of now I'm leaning towards dental and starting to study for the DAT.
     
  2. djeffreyt

    djeffreyt Senior Member
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    Any pro can also be a con, depending upon the type of person you are.

    Dentists usually...

    1) own their own business and deal with a lot of small business management hassles that a pharmacist usually doesn't

    2) can prescribe medication

    3) usually require a lot of hand-eye coordination and manual dexterity

    4) look into people's mouths a lot more than a pharmacist

    5) have high turnover rates for employees, especially dental assistants.

    6) make between $100,000 and $175,000 a year (depending upon how much they work and how far along in their practice years they are).

    7) are usually rated on polls as less trusted by the public than a pharmacist.

    8) get to struggle with little kids who cry at the sight of them at times.

    9) deal with dental sales reps always calling and asking them to consider buying the latest, greatest thingy that does everything the old thingy did, except 2 seconds faster.

    10) have a lot of opportunities to give back and work in the community


    I don't know what pharmacy is like all that much, so I can't tell you anything about it, but like I said...all of the above can be pro or con. you may love the idea or hate the idea of running a business. You may love or hate kids. You might care or not care what a poll says about whether people trust your profession...to each his or her own.
     
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  3. PickMe

    PickMe Senior Member
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    i originally wanted to do pharmacy and got into a program right after high school but turned it down. i felt that i wanted more patient contact than a pharmacist has. also, think about your hours. pharmacists work extremely long days 12-14 hrs, but maybe only 3-4 days a wk. dentists work on avg 35-40 hrs a week in about 4 days of work. another thing that i didnt like about pharmacy is the idea of working at cvs or walmart for my entire life.
     
  4. bigsilvo

    bigsilvo Senior Member
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    I've been a pharmacy tech for the past 4 1/2 years and I was in the same boat deciding between pharmacy and dentistry. There were certain aspects of pharmacy that I noted through experience that definitely made me lean toward going to dental school. Again this may be a pro for you depending on what you're looking for in a career.

    1. Pharmacists for the most part are employees and not their own boss. We had a pharmacist who worked at our hospital for 18 years that was recently fired for a mistake he made. (wasn't life threatening to the patient at all.)

    2. AS far as hands on pharmacy work (dilutions, I.V. compounding, chemotherapy compunding, pulling narcotics (CI, CII, CIII) this is all done by the technicians now and all the pharmacist does is check if its correct.

    3. The main instruments they get to handle throughout the day is a computer and a calculator, both of which don't excite me very much.

    4. I've had pharmacists tell me that they feel 4 years was a waste of time and money to go to school for what they do in their job setting.

    5. With the advent of technology (electronic Medication Administration systems, pharmacy robots, Computerized Physician Order Entry, Pyxis) the hands on work experience with pharmacists is very limited.

    6. Literally, and I mean literally the pharmacists I work with come in in the morning, grab a cup of coffee, sit in front of the computer and start entering doctors orders into the computer and verifying them. They do this at my hospital for 10-12 hours 4, 5, 6 days a week.

    7. Another thing that chaps my ass is technicians. Some of the technicians at my workplace have been working there for so long 15+ years, and they literally act like the new pharmacists are below them. They show no respect for a "Dr." who busted his/her ass for 4 years, they bark orders at them, and act like they know everything about the world of pharmacy.

    8. Now its not all bad though. If you want to make $80,000+/yr and not work very hard its a great job. If you don't like a lot of change in your day to day work setting its a great job.

    Now this is a clinical hospital pharmacy setting. I have no idea how retail works. All I know is that every pharmacist I work with HATES retail. In the hospital they rotate between who gets to go to the floors and calculate TPNs, antibiotic levels, and they even get to go on "code blue" emergencies. Overall though I came to the conclusion that there is absolutely not enough variety, no real chance to move up and make more money, and just a little boring. Again this is just my opinion.
     
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  5. DMD to Be

    DMD to Be not luffin' this weather.
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    My shadowing experience. Go to your dentist and tell him/her that you're considering dentistry and ask if you can hang around the office every other day or so. I shadowed for almost 6 months, and learned a lot...
     
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  6. Dentorama

    Dentorama Junior Member
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    My best friend is a pharmacist and he graduated with his Pharm-D after 6 years of school (undergraduate and graduate) with no debt. Makes 100k a year. Yeah, it's a little boring in retail, but most clinical pharmacists I know seem to enjoy their job. You can get a job ANYWHERE, no matter where you live, and you will always have a job. It is the highest paying job for the least amount of schooling you can get. Great job for a working mother too. Of course, so is Dentistry these days.
     
  7. drhobie7

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    Focus on what type of work you want to do on a day to day basis. This is the most important factor. Pharmacy and dentistry are incredibly dissimilar. So much so that I'm surprised you're trying to decide between the two. Do dentistry because you enjoy the work, not because you want to make money and work 35 hrs a week.
     

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