PharmEm

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Hi,
I'm sure this topic has been tossed around here already but I couldn't find anything on it (honestly, I got tired of looking for it after a couple of searches :p ).
My quesiton to you is, I'm sure that most of you guys were deciding on either pharmacy school or med school during your undergrad years. What made you go with pharmacy instead of med school? Just lay it out in a pros/cons format. Thanks everyone.

P.S. The reason I ask is b/c, although I'm heavily sticking with pharmacy school, the thought of med school is still in the back of my mind and you know, I don't want to do something I regret later on.
 

ultracet

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there really are several and most of them are multiple pages and the someone even posted a follow up on why they made their decision which was several pages.....

don't expect much out of them though....
its not really a good topic
 

skp

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PharmEm said:
I'm sure that most of you guys were deciding on either pharmacy school or med school during your undergrad years.
I never seriously entertained the idea of going to med school.
I guess what it comes down to is your interests. What do you like to do, etc.
A PharmD and a MD/DO are very different degrees leading to very different professions.

-skp
 

cure4cancer

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skp said:
A PharmD and a MD/DO are very different degrees leading to very different professions.
IMO these two degree's don't lead to extremely different professions.. both in healthcare, both deal with patients, both have potential of making loads of money. These two types of people work together to come up with one final result, and thats the important thing..

[ (doctor diagnoses) + (pharm helps decides on best medication)---> patient gets better ]

The two professions equal out kindof.. The MD/DO will have the prestige of being a 'true doctor' while the pharmD fights for respect (don't mean to say it happens all the time, but generally...)

The MD/DO will have a tonne of law suits trailing behind them
PharmD will have none ( related to work that is. )

Medicine is for people who really want to dedicate their lives to helping people out.. the pre-meds will eventually realize that they need 4 yrs undergrad, + 4 years med school + another 2-6 years residency (totalling approx 12 years after highschool ) Until they can finally come out with a decent job. That means at least 1/4 of your entire life just studying to prepare for your future job.. and the remainder of your life taking those dreaded calls at 2am to see a patient.. If you can handle that then go for it.

Being a pharm. provides a nice relaxable lifestyle, unless your on-call you won't need to worry about calls in the middle of the night telling you to get to work in 10 minutes..

To answer your question, I actually want to go to med school.
Here in Canada alot of people manage to finish their pharmacy degrees and go straight into med school by the age of 23, due to the fact that we accept people right out of their first year program and directly into pharmacy (ofcourse the student would need a decent PCAT score and pre-req GPA also).. this explains the reason why I'm just floating around this pharmacy forum, because I want to use Pharmacy as my backup, incase medschool doesn't work out.

Unfortunately for the Americans, you need to complete a full bachelors now ( ? ) before entering into the pharmD program.. so thats already around 7-9 years of schooling for you guys :laugh: ... so going from Pharm to Med may not be such a viable option for you guys down south
 

skp

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cure4cancer said:
IMO these two degree's don't lead to extremely different professions.. both in healthcare, both deal with patients, both have potential of making loads of money. These two types of people work together to come up with one final result, and thats the important thing..

[ (doctor diagnoses) + (pharm helps decides on best medication)---> patient gets better ]
I agree with the similarities you mentioned, but I also see big differences in the type of work each profession does. In my opinion, doctors and pharmacists have many more differences than similarities. Don't use pharmacy as a backup - if you want to be a doctor, you may not (I would venture, mostly likely wouldn't...) like being a pharmacist.
 

joybeth503

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bananaface said:
Pharmacists can and are sued, although it is rarer than in medicine.

Also, only about 20% of those entering Pharm.D, programs have their bachelor's degree.
Just wondering...Where did you find the 20% statistic?? I thought the number was higher than that now
 

OSURxgirl

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At my school, 70% of our first year class have Bachelor's degrees. That 20% number seems incredibly low.
 

JAMMAN

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cure4cancer said:
IMO these two degree's don't lead to extremely different professions.. both in healthcare, both deal with patients, both have potential of making loads of money. These two types of people work together to come up with one final result, and thats the important thing..

[ (doctor diagnoses) + (pharm helps decides on best medication)---> patient gets better ]
The doctor diagnoses the patient and decides which medicine to prescribe. The pharmacist ensures accuracy, educates the patient on the drug and dispenses the drug.

cure4cancer said:
The two professions equal out kindof.. The MD/DO will have the prestige of being a 'true doctor' while the pharmD fights for respect (don't mean to say it happens all the time, but generally...)
Both are doctorate degrees. Physicians do tend to get more respect and admiration. But, there is nothing wrong with being a pharmacist. It is an excellent career. It is VERY different than being a doctor.

cure4cancer said:
The MD/DO will have a tonne of law suits trailing behind them
PharmD will have none ( related to work that is. )
Most of the physicians I know have never been sued. Others have only bee sued once or twice in their careers.

cure4cancer said:
Medicine is for people who really want to dedicate their lives to helping people out.. the pre-meds will eventually realize that they need 4 yrs undergrad, + 4 years med school + another 2-6 years residency (totalling approx 12 years after highschool ) Until they can finally come out with a decent job. That means at least 1/4 of your entire life just studying to prepare for your future job.. and the remainder of your life taking those dreaded calls at 2am to see a patient.. If you can handle that then go for it.
My education stats:
4 undergrad + 4 med school + 5 residency + 2 Fellowship = 15 years

Resident salary is "decent". A surgery resident works very hard. I recall some of my days as a resident were utter misery. However, those days are over and now life is great.



cure4cancer said:
Being a pharm. provides a nice relaxable lifestyle, unless your on-call you won't need to worry about calls in the middle of the night telling you to get to work in 10 minutes..
True. Being on call is not for everyone. Most people do like to sleep through the night. Pharmacy does have less stress, but for me, it would be boring. Find what you want to do and go for it!
 

ultracet

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JAMMAN said:
Most of the physicians I know have never been sued. Others have only bee sued once or twice in their careers.

Boy do you and i have different experiences on this one.... perhaps it depends on the speciality...
 

caliMDkid

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I would say, that if you are even considering, if you should do Pharm vs Med, medical school is probably not for you.

in response to some, it is a long time to becoming an MD. But, I would not think of it as "spending a third of your life" preparing. What is life about? Should we all be in a hurry to just get out and work???

I know medical school is a long time, but it is a life experience, you have to spend the ages of 22-32 doing something, so why not spend it educating yourself?

Do pharmacists really select the best medication? I am curious, I do not mean to poke fun, but I am really curious, what does go on, after a persciption is written and the patient leaves my office with it?

Also, not all physicians spend the rest of their lives on call at 2am. This is usually specific to ones specialty choice, and you would know ahead of time if this is the case.

:cool:
 

PHARMDhope2b

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i believe cure4cancer was just saying that in some specialties, the pharmacist's opinion on drug dosaging, management, is asked upon by physicians for instance inthe critical care setting.

However, most of us know that if the doc writes the prescription, most likely the pharmacist isnt going to "decide on the correct medicine" The doctor should have done that already. However, there are drug interaction problems that arise if the doc doesnt know about all the meds that a person is taking. Then the pharmacist might call the doc and iron things out. Otherwise, I see the two working together to get the patient feeling better.

Lets not turn this into another md vs. pharmd thread. Too many of those as is!!!!!!!!!!!!!

peace
 

ultracet

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caliMDkid said:
I would say, that if you are even considering, if you should do Pharm vs Med, medical school is probably not for you.

in response to some, it is a long time to becoming an MD. But, I would not think of it as "spending a third of your life" preparing. What is life about? Should we all be in a hurry to just get out and work???

I know medical school is a long time, but it is a life experience, you have to spend the ages of 22-32 doing something, so why not spend it educating yourself?
one of the main reasons med school would not be for me is simply the fact that i have other priorities than becoming a physician...for instance.. a family

i personally do not think it is in my best interest to wait until 32-35 to start having a family and lets face it... it would be difficult to do as an intern or a resident.

the lifestyle is just not for me

as far as selecting the best medication for a patient... yes it is done every day.. in case you have forgotten those pills your write for interact with other pills that are sitting on my shelf for anyone to purchase... all are medications and each and every one can be very dangerous if used incorrectly.

A lot of people at least think about med school when thinking about pharmacy school. Just because they consider both paths does not mean that they should just forget about med school. in fact i think it would be wise for everyone to consider more than one option for a career before committing to it for the rest of their life.

my thoughts of med school were very brief and a very long time ago (in high school). one of the main reasons my thought of it were so brief, i was told that it would be a poor choice for me if i chose the path of a physician.
 

WVURxGal

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I considered med school for quite some time... though I've never had any interest in being a physician. I actually wanted to go into forensic pathology and do autopsies, AKA I wanted to be Scully from the X-Files. Damn I love that show. Anyways. I got to college, realized that the forensics program (what I was going to get my BS in) was kind of not my thing (um... I want to say it was 'too easy', but that sounds bad...) and I wasn't interested in learning the types of things that med students learn just to do autopsies.

So, I did some soul searching and remembered that I've always liked Pharmacy. Then as fate would have it, I met an adorable Pharmacy student and read his notes and thought "hmm, sounds like fun!" Thankfully the pre-forensics and pre-pharmacy curriculum were similar, so changing pre-majors had no effect on me.