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jstar809

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Hey guys,

I'm currently on the waitlist for 2 pharmacy schools in the top 10. I'm sort of assuming as of right now that I won't make the cut and will have to reapply. My question for you guys is, what ways can I improve for next year? Its better for me to assume now then to wait till August and I struggle to improve my application.

A bit about me and when I applied:

* My GPA is in the low spectrum, but PCAT is 90. Graduated with a Chemistry degree Dec2012 and currently work as a Chemist for a well known company (2.5 years). I applied late in the cycle...March is when all docs were submitted. I've only worked in a pharmacy for 4-6 months, which I think may be a weakness. For my letters of recommendation I had: 1) manager at my current job, 2) advisor/professor from University, 3) CEO of a non-profit company to speak on my leadership exp at his company, 4) a professor who has a pharmD & MD and works for the pharmacy dept for one of the schools I applied to. I also try and keep my volunteer experience updated, by volunteering in work community outreach events.

What I'm thinking:

1)My thinking was to get certified as a technician and try and find an evening/weekend pharmtech shift. If I get to know the pharmacists I could replace one of my recommendations with theirs. I don't want to quit my job because of $$$, but maybe even shadowing a pharmacist might be the other route to take
2) Apply as early as possible. -------latest November
3) Talk to pharm schools for any shadowing opps.
4) Find a position in the healthcare division in my company.
 

Z-Qualizer

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Just to clarify:

- you applied late?
- with a low-ish GPA?
- only applied to (2) schools?
- and both schools are "top 10" programs (whatever that's worth)?

What was your reasoning behind this strategy?

Everything except the low GPA is easily fixable for the next application cycle. Good luck!
 

jstar809

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Just to clarify:

- you applied late?
- with a low-ish GPA?
- only applied to (2) schools?
- and both schools are "top 10" programs (whatever that's worth)?

What was your reasoning behind this strategy?

Everything except the low GPA is easily fixable for the next application cycle. Good luck!

No strategy at all...my main goal was taking the PCAT because I put if off once I finished school and began my "bigboy job"; making my time to study very difficult. I truly only want to go to these two schools and plan on applying to them again next year. I applied late because I was very busy after my PCAT (July 14th) and was traveling a lot, however I think these are more of excuses because I truly believe I could have dedicated my time better to my application, personal statement, and supplemental essay to complete them by latest November.

The reason why I said "pharmacy top 10" is because I feel as though students who are accepted are less likely to drop from the program in these schools.
 

TheBlaah

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Only applying to two schools, at least for the next cycle, would be a bad idea imo. Sure, they're supposedly good and all, but you should have a few backup schools. At the end of the day, unless you graduated from a notoriously bad school, it doesn't really matter where you graduated from.
 

jstar809

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Only applying to two schools, at least for the next cycle, would be a bad idea imo. Sure, they're supposedly good and all, but you should have a few backup schools. At the end of the day, unless you graduated from a notoriously bad school, it doesn't really matter where you graduated from.

100% agree with the statement about applying to only two schools. However, they offer the best in financial stability, mission statement and research, and the specific community locations where I would like to learn from. I'm interested in 4 other schools and most likely if I have to reapply, I can see myself applying to 4-5 schools in total .
 

Z-Qualizer

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100% agree with the statement about applying to only two schools. However, they offer the best in financial stability, mission statement and research, and the specific community locations where I would like to learn from. I'm interested in 4 other schools and most likely if I have to reapply, I can see myself applying to 4-5 schools in total .

- Cost/finances are definitely important factors to consider.
- If you are really interested in research, why not pursue an MS/PhD in the pharmaceutical sciences? Personally, I don't see much benefit to research in a PharmD program (it's not med school).
- Mission statement? LOL. Sounds like BS/fluff to me.

4-5 schools is a good number. Much better than 2. Good luck!!
 
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jstar809

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- Cost/finances are definitely important factors to consider.
- If you are really interested in research, why not pursue an MS/PhD in the pharmaceutical sciences? Personally, I don't see much benefit to research in a PharmD program (it's not med school).
- Mission statement? LOL. Sounds like BS/fluff to me.

4-5 schools is a good number. Much better than 2. Good luck!!

- I'm interested in the research and science behind pharmacy, however I still want to work with patients and have direct contact with them in order to influence my research on impacting their lives (whether its working in a clinical setting, PBM, Academics, or etc). I think working with pharmacy researchers and understanding pharmacokinetics and metrics that go behind synthesizing drugs would be extremely beneficial. I guess I don't know why you think research wouldn't be beneficial in a PharmD program......and the reference to Med School?? or are you saying in regards to increase my chances to get into the pharmD program?

-If I don't believe my $$$ is going to a good education then why waste my time....mission statements and how a program is taught do matter. If you think that's something people shouldn't look at then I guess man...

- Thank you for advice.
 

Z-Qualizer

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Sounds like you have it all figured out...

After you finally get accepted to, and graduate from, your "top 10" program (with an amazing mission statement)... and finish conducting your extensive, groundbreaking research... I'm sure your customers at CVS/Walgreens will be super impressed!

I wish you the best...
 
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Dalteparin

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- I'm interested in the research and science behind pharmacy, however I still want to work with patients and have direct contact with them in order to influence my research on impacting their lives (whether its working in a clinical setting, PBM, Academics, or etc). I think working with pharmacy researchers and understanding pharmacokinetics and metrics that go behind synthesizing drugs would be extremely beneficial. I guess I don't know why you think research wouldn't be beneficial in a PharmD program......and the reference to Med School??

What do you see yourself doing in your career? If your major interest is drug synthesis, pharmacists don't have anything to do with that. PharmDs often have roles in clinical trials of new drugs, but not drug discovery or development. If clinical trials interest you, then a PharmD would help, but if you'd like to be synthesizing new drugs, a combined PharmD/PhD program might be a better fit. (Side note: PBMs generally don't have patient contact.)
 
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jstar809

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Sounds like you have it all figured out...

After you finally get accepted to, and graduate from, your "top 10" program (with an amazing mission statement)... and finish conducting your extensive, groundbreaking research... I'm sure your customers at CVS/Walgreens will be super impressed!

I wish you the best...

Yes, because that's what Pharmacy is all about....I really don't have time for trolls.
 
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CMUchicka

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Yes, because that's what Pharmacy is all about....I really don't have time for trolls.
lol.. Customers at CVS/Wags rarely cares what school you went to and what research you have done! They only care about their med and how fast you can dispense them..
 
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jstar809

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What do you see yourself doing in your career? If your major interest is drug synthesis, pharmacists don't have anything to do with that. PharmDs often have roles in clinical trials of new drugs, but not drug discovery or development. If clinical trials interest you, then a PharmD would help, but if you'd like to be synthesizing new drugs, a combined PharmD/PhD program might be a better fit. (Side note: PBMs generally don't have patient contact.)

I'm not concrete on where I see myself, however I see myself starting in a clinical setting learning, growing, and assisting patients with in therapy management together with other health care providers. Following that I want to use that knowledge to either teach/research in an academic as well as still be involved in a clinical setting or go work for a PBM to indirectly impact patient care. I can probably explain in more detail if what I'm saying doesn't give you a good sense of what I want out of Pharmacy.
 

jstar809

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lol.. Customers at CVS/Wags rarely cares what school you went to and what research you have done! They only care about their med and how fast you can dispense them..

....when did I make a statement about CVS or their customers!??!
 
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Dalteparin

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I'm not concrete on where I see myself, however I see myself starting in a clinical setting learning, growing, and assisting patients with in therapy management together with other health care providers. Following that I want to use that knowledge to either teach/research in an academic as well as still be involved in a clinical setting or go work for a PBM to indirectly impact patient care. I can probably explain in more detail if what I'm saying doesn't give you a good sense of what I want out of Pharmacy.

Honestly, what you've said is pretty vague, which is OK at this stage of your career. Are you interested in research at all? What type (clinical vs bench)? Do you see yourself in a hospital setting or am care? Are you willing to do a residency or fellowship after you graduate? Research will require at least one year of fellowship (I'm not in research so I really don't know how long fellowships are) and clinical jobs of the sort you want will likely require two years of residency.
 

CMUchicka

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....when did I make a statement about CVS or their customers!??!

While looking at current market, most new grads end up in retail, most like you will one of them. Unless you or your parents have some top notch contacts in clinical pharmacy world, retail is only place as of right now. And just like how dalteparin said clinical jobs requires 2 years of residency; that number might change in upcoming years as everyone wants hospital jobs.
 
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PharmtoCS

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While looking at current market, most new grads end up in retail, most like you will one of them. Unless you or your parents have some top notch contacts in clinical pharmacy world, retail is only place as of right now. And just like how dalteparin said clinical jobs requires 2 years of residency; that number might change in upcoming years as everyone wants hospital jobs.

This is spot on. About 65-70% of the jobs are in retail, followed by 20-25% in hospital dispensing. The clinical/research/industry positions that are discussed on these forums make up probably less than 5% of all positions that demand a PharmD and/or license. These typically require residencies and/or fellowships, which are extremely competitive to land.
 
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PCATBOMBER

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I know this is a old tread. I only applied to one school and got in. Yes. Just one school UMN. The chances are slim but if you want it bad and you spend time to perfect your application. You will get in. However it is prettt stupid though but doable. Just nail everything.
 
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