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PhD in Pharmacuetical Sciences vs. PharmD

Discussion in 'Pre-Pharmacy' started by MrMitra, Mar 2, 2007.

  1. MrMitra


    Mar 2, 2007
    I am looking at a career in pharmacuetical research and drug development. I've seen PharmD's doing drug development and it seems like a PharmD is more versatile. However would a PhD be better suited doing R & D for a pharmaceutical company?
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  3. patmcd

    patmcd Senior Member Pharmacist 7+ Year Member

    Jan 24, 2006
    Southern US
    phd for bench research
  4. Leb

    Leb 2+ Year Member

    Feb 27, 2007
    This is a very interesting topic, and i hope i can find the aswer as well. I also was wondering about another thing.
    What's the point of doing a PharmD/PhD instead of a PhD in pharmaceutical Sciences? dont you end up doing the same thing? or are there more advantages in thr dual program? I wish somebody can help me out, because recruiters are trying to convince me to do a dual program all the time.

    Any thought?
  5. eddavatar

    eddavatar Member 5+ Year Member

    Jan 30, 2006
    I was in the same dilemma when I was in undergrad. At the end, it comes down to how much passion you have for the bench. PharmD gives you guranteed $ and stability. PhD gives you the skill set you'll need for bench research and credibility, but also a great chance to become a well-educated bum.

    I do think that PharmD with a fellowship is a greaaat plan, however.
  6. consultantrph

    consultantrph 2+ Year Member

    Feb 24, 2007
    Get experience doing research at your University so you'll have a good feel if you want to do hardcore, bench science for a drug company, govt, etc. When I started PharmD I thought I wanted to go on to PhD as well, but fortunately I got a lot of experience in school and realized I didn't have the passion for bench science I thought I did.
  7. pmp85

    pmp85 5+ Year Member

    Feb 9, 2007
    Dirty Jersey
    Hey all,

    I've been in pharmaceutical research for about 2.5 years now (private industry and federal grant). I recently transfered from R&D to finance/marketing within my company as a manager for a greatly increased salary. I hold two B.S. degrees and am entering PharmD school next year.

    I, much like all of you, have debated the Ph.D. vs PharmD degrees long and hard. As of recent, I've been accepted to 2 pharmacy schools for a pharmD and over the years have been given many opportunities for Ph.D. research funding/M.S. at VERY good universities across the nation. I intend to move into a business perspective with my PharmD and obtain an MBA later on.

    However, as I have noticed while working with even the most globally renown Ph.D. scientists, is that they are worked very hard with very little respect. Within the pharmaceutical industry money is not found within research; overall you can bet your bottom dollar its in the CEO/President's/Director's pocket.

    As a pharm researcher, whatever patents you will hold will immediately be commandeered by the company and you will not see a dime. Furthermore, MD's/PharmD's/White Collars look down on Ph.D's as there are officially too many. Which opens up a whole new can of worms. The Ph.D is trite---Simply, too many out there and too many being awarded. Hence, the difficulty keeping a research job let alone even finding a steady one.

    It really does shatter my dreams of following my research passions. I loved my research while in the lab but really felt pressured with deadlines. Research cannot be rushed, but that seems to be the consensus today (i.e. Vioxx - Merck). While in the lab at times, we scientists would be pressed with deadlines to publish papers that weren't even close to credible--truly a sad story.

    In my opinion, you can continue researching with a PharmD/Ph.D joint degree. I would looking into a few of those programs--may take you longer to graduate but at least in the future you will have more to fall back upon (financially).

    Best of luck.
  8. Leb

    Leb 2+ Year Member

    Feb 27, 2007
    I have to say, you post is very informative, so thank you. however, I wanted to ask you if you are going to join a dual program ( PharmD/PhD) or not? and to ask you if you can clarify how can this offer more financial backing that a PharmD alone? bcs i think that with a dual program, and lets assume the PhD part was in the drug delivery field, you will end up either working for a company or teaching, and both do not support financially as much as a PharmD does. Don't you think?
    Iam also interested to know the benefit of having a PharmD/MBA Degree. What options and benefits doed this provide?
    Thank you in advance
  9. pmp85

    pmp85 5+ Year Member

    Feb 9, 2007
    Dirty Jersey

    I will not be pursuing a joint degree (i.e. PharmD/MBA) simply because my school does not offer it. Furthermore, even if the school did offer it I would elect not to do so because the program is already accelerated (2yr 10m). I cannot speak from experience as I have not started school, but I believe an accelerated program will definitely keep me busy enough. :scared:

    As for my opinion on the joint PharmD/Ph.D. degrees, they are perfect for individuals seeking the best of both worlds. However, I do think it will take an enormous amount of work, time, and devotion. My intentions in using the world "financially" is simply that the combination degree allows for an individual to fall back on the PharmD for income. Ph.D's are not always guaranteed steady work. Therefore, as a PharmD you will either have to practice or not, realistically there just won't be enough time for your research AND a practice (unless part-time).

    As for the PharmD/MBA combo, there are many new MBA programs across the nation that allow for professionals to attend part-time (i.e. weekends only). I am interested in attending one of the nations best MBA programs and thus will have to do my due diligence on the various education options. However as I have been advised many times, the PharmD/MBA combination is "lethal." Its perfect picking for any executive position (i.e. salary of $250k+) at a big pharma company. In addition, I am not certain that putting pills in a bottle or dealing with angry customers is my idea of an ideal career. In my opinion, I would prefer sitting in a posh executive office calculating pharmaceutical finances. The pharmaceutical world tends to be much nicer from the top of the food chain. As with all careers there is certainly a pecking order--you're naive if you think anything other. :D


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