I will be at the UMN (Minnesota) graduate program in Social, Administrative, and Clinical Pharmacy this coming fall. I chose this because I wanted to become a researcher rather than a clinical practitioner.
Graduate school trains their candidates to be the most effective researchers in their fields, period. They are rarely involved in clinical practice. Some of us are involved in basic research: that which identifies a knowledge problem and solves it, usually without direct pratical application (Med. Chem. Pharmacology, Pceutics, Kinetics, my program). Many of us (my Experimental Clinical Pharmacy bretheren) are involved in translational research, applying the basic pharmacy research and translating it to be suitable for practice (i. e. make money off it).
Residencies in pharmacy train their candidates to "be all you can be" as a pharmacist. They take the generalist curriculum in pharmacy school (book learning and basic rotations) and breathe life into it. Whereas in pharmacy school, you may deal with each issue seperately, residencies train you to look at the whole patient. For example, MNaloxone is not likely to encounter a DM II patient with absolutely no co-morbidities. He'll get a DM II patients who have ESRD, CHF, HTN, foot amputation, retinopathy, and is depressed and borderline suicidal from experiencing his current condition. And by the way, his A1C is 12, Sulfa allergy, and experiencing some nasty decubitus ulceration with extraordinary pain at 7 on the VAS. For even a fresh pharmacy grad without residency training, allowing him or her to manage this patient pharmacotherapy would be an ambitious start to say the least (if not downright asking for litigation).
For the really psychotic die-hards out there, there are plenty of opportunities to get a joint residency/graduate degree. This allows you to get a MS, MPH, or an MBA along with an ASHP accredited residency. This is really recommended if you're the pharmacy management, epidemiology, or policy type worker.
Either of which, I really think that passing one of the BCPS exams is what separates the best pharmacists from the rest. A good residency program should train you for one of those exams (and passage of the BCNP is required to practice as a nuclear pharmacist). I actually think these exams will become required passage for a clinical pharmacist position after a while.
On the other hand, do not be scared of the Chicken Little clinical pharmacists who say that there is no future in being a basic community or hospital pharmacists. For the CRW pharmacists out there, I sincerely believe their positions are safe at least for the next 60 years so long as they keep pharmacists as being responsible for what happens in a pharmacy. There is no shame in choosing these positions, and in fact, you'll be rewarded much better in the pecuniary arena than the other paths. I just like the nonpecuniary benefits of being a prof. or researcher. Don't let the "visionary" people in our profession con and scare you into doing what you don't feel is right for you.
This profession is going strong, and with some effort, will continue to be thriving in the years to come. I am glad to participate in its effort to remain the most trusted profession around.
I tend to be a lurker most of the time, but if you have any questions, I'll definitely post an answer.
Hey MNaloxone, I hope to see you there, and your benefits I believe start July 1 if you are cross-funded with UMN.