PSA: School Choice

allantois

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So, you are applying to schools, or perhaps you have to make a choice of what school to attend. The fact whether PharmD should be pursued has been discussed ad nauseam, so we won't talk about it here. However, if you are still pursing PharmD for one reason or another, please be very careful about what school you decide to attend.

Many colleges are going to struggle come Fall as enrollments fall due to colleges moving to online instruction for the Fall semester. I think too many colleges are overly optimistic about returning students on campus in the Fall. Some smaller colleges are at risk of closing down due to financial difficulties they will face with even modest declines in enrollment. Additionally, the number of students who enroll at pharmacy schools has been steadily declining. If schools are unable to fill their seats and stay afloat, they will surely have to close down.

So, if you do decide to enroll in a college of Pharmacy, go for an established program attached to a bigger university that still has some standards and will be able to fill the seats in the turbulent years ahead.
 
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Timbo

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Starting to agree with this. I know the old mantra was "doesn't matter which school you went to, a pharmD is a pharmD, employers don't care where you went, etc." This may have been true in the age of sign on bonuses and employers begging for pharmacists, but this is no longer the case. After comparing recent post-graduation placement statistics between different pharmacy school, it's undeniable that some schools will put you at a vast disadvantage compared to others. More established schools like UCSF, USC, UT Austin boast <10% unemployment rates while other schools like FAMU or West Coast university report >60% unemployment. Similarly residency match rates show a high variance with schools like UNC boasting 88% match rates while the lowest, California Northstate, reports 15%. Heck in today's market even traditionally well established schools report terrible employment statistics. University of Washington, a school that consistently ranks top 10 for example and that I consider very competitive, reports unemployment of 22%. You need to be extremely picky about which school you go to nowadays. You're already shooting yourself in the foot by choosing pharmacy, why shoot yourself in both feet by choosing a crappy school?
 
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deleted562805

Starting to agree with this. I know the old mantra was "doesn't matter which school you went to, a pharmD is a pharmD, employers don't care where you went, etc." This may have been true in the age of sign on bonuses and employers begging for pharmacists, but this is no longer the case. After comparing recent post-graduation placement statistics between different pharmacy school, it's undeniable that some schools will put you at a vast disadvantage compared to others. More established schools like UCSF, USC, UT Austin boast <10% unemployment rates while other schools like FAMU or West Coast university report >60% unemployment. Similarly residency match rates show a high variance with schools like UNC boasting 88% match rates while the lowest, California Northstate, reports 15%. Heck in today's market even traditionally well established schools report terrible employment statistics. University of Washington, a school that consistently ranks top 10 for example and that I consider very competitive, reports unemployment of 22%. You need to be extremely picky about which school you go to nowadays. You're already shooting yourself in the foot by choosing pharmacy, why shoot yourself in both feet by choosing a crappy school?
The only people who care about the school one graduates from are PGY-1 RPDs and clinical preceptors
Those schools are boasting 88% employment because they are counting residency as employment.
 
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mentos

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Starting to agree with this. I know the old mantra was "doesn't matter which school you went to, a pharmD is a pharmD, employers don't care where you went, etc." This may have been true in the age of sign on bonuses and employers begging for pharmacists, but this is no longer the case. After comparing recent post-graduation placement statistics between different pharmacy school, it's undeniable that some schools will put you at a vast disadvantage compared to others. More established schools like UCSF, USC, UT Austin boast <10% unemployment rates while other schools like FAMU or West Coast university report >60% unemployment. Similarly residency match rates show a high variance with schools like UNC boasting 88% match rates while the lowest, California Northstate, reports 15%. Heck in today's market even traditionally well established schools report terrible employment statistics. University of Washington, a school that consistently ranks top 10 for example and that I consider very competitive, reports unemployment of 22%. You need to be extremely picky about which school you go to nowadays. You're already shooting yourself in the foot by choosing pharmacy, why shoot yourself in both feet by choosing a crappy school?

Those employment rates that schools report don't mean anything. How many graduates received a full time 40 hours pharmacist position? Those "employed" could be working for Instacart for all we know. The majority are probably getting 32 hours, part time, PRN or residency (aka temp position) while half of their students don't respond to their survey.
 
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Timbo

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The only people who care about the school one graduates from are PGY-1 RPDs and clinical preceptors
Those schools are boasting 88% employment because they are counting residency as employment.
I agree. But residency is quickly becoming the norm and residency trained new grads have an advantage of non-residency trained ones in the job market. So if you're a pre-pharm, you'll likely want to do residency and for that you'll want to go to a more well-established school.
Those employment rates that schools report don't mean anything. How many graduates received a full time 40 hours pharmacist position? Those "employed" could be working for Instacart for all we know. The majority are probably getting 32 hours, part time, PRN or residency (aka temp position) while half of their students don't respond to their survey.
Possibly, but still doesn't explain the high variance between different schools' employment rates. Unless you're suggesting that well-established schools are more likely to BS their stats compared to newer schools.
 
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radio frequency

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The only people who care about the school one graduates from are PGY-1 RPDs and clinical preceptors
I really don’t agree with this. My school was well known and had great networking opportunities. I know if I lost a job I could reach out to that network and it could be beneficial. This may not be the case at other schools that are smaller or less well known, or that don’t have a strong network of graduates.
 

jacksmith228833

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The only people who care about the school one graduates from are PGY-1 RPDs and clinical preceptors
Those schools are boasting 88% employment because they are counting residency as employment.

Respectfully disagree....I have worked with graduates from diploma mills, and they are scary and seem to be a risk to patients health......when patients talk about suing, the pharmacist is the target, but can the pharmacy be far behind?
 
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deleted562805

Respectfully disagree....I have worked with graduates from diploma mills, and they are scary and seem to be a risk to patients health......when patients talk about suing, the pharmacist is the target, but can the pharmacy be far behind?
That’s part of the problem. Standardize the curriculum, increase standards. But CVS and Walgreens don’t care about patient safety after allowing a fraud pharmacist to fill prescriptions. CVS and Walgreens donate lots of money to schools established and diploma mills
 
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