PreciousThings9

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I realize this is a redundant post every year around this time, but I am stressed beyond belief with trying to make a decision on this. I have a retail job lined up & ready to go, but I also applied to several PGY1 programs .. and have been invited for interviews. I have only been on one interview so far, but it went really well.
Retail:
- I don't hate retail, there are things about it I actually like.
- The money is good of course ( I have >200k in loans)
- I'm married, been in school for ten years (did undergrad part-time while working), my husband would like me to be done with school
- I'm also thinking of getting pregnant soon (I'm in my 30's ... Tick-tock), working part time seems more realistic with retail
- I am afraid of all the retail horror stories - the long days, no breaks, not enough help, worrying about #'s instead of patient care.

Residency:
- The focus of clinical pharmacy is much more appealing, may be more opportunity especially as MTM programs ramp up
- The LONG hours, staffing e/o wknd, never ending projects, scare me. I can never seem to get a straight answer on how long residents days usually last.
- There's still no security of a job .. seems like PGY2's are becoming more common, perhaps cause people can't find jobs?? Is a PGY1 becoming no longer good enough to obtain a clinical position? I can consider forcing myself to go another year but the thought of 2 is just unthinkable.

Ughh, what to do?? One month left to decide my fate!!!
 
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pharm B

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Is the retail job one you really want? Or is it just convenient? If I had to choose between applying to a residency/hospital job and retail, that retail job would have to be awesome. Too many big box horror stories floating around.

Aside from your short term concern (getting pregnant), what do you want to do for the next ten years? Can you see yourself doing retail to retirement?
 

confettiflyer

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Do the residency...better QOL and more doors can open. Once you go retail the clock starts and you'll get stuck at about the 2-3 year mark and generally unable to transition back to inpatient.
 

rxlea

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Residency. You'll get stuck in retail.
 

fauxden

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Is the retail job one you really want? Or is it just convenient? If I had to choose between applying to a residency/hospital job and retail, that retail job would have to be awesome. Too many big box horror stories floating around.

Aside from your short term concern (getting pregnant), what do you want to do for the next ten years? Can you see yourself doing retail to retirement?

I would probably consider that long term....the pregnancy does eventually produce a child you know... :D
 

WVUPharm2007

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Residency. You'll get stuck in retail.
If you do a residency, you'll get stuck in that world, too. What, you think a person with a residency can just go get a job in retail? Nope. The big boxes don't even hire all of their interns anymore. No matter what you do, if you do it for more than like 5 years, you are going to be stuck with it.

Clinical/Hospital isn't the rosy, wonderful world people claim it is, either. The term "medication reconciliation sheet" still gives me PTSD style tremors.

I happen to think I have the best job in the industry working nights at CVS. Very low stress and ridiculously high compensation. You would have to pay me like $300k/year to go back to my old job.
 

rxlea

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If you do a residency, you'll get stuck in that world, too. What, you think a person with a residency can just go get a job in retail? Nope. The big boxes don't even hire all of their interns anymore. No matter what you do, if you do it for more than like 5 years, you are going to be stuck with it.

Clinical/Hospital isn't the rosy, wonderful world people claim it is, either. The term "medication reconciliation sheet" still gives me PTSD style tremors.

I happen to think I have the best job in the industry working nights at CVS. Very low stress and ridiculously high compensation. You would have to pay me like $300k/year to go back to my old job.
You can get stuck anywhere but it seems the OP doesn't want to be stuck in retail.

And I know it's not rosy. Remember, I've worked in a hospital for 6 years. Quit whining.
 
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PreciousThings9

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Clinical/Hospital isn't the rosy, wonderful world people claim it is, either.
Yeah, one of the directors I had my residency interview with made an interesting comment - he said that students get an idea of what "clinical pharmacy" is during school that is not really accurate.
 

SHC1984

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What retail is it?

If it's Costco or Publix I would pick Retail.

If it's CVS or Walgreens I would pick Residency.

Hospital is boring as hell and reading doctor's sloppy handwriting is a pain in the ass. I am doing my rotation at the hospital right now. It sucks. LOL...only thing good about it is BORING>>>>annoying customers. LOL
 

bacillus1

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What retail is it?

If it's Costco or Publix I would pick Retail.

If it's CVS or Walgreens I would pick Residency.

Hospital is boring as hell and reading doctor's sloppy handwriting is a pain in the ass. I am doing my rotation at the hospital right now. It sucks. LOL...only thing good about it is BORING>>>>annoying customers. LOL
Many hospitals have EMRs now, no need for reading sloppy handwriting. Of course that shouldn't be the sole reason for doing a residency.

As far as jobs post PGY1, it seems like there are some, but you may have a tough time if you can't relocate.
 

SHC1984

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Many hospitals have EMRs now, no need for reading sloppy handwriting. Of course that shouldn't be the sole reason for doing a residency.

As far as jobs post PGY1, it seems like there are some, but you may have a tough time if you can't relocate.
Honestly, they both suck. I am just being honest. LOL. NOT having to work is the best! ;)

Both jobs are bad b/c

Retail-bitchy/rude customers Hospital-bitchy/rude nurses Both have "budget cuts" so you will be over worked no matter what. Both are tiring as hell b/c it's boring. Both suck b/c you have to relocate to a crappy city. Both don't have job security b/c there are too many new grads out willing to work for less pay.

They both suck honestly. LOL So it doesn't matter what you pick.
 

WVUPharm2007

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Hmm...airhead fatalism. It's sort of poetic in a way.
 

WVUPharm2007

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You can get stuck anywhere but it seems the OP doesn't want to be stuck in retail.
I didn't get that from the OP. I got that from everyone else.

And I know it's not rosy. Remember, I've worked in a hospital for 6 years. Quit whining.
You've worked as a tech in a hospital for 6 years. I loved being a tech in a hospital back when I did it in the early aughts. Being a pharmacist introduces entirely new avenues of being pissed off you aren't even getting to experience yet.
 

297point1

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If you do a residency, you'll get stuck in that world, too. What, you think a person with a residency can just go get a job in retail? Nope. The big boxes don't even hire all of their interns anymore. No matter what you do, if you do it for more than like 5 years, you are going to be stuck with it.
He's right...

Five years ago, I could have easily obtained a job at CVS / Walgreens / Rite Aid if I wanted to switch up my career. It served as a sort of job insurance- it was there if I needed it.

Three years ago, I might have been able to obtain a job at CVS / Walgreens / Rite Aid if I wanted to switch.

Today, none of them would even interview me. In their eyes, I'm an unskilled dinosaur.
 

rxlea

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I didn't get that from the OP. I got that from everyone else.



You've worked as a tech in a hospital for 6 years. I loved being a tech in a hospital back when I did it in the early aughts. Being a pharmacist introduces entirely new avenues of being pissed off you aren't even getting to experience yet.
An intern for 2.5 years. The pharmacists are more than happy to share their avenues of being pissed off with me. It is what it is. I'm glad I don't have to do med rec though :smuggrin:

I'm not saying you're wrong. I agree with you.

Some people would rather be stuck in retail, some in hospital. Personally, I'd rather be stuck in hospital. Not that it matters now, though.
 

All4MyDaughter

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Being a technician or intern is way different than being a pharmacist, no matter what the setting. Anyone who says differently probably isn't a pharmacist yet.

I also think people are misinterpreting the OP. All he or she said was "I don't hate retail, there are things about it I actually like." Someone replied with an inexplicable, "There's your answer" :confused: and the retail bashing began.

To the OP, you just need to decide. I know that's easier said than done, but the opinion of other people has limited utility in this decision. There will be some (limited) flexibility to switch to retail after you've done a residency and some (limited) flexibility to switch to hospital after doing retail, but everyone I know who has made the switch has done it fairly quickly (< 2 or 3 years) after graduation and got their new job through connections and "knowing someone." It's not easy or guaranteed to be able to switch either way. If I were you, I'd make a pros and cons list and see which type of practice interests you the most.
 

MountainPharmD

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100% retail! The career satisfaction and opportunities are endless! Make sue you work for CVS or Walgreens to truly experience all retail has to offer.


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Here are my two cents to OP:

If you do not want to consider relocation (and I assume you don't since you are married and planning to have a child) and you have a job offer near where you live now, I'd say take the offer. As you know, job market is highly uncertain now. Even with residency, you have have to wait months to years before a spot will open in the area where you want to live, and you will still have to compete with others with residency for that job. Since you are have a huge load of debts and you need $$ to raise a family, you probably will have to be forced to relocate after you finish residency but cannot find a job right a way. Therefore, even if it's not a win-win situation, you probably want to take the job that is offered to you now.
 

rxlea

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Being a technician or intern is way different than being a pharmacist, no matter what the setting. Anyone who says differently probably isn't a pharmacist yet.

I also think people are misinterpreting the OP. All he or she said was "I don't hate retail, there are things about it I actually like." Someone replied with an inexplicable, "There's your answer" :confused: and the retail bashing began.

To the OP, you just need to decide. I know that's easier said than done, but the opinion of other people has limited utility in this decision. There will be some (limited) flexibility to switch to retail after you've done a residency and some (limited) flexibility to switch to hospital after doing retail, but everyone I know who has made the switch has done it fairly quickly (< 2 or 3 years) after graduation and got their new job through connections and "knowing someone." It's not easy or guaranteed to be able to switch either way. If I were you, I'd make a pros and cons list and see which type of practice interests you the most.
Yeah, I had to go back and read the original post. :oops:

I think the OP should take your advice-- making a list of pros and cons is probably the best way to go.

I'll add this: there is a lot of variation between pharmacies/hospitals. Both can be hell on earth or a sweet deal. Depends on the culture of the institution and your team-- at least that's been my experience on IPPE and at work.

Sounds like you and Mikey have a good set up. Not everyone is so fortunate. :(
 

All4MyDaughter

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Yeah, I had to go back and read the original post. :oops:

I think the OP should take your advice-- making a list of pros and cons is probably the best way to go.

I'll add this: there is a lot of variation between pharmacies/hospitals. Both can be hell on earth or a sweet deal. Depends on the culture of the institution and your team-- at least that's been my experience on IPPE and at work.

Sounds like you and Mikey have a good set up. Not everyone is so fortunate. :(
I agree, every hospital is not wonderful and every retail pharmacy is not hell. Smallish sample size, but the retail pharmacists I know in real life seem generally happy with their jobs and their paychecks. At least, happier than the sample size here on SDN. A lot of the posters bashing retail on SDN don't even work in retail, so that's another complicating factor. There are exceptions like Mountain, who worked in retail for many years. But there are pharmacists on here who aren't miserable in retail. They just aren't as prolific as others, perhaps.
 

BMBiology

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100% retail! The career satisfaction and opportunities are endless! Make sue you work for CVS or Walgreens to truly experience all retail has to offer.


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and make sure you know where the restroom key is because you will get many questions related to the location of the key
 

BMBiology

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On a serious note, just because you did a residency doesn't mean you can find a clinical position. Many of them eventually end up in retail. Some on this forum can tell you that
 

R xxx

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I know someone who did a residency with the VA and then ended up working for CVS because she did not want to move and this was 3 years ago. I don't know where she works now.

You're talking about possibly working part-time. After loans are paid off and you just want to work part-time, I think retail is not that bad. It would probably be harder to get a part-time clinical position, unless you just want to staff.

Every residency program is different, but you can expect 10-14 hours a day and probably staffing every 3rd or 4th weekend.

I work in both settings and been doing it for a few years now. There are good and bad days at both places.

Your husband would like for you to finish with school and start a family. I think you should take a lot of that into consideration because in the end, that is all it matters. Make the decision with him.
 

WVUPharm2007

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On a serious note, just because you did a residency doesn't mean you can find a clinical position. Many of them eventually end up in retail. Some on this forum can tell you that
I have a feeling that in the near future, a clinical residency will be a mark against you if competing against a new grad with recent retail interning experience.

When something like half of graduates do residencies that train them for like 20% of the jobs (disclaimer...I don't know the real percentages...but you get my drift...)...somethings got to give eventually. At some point this residency stuff is going to lead to a whole lot of nothing for people.

OP has a bird in hand...y'all rattling the sabre of the one that might be in the bush. I'd take the sure thing.

But, hey, its not my life...do what you want, OP.

Keep in mind that a child is a $350,000 investment that you won't get any return on unless you raise the next Justin Beiber or something. Plus another $150k for college. You gonna need that retail pharm money.
 

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There is residency in retail :smuggrin:
 

npage148

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The people that bash retail just can't handle it. They can't multi-task, switch gears rapidly
And manage a workflow. Honestly my current retail job is pretty nice. 3-4 day rotations at a well run inner city store. Some times it's a little hectic but I also have relaxing days.

Residencies are fine if that's what you want to do but people like to do differnt
 

BenJammin

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You're crazy to turn down a high paying retail job for a residency. You're looking at a 25% pay cut with no job certainty. Doesn't make sense in an economic sense.
 

ancienbon

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You're crazy to turn down a high paying retail job for a residency. You're looking at a 25% pay cut with no job certainty. Doesn't make sense in an economic sense.
So true. A girl from my class who did one year residency could not find a hospital job ended up working for walgree,s
 

owlegrad

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You're crazy to turn down a high paying retail job for a residency. You're looking at a 25% pay cut with no job certainty. Doesn't make sense in an economic sense.
I am pretty sure the pay cut is more then 25%?
 

confettiflyer

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On a serious note, just because you did a residency doesn't mean you can find a clinical position. Many of them eventually end up in retail. Some on this forum can tell you that
I know a few burnouts that did residency because it was a "need" not a "want" and they lost steam about 5-6 months in. Ended up back at CVS where they were per-diem after finishing PGY1. Kind of sad...what a waste of time/resources.
 
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There is residency in retail :smuggrin:
What does a residency in retail get you anyway? An opportunity to go into pharmacy management sooner or..?

Also, would it be feasible to do a PGY1 hospital residency and work part time at a hospital and part time at a retail chain the following year (assuming you can land two jobs)? It sounds like it would be a great option since you'd get more variety at work and potentially less burned out.
 
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What does a residency in retail get you anyway? An opportunity to go into pharmacy management sooner or..?
Other options could include working as a regional clinical coordinator, full-time clinical position (MTMs, diabetes programs, wellness programs, etc), in a physician's practice, or academia.
 

BenJammin

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I am pretty sure the pay cut is more then 25%?
The paycut from "gradution to retail" to "graduation to residency" is 60% but that 25% figure comes from the jobs AFTER residency. That's one of the reasons I'm glad I didn't get into a residency. $40,000 for one year then normal salary after that is crazy. Sure money isn't everything but money pays for a flat screen TV and a hot tub.
 

Sparda29

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I think a rotation in chain retail management is a pretty good way of landing yourselves a nice retail gig, all of my classmates who took that rotation pretty much got the retail job they wanted.

During the rotation you're pretty much the right hand man-woman of the district pharmacy supervisor. They would send you in as a "customer" to request OTC counseling to see if the pharmacists knew what they were doing, checking to see if phones are being answered on time, etc.
 

MatCauthon

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I wrote this same thread last year. I could have easily ended up in a residency, but it wasn't really in my heart to do it. I opted out of residency and things have been great for the past year.

I think this thread is incredibly limiting. Retail isn't your only choice if you don't do a residency. I would know because I am not in retail and I didn't do a residency. Also remember that retail and hospital are not the only 2 areas of pharmacy. There is managed care,mail order, specialty, compounding, big pharma, home infusion, and so many more areas.

The key message is that it isn't what you know it is who you know. Keeping connections alive, networking, and being in the right place at the right time is the most important thing of all.
 

thephoenician88

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I know a few burnouts that did residency because it was a "need" not a "want" and they lost steam about 5-6 months in. Ended up back at CVS where they were per-diem after finishing PGY1. Kind of sad...what a waste of time/resources.
I noticed a lot of that at ASHP. Asking residents about their sites, a few were really enthusiastic, but for the most part they were just in a *ugh i'm over it* type of mood.

Did that scare me off? Not really, I realize that it's a need and somewhat of a want. I want to be more clinical based and use my pharmacy knowledge, but I realize the need since rotations aren't really "doing it" in terms of clinical knowledge. Then again, i'm not really 100% on inpatient, i enjoy outpatient a lot more.

The only thing that scares me is, let's say I start off in retail, i don't want to do retail forever. I want to do something different with my pharmD but I fear I may get stuck...
 

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The paycut from "gradution to retail" to "graduation to residency" is 60% but that 25% figure comes from the jobs AFTER residency. That's one of the reasons I'm glad I didn't get into a residency. $40,000 for one year then normal salary after that is crazy. Sure money isn't everything but money pays for a flat screen TV and a hot tub.
Make $40,000 for 3 years and then $50,000 for 3 more years as a fellow. It gets worse trust me. Atleast you all have the option of finishing your 6 years or so and then walking into CVS and saying hand me my $120k or whatever it is now. That said, I worked retail pharmacy before med school, and that **** sucks.
 

Digsbe

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Make $40,000 for 3 years and then $50,000 for 3 more years as a fellow. It gets worse trust me. Atleast you all have the option of finishing your 6 years or so and then walking into CVS and saying hand me my $120k or whatever it is now. That said, I worked retail pharmacy before med school, and that **** sucks.
Most physicians that complete a fellowship will still earn most likely more than double what a pharmacist in retail makes after 6-8 years of schooling. The unfortunate thing about pharmacy (at least right now) is that residency trained pharmacists don't necessarily make more than those in retail that have not done a residency. Residency positions are also extremely competitive with only roughly 45% of those applying actually getting matched somewhere. More clinical opportunities open up, but there isn't much of a financial benefit if any at all. Although the option of making 6 figures straight out of pharmacy school is nice if the goal is to earn big money as soon as possible.

That being said, I also don't like working retail. My goal is to get a residency and do clinical pharmacy. If I don't get matched I'll probably work retail or staff in a hospital and try to get in med school or go for a PhD and do research. If I work as a pharmacist in the summers and part time during med school at least then I'll have a job that can fund tuition so I wouldn't have to take out much additional student loans (if any at all).
 
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confettiflyer

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Most physicians that complete a fellowship will still earn most likely more than double what a pharmacist in retail makes after 6-8 years of schooling. The unfortunate thing about pharmacy (at least right now) is that residency trained pharmacists don't necessarily make more than those in retail that have not done a residency. Residency positions are also extremely competitive with only roughly 45% of those applying actually getting matched somewhere. More clinical opportunities open up, but there isn't much of a financial benefit if any at all. Although the option of making 6 figures straight out of pharmacy school is nice if the goal is to earn big money as soon as possible.

That being said, I also don't like working retail. My goal is to get a residency and do clinical pharmacy. If I don't get matched I'll probably work retail or staff in a hospital and try to get in med school or go for a PhD and do research. If I work as a pharmacist in the summers and part time during med school at least then I'll have a job that can fund tuition so I wouldn't have to take out much additional student loans (if any at all).

Yeah I'm doing a residency not for any supposed pay bump...I'm doing it because of future career goals, fast tracked relocation back to the west coast, and to make myself competitive for positions vis-a-vis a glut of new grads. I'm not trying to be a pharmacy unicorn...I just want an interesting work day that doesn't involve the slog of retail pharm.
 

Digsbe

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Yeah I'm doing a residency not for any supposed pay bump...I'm doing it because of future career goals, fast tracked relocation back to the west coast, and to make myself competitive for positions vis-a-vis a glut of new grads. I'm not trying to be a pharmacy unicorn...I just want an interesting work day that doesn't involve the slog of retail pharm.
That's the reason I want to do a residency when I graduate as well. I want to work in a more clinical setting and allow for more flexibility when it comes to employment.
 

30Percent

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Would doing a residency make you more "future" proof?

Aren't some people saying pharmacy is evolving towards the clinical side like MTM, amb care, etc.

It seems like a lot of my classmates are interested in amb care residencies.
 

npage148

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Aren't some people saying pharmacy is evolving towards the clinical side like MTM, amb care, etc.
People have been saying that for 30+ years so...
 

Digsbe

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Would doing a residency make you more "future" proof?

Aren't some people saying pharmacy is evolving towards the clinical side like MTM, amb care, etc.

It seems like a lot of my classmates are interested in amb care residencies.
That really depends on the whole provider status under Medicare issue. MTM has seemingly been this Holy Grail for a long time but right now it isn't financially feasible to properly implement.