PharmBoy90

7+ Year Member
Feb 28, 2010
136
1
Status
So here's my deal:

Since high school, I decided that I would pursue a career in pharmacy. I worked as a Pharmacy Tech for both Walgreens and CVS, and enjoyed the jobs for the most part. However, I was attending an expensive private 4-year school taking my pre-reqs for Pharmacy. I really struggled with the science and math courses. Eventually, I decided that I didn't want to be a Pharmacist, so I transferred to a local community college taking business courses.

I was good at the business classes, but it didn't necessarily interest me. I reconsidered going into the medical field, so I researched the PA profession and thought it was a great fit for me. I went to another local private 4-year school to pursue it (while working as a Pharmacy Tech), and again struggled with the science courses. I dropped out after the Fall 2012 semester, and haven't gone back to school since.

I am now 23 years old with more than $50K in student loan debt, and no degree. I have over 90 credits, all of my core classes are completed and I have some extra credits in the science classes that I took, as well as business courses I took at the community college and in high school.

As I got tired of working in the pharmacy, one of my pharmacy co-workers/friends was also leaving the job. He took over a local small business that he had been working at for 7 years, and hired me as his Sales/Marketing Rep. I enjoy the job, but I don't know if I can make a career here. The business he bought over that I now work for, is part of a franchise and there is certainly a lot of potential for this business to grow. But there is still a part of me that wants a degree, and wants to be in the medical field (mostly interested in being a PA still).

I want to go back to school this semester coming up, and have considered just getting a business degree at a cheap local state college so that I have something to fall back on in case this job doesn't work out in the long run. My other option, is to go back to one of the 4-year schools I previously attended, and get my Bachelors in Health Sciences which would require me to take all of the pre-reqs I need for most PA programs. The problem with that is that if I don't get accepted into any PA programs, I am stuck with a Bachelor's degree and about $90K of student loan debt. That's BEFORE PA school.


I feel so lost, and don't know what to do. I know I'm not stupid, and I was always an honor student in middle and high school. So to be 23, seeing others my age graduate and being so unsure of my future with no degree really hurts my self-esteem. I love working with my friend at this business, but I don't know what the future holds. He has promised to "take care" of me, and said that he views me more as his partner than as an employee, and that he wishes he could pay me more right now. But he just bought the business this past April, so he can't afford it right now. I have been doing good at the job, and have managed to make a pretty huge sale and got us a really big account...it's just that part of me still wishes I didn't give up on the PA route. :(

If anyone can offer any advice, I'd really appreciate it. Sorry for the long post.
 

BodyBuildingDOC

Dr. Camou
Feb 17, 2013
34
11
Status
Pre-Medical
In 20 years, in 40 years... do you want to look back with regret not being a PA? Do you want to wish you followed your dreams while you were a young 23 and able to make choices/change your mind/start over? I failed chemistry when I was 17 during my first year in college. I gave up on my dream of being a doc because I couldn't pass gen chem. I finished my bachelor's degree in social science, got a masters in business and worked in finance making a great salary. It wasn't what I wanted. I wanted to be a physician very badly and I knew what I had to do.

10 years after I messed up gen chem, I went back to school (with debt from undergrad & MBA degree!) to complete the science prerequisites because I still wanted to be a physician. And I was deathly afraid of gen chem/failing again when I went back. Now I'm doing amazing in my sciences and will be applying to med school this June. Buckle down and study those sciences you need to achieve your goal. You're young. Stay positive! If you really want it, you'll make it a priority. If not, you'll make an excuse... and someone else will take your PA school seat.
 

Quik

7+ Year Member
Dec 23, 2010
397
122
Oregon
Status
Medical Student
I can echo much of what BodyBuildingDoc has to say about looking forward to regret. However, I would say, minimize your out of pocket expenses and debt in finishing your coursework. If you have the aptitude to work as a PA, you can definitely handle the science courses. PA school is no joke, it isn't any easier than med school, just shorter. Find a way to excel in the courses, focus on a goal, eliminate negative distractions. Your happiness will arise from diligently working towards your goal. Re-taking pre-req sciences at a CC is okay. You don't need to be at an expensive private school to get an adequate and quality education. Do your upper division work at your nearest public university. You can continue working at your current job, if your schedule and priorities allow.
 
Oct 5, 2013
57
49
Status
Pre-Medical
I realized you compared yourself to others. That is something you shouldn't do because people are different in terms how their lives are. I think you should finish your degree, do requirements for PA school and work your butt off. There are so many people at your college that are willing to help you...counselors, professors, etc. I think you should go ahead and do it. Also, stop looking at what if's of being in debt, etc. Serious doubt isn't healthy, so go ahead and do PA. There is no excuse to not do well because there are people around you willing to help and of course, it is dependent on you! I totally agree with the above too, do you want to look back and say oh I wish. If this is something you feel designated to do, so do it. Even if it takes you a while...as long as you get there.
 
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Goro

7+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2010
52,653
76,385
Somewhere west of St. Louis
Status
Non-Student
Given your problems with the science and math coursework, the medical path will not be any easier. I suggest that you contact your school's career center and find out what path is best for you.

You need professional help in this matter, and that's far above the level of an anonymous message board.

But EMT/paramedic might be one idea to consider.



So here's my deal:

Since high school, I decided that I would pursue a career in pharmacy. I worked as a Pharmacy Tech for both Walgreens and CVS, and enjoyed the jobs for the most part. However, I was attending an expensive private 4-year school taking my pre-reqs for Pharmacy. I really struggled with the science and math courses. Eventually, I decided that I didn't want to be a Pharmacist, so I transferred to a local community college taking business courses.

I was good at the business classes, but it didn't necessarily interest me. I reconsidered going into the medical field, so I researched the PA profession and thought it was a great fit for me. I went to another local private 4-year school to pursue it (while working as a Pharmacy Tech), and again struggled with the science courses. I dropped out after the Fall 2012 semester, and haven't gone back to school since.

I am now 23 years old with more than $50K in student loan debt, and no degree. I have over 90 credits, all of my core classes are completed and I have some extra credits in the science classes that I took, as well as business courses I took at the community college and in high school.

As I got tired of working in the pharmacy, one of my pharmacy co-workers/friends was also leaving the job. He took over a local small business that he had been working at for 7 years, and hired me as his Sales/Marketing Rep. I enjoy the job, but I don't know if I can make a career here. The business he bought over that I now work for, is part of a franchise and there is certainly a lot of potential for this business to grow. But there is still a part of me that wants a degree, and wants to be in the medical field (mostly interested in being a PA still).

I want to go back to school this semester coming up, and have considered just getting a business degree at a cheap local state college so that I have something to fall back on in case this job doesn't work out in the long run. My other option, is to go back to one of the 4-year schools I previously attended, and get my Bachelors in Health Sciences which would require me to take all of the pre-reqs I need for most PA programs. The problem with that is that if I don't get accepted into any PA programs, I am stuck with a Bachelor's degree and about $90K of student loan debt. That's BEFORE PA school.


I feel so lost, and don't know what to do. I know I'm not stupid, and I was always an honor student in middle and high school. So to be 23, seeing others my age graduate and being so unsure of my future with no degree really hurts my self-esteem. I love working with my friend at this business, but I don't know what the future holds. He has promised to "take care" of me, and said that he views me more as his partner than as an employee, and that he wishes he could pay me more right now. But he just bought the business this past April, so he can't afford it right now. I have been doing good at the job, and have managed to make a pretty huge sale and got us a really big account...it's just that part of me still wishes I didn't give up on the PA route. :(

If anyone can offer any advice, I'd really appreciate it. Sorry for the long post.