The pharmacy job market has long been dead

Discussion in 'Pre-Pharmacy' started by PharmD Jobs Are Hopeless, Nov 27, 2018.

  1. PharmD Jobs Are Hopeless

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    All of you guys considering going into pharmacy I sincerely want to warn you of the job outlook. I completed a PGY2 pharmacy residency last year and then applied for every pharmacy position I could find in the lower 48 states for 12 months. Not one hospital or retail pharmacy has contacted me for an interview. I have a bachelor of science undergrad degree with a 3.7 GPA. My pharmacy school GPA was 4.0. I was a member of two Greek clubs while in pharmacy school. I had two years of paid pharmacy tech experience before pharmacy school, and three years of paid retail pharmacy student intern experience. I also have a PGY2 residency and that is no insurance that you will get a job. It may have been many years ago, but that is not true any more. I have networked extensively and still no luck. I also know people that recently graduated class of 2018 and still have not managed to attain any kind of job in pharmacy. One of my hospital contacts informed me off the record that the few entry level pharmacy positions (usually per diem) are often only given to candidates that are friends or even family of other pharmacy employees. People vouching for others may be required. I suppose the same may be true among retail jobs. If you have 200 applicants for any retail pharmacist job, they can be as demanding as they want. Pharmacy is no longer a reasonable career path. Run away as fast as you can.
     
    #1 PharmD Jobs Are Hopeless, Nov 27, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2018
  2. rxiscray

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    What did you complete a PGY2 in? Why not go back to your PGY-1 site to see if they have positions?
     
  3. OP
    OP
    PharmD Jobs Are Hopeless

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    My PGY2 was critical care. I practically begged the directors at both sites. My PGY1 site director seems to only hire unusually attractive females as staff pharmacists. None of his staff pharmacists have a residency other than his antibiotic steward. Life can be unfair and we just have to do our best. I am now looking for non-pharmacy jobs and will not regret leaving a bad career path behind me.
     
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  4. Macaronique11

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    Dang this sounds sincere is it that dismal? Dang im kinda worried!!!
     
  5. DOOM N GLOOM

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    What have the job placement rates for PGY-2 grads from your institution looked like historically? It’s scary to think that a PGY-2 grad would not even get INTERVIEWS for jobs... and not that you haven’t already done this, but I would ask:

    1. What is your definition of “networking extensively”? The best kind of networking is the day to day type with people in and out of your institution, not just “networking” where convenient (i.e. at conferences and public events). Have you joined a local pharmacist association and networked there? What about attending RPh CE events and networked there? Got to be creative to get your name out there.

    2. Were you specifically applying for critical care positions or staffing positions/other specialty positions? It might be the types of roles you are applying to that are limiting your returns, especially on staffing roles if that wasn’t a big part of your residency experience (granted, I know you did 2 years so this probably shouldn’t be an issue). There is also the element of what your hospital EMR system looked like and if those skills are transferrable. For example, if you had done a residency at an insitution that used paper charts and a non-EPIC EMR system then I would imagine you have a high hill to climb.

    3. How was your performance during your PGY-1/PGY-2 residency? Have to be blunt here, hospital politics is the worst kind of politics. You need to have good self-awareness of how good you are, and this is not based on “feedback” from preceptors or your RPD but your own assessment, because oftentimes giving feedback is more about being politically correct than it is giving actual advice. If you weren’t a strong performer and didn’t have people that can legitimately vouch for you, then it’s going to be tough landing a specialist job because word will get around. Pharmacy is a small world, and the specialist world is even smaller.

    Everything else you stated I completely agree with. If you do a residency then you’re going to be overqualified for retail jobs so realistically you’ve got no shot at those jobs (but outpatient hospital retail, maybe). Hiring based on looks is definitely a thing. And of course, AVOID PHARMACY AT ALL COSTS!!! You’re only digging your own grave, folks.
     
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  6. OP
    OP
    PharmD Jobs Are Hopeless

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    Over 300 Linkedin pharmacy associated contacts. Attended every ASHP midyear. 97 Facebook pharmacy contacts on my friends list.
    I was applying for every hospital, retail, or specialty like compounding. I am aware that retail pharmacy managers are going to consider me overqualified for retail. How would I consider my performance? My coworkers, school colleagues, and preceptors never stopped calling me rock star. I have no problem getting people to vouch for me. Other colleagues that finished PGY1 and PGY2 are not getting positions. People that graduated a year or two before me were searching for months and up to a year for a job in retail. The saturation tipping point has moved further away from where it was a few years ago. Before I started pharmacy school, I remember hearing an admissions dean 7 years ago speaking an an event mentioning that new grads might not expect 5 offers before graduation like in years before, but we could expect one or two offers before graduation. I think about that once in a while and laugh. Unfortunately,I believed the hype and now I am in the rabbit hole with $250K in debt and a mountain of regret. I hope others will not fall for the hype they sell at the pre-pharmacy speaker events that are nothing but SALES BS. The other thing to consider is that the more pharmacists that are unemployed in future years this will drive wages down significantly. Suppose that you get a job today and get offered $60 an hour. Five to ten years from now the lower wages of perhaps $40 hr or less will make managers reconsider looking for ways to fire the employees making $60 so they can pay new hired pharmacists 33% less.at the current going rate. Job security will get tossed out of the window. Then (2023), you are in line with 500 applicants for another job paying 60 to 70% of what you used to make. Only fools rush in when the warning is on the wall. Wake up pre-pharmacy people you have no excuse.
     
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  7. DOOM N GLOOM

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    Yeah that’s exactly what’s going on in retail pharmacy this year. Hourly wage cuts in Walgreens to <$50/hr per some reports. Hours cuts to 24-32 hours/week. Retail chains looking for any reason to get rid of old timer pharmacists who have been with the company too long and are making way too much money (not sure where the threshold is but I’d imagine if you’re making over $130k as a staff Rph you might have a target on your back. Why pay $130k to a old pharmacist who is comfortable and set in their routines when you can hire a desperate new grad with $200k+ in loans who is willing to work twice as hard to earn 60-70% as much?
     
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  8. ScienceLover97

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    Threads like these are just miserable.

    Current metrics show that saturation has literally just begun, so how has it been "long dead"
     
    #8 ScienceLover97, Nov 28, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2018
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  9. ScienceLover97

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    The two usernames of the main users posting here alone is proof of the drastic dramatization and fear-mongering.
     
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  10. stoichiometrist

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    The profession has been saturated since 2010. 2018 was when the profession really took a nosedive with the recent cuts in hours and hourly pay.
     
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  11. DOOM N GLOOM

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    What current metrics are you citing?
     
  12. ScienceLover97

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    PDI
     
  13. DOOM N GLOOM

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    In the year that PDI was first released (Q3 2016), the first overall PDI score was between 2.97-3.00. So it had already projected pharmacy to be saturated in its first release. https://pharmacymanpower.com/archive/SummaryReport2016Q3.pdf

    Keep in mind that there are clear disclaimers on the website that this data is collected by surveying hiring managers about their “perceptions” of the job market so there is literally all the incentive for them to report that the field is NOT saturated, in order that some random pre-pharm checking on pharmacist job outlook might not be scared off from applying to pharmacy school and hence keep the oversupply pipeline going (so that those managers can get away with creating poorer working conditions, wage cuts etc. to make more money). Even with this bias the results still say that the field has been saturated since 2016. If PDI had started in 2010 we probably would have seen similar results.
     
    #13 DOOM N GLOOM, Nov 28, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2018
  14. OP
    OP
    PharmD Jobs Are Hopeless

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    [QUOTE="DOOM N GLOOM, post: 20492401, member: 947593" there is literally all the incentive for them to report that the field is NOT saturated, in order that they might have a deeper supply of pharmacists to pick from (and hence get away with poorer working conditions, wage cuts etc.). Even with this bias the results still say that the field has been saturated since 2016. If PDI had started in 2010 we probably would have seen similar results.[/QUOTE]

    Exactly, high supply and low demand presents as lower wages and hours. It is a buyers market for pharmacy jobs. The shortage was over a long time ago. Then supply exceeded demand and the job market moved into a saturated state. The realistic solution is to lower supply, but the schools make too much money from increasing the supply of new grads. In conclusion, the more pharmacists that enter the profession in the next few years will cause wages to drop as job openings disappear proportionately. If by some miracle all the pharmacy schools stopped producing new grads, it might take 10 years for the pharmacist job market to recover to where it was in 2007. The pharmacist shortage of the late 1990's was heavily due to low wages usually below $30 hr. The shortage caused employers to have to raise wages to attract new employees. The opposite is true now. Wages will continue to drop until the surplus number of pharmacists looking for jobs has been reduced significantly. All this means that graduating as a pharmacist now or in the next few years is a huge mistake.
     
  15. OP
    OP
    PharmD Jobs Are Hopeless

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    My next door neighbor told me his Dairy Queen was hiring. He is the manager and knows me for 2 years. I start Monday.
    My loan provider is probably not going to be happy getting income based repayment off of minimum wage. The way I have to see it is don't offer student loans to pharmacy students when there are no jobs. Doing so is unethical and is likely to contribute to the student loan crash soon to come. When the loans dry up, most colleges of pharmacy will close.
     
  16. DOOM N GLOOM

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    Sad story bro. I imagine that you’ll still be applying to Rph jobs but you’re going to be less and less competitive for Rph roles... esp if you put Dairy Queen on your resume as a “post-PGY-2 role”.
     
  17. OP
    OP
    PharmD Jobs Are Hopeless

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    My problem is that I do not have any pharmacy director or PIC best friends. I knew of a pharmacist in charge at a hospital that got his good friend hired for in-patient work. The kicker is that his friend was only a bachelor degree pharmacist that had retired from retail after selling his independent pharmacy that he owned at least two years before he got hired. How does a person with no PharmD, no hospital experience, no concept of evidence based medicine, and much older than recent grads (he is 50 something years old) get a job in a hospital in-patient pharmacy?
     
  18. BC_89

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    12 months of no job? I’ll have to look, but a few older admin managers on here I think could try and assist you in the right direction even if it’s prn and no benefits jobs. Have you considered insurance companies looking for pharmD reps to evaluate copays/deduction ranges on specific meds?

    I hope something turns around for you away from DQ.
     
  19. DOOM N GLOOM

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    What kind of job is this? I’ve never heard of such a role. Please elaborate.
     
  20. BC_89

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    It’s not widely known but it’s within call center insurance firms with big names like Humana and Tricare. Outside of consulting patients, you also consult with PBMs and drug companies on overhead revenues for specific brand drugs and act like an “accountant” by simply explaining what medications are easily readily accessible to patients.

    Then, these different reps will use your drug knowledge and opinions to find margins on how much a co-pay and deductions you find reasonable to attract patients based on what medications they take (a given population). It gets complicated due to nonformulary meds and PA meds, but they use your judgment as to what copay / deductible ratings you see fit based on med cost - patient consumption (for lack of a better term).

    No one does it for long periods and wages aren’t the best. Just one of many “newer” jobs being created within call centers. It’ll be a humbling job for a pgy-2 individual. Ones I see are older people looking for a quick buck.
     
  21. BC_89

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    OP not to insult your due diligence of looking for a job, but the military will acknowledge your residency in terms of service / pay chart incentives.

    We have members on here that also work for the U.S. Public Health Service. Also IHS is always looking...you can always apply PSLF and avoid a tax bomb..Food for thought
     
  22. OP
    OP
    PharmD Jobs Are Hopeless

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    I have applied with insurance companies looking for pharmacists for exactly what you are referring to. The last one I applied with was United Healthcare in my area. United Healthcare shot me down every time I applied for new openings, but so did the others from other states. I also applied with the VA and IHS multiple times. My two biggest disappointments lately were a PRN hospital job in the middle of nowhere (two hour drive) that was looking for a third shift pharmacist (with no experience required willing to train) for sterile prep bags and another hospital out of state that was looking for a third shift quality assurance clerk that would work with clean room techs. The second job was stated as entry level and only required a high school diploma and no prior experience, Both sent rejection emails. I do realize that some places will not consider hiring someone that is not already employed. I was applying to multiple jobs 6 months before my last residency ended. I vaguely remember what my critical care clinical manager preceptor told about having 175 applicants for a new open position when I had just started my PGY2. Many of those applicants had two to ten years of clinical pharmacy experience. As far as hospital openings,I see no hope for new grads when they have to compete against so many out of work pharmacists with more than adequate experience. One of my P4 preceptors that was a retail manager tried to apply for over a year to find another job because she hated her company and her site. Sadly, her Kmart site was closed and she lost her job. Kmart seems to have had a rash of closings in the past few years. I have a feeling that Amazon with or without Pillbox will take over retail pharmacy, and, if Jeff Bezos decides to acquire Cardinal Health, Amazon will dominate institutional pharmacies as well.
     
  23. Sine Cura

    Sine Cura 10 seconds or less
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    LOL @ quoting PDI

    Blind clowns deserve what they won't get in a just world. I do feel for OP though
     
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  24. BC_89

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    While staying on the fence, I will say this:

    utilizing something such as Pharmacist Demand Indicator analysis is very skewed and unreliable. Saturated or not, panelist “respondents” and “interpretations” that have differentiating number of people sampling randomized geographic locations is not a source to look into.

    Read any year PDI source introductory and it’ll self-admit that’s its own findings represent a definition of “Caveat Emptor.” Buyer beware.
     
  25. OP
    OP
    PharmD Jobs Are Hopeless

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    Maybe if you could channel 1.21 gigawatts into a flux capacitor.
     
  26. Secret_Informant

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    To the original poster, do you at least have a Board Certification after a PGY-2?

    One pharmacy resident from my school (2016 graduate) pursued a B.Che.E (Transitions of Care) during his PGY-1 and also had a 4.0 pharmacy GPA (and a research award through the hospital system). Another PGY-2 resident in Psychiatry (2015 graduate) from my school that did not have a 4.0 GPA pursued a Board Certification in Psychiatric Pharmacy (BCPP) during his PGY-2. Not relevant, but both of them are married with the former having a child. Imagine that!

    You may need a Board Certification in Critical Care Pharmacy (BCCCP) on top of your PGY-2 to be competitive, yet your original post does not say whether you passed the exam or not. The eligibility requirements for the BCCCP exam are located in the link below:

    Link: Critical Care Pharmacy - Board of Pharmacy Specialties

    Just thinking of possibilities, as few as there may be. I am not a fan of overcredentialing, but it sounds like you need a job that uses your skills appropriately: gainful employment with a PharmD and residency training.
     
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    #26 Secret_Informant, Dec 3, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2018
  27. MatCauthon

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    Pharmacy is extremely tight this year. Anyone following the trends in retail can see all the pharmacy closures, layoffs, wage reductions, and hour reductions. There are entire threads about this in the pharmacy forum. Since retail is extremely tight, there is no overflow anymore for all of the hospital residents who couldn't find hospital work. More and more pharmacists will apply for residencies, but the growth of these jobs isn't happening fast enough.

    Its going to take another 2-3 years for pre-pharms to realize how bad the situation is. Even the change from 2017 to 2018 is striking. The amount of desperate stories I'm hearing from graduates over the last 1-3 years is disheartening. We have a lot of work to do to take back this profession. Since retail is no longer expanding, it will require expansion into other practice areas for us to place all these pharmacists.
     
  28. DOOM N GLOOM

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    The “expansion” you’re talking about is probably placing pharmacists into call centers to do MTM’s for $20/hr. This is the only economically feasible way to place 15,000 new grad pharmacists each year if retail isn’t expanding because you don’t need skilled labor to do MTM’s, similar to how it takes only half a brain to do retail.
     
  29. ornithoptor

    ornithoptor long time observer
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    Before you pick critical care residency as your PGY2, have you done any research on job market in the areas where you complete your residency? PDI is a analysis of overall pharmacists demand trend, not specific to PGY2.

    Our organization recently posted 4 positions for oncology pharmacist which all required PGY2 experiences. Plus, we pay 10K sign on bonus.

    Would you have changed your selection if you have know that is the case?

    This is a tough one, should we should pursue our passion, or should we baed our selection on job market?

    Our system posted 8 jobs altogether, but each requires specific experience. Those positions also pay more than $60 per hour up to $75.

    This may become the trend; hospital struggle finding the right person, while most commodity pharmacists would not qualify for these higher paying jobs. Value of retail pharmacist keep dropping, while hospital keep raising wage to find the right candidates.


    Sent from my iPad using SDN mobile
     
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