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Transition Biochemist to Pharm School

Discussion in 'Pharmacy' started by MSChemist80, Dec 4, 2008.

  1. MSChemist80

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    I was hoping I could get some advice here. I have a BS in Biochemistry and and MS in chemistry. I focused a lot on protein biochemistry and cell signaling. I am seriously considering transitioning into pharmacy school. and was curious about what that would entail and what my prospects were. I am rather dissatisfied with the career options currently available to me especially in terms of the pay.

    My undergrad GPA was 3.57 and grad 3.50. I am missing communications, economics, and anatomy classes. On the other hand I have a lot of chemistry, protein biochemistry, signaling, and metabolics classes.

    I know I will need to take the PCAT.

    Is there a decent chance I could get in and how many years of study will it take?
     
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  3. loo

    loo Always Sleepy
    7+ Year Member

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    With your background, would you be interested in a research career in the pharmaceutical industry or perhaps teaching?
     
  4. MSChemist80

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    I'd rather be a plain old pharmacist. I did the whole research thing in a PhD program and hated it beyond all belief. I could have just been my program as 2/3 of the students there including myself left in disgust with an MS [the national average for PhD programs is 1/2 leave in disgust]. In the mean time I've had to struggle to find a job that is >40k and the salary for chemists seems to keep declining. Just go to indeed.com and type in chemist and you will see what I mean. I just see no decent career path for me.

    I've considered Clinical research associate but I don't have the background for that and I hear its almost impossible to break in. I'm tired of taking risks and trying long shots as I always end up losing.
     
  5. rxlynn

    rxlynn Senior Member
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    Hi - I also had an MS in chemistry and went back to pharmacy school. You should plan on 5 years total. The first year you will need to study for and take the PCAT successfully, write all your pharmacy school applications, get together the required letters of reference, and go back to school to take the 3 prereqs you are missing (although at my school it would be only two, since anatomy is not required previous to pharmacy school). Oddly, I was missing the same two prereqs as you - but I'm digressing.

    Anyway, that process takes about a year, partly because the whole application cycle at the schools starts a year before you actually want to start school. Then, pharmacy school will be 4 years unless you go to one of the 3 year accelerated programs where you go to school year round.

    I think your grades and past experience will be pretty competitive. If you can do well on the PCAT, then the only major area you are lacking is pharmacy experience. This is not required by all schools, but I felt it helped me a lot during the interview process. Also, depending on school, that area might be weighted more heavily. I know at my school the past couple of entering classes have had around 80% of the students coming in with some sort of previous work experience in a pharmacy.
     
  6. The Fargoan

    5+ Year Member

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    I had my BS in Chemistry and decided to pursue pharmacy after a few years of environmental research. One year for catching up on general classes, taking the PCAT and applying was plenty for me. I think my application was strengthened by my maturity compared to my fellow classmates. The four years in school seem to be dragging by painfully slowly (only because I hate being a starving student). I would encourage you to volunteer/shadow a pharmacist and then get into a pharmacy intern position as soon as possible. It makes school a little easier and a lot more interesting when you can relate to drugs you've actually dispensed. Good luck!
     
  7. maliciousdoc

    2+ Year Member

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    Taking the classes is the key. Pharmacy school admission is rough on the prerequisites, make sure you do that. Shadowing is helpful, but not necessary. You can't have everything - either graduate degree, or practical experience. Although both would be better. With a graduate degree, go for accelerated program - you will shave 1 yr off the calendar.
     
  8. Quiksilver

    Quiksilver Secundum Artem PharmD
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    you might want to see if there are any schools that you can place out of in some of the classes in the first year, your GPA seems high enough that in some schools you can save yourself a lot of pain in the first year

    you are built to do well in pharmacy it seems, your degrees will come in handy. Lots of that good stuff in pharmacology, biochem, physiology and among others.

    there are 3 year programs including LECOM, but I don't know how their pharmacists turn out, they didn't do a lot of the stuff that we do at UB.
     

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