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What’s your goal as a pharmacist?

Discussion in 'Pre-Pharmacy' started by postcolor, Jul 16, 2018.

  1. postcolor

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    Hello,

    I’ve been reading a lot of discouraging comments from several people saying “there’s no future in pharamcy”, “pharamcy is a waste of money”, “your only hope is in retail”, and so on... Therefore, I would love to read some positive thoughts/comments on the field. What’s your goal if you are pursuing this field? If you’re a pharmacist now what are you doing?

    TIA
     
    Doktor_dud3 likes this.
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  3. Doktor_dud3

    Doktor_dud3 CPhT, Pre-Pharmacy

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    I hope to complete a PGY-1 and a PGY-2 in clinical practice and infectious diseases (respectively) and become a pharmacist at a hospital/teaching hospital specializing in infectious diseases (read: unicorn). If that doesn't work out, my backup is just a plain clinical pharmacist. And if THAT doesn't work, I would be a plain retail pharmacist at an independent. I would have no qualms with any of the above. I'm sure I'd even like working in a chain, if I had to. I also don't mind moving around a lot. I have no meaningful ties to home, anyway. I used to be a medical nerd, then I started tech'ing at a retail pharmacy and I fell in love with the profession. Even the "bad" days when I'm working are pretty good. It's hard to really put into words how much I enjoy doing what I do.
    Best of luck with your journey into Pharmacy!
     
    postcolor likes this.
  4. Saisri_PharmStdnt

    Saisri_PharmStdnt Class of 2023

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    I've been working for a PBM for the last 15 years with a specific client of ours. My goal once I have my PharmD is to be able to continue the work I've been doing, but taking on the clinical aspect for the client and eventually moving up and having a greater impact. I am quite blessed to have the network of people I have and I truly love where I'm at. I just want to be able to do more and I need the clinical background to be able to do it.

    I wish everyone the best of luck!
     
    postcolor likes this.
  5. stoichiometrist

    7+ Year Member

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    Pay off debt as soon as possible, save a nest egg, and retire early.

    Sorry to say that all the starry eyed dreams of being a clinical specialist are not going to work out for the vast majority of entering pharmacy students.
     
    Modest_anteater likes this.
  6. postcolor

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    Can always count on you to dampen spirits and express discouraging opinions (even on a thread that explicitly asked for the opposite). Thanks stoichiometrist!
     
    Doktor_dud3 likes this.
  7. Modest_anteater

    Modest_anteater Austin, Texas, USA.

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    thank you for bringing some positiveness to this community with your post. There is a lot of pessimistic hyperbole that attempts to masquerade as truth. Pharmayc does have a future. It's just that future is not as great as it has been in the past and will leave some grads jobless with mountains of debt. If you go into pharmacy today you need to be mentally okay with the possibility of living at home with your mom or parents and working at Arbys/Walmart/Mcdonalds and doing Income Based Repayment. This is the reality that is already starting to effect some new grads and it will be accelerated greatly in the next ten years. In my opinion pharmacy is no longer a viable career.
     
    Melazine likes this.
  8. stoichiometrist

    7+ Year Member

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    I would like to find a cure for cancer, be the CEO of Apple, and make $1 billion a year while working 30 minutes a week.
     
    Modest_anteater likes this.
  9. Modest_anteater

    Modest_anteater Austin, Texas, USA.

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    Stoichiometrist may not be perfect. But no one is perfect. He is however entitled to his opinion.

    One person sees discouraging another sees truthful
     
    Melazine likes this.
  10. Doktor_dud3

    Doktor_dud3 CPhT, Pre-Pharmacy

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    Eh, I still refute the claims that pharmacy is all doom and gloom. I won't speak for other students, but as for myself I have no desire to live anywhere else than a small city or larger town. Places like southern California and large cities don't appeal to me in the slightest. In my area even the hopsitals are hiring. There are jobs out there.
     
  11. stoichiometrist

    7+ Year Member

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    Exactly. Most of the posters here seem to have pie in the sky dreams of working their unicorn jobs in industry, academia, clinical specialties, informatics, etc. They don't seem to realize that the vast majority of them will end up unemployed or in a life of drudgery in retail.
     
    Modest_anteater likes this.
  12. postcolor

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    Okay. Please give me evidence showing me your claims that the vast majority will be unemployed.
     
  13. stoichiometrist

    7+ Year Member

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  14. Robbin

    Robbin Pharmacist

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    A pharmacy is a place where people get the right medicines and being able to clear their queries regarding the usage of the drugs. A pharmacist job is not only to sell the drugs but also to counsel the patients. This is the most valuable profession in the present time as most of the pharmacists are joining hands with the medical clinics and hospitals to work for the welfare of the society in providing the medicines at the lowest prices. Moreover, the online pharmacies are working well in the US. One can have so many opportunities in this profession.
     
    postcolor likes this.
  15. postcolor

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    Still waiting for your evidence to back up your claims. For all I know you’re a bitter pre-pharm dropout... Stoichiometrist, do you have any experience in the field to be able to predict its future?
     
  16. rxrhino

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    I am currently working as a primary care specialist in a large southern California Health care system. This is after completing a PGY-1 ambulatory care focused residency. I have my own office and make my own schedule as the doctors do. I work one-on-one with PCPs, RNs, LVNs and MAs. Can't really complain. Life is good.
     
    Doktor_dud3 and postcolor like this.
  17. postcolor

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    They absolutely are joining hands with clinics and hospitals, along with doctors and specialists. This field is expanding to be more inclusive in multiple areas of expertise because people respect the pharmacists opinion.
     
  18. acslater99

    5+ Year Member

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    I think it is definitely interesting for sure. I have been keeping an eye out the past couple of months to see the job market of clinical pharmacy and I have been seeing a lot of job openings. Now, I am in a state where the job market saturation is the worse, Florida; but as I said previously I am seeing job posting come up by many hospitals. This is happening every day or every other day, it fluctuates.

    Just a day ago, I saw a job listing for a clinical pharmacy position open up with a $10,000 sign on bonus. Could that mean anything? Possibly, but I'll have to see how the job market shifts within the next couple of months.

    The good news? More jobs for clinical pharmacy are showing up. Retail on the other hand seems extinct.
     
    postcolor likes this.
  19. Apotheker2015

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    People adapt. Most do so very quickly. Heck, in my area Metro transit pays bus drivers 19.47 to start. 30 hours guaranteed. Plenty of overtime for anyone who wants it.
    Those with good credit will buy rental properties. Those with bachelor’s degrees will get a teaching license. If they speak a second, or third language and are able to teach subject matter in it, well they’ll get paid more. Work 9 months out of the year? Sure, why not?

    All those options qualify for PSLF. Mail carrier, yes, your mailman who walks around listening to music while he distributes mail.
    The less you make, the lower your minimum payment is on an IDR plan. 10 years later, no matter how high that bill is, the remaining balance is forgiven.

    If they move abroad, they can stay on an IDR plan, why not? Their income will probably be low by US standards and you just make your minimum payment.

    This whole mentality of “I must pay them off”. Meh you don’t. I wouldn’t even feel bad about it. If you end up with a huge tax bill, then you set up a failing business beforehand - DONE.

    All any pharmacist has to do is turn around and do an accelerated BSN to be a “most-wanted” nurse. Most schools won’t even ask you that many questions. PA school? Sure if you don’t mind explaining your a$$ off. I’d rather get a quick BSN. Done.

    You can be a floor nurse in California and make a killing. Or you can get your NP or MBA and move up the ladder.

    All this doom and gloom is nonsense. Take note of my words because no one is immune to being displaced by a new grad with fresh clinical skills - especially from a top school. I do mean top 5.

    So there are options. They may not be first choice, but mail carrier is a breeze. Sure you might get bored but loans would be discharged after 10 years. You can still max out your 401k and then still retire abroad early.
     
  20. HipHopHippo

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    Isn’t everyone being displaced a reason to be full of doom and gloom? And I’m not sure what you mean by the last part. That even people from a top 5 school can be displaced?
     
  21. SpartanDOnoharm

    Pharmacist Gold Donor Classifieds Approved

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    I graduated back in 2010. I didn't find a full time job right away but I started per diem at an inpatient hospital. I started working 30-40 hour weeks for the first several months then they gave me 40 hour weeks regularly on shifts that people didn't want (mostly second shifts). I then continued to help out, learn stuff, get good reviews and 2 years later I became an ER pharmacist. No residency, 100% clinical absolutely no order verification. I then worked as an ER pharmacist for 5 years. Don't be too discouraged. You may not have your dream job right out of college and that's okay. I just so happened to get mine 2 years later after putting in the work.
     
  22. pharmacyro

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    Hi, I was wondering for ambulatory care pharmacists, what is the major difference in responsibilities from retail pharmacy? I know ambulatory care pharmacists usually have more long term patient care, especially for patients with chronic diseases like diabetes, hypertension, etc. I also know that they work directly with a team of other health care professionals, but I feel as though retail pharmacists also interact with other health professionals via phone call.

    To me, it doesn't seem like there's a huge difference in responsibilities between retail and ambulatory care when I researched online. It would be great to hear from a professional who actually experienced the residency. Thank you!
     
  23. Modest_anteater

    Modest_anteater Austin, Texas, USA.

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    He actually said vast majority unemployed OR in retail. Please pay attention to details if you are going to be a pharmacist.
     
  24. Robbin

    Robbin Pharmacist

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    our best role to be a pharmacist help to the poor people who really need it. Goal may be diffrent my goal is to awarded my pharmacy best for the people who really do believe me.
     
  25. gwarm01

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    This is almost exactly the same path I followed, only I went into informatics after putting in my time with the world's worst schedule. It was the willingness to be flexible that allowed me to receive training in every service our department offered.

    Now I'm working in a unicorn job in one of the most desirable cities in the country. I'd post a picture of the view from my office, but I don't want to dox myself anymore than I already have.
     
    SpartanDOnoharm likes this.
  26. BC_89

    2+ Year Member

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    Goal:

    Graduate debt free (GI bill + yellow ribbon program + VA rating) while putting 10-20% down payment on a cabin in the boonies (VA loan + no pmi cost + low apr)

    Max 401k + Roth IRA (coupled with spouse) + HSA while investing in my hobbies (hunting/fishing).

    Work VA clinic taking the schedule no one wants while doing a buy-back package for prior time working in gov. to get more bang for my buck in a pension.

    Retire early with a solid drug interaction knowledge base and put my hard-earned money in a multi-million dollar franchise that bass pro shops buys out for coming out with an un-mutinable 6” worm that comes in 3 distinct color combos and two different ‘ot size weedless hooks.

    The end.
     
  27. PharmDBro2017

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    Goal: Pay off debt, pursue and achieve FIRE lifestyle ASAP.... in this market that is the #1 goal for all of us imo. Our job opportunities are decreasing, wages are stagnant (decreasing due to inflation actually), saturation is rampant, and you can be fired and replaced way too easily. Make the best decisions for patients is also at the forefront.
     
  28. rxrhino

    2+ Year Member

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    My first question is, are you a pharmacy student or a pre-pharmer? There are many different kinds of ambulatory care clinics with different specialties. They can range from primary care and chronic disease management (DM2, HTN, HLD, Asthma to Anticoag, neprho, geriatrics, oncology, HIV clinic, Hep C clinic, MTM, home infusion, etc.)

    Ambulatory care is very different for straight outpatient (CVS, walgreens, etc).

    Speaking to my specific line of work, at least a PGY-1 residency is required to work as an ambulatory care pharmacist. I work in a primary care clinic mainly with DM2 patients. Additionally I work with patients that have HTN, HLD and asthma. I start/stop medications, make med adjustments and order labs under my name. I see patients in clinic and speak to them over the phone as a PCP would. I get patients referred to me for management by their PCP. I have my own office in the clinic. I also work with the endocrinologist during multidisciplinary round with complex DM2 patients.

    Most outpatient pharmacists do not make medication adjustments or order labs. They call doctor offices to make recommendations for inappropriate medication therapy or if significant DDI's are found. Outpatient pharmacy does not require a residency.

    Outpatient pharmacists are critical to making sure a patient is taking medications appropriately, follow up on significant medication interactions, recommend alternative therapies if expensive or inappropriate and also provide important medication education to patients.

    I hope this answers your questions.
     

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