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sky2016

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Hello everyone,

This my first time using this forum. I got accepted into USC and Washington State University. I am waiting to hear back from 2 more schools.

I know that USC has a really good ranking, reputation, research foundation, and strong alumni work. But the tuition is extremely high $57,000/year. If I choose USC, I will have to take out $30,000 loan/year. I really liked the school and their research during the interview. (I am interested in doing research during my professional years)

For WSU, I will be paying $37000 for the first year and hopefully to apply for the sate residency ($20,000). $37000/year is a lot cheaper than USC.

I am from CA and willing to move to a different state. I am likely to stay and work in the state where I earned my PharmD. (I am also interested in PharmD/PhD program, but PharmD is my top priority)




I am interested in becoming a clinical pharmacist or go into research, and I have couple concerns:

1. Does the ranking matter to my future residency/career? USC has a strong alumni network, but California is extremely saturated. However, I can always move to another state.

2. What I like about WSU is that Washington state only has two pharmacy schools (University of Washington and WSU). I do not think it is too saturated there (I do not know what will happen after 4 years though :/ ). Again, I am worried the the employer are likely to hire someone from University of Washington due its reputation. UW and WSU both have very good programs.

I want to hear what you think and hopefully I am making the right decision. Thanks!
 

Kag01

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Hi,

Now is a bad time to go to pharmacy school.

Let me just say this:
I was warned about going to pharmacy school but I didn't listen.
 
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455424

Hello everyone,

This my first time using this forum. I got accepted into USC and Washington State University. I am waiting to hear back from 2 more schools.

I know that USC has a really good ranking, reputation, research foundation, and strong alumni work. But the tuition is extremely high $57,000/year. If I choose USC, I will have to take out $30,000 loan/year. I really liked the school and their research during the interview. (I am interested in doing research during my professional years)

For WSU, I will be paying $37000 for the first year and hopefully to apply for the sate residency ($20,000). $37000/year is a lot cheaper than USC.

I am from CA and willing to move to a different state. I am likely to stay and work in the state where I earned my PharmD. (I am also interested in PharmD/PhD program, but PharmD is my top priority)




I am interested in becoming a clinical pharmacist or go into research, and I have couple concerns:

1. Does the ranking matter to my future residency/career? USC has a strong alumni network, but California is extremely saturated. However, I can always move to another state.

2. What I like about WSU is that Washington state only has two pharmacy schools (University of Washington and WSU). I do not think it is too saturated there (I do not know what will happen after 4 years though :/ ). Again, I am worried the the employer are likely to hire someone from University of Washington due its reputation. UW and WSU both have very good programs.

I want to hear what you think and hopefully I am making the right decision. Thanks!


Don't listen to the fear-mongers in these forums. If you have an interest in pharmacy, pursue it. Understand that the market is not the same and that you will need to strive early on to be a competitive candidate.

1. If you have specific top ten programs that you would like to attend for a residency, attending a more a prestigious school might be to your benefit. However many factors go into deciding whether you're a match for a certain program and I believe that if you strive to attain a high GPA and network early on through professional organizations that you will be able to match regardless of what school you attend. Personally, I would not pay $57,000/yr for a name on my transcript.

2. If you are willing to move around the country, that won't be an issue. Develop yourself throughout your schooling and standout as a candidate. Merely attending a school won't guarantee you pharmacy positions. What % of candidates from WSUSOP matched this past year or the previous year? How will each program prepare you for residencies? Are their clinical-track programs? Do your due diligence, ask these questions to your interviewers.
 
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sky2016

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Don't listen to the fear-mongers in these forums. If you have an interest in pharmacy, pursue it. Understand that the market is not the same and that you will need to strive early on to be a competitive candidate.

1. If you have specific top ten programs that you would like to attend for a residency, attending a more a prestigious school might be to your benefit. However many factors go into deciding whether you're a match for a certain program and I believe that if you strive to attain a high GPA and network early on through professional organizations that you will be able to match regardless of what school you attend. Personally, I would not pay $57,000/yr for a name on my transcript.

2. If you are willing to move around the country, that won't be an issue. Develop yourself throughout your schooling and standout as a candidate. Merely attending a school won't guarantee you pharmacy positions. What % of candidates from WSUSOP matched this past year or the previous year? How will each program prepare you for residencies? Are their clinical-track programs? Do your due diligence, ask these questions to your interviewers.

I see. Thanks a lot. I think I should weigh more on the pros and cons, such as the opportunities that the school can offer. I assume landing a residency largely depend on my grades (WSU is pass no pass grading though) and networking throughout my professional year.
 

mentos

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I don't know how anyone can go to USC, even for retail. Everyone i know that went there is in debt up to their eyeballs.
 
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Sugoi Travis

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Go to the cheapest possible school. In this case, go to WSU. Screw USC's 57k price tag. You're shooting yourself in the foot financially if you go there.
 
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sky2016

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Go to the cheapest possible school. In this case, go to WSU. Screw USC's 57k price tag. You're shooting yourself in the foot financially if you go there.

thanks for the suggestion! Yeah If I had to choose, I would go to WSU because I would only end up with less than 20,000 loan max. I was super excited about USC when I got the acceptance, but I don't want to be in debt the number is so scary.
 

mentos

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thanks for the suggestion! Yeah If I had to choose, I would go to WSU because I would only end up with less than 20,000 loan max. I was super excited about USC when I got the acceptance, but I don't want to be in debt the number is so scary.

In general, for profit schools accept anyone willing to pay $$$
 

lord999

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Hello everyone,

This my first time using this forum. I got accepted into USC and Washington State University. I am waiting to hear back from 2 more schools.

I know that USC has a really good ranking, reputation, research foundation, and strong alumni work. But the tuition is extremely high $57,000/year. If I choose USC, I will have to take out $30,000 loan/year. I really liked the school and their research during the interview. (I am interested in doing research during my professional years)

For WSU, I will be paying $37000 for the first year and hopefully to apply for the sate residency ($20,000). $37000/year is a lot cheaper than USC.

I am from CA and willing to move to a different state. I am likely to stay and work in the state where I earned my PharmD. (I am also interested in PharmD/PhD program, but PharmD is my top priority)




I am interested in becoming a clinical pharmacist or go into research, and I have couple concerns:

1. Does the ranking matter to my future residency/career? USC has a strong alumni network, but California is extremely saturated. However, I can always move to another state.

2. What I like about WSU is that Washington state only has two pharmacy schools (University of Washington and WSU). I do not think it is too saturated there (I do not know what will happen after 4 years though :/ ). Again, I am worried the the employer are likely to hire someone from University of Washington due its reputation. UW and WSU both have very good programs.

I want to hear what you think and hopefully I am making the right decision. Thanks!

1 and 2. Except for schools that are not fully accredited (but that's only a slight problem given how easy ACPE is), there really isn't a difference between almost all schools. I'd follow the advice to minimize your school expenses at much as possible. Graduating from one school doesn't necessarily make you more competitive for a state.

Do you have a dissertation topic in mind? If not, don't go for a PharmD/PhD combined program. Just do the PharmD, then evaluate after you get out. Research is mostly irrelevant to the undergraduate pharmacy classes.

And I can tell you right now that WSU won't give you in-state due to the Board of Regents of University of California screwing Washington and every other WICHE state over with tuition reciprocity. You will not be able to get in-state tuition (reclassify to resident) without being in school more than one year and taxpaying in a WICHE state. You will be expected to pay out-of-state tuition your first year for certain there and possibly your entire time. If your parents contribute anything toward your financial status, that year is ruled out for converting to in-state unless you're over 25. And yes, this involves you submitting yours and your parents' tax returns.
 
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sky2016

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1 and 2. Except for schools that are not fully accredited (but that's only a slight problem given how easy ACPE is), there really isn't a difference between almost all schools. I'd follow the advice to minimize your school expenses at much as possible. Graduating from one school doesn't necessarily make you more competitive for a state.

Do you have a dissertation topic in mind? If not, don't go for a PharmD/PhD combined program. Just do the PharmD, then evaluate after you get out. Research is mostly irrelevant to the undergraduate pharmacy classes.

And I can tell you right now that WSU won't give you in-state due to the Board of Regents of University of California screwing Washington and every other WICHE state over with tuition reciprocity. You will not be able to get in-state tuition (reclassify to resident) without being in school more than one year and taxpaying in a WICHE state. You will be expected to pay out-of-state tuition your first year for certain there and possibly your entire time. If your parents contribute anything toward your financial status, that year is ruled out for converting to in-state unless you're over 25. And yes, this involves you submitting yours and your parents' tax returns.

Ok, thanks for these valuable information!
The interviewer recommended it, but yeah I will go for PharmD. Even paying the full tuition is cheaper than USC, and I think this is my best bet. I just want to to make sure that I will be able to stay and work in Washington state as a CA resident right? Because I do not want to graduate from WSU and come back to CA. I plan to work and live there.
 

rph3664

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Which school should you go to?

Neither.

Find another major.
 
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Litha

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...

2. What I like about WSU is that Washington state only has two pharmacy schools (University of Washington and WSU). I do not think it is too saturated there (I do not know what will happen after 4 years though :/ ). Again, I am worried the the employer are likely to hire someone from University of Washington due its reputation. UW and WSU both have very good programs.

I want to hear what you think and hopefully I am making the right decision. Thanks!

While Washington does only have 2 pharmacy schools, a large portion of the state is rural. Most of the population lives on the west coast, with Spokane on the east border being an exception. There is fierce competition for desirable areas, i.e. Seattle, Spokane, Tri-cities maybe. As someone who applied for numerous jobs in Washington this year and was not even interviewed for anything....I guarantee you that judging a job market but how many nearby pharmacy schools there are is a poor idea. In 4 years, it will only be worse. I wouldn't want to be involved in the new-grad pharmacy job market then.
 

rxdawg21

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Ok, thanks for these valuable information!
The interviewer recommended it, but yeah I will go for PharmD. Even paying the full tuition is cheaper than USC, and I think this is my best bet. I just want to to make sure that I will be able to stay and work in Washington state as a CA resident right? Because I do not want to graduate from WSU and come back to CA. I plan to work and live there.

Why do you want to go into a field that pays 100k when it is going to cost you >100k in debt. (if you take out 100 you will end up with close to 120 after the interest capitalizes). Do you have experience working in retail pharmacy (your most likely job)? Have you worked in a hospital already as a technician and seen what a clinical pharmacist does? If you want a residency you will have to get good grades, do a poster, be involved, have great interview skills and recommendations and cherry on top would be to have hospital experience. I can imagine in 4 years the competition will be worse then what it is today.

If this is your passion (and you can truly only know that if you actually have experience) by all means pursue it. However, you said you want to do clinical pharmacy or research. What is your idea of clinical pharmacy? If it is seeing patients and being able to prescribe and make meaningful medical recommendations I suggest you go the PA/NP route. Pharmacist jobs that do those things are so few and far between it's not likely you will get one anytime soon. There are exceptions to everything, just don't think you are the magical snowflake that is destine to get that job.

I suggest you make sure pharmacy is for you (through experience, especially in retail which is a real possibility) before you go into debt for a career you may not like.
 

lord999

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Ok, thanks for these valuable information!
The interviewer recommended it, but yeah I will go for PharmD. Even paying the full tuition is cheaper than USC, and I think this is my best bet. I just want to to make sure that I will be able to stay and work in Washington state as a CA resident right? Because I do not want to graduate from WSU and come back to CA. I plan to work and live there.

Again, it doesn't matter where you go to pharmacy school in terms of geography. Many pharmacists in the UCSF hospital system are from Michigan, Arizona, and Minnesota due to their own hospital pharmacy traditions. There's also plenty of University of Idaho and OSU grads in WA as well as the sole state of that practitioner. I would pay attention to the above regarding competition. It's getting stupid hard to compete for a job up in the four corners (Spokane, Tri-Cities, Seattle, Portland-Vancouver), so it's more about what circumstances are available than graduating.

If you could even apply to a cheaper pharmacy school, it'd be better, but it'd probably come at the expense of not being in a nice city (which for me, wasn't that big a deal as I worked so much that I didn't enjoy my training years).
 
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Sine Cura

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Pullman, WA may have its charms but one thing to consider is how likely are you going to get an intern position there or in Moscow, ID if you want to work in pharmacy while in school. You would have to get an intern license in Idaho if Idaho requires one.
 
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Litha

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Pullman, WA may have its charms but one thing to consider is how likely are you going to get an intern position there or in Moscow, ID if you want to work in pharmacy while in school. You would have to get an intern license in Idaho if Idaho requires one.
Idaho requires an extern license for pharmacy students. But essentially the same thing.

Many students in my class got student licenses in multiple states because we are so close to state borders. Washington, Oregon, etc. But yes, OP, more costs to consider.
 
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sky2016

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While Washington does only have 2 pharmacy schools, a large portion of the state is rural. Most of the population lives on the west coast, with Spokane on the east border being an exception. There is fierce competition for desirable areas, i.e. Seattle, Spokane, Tri-cities maybe. As someone who applied for numerous jobs in Washington this year and was not even interviewed for anything....I guarantee you that judging a job market but how many nearby pharmacy schools there are is a poor idea. In 4 years, it will only be worse. I wouldn't want to be involved in the new-grad pharmacy job market then.
Why do you want to go into a field that pays 100k when it is going to cost you >100k in debt. (if you take out 100 you will end up with close to 120 after the interest capitalizes). Do you have experience working in retail pharmacy (your most likely job)? Have you worked in a hospital already as a technician and seen what a clinical pharmacist does? If you want a residency you will have to get good grades, do a poster, be involved, have great interview skills and recommendations and cherry on top would be to have hospital experience. I can imagine in 4 years the competition will be worse then what it is today.

If this is your passion (and you can truly only know that if you actually have experience) by all means pursue it. However, you said you want to do clinical pharmacy or research. What is your idea of clinical pharmacy? If it is seeing patients and being able to prescribe and make meaningful medical recommendations I suggest you go the PA/NP route. Pharmacist jobs that do those things are so few and far between it's not likely you will get one anytime soon. There are exceptions to everything, just don't think you are the magical snowflake that is destine to get that job.

I suggest you make sure pharmacy is for you (through experience, especially in retail which is a real possibility) before you go into debt for a career you may not like.

Yeah, I do have those experiences. I agree, 100 is indeed too much. If I go to WSU, there is almost no debt. I figured even if I couldn't land a job right after graduation, I wont be under huge pressure since I wont have much debt.

A concern I have is that WSU is pass no pass grading, i don't know how this system will distinguish student. Thats why I am not so sure.... :/
 

sky2016

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Yeah I do have those experiences. I agree, 100 is indeed too much. If I go to WSU, there is almost no debt. I figured even if I couldn't land a job right after graduation, I wont be under huge pressure since I wont have much debt.

A concern is that WSU is pass no pass, I don't know how this system will distinguish student. Thats why I am not so sure.
 
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sky2016

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If it were me I'd go for the cheapest school offering the APPE rotations that you want.
Yeah I think I will do that because I wont be in any debt.

Do you know about pass no pass grading? I am just worrying that this grading system wont be helping us when we apply for residency.
 

sky2016

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Again, it doesn't matter where you go to pharmacy school in terms of geography. Many pharmacists in the UCSF hospital system are from Michigan, Arizona, and Minnesota due to their own hospital pharmacy traditions. There's also plenty of University of Idaho and OSU grads in WA as well as the sole state of that practitioner. I would pay attention to the above regarding competition. It's getting stupid hard to compete for a job up in the four corners (Spokane, Tri-Cities, Seattle, Portland-Vancouver), so it's more about what circumstances are available than graduating.

If you could even apply to a cheaper pharmacy school, it'd be better, but it'd probably come at the expense of not being in a nice city (which for me, wasn't that big a deal as I worked so much that I didn't enjoy my training years).

Thanks! WSU is pass no pass grading. Do you know if this grading system will hurt us when we apply for residency since there is no real GPA measures?
 

steveysmith54

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both are great schools. If you don't mind living in either state, doesn't matter.

If you are interested in research, I'd pursue a good PhD program over a Pharm.D. program.
You seem bright, but know going into pharmacy that your odds are against you. What do I mean? I'd say 65-70 percent of jobs are in retail. With retail being super saturated, the masses are applying to residencies. What does this mean for u, your odds of becoming clinical RPh are lowered bc without a residency you will proly be a retail RPh. Not saying do not go into pharmacy but just be aware that you may not be getting the most bang for your buck going into pharmacy nowadays. The profession was screwed up by pharmacy leaders.
 

lord999

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Thanks! WSU is pass no pass grading. Do you know if this grading system will hurt us when we apply for residency since there is no real GPA measures?

Ummm, hope you know that "P" could be 80% or even higher. It's not necessary when applying for residency in the VA as we "know" how the P/F schools work. My rotations were P/F and I liked it better that way as I know I would have had discriminatory grading with some of my preceptors as I didn't fit their image of a progressive pharmacist as I detest clinical work and prefer the basement practice (ironically, I knew of the AIB for the VA Phoenix pharmacist who screwed me back in the day, and the Board suspended the license of the other preceptor for ethics issues that I had conflicts with as of this year). I could take certain risks with my rotations that A/F grading would have made me more conservative about, and my actual practice was due to me taking a risk on Cardinal which gave me something to think about as well as a weird rotation with what is now known as ASAP.

both are great schools. If you don't mind living in either state, doesn't matter.
If you are interested in research, I'd pursue a good PhD program over a Pharm.D. program.

I'd qualify that to say that if you are ONLY interested in research...pursue the PhD.

However, if you don't have any intentions of actually practicing pharmacy, don't go for the PharmD. It's a specific investment to practice pharmacy, not really an undergraduate degree anymore as a stepping stone.

Research has niche employment prospects, and the career building is a lot more difficult than a PharmD career pathway (even as bad as the market is going to be). You really have to be driven to make a research career work or you get stuck in the rut of eternal postdoc or eternal staff scientist (one step up from lab technician).
 
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exiangwsu

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dont pursue a PHD. The uncertainty of when u will graduate is painful. I see people spend 10 years finishing a PHD degree and then stuck in a post-doc position forever. If you pursue a phd, you have consider the possibility of making 35k a year for rest of your life.

Getting an academia position (assistant professor and professor) for basic science PHD is way more competitive and difficult than getting a position in pharmacy. Even when you obtain a position in a university, you have to constantly compete for grants and fundings to maintain your lab.

My dad is a phd. He strongly advise me not to go for a phd. I have many families friends whose parents r PHDs. None of their kids even apply for graduate school. They all go into either computer science or professional school.

Why not go to an instate university for pharmacy?
 
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sky2016

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dont pursue a PHD. The uncertainty of when u will graduate is painful. I see people spend 10 years finishing their PHD degree and then stuck in a post-doc position forever. If you pursue a phd, you have consider the possibility of making 35k a year for rest of your life.

Getting an academia position (assistant professor and professor) for basic science PHD is way more competitive and difficult than getting a position in pharmacy. Even when you obtain a position in a university, you have to constantly compete for grants and fundings to maintain your lab.

Why not go to an instate university for pharmacy?


Thanks for the suggestions!

It because I plan to stay and work in the state where I earned my PharmD. So, its does not really matter for me. I know USC has really good program but I am just not sure if its worth it to take out that much loan.
 

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At this time, I still don't think where you graduate from pharmacy school matters in terms of name recognition. It's what you have done in those years of schooling that really matters. Try to choose a school that will offer the resources you are looking for: a strong research program in the specific field you are interested in; established, experienced faculty, a school with good relationships with a concurrent MD program/RN program would be ideal in my mind if you plan to practice somewhere clinical. My old school helped expose me to a wide variety of pharmacy settings through my rotations and I have some very good professors who have been teaching for many years. Some of these newer schools I have my doubts about the quality of education the students are receiving just based on the kind of students that come through my rotations.
 

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Cheaper is always better no matter what where you practice pharmacy.

Name recognition would matter as OP plans to do research, possibly PhD. The UCSF Pharm.D/PhD program is 8 years long. UF's joint program is 7. What would you have done in that time on the traditional route?

You can think of the PhD after PharmD like a 4 year residency. You're stipend will be on par. Things like debt and cost of living would be things to consider. I say there's more value behind a joint degree pharmacist than there is a residency trained pharmacist in today's current job market.
 

sky2016

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Cheaper is always better no matter what where you practice pharmacy.

Name recognition would matter as OP plans to do research, possibly PhD. The UCSF Pharm.D/PhD program is 8 years long. UF's joint program is 7. What would you have done in that time on the traditional route?

You can think of the PhD after PharmD like a 4 year residency. You're stipend will be on par. Things like debt and cost of living would be things to consider. I say there's more value behind a joint degree pharmacist than there is a residency trained pharmacist in today's current job market.

Thanks! Yeah I am still debating. At this moment, it seems that a cheaper school is a better choice since my priority is PharmD. I did research on both schools' rotation and job placement. USC has 4 nearby hospitals while WSU is affiliated with many local hospitals. I think I will just send in the deposit for both school and decide later on. :/
 

lord999

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Cheaper is always better no matter what where you practice pharmacy.

You can think of the PhD after PharmD like a 4 year residency. You're stipend will be on par. Things like debt and cost of living would be things to consider. I say there's more value behind a joint degree pharmacist than there is a residency trained pharmacist in today's current job market.

Er, no. The PhD is a very different environment than the residents. You are given much more freedom than the residents, but productivity expectations more than compensate for it. It's not easy as someone else observed above to find employment, however, good PharmD/PhD's get into niche work that there really is not anyone else in the business. I'd phrase it as a resident succeeds if he/she does not fail, but a PhD candidate fails if they do not succeed in finishing their dissertation.

The closest to having a hybrid experience is the MS Nuclear with the practical hours to take BCNP. However, even nuclear is experiencing top coded growth due to Tc-99 supply control.
 
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