Working During Pharmacy School clinical or retail

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10+ Year Member
Jul 29, 2011
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Hello all,

Not asking if I should work during school- I've already decided I have no choice lol, but rather WHERE should I work.

This will be my first year of pharmacy school. I'm debating between working in a hospital as an "intern assistant" or as a pharm tech at a Walgreens. I know that both places will promote me to an intern during P2 and give more responsibility as I go through school. I'm also guessing the hospital will pay better than Walgreens...

Regardless of the pay... which would you guys choose in terms of which will be better for my career in the future? I feel like I hear that there is more demand for clinical pharmacists and the hospital would be a better experience. Are retail pharmacies going to go the way of the Dodo? Honestly I would be perfectly happy working at Walgreens as an intern and then jumping right into retail, rather than spend another 2 years doing residency and then going into clinical pharmacy- but then if I do that I feel like I will be at a disadvantage because I will have no clinical experience. What would you guys do? Should I do both lol

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I honestly can't imagine a realistic scenario where retail pharmacies "go the way of the Dodo". Most jobs available to new PharmDs are in retail (something like 7/10? I don't feel like actually looking up the numbers so if someone wants to call me on that, go ahead). I don't see this trend changing any time soon.

I would absolutely do both, if you think you can handle the work load. That would depend on what kind of min work hours you would be expected to undertake for these employers. If you have to choose between the two, I would go for the hospital internship. If it turns out that you don't like hospital work, transitioning from hospital to retail is much easier than the other way around.
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Do what you can get. I was a retail intern before I finally got hired at a hospital. Retail paid more and increased each year btw.