Saisri_PharmStdnt

Class of 2023
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May 18, 2018
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Phoenix, AZ
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Pharmacy Student
(Posting the following as a Pre-Pharm starting school in August, not as a moderator)

There are so many threads in the Pre-Pharmacy section regarding all the reasons people should not be going into Pharmacy. I was going to link them, but then this post would be really long.

There are many of us Pre-Pharmacy students on the boards, much to the frustration of those who have come before us.

Yes, Pharmacy is an over-crowded field. I don't know that anyone is truly disputing that fact. But hear me out, there will always be a need for students coming up behind those already in the field in order to replace those that retire, move on, etc. The real issue isn't that there are Pharmacy Students, but how many of them.

I want to offer up a discussion point for you all.

There are 2 primary groups of Pharmacy Students: Those on SDN and those that are not.

Instead of being the doom/gloom to those students you have access to on these boards, why aren't there more posts helping students become the best Pharmacists that they can be in order to mold and shape those you want to be in the field. There are opportunities to network, to share the knowledge of the Collective, to provide real world advice, to offer help navigating the process, etc...

All the non-SDN pharmacy students out there would be missing out on this information and would be at a disadvantage from an information perspective.

If knowledge is power, why aren't we using the power better?
 
May 5, 2018
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To answer the Original Poster's question about why we are not using our power "better" as pharmacists, not as forum users and posters:

1. Many of the pharmacists that are helping students are still pursuing their residency training and not helping their non-residency-trained colleagues. Colleagues refers to pharmacy school graduates who do not have a residency or a fellowship. I encountered this many times among my own peers and even some faculty. The rally cry was: "Where are my PGY2s at?," not "How can we help everyone else that is not residency trained get to our level?" or "How can we provide quality patient care together?" Residency-trained pharmacists are not only refusing to get everyone else up to speed, but they are asking the wrong questions. The wording was changed to: "PGY2s. Where you at?" a few weeks later; the rally cry conveyed the same message as before but with different wording.

2. Pharmacy is in its own silos, which are traditionally called cliques (like high school, only on a professional level): academia, managed care, research, PGY1 and PGY2, retail, independent, clinical, staff, industry fellows, business owners, and the list goes on. Due to this lack of collaboration and lack of buy-in to specific causes, it is very difficult for pharmacists of all specialties to come together for legislative efforts. Such meetings only occur on Legislative Days and other political gatherings. The motivations among pharmacists are inconsistent; like politics, everyone has their own agenda. It's hard to get everyone on the same page.

3. Once students graduate from pharmacy school and are accepted into a residency, the emotional restraints are removed. Many of them have an elitist attitude and can refuse to train their colleagues under a vague concept of "professionalism." Such continual rejection and neglect makes the rest of us registered pharmacists not want to "help" much less generate our "why" for being pharmacists. I spoke with a variety of pharmacy directors as well as those I worked with. The consensus was one fact: residency alone is not experience, but training under a licensed pharmacist. The resident still has not been a pharmacist yet because their interventions are observed by a preceptor. To the best of my knowledge, residency is like PharmD rotations all over again, only with more patients. The stakes are higher than as a student, you are paid very little compared to practicing pharmacists, and you must have your license in that state (pass the NAPLEX, MPJE, and meet other requirements to stay licensed which includes some CE credits).

4. Student loans are much higher than before, forcing us to accept jobs we cannot use our PharmD for or jobs that pay less than what we are worth. We need to take care of ourselves before we take care of others. That is how society views progress and how the outside world views mental health. The pharmacist view conflicts with this, saying we must serve no matter what even if it is for no pay. Financial and personal issues lead to burnout and eventually apathy. Florida is the only state, according to an ABC iTeam investigation, that enforces the student loan law. If you are in default of your student loans, you cannot practice. Solution: see if the Board of Pharmacy will change your jurisdiction (if possible). You may have to take the NAPLEX again and pay the associated fees.

Source: Florida Board of Health suspends health care licenses over student loan defaults January 19, 2019.

Some states, as you read the article, repealed the laws already. Florida is not one of them.

5. Each person and pharmacist has their own cause to support. Importance of those causes is relative to whatever the agenda is, not what needs to be done.

6. When we bring up these issues involving patient care, the first thing the Boards of Pharmacy and other pharmacists review is our own personal and professional profile, not the issue we discuss. This goes for pharmacists in practice and those that are elitist. In such scenarios, judgment is easy to pass but difficult to restrain.

7. We are not using our power because no one hears us. Lobbyists from the American Medical Association (AMA) have much more power than pharmacists, especially in FL. The current Florida Society of Health Systems Pharmacists (FSHP) chapter has trouble with this.

8. Pharmacists choose alternative careers once their loans are paid off, regardless of the training they receive. I spoke about this information in previous posts (PharmD to PA, PharmD to physician, and Pharmacist to Dentist). The thought is this: they paid their dues: they are done (or they lost enjoyment in the field for whatever the reason). However, removing themselves from the field is reframed as follows: "I am grateful to be starting a new journey..."

9. Quantitative objectives are hardly considered in pharmacy as a measure of success in anything other than educational and job placement outcomes (ACPE). Furthermore, pharmacy cannot agree on what the appropriate system of quality measures is, so we default to the measure our employer has for us. This is what we refer to as the "metrics."

10. Lack of measures of certainty by schools, national pharmacy professional organizations, and increased morale boosting for only residency-trained pharmacists and not for pharmacists that have neither a fellowship nor a residency. Residency-trained pharmacists are the only ones that can provide quality patient care and do not want to train the rest of us (unless of course we are students). Selfish behavior, but it is true.

If you view all of these factors, it is not surprising how easy pessimism becomes or how slow pharmacy progress is.

To sum it up: pharmacy as a profession has poor leadership compared with other health professions.
 
Last edited:

Timbo

7+ Year Member
Dec 31, 2010
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I try but they still don't listen. I tell them to not attend these new for-profit pharmacy school who offer inferior education, yet they refuse to listen. I tell graduating pharmacy students to not accept any retail positions that offer less than $50/hr because they are worth more than that, then they bitch about their student debt and say they'll accept whatever they can. I tell them not to sign any contracts that don't guarantee a minimum amount of hours, but they still do then complain about not getting enough hours. I tell them to find a tech job ASAP before starting pharmacy school because I know companies in many areas aren't hiring interns anymore (my district recently just fired like half of ours and limited each intern to only 4 hours a week), but they choose to enjoy their last summer before pharmacy school.

I used to be excited about working with interns and precepting pharmacy students. Now I can't stop myself from thinking "these poor idiots don't know what they're getting themselves into..."
 
May 5, 2018
128
83
31
Status
Pharmacist
I try but they still don't listen. I tell them to not attend these new for-profit pharmacy school who offer inferior education, yet they refuse to listen. I tell graduating pharmacy students to not accept any retail positions that offer less than $50/hr because they are worth more than that, then they bitch about their student debt and say they'll accept whatever they can. I tell them not to sign any contracts that don't guarantee a minimum amount of hours, but they still do then complain about not getting enough hours. I tell them to find a tech job ASAP before starting pharmacy school because I know companies in many areas aren't hiring interns anymore (my district recently just fired like half of ours and limited each intern to only 4 hours a week), but they choose to enjoy their last summer before pharmacy school.

I used to be excited about working with interns and precepting pharmacy students. Now I can't stop myself from thinking "these poor idiots don't know what they're getting themselves into..."
If students are desperate (or enthusiastic) enough for a job, then they will sign. Even if their will is strong, society will tell them to just take the job. Some peers will provide erroneous advice as well. The issue comes down to the student negotiating their worth at $50/hr or above. Residencies provide that training, which is why they are most sought after by graduates and provide a platform for negotiation. However, not every pharmacy graduate or licensed pharmacist earns a residency. Those students rely on rotations, volunteer experience, sustained technician work, research publications, and paid/unpaid internships.

For the community setting, how do you promote yourself to a higher level and prevent this from happening when you are competing against those with much higher credentials? How will you advise the PGY1s and PGY2s in a specialty area from "choosing" retail?

Answer: Find someone that will train you or choose another career. Pharmacy has historically been an apprenticeship, which is why all of the talk about training is present.
 
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stoichiometrist

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Aug 2, 2011
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I try but they still don't listen. I tell them to not attend these new for-profit pharmacy school who offer inferior education, yet they refuse to listen. I tell graduating pharmacy students to not accept any retail positions that offer less than $50/hr because they are worth more than that, then they bitch about their student debt and say they'll accept whatever they can. I tell them not to sign any contracts that don't guarantee a minimum amount of hours, but they still do then complain about not getting enough hours. I tell them to find a tech job ASAP before starting pharmacy school because I know companies in many areas aren't hiring interns anymore (my district recently just fired like half of ours and limited each intern to only 4 hours a week), but they choose to enjoy their last summer before pharmacy school.

I used to be excited about working with interns and precepting pharmacy students. Now I can't stop myself from thinking "these poor idiots don't know what they're getting themselves into..."
Pre-pharmacy

Pharmacist: Don't go into pharmacy.

Student: But pharmacy is my dream!

Pharmacist: Ok, fine. Make sure you choose the cheapest school. Borrow as little as possible. Work while you're in school.

Student: But I want to stay in Southern California! I will apply for hospital jobs.

P2

Student: I just completed my community IPPE. I hate retail!

Pharmacist: Better start bolstering that GPA now. You'll need it for residency.

Student: I better quit my internship and focus on grades!

P4

Student: I didn't match with a residency program!

Pharmacist: Beggars can't be choosers. 70% of the jobs are in retail and you've got a lot of loans there to pay off.

New grad with an offer

New grad: Yay! I got an offer!

Pharmacist: For how much per hour, and how many hours do you get?

New grad: $45 an hour. No guarantee of how many hours. My DM told me usually 32, although some people have been getting as little as 8 per week.

Pharmacist: You can move to a less saturated city.

New grad: Who would ever want to live in [insert flyover city]?!

1 year later

Experienced pharmacist: For $45/hour you really shouldn't be putting in 3 hours of unpaid overtime each shift. You're burning yourself out, and you're putting patient safety at risk by cutting corners like that. How do you manage to give all these flu shots?

New grad: But I want to impress my DM with my hard work! I am hoping to get more hours and hopefully a staff position. I have LOANS!

Experienced pharmacist: This is what happens when you don't listen. You choose to go into a saturated field and pick one of the most expensive schools possible without ever having worked in a pharmacy. You realize that you hate retail only after you're halfway done with school so you gun for a residency which you did not land. Most of the jobs are in retail but even though you hate it, you are desperate to get more hours because you are drowning in $200k+ student loans. You try to impress your DM by cutting corners and putting in more unpaid hours but you are only setting a new normal and making it worse for everyone else. We keep trying to give you real world advice but you keep ignoring it and digging yourself into a deeper hole. I wish you the best of luck trying to climb out of that $200k hole when jobs and opportunities are limited.

tl;dr We keep giving advice to students to reduce their student loan burdens and stand up for themselves and the profession but they keep digging themselves deeper and deeper.
 

King2440

7+ Year Member
Oct 6, 2009
126
112
181
Texas
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Pharmacy Student, Pharmacist
Pre-pharmacy

Pharmacist: Don't go into pharmacy.

Student: But pharmacy is my dream!

Pharmacist: Ok, fine. Make sure you choose the cheapest school. Borrow as little as possible. Work while you're in school.

Student: But I want to stay in Southern California! I will apply for hospital jobs.

P2

Student: I just completed my community IPPE. I hate retail!

Pharmacist: Better start bolstering that GPA now. You'll need it for residency.

Student: I better quit my internship and focus on grades!

P4

Student: I didn't match with a residency program!

Pharmacist: Beggars can't be choosers. 70% of the jobs are in retail and you've got a lot of loans there to pay off.

New grad with an offer

New grad: Yay! I got an offer!

Pharmacist: For how much per hour, and how many hours do you get?

New grad: $45 an hour. No guarantee of how many hours. My DM told me usually 32, although some people have been getting as little as 8 per week.

Pharmacist: You can move to a less saturated city.

New grad: Who would ever want to live in [insert flyover city]?!

1 year later

Experienced pharmacist: For $45/hour you really shouldn't be putting in 3 hours of unpaid overtime each shift. You're burning yourself out, and you're putting patient safety at risk by cutting corners like that. How do you manage to give all these flu shots?

New grad: But I want to impress my DM with my hard work! I am hoping to get more hours and hopefully a staff position. I have LOANS!

Experienced pharmacist: This is what happens when you don't listen. You choose to go into a saturated field and pick one of the most expensive schools possible without ever having worked in a pharmacy. You realize that you hate retail only after you're halfway done with school so you gun for a residency which you did not land. Most of the jobs are in retail but even though you hate it, you are desperate to get more hours because you are drowning in $200k+ student loans. You try to impress your DM by cutting corners and putting in more unpaid hours but you are only setting a new normal and making it worse for everyone else. We keep trying to give you real world advice but you keep ignoring it and digging yourself into a deeper hole. I wish you the best of luck trying to climb out of that $200k hole when jobs and opportunities are limited.

tl;dr We keep giving advice to students to reduce their student loan burdens and stand up for themselves and the profession but they keep digging themselves deeper and deeper.
Spot on.

On top of that, many companies are not investing time to train you. I remember having orientations, 6 weeks of training etc etc. (not that you need that..most will get it in a week). But either way it is tougher for new grads to jump in and get going. Not saying it cannot be done, but it is very strenuous.
 
May 5, 2018
128
83
31
Status
Pharmacist
Stoichiometrist:

Please see if this solution is viable for your post and if this advice is appropriate for pharmacists:

1. With the reduced number of hours in the pharmacy, build your skills in other areas with other jobs or side-hustles. Maybe try for a clinical, long-term care, research, or teaching position on the side (per-diem, of course). You can gain other skills aside from your primary employer, especially if they are not helping your career progress. Cutting your hours does not mean necessarily cutting your time. I have heard of pharmacists and former pharmacists on YouTube spending money on personal development workshops and developing their own business. If your employer does not invest in you, then invest in yourself. Your time off of the job is your time, not theirs.
2. Pick any location you can find for a first job, even if it is not in your ideal area. My Geriatric pharmacy preceptor had to work in Aberdeen, TX in the middle of nowhere after her PGY1; this occurred when the pharmacy job market was better than today.
3. Try to work on outside projects for your DM in retail: patient outcomes, promotional materials for flu shots, and documenting patient interventions and safety initiatives on your own time (if the system does not allow you to).
4. Work on an Master of Information Sciences (MIS) degree while working and gain exposure to pharmacy informatics and workflow systems.
5. Find a facility that trains you in specific programs: EPIC/Willow, Cerner, MediTech, McKesson, etcetera.
6. Work on other ways to enhance credentials without a residency.

Retail is your start, but it is not your only path.
 
Last edited:
OP
Saisri_PharmStdnt

Saisri_PharmStdnt

Class of 2023
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May 18, 2018
316
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Phoenix, AZ
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My God, you can''t be this naive. How are you even a mod? You said it yourself, this field is overcrowded. If you knew the simple concept of supply v. demand, then you wouldn't be starting school in the fall. People in this field tend to not retire either (hence the term 'dinosaurs').
I'm sorry that you think joining in on a topic you disagree with and calling the OP naive is an okay thing to do. I was hoping that this thread could be different by trying to hold an adult-level conversation.

Starting a topic for conversation does not make me naive. I'm trying to open up a different dialogue than usually occurs on the "Don't go into Pharmacy" threads. And honestly, some people are offering valid advice and important points - which was my goal.

I can't speak for any other candidates, but I'm quite aware of what I'm getting into. I'm fully aware of the amount of money I'm about to spend on school. I'm aware that I'm actually paying more for Creighton's Distance Pathway because I made a choice to continue being Mom first and foremost, and to also continue working part-time for the company I've been working nearly 16 years for. I'm aware that when I graduate, I'll be hitting 20 years with the company, and while that doesn't give me an automatic pharmacist position, it gives me a lot of legitimacy when I do post within or outside the company.

I kind of picture myself as bit of a raptor, but I'll leave this here...
 

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Saisri_PharmStdnt

Saisri_PharmStdnt

Class of 2023
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To answer your question about why we are not using our power "better":

1. Many of the pharmacists that are helping students are still pursuing their residency training and not helping their non-residency-trained colleagues. Colleagues refers to pharmacy school graduates who do not have a residency or a fellowship. I encountered this many times among my own peers and even some faculty. The rally cry was: "Where are my PGY2s at?," not "How can we help everyone else that is not residency trained get to our level?" or "How can we provide quality patient care together?" Residency-trained pharmacists are not only refusing to get everyone else up to speed, but they are asking the wrong questions.

2. Pharmacy is in its own silos, which are traditionally called cliques (like high school, only on a professional level): academia, managed care, research, PGY1 and PGY2, retail, independent, clinical, staff, industry fellows, business owners, and the list goes on. Due to this lack of collaboration and lack of buy-in to specific causes, it is very difficult for pharmacists of all specialties to come together for legislative efforts. Such meetings only occur on Legislative Days and other political gatherings. The motivations among pharmacists are inconsistent; like politics, everyone has their own agenda. It's hard to get everyone on the same page.

3. Once students graduate from pharmacy school and are accepted into a residency, the emotional restraints are removed. Many of them have an elitist attitude and can refuse to train their colleagues under a vague concept of "professionalism." Such continual rejection and neglect makes the rest of us registered pharmacists not want to "help" much less generate our "why" for being pharmacists.

4. Student loans and licensure fees are much higher than before, forcing us to accept jobs we cannot use our PharmD for or jobs that pay less than what we are worth. We need to take care of ourselves before we take care of others. That is how society views progress and how the outside world views mental health. The pharmacist view conflicts with this, saying we must serve no matter what even if it is for no pay. Financial and personal issues lead to burnout and eventually apathy.

5. Each person and pharmacist has their own cause to support. Importance of those causes is relative to whatever the agenda is, not what needs to be done.

6. When we bring up these issues involving patient care, the first thing the Boards of Pharmacy and other pharmacists review is our own personal and professional profile, not the issue we discuss. This goes for pharmacists in practice and those that are elitist. In such scenarios, judgment is easy to pass but difficult to restrain.

7. We are not using our power because no one hears us. Lobbyists from the American Medical Association (AMA) have much more power than pharmacists, especially in FL. The current Florida Society of Health Systems Pharmacists (FSHP) chapter has trouble with this.

8. Pharmacists choose alternative careers once their loans are paid off, regardless of the training they receive. The thought is this: they paid their dues: they are done. However, removing themselves from the field is reframed as follows: "I am grateful to be starting a new journey..."

9. Quantitative objectives are hardly considered in pharmacy as a measure of success in anything other than educational and job placement outcomes (ACPE). Furthermore, pharmacy cannot agree on what the appropriate system of quality measures is, so we default to the measure our employer has for us. This is what we refer to as the "metrics."

10. Lack of measures of certainty by schools, national pharmacy professional organizations, and increased morale boosting for only residency-trained pharmacists and not for pharmacists that have neither a fellowship nor a residency. Residency-trained pharmacists are the only ones that can provide quality patient care and do not want to train the rest of us. Selfish behavior, but it is true.

If you view all of these factors, it is not surprising how easy pessimism becomes or how slow pharmacy progress is.

To sum it up: pharmacy as a profession has poor leadership compared with other health professions.
Thank you for your thoughtful response. I was more referring to the power of knowledge and knowledge-sharing here on the boards with the students, but you raise some excellent points.
 
OP
Saisri_PharmStdnt

Saisri_PharmStdnt

Class of 2023
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May 18, 2018
316
186
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Phoenix, AZ
Status
Pharmacy Student
I try but they still don't listen. I tell them to not attend these new for-profit pharmacy school who offer inferior education, yet they refuse to listen. I tell graduating pharmacy students to not accept any retail positions that offer less than $50/hr because they are worth more than that, then they bitch about their student debt and say they'll accept whatever they can. I tell them not to sign any contracts that don't guarantee a minimum amount of hours, but they still do then complain about not getting enough hours. I tell them to find a tech job ASAP before starting pharmacy school because I know companies in many areas aren't hiring interns anymore (my district recently just fired like half of ours and limited each intern to only 4 hours a week), but they choose to enjoy their last summer before pharmacy school.

I used to be excited about working with interns and precepting pharmacy students. Now I can't stop myself from thinking "these poor idiots don't know what they're getting themselves into..."
Some of us listen. Some of us do actually pay attention. Don't give up on all of us :)
 
OP
Saisri_PharmStdnt

Saisri_PharmStdnt

Class of 2023
Moderator
May 18, 2018
316
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Phoenix, AZ
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Pre-pharmacy

Pharmacist: Don't go into pharmacy.

Student: But pharmacy is my dream!

Pharmacist: Ok, fine. Make sure you choose the cheapest school. Borrow as little as possible. Work while you're in school.

Student: But I want to stay in Southern California! I will apply for hospital jobs.

P2

Student: I just completed my community IPPE. I hate retail!

Pharmacist: Better start bolstering that GPA now. You'll need it for residency.

Student: I better quit my internship and focus on grades!

P4

Student: I didn't match with a residency program!

Pharmacist: Beggars can't be choosers. 70% of the jobs are in retail and you've got a lot of loans there to pay off.

New grad with an offer

New grad: Yay! I got an offer!

Pharmacist: For how much per hour, and how many hours do you get?

New grad: $45 an hour. No guarantee of how many hours. My DM told me usually 32, although some people have been getting as little as 8 per week.

Pharmacist: You can move to a less saturated city.

New grad: Who would ever want to live in [insert flyover city]?!

1 year later

Experienced pharmacist: For $45/hour you really shouldn't be putting in 3 hours of unpaid overtime each shift. You're burning yourself out, and you're putting patient safety at risk by cutting corners like that. How do you manage to give all these flu shots?

New grad: But I want to impress my DM with my hard work! I am hoping to get more hours and hopefully a staff position. I have LOANS!

Experienced pharmacist: This is what happens when you don't listen. You choose to go into a saturated field and pick one of the most expensive schools possible without ever having worked in a pharmacy. You realize that you hate retail only after you're halfway done with school so you gun for a residency which you did not land. Most of the jobs are in retail but even though you hate it, you are desperate to get more hours because you are drowning in $200k+ student loans. You try to impress your DM by cutting corners and putting in more unpaid hours but you are only setting a new normal and making it worse for everyone else. We keep trying to give you real world advice but you keep ignoring it and digging yourself into a deeper hole. I wish you the best of luck trying to climb out of that $200k hole when jobs and opportunities are limited.

tl;dr We keep giving advice to students to reduce their student loan burdens and stand up for themselves and the profession but they keep digging themselves deeper and deeper.
I can't argue with any of that. It really is a shame that more people don't do the homework required to really know about the profession that they are about to spend years and money on. That goes for any profession really.
 

stoichiometrist

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Aug 2, 2011
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I can't argue with any of that. It really is a shame that more people don't do the homework required to really know about the profession that they are about to spend years and money on. That goes for any profession really.
I tell everyone in general not to go into pharmacy because IMHO, half or more of the incoming students have no business being in pharmacy period. There simply are not enough jobs for them. Most of them will end up stuck in soul-sucking jobs which most of their paychecks are eaten up by student loans. Some of them are forced to move and re-settle hundreds or thousands of miles away from family and friends to the middle of nowhere indefinitely because they cannot find jobs in the cities; others would rather just pursue a new profession. An incrasing number of new grads are incompetent enough to be a danger to patients due to subpar admission standards and education quality.

I do think that there is a subgroup that genuinely does have a great chance to thrive in the profession. Problem is that most people think they are part of this subgroup because they have been raised on participation trophies and think that all they need to do is show up and they'll do fine. Then there are those who don't bother to think about their futures including the consequences of taking out $200k+ in loans to go to pharmacy school.
 
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I can't argue with any of that. It really is a shame that more people don't do the homework required to really know about the profession that they are about to spend years and money on. That goes for any profession really.
It is not necessarily about "doing your homework." It's about changes that happen within the pharmacy curriculum that derail your plans for success. Two of my seven rotations for my school were changed based on factors unbeknownst to anyone. Other students had the same things happen. Those students were not given the chance to really build their skills for the positions they needed. That has nothing to do with homework; it has to do with factors beyond your control.
 

LadyHalcyon

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Oct 30, 2016
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I'm not a pharmacy student or a pharmacist, but given the current state of our country maybe some students are ok with making 45 an hour and paying student loans for many years.
It is not necessarily about "doing your homework." It's about changes that happen within the pharmacy curriculum that derail your plans for success. Two of my seven rotations for my school were changed based on factors unbeknownst to anyone. Other students had the same things happen. Those students were not given the chance to really build their skills for the positions they needed. That has nothing to do with homework; it has to do with factors beyond your control.
 

mentos

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Nov 22, 2009
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OP, the other posters are correct you come off as very naive. That is not an insult, that is just what we observe. What area do you plan on working as a pharmacist when you graduate? If you tell us then we can give you real advice about the job market in that area.

To give an example, I live in Boston and my friend works at an outpatient pharmacy. He says they get an average of over 400 applications per Rph job posted. They haven't hired an external application in like 5 years. The job posts are fake and anytime one is posted, they have a PRN internal employee waiting in line for it. Technicians in contrast are in very high demand.
 
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OP
Saisri_PharmStdnt

Saisri_PharmStdnt

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OP, the other posters are correct you come off as very naive. That is not an insult, that is just what we observe. What area do you plan on working as a pharmacist when you graduate? If you tell us then we can give you real advice about the job market in that area.

To give an example, I live in Boston and my friend works at an outpatient pharmacy. He says they get an average of over 400 applications per Rph job posted. They haven't hired an external application in like 5 years. The job posts are fake and anytime one is posted, they have a PRN internal employee waiting in line for it. Technicians in contrast are in very high demand.
I've posted in other threads. I can't give too many details as I'm actively working, but I'll summarize again here.

I currently work for a PBM. I've been with the company for going on 16 years. With the backing up my leadership team and pharmacist team, I'm finally pursuing my degree. When I complete my degree, I'll have 20 years in the company. The current plan is that once I'm able to go back to working Full-time (dropping my hours in August when school starts), that I will be able to transition into a pharmaist role within my dept. From there, my plan is to be able to to them continue building on my career as I move up.
 

Timbo

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Dec 31, 2010
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I've posted in other threads. I can't give too many details as I'm actively working, but I'll summarize again here.

I currently work for a PBM. I've been with the company for going on 16 years. With the backing up my leadership team and pharmacist team, I'm finally pursuing my degree. When I complete my degree, I'll have 20 years in the company. The current plan is that once I'm able to go back to working Full-time (dropping my hours in August when school starts), that I will be able to transition into a pharmaist role within my dept. From there, my plan is to be able to to them continue building on my career as I move up.
PBMs are crooked. They are destroying pharmacy as we know it. They are the reason independents are going out of business one after the other. If you want to stand up and be a steward for the profession, I recommend you boycott working for such an evil institution.
 

DruggieDoRight

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I think we need to band together and no longer take interns.
 

rxkrafted

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I've posted in other threads. I can't give too many details as I'm actively working, but I'll summarize again here.

I currently work for a PBM. I've been with the company for going on 16 years. With the backing up my leadership team and pharmacist team, I'm finally pursuing my degree. When I complete my degree, I'll have 20 years in the company. The current plan is that once I'm able to go back to working Full-time (dropping my hours in August when school starts), that I will be able to transition into a pharmaist role within my dept. From there, my plan is to be able to to them continue building on my career as I move up.
So you've been thinking very optimistic in terms of possible outcomes... What makes you think there will be an opened pharmacist position for you in that company when you graduate? They don't just keep it vacant until you are done with school. It doesn't matter how long you've been with the company if they don't have an available position opened. Then what? Where do you go from there after you got your degree and massive amount of loans you accrued? I'm not trying to destroy your hopes and dreams but asking you to be aware of worse outcomes... and these are more likely to happen...
 
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Saisri_PharmStdnt

Saisri_PharmStdnt

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You're not destroying my hopes and dreams, nor do I keep rose-colored glasses on. I'm also aware that my plans don't necessarily get to match the reality of life - I think my path to where I am right now proves that. I'm at a different point in my life than most people seeking this profession, though, and that makes my perspective a little different.

That said, this thread isn't supposed to be about me. I was trying to open up a general discussion to help people get actual answers in a non-doom/gloom way. We started on that track, and I'd like to get it back to that.

I do think that there is a subgroup that genuinely does have a great chance to thrive in the profession. Problem is that most people think they are part of this subgroup because they have been raised on participation trophies and think that all they need to do is show up and they'll do fine. Then there are those who don't bother to think about their futures including the consequences of taking out $200k+ in loans to go to pharmacy school.
What realistic advice and inside-knowledge can we share to help those who should be following this path?

How do we help those who need it?

How do we ask the right questions to help whittle down those who maybe shouldn't go this path? And yes, this is the difficult one. When it becomes too doom/gloom, you get the "Challenge Accepted" mob-mentality, and most are going to do it anyway. How do we help people think critically about a major life-changing event such as choosing a career?

I think part of it has to be keeping as much of the information shared as factual and truthful as possible, without the extra name-calling or over-bearing sarcastic slams. I'm not saying we shouldn't share the negative side of things, but how information is presented lends to how it is received.
 
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BaSsHeAd

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OP, i'm curious as to how you joined in 2018 but are a moderator.

I guess my question, basically, is how does one become a moderator?
 
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rxkrafted

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All of these outdated pharmacists are probably afraid to be replaced by new people with a current education thats why they are so negative. (And are probably men). Pharmacy has the lowest wage gap out of medical professions so even if you think you are making less it probably is a bigger deal for you. This page is for pre-pharmacy. If you hate your profession then spend your time trying to switch rather than waste space on this forum.
Lol. I can't wait until you graduate pharmacy school just so we can all say that we told you so...
These discussions even happen between co-workers at both my jobs so its not just on SDN. But hey, you got it all figured out right.
 
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BC_89

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All of these outdated pharmacists are probably afraid to be replaced by new people with a current education thats why they are so negative. Pharmacy has the lowest wage gap out of medical professions so even if you think you are making less it probably is a bigger deal for you. This page is for pre-pharmacy. If you hate your profession then spend your time trying to switch.
edited due to content. Gender discrimination is not tolerated. Speak your thoughts within the terms of service.
 
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King2440

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Big chain in Texas...looks like we are officially starting new grads at $42 an hour for RPH and $50 for PIC.

Also closest open job to the metroplex is about 70 miles out.

My DM said they posted a 24 HR/week job and had 198 applicants.

Good luck folks.
 

Timbo

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Big chain in Texas...looks like we are officially starting new grads at $42 an hour for RPH and $50 for PIC.

Also closest open job to the metroplex is about 70 miles out.

My DM said they posted a 24 HR/week job and had 198 applicants.

Good luck folks.
To keep things on topic and to reiterate my previous point: pre-pharmacy students, pharmacy students, and new grad pharmacists PLEASE do not accept wages that low. At $42/hr plus ~$2000 a month in loan payments for at least the next 10 years, your salary comes out to be about $45k a year. You would be accepting a pay that puts you below the median national household income and below what someone with a mere bachelor's degree makes. Did you choose pharmacy so that you can take a pay cut??? Of course not. For Christ's sake, you are going to have a doctorate degree that you are investing 4 years toward and taking out $200k debt for. You are worth more than that. Don't let corporations take advantage of us or they'll just keep pushing us around. Be a steward for the profession. If a company offers you anything less than $50/hr, either negotiate a higher wage or turn down the offer. If you are currently pre-pharm and want to continue down this path because you are passionate, please be ready to be unemployed for months to even years after graduation. If you are truly passionate about pharmacy, you should not accept such low pay because you would be bringing down the profession as a whole.
 
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To keep things on topic and to reiterate my previous point: pre-pharmacy students, pharmacy students, and new grad pharmacists PLEASE do not accept wages that low. At $42/hr plus ~$2000 a month in loan payments for at least the next 10 years, your salary comes out to be about $45k a year. You would be accepting a pay that puts you below the median national household income and below what someone with a mere bachelor's degree makes. Did you choose pharmacy so that you can take a pay cut??? Of course not. For Christ's sake, you are going to have a doctorate degree that you are investing 4 years toward and taking out $200k debt for. You are worth more than that. Don't let corporations take advantage of us or they'll just keep pushing us around. Be a steward for the profession. If a company offers you anything less than $50/hr, either negotiate a higher wage or turn down the offer. If you are currently pre-pharm and want to continue down this path because you are passionate, please be ready to be unemployed for months to even years after graduation. If you are truly passionate about pharmacy, you should not accept such low pay because you would be bringing down the profession as a whole.
Problem with that is the prisoner’s dilemna— game theory alone means that someone is going to mess it up for everyone. In this case, don’t like your $42/hr pay? Fine, there are 14,999 other new grads who are desperate for a job and will take it in a heartbeat. Get all 15,000 new grads to band together somehow? No problem, the 5,000+ foreign grads will take that offer.
 
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stoichiometrist

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Problem with that is the prisoner’s dilemna— game theory alone means that someone is going to mess it up for everyone. In this case, don’t like your $42/hr pay? Fine, there are 14,999 other new grads who are desperate for a job and will take it in a heartbeat. Get all 15,000 new grads to band together somehow? No problem, the 5,000+ foreign grads will take that offer.
This is the problem. Everyone will look out for themselves and only themselves first. The new grads will take just about anything if the alternative were to default on their student loans.

We think PBMs and the pharmaceutical industry are evil for cutting reimbursements to pharmacies and price gouging medications, yet everyone flocks to work for these companies for their cushy work environment compared to retail. Pre-pharms go into pharmacy to "help people," yet most of them end up asking us on the Pharmacy forum on how to find jobs which they DON'T have to deal with people. "I love to help people, that is why I deal with the horrible conditions in retail" - says few practicing pharmacists ever.

The only real solution is to curb the oversupply of pharmacists. For individual students, the solution is to stop handing away $200k+ in student loans for decades of debt slavery.
 
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stoichiometrist

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FLpharm0717 said:
All of these outdated pharmacists are probably afraid to be replaced by new people with a current education thats why they are so negative. (And are probably men). Pharmacy has the lowest wage gap out of medical professions so even if you think you are making less it probably is a bigger deal for you. This page is for pre-pharmacy. If you hate your profession then spend your time trying to switch rather than waste space on this forum.
The funny thing is that you will get just about exactly what you wish for. 4 years from now you graduate with $200k in loans so you think...hmm, I will replace a old timer by offering to work for $45/hour. Big Box Retailer is more than happy to offer a position for you for 32 hours a week.

4 years later, two even more desperate new grads each offer to work for $40/hour. Both want literally anything, including part time work because they're $300k in debt. Now you as the $45/hour employee with benefits are deemed too expensive. Corporate fires you for some BS reason and happily hands these jobs to these two new grads for $40/hour, 16 hours a week with no benefits.

You're out of work because you're already deemed too old and there are plenty of new grads who will take your job for less.

What comes around, goes around.
 

Timbo

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Problem with that is the prisoner’s dilemna— game theory alone means that someone is going to mess it up for everyone. In this case, don’t like your $42/hr pay? Fine, there are 14,999 other new grads who are desperate for a job and will take it in a heartbeat. Get all 15,000 new grads to band together somehow? No problem, the 5,000+ foreign grads will take that offer.
This is the problem. Everyone will look out for themselves and only themselves first. The new grads will take just about anything if the alternative were to default on their student loans.

We think PBMs and the pharmaceutical industry are evil for cutting reimbursements to pharmacies and price gouging medications, yet everyone flocks to work for these companies for their cushy work environment compared to retail. Pre-pharms go into pharmacy to "help people," yet most of them end up asking us on the Pharmacy forum on how to find jobs which they DON'T have to deal with people. "I love to help people, that is why I deal with the horrible conditions in retail" - says few practicing pharmacists ever.

The only real solution is to curb the oversupply of pharmacists. For individual students, the solution is to stop handing away $200k+ in student loans for decades of debt slavery.
The difference is these aren't "prisoners", they are willful participants. No pre-pharms is denying the fact that the profession is saturated, yet they still choose it because of "passion" (correct me if I'm wrong pre-pharms). This means they aren't in it for the money. So at least they should be in it to stand up for the profession right?
 
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The difference is these aren't "prisoners", they are willful participants. No pre-pharms is denying the fact that the profession is saturated, yet they still choose it because of "passion" (correct me if I'm wrong pre-pharms). This means they aren't in it for the money. So at least they should be in it to stand up for the profession right?
This is what happens if you “stand up” for the profession. It is ALWAYS in your best interest to defect and look out for yourself. In the example I’ve highlighted, if you were selfish you’d end up with either a $42/hr offer or a $35/hr offer. If you “stood up for the profession” then you’d end up with either no job or a gamble (<1% chance) to get a $50/hr job. From your perspective what do you do? It’s a no-brainer: defect.

Similar logic applies for the “we should all unionize” band.
 

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Timbo

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This is what happens if you “stand up” for the profession. It is ALWAYS in your best interest to defect and look out for yourself. In the example I’ve highlighted, if you were selfish you’d end up with either a $42/hr offer or a $35/hr offer. If you “stood up for the profession” then you’d end up with either no job or a gamble (<1% chance) to get a $50/hr job. From your perspective what do you do? It’s a no-brainer: defect.

Similar logic applies for the “we should all unionize” band.
I understand what you're trying to say but you are assuming that pharmacy graduates are only out for their own personal financial gain. While some who are very ignorant may be, I would say that most applicants nowadays aren't because otherwise they would not have chosen pharmacy in the first place. Everyone knows that pharmacy is saturated. Ask any pre-pharms here and they will admit that it is. Everybody knows it is financial suicide to take out $150k+ loans to end up only making $42/hr. You must be a moron not to. Therefore I am going to assume this generation of pre-pharms are people with exceptionally high moral caliber who don't care about money and who just want to do something they are passionate about and help people. (Except Saisri who apparently plans to continue working for the big PBMs who are eventually killing our profession)
 
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Every week the prospective pharmacist salary goes down, we started with $60...then $50...now were at $42? pretty soon were gonna be paying CVS to go to work at this rate! Can you guys please stop making up stuff?
 
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rxkrafted

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Every week the prospective pharmacist salary goes down, we started with $60...then $50...now were at $42? pretty soon were gonna be paying CVS to go to work at this rate! Can you guys please stop making up stuff?
Have you ever worked in a pharmacy yet lol? If you know any close friends or relatives who are pharmacists, go ask them if wages are lower now than before. I don't know about $60 dropping to $42 for CVS because I no longer work for them but in my area, there are a couple of job postings for independent pharmacies that will pay a range of $25-50/hour.
 
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TerryTerry

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Don`t go to pharmacy school if you are looking for good income, debt free life, job security and respect.
The OP is an exception. She clearly has a place reserved for her when she becomes pharmacist in 2023.
Do not become a pharmacist simply hoping it will work out somehow. It won`t.

Become a pharmacist if you have true passion (willing to work for free) or if you have something waiting for you once you obtain the license.
 
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Timbo

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Every week the prospective pharmacist salary goes down, we started with $60...then $50...now were at $42? pretty soon were gonna be paying CVS to go to work at this rate! Can you guys please stop making up stuff?
I'll admit I've only heard of wages dropping to the 40s anecdotally from online forums and from a tech friend who told me some of the pharmacists he works with have new grad friends in southern California who are accepting offers for only $45/hr. I can tell you about my company though (I'm not going to say which but we are one of the top 3 chains in the country): my district recently cut most store hours by 1hr plus did away with most pharmacist overlaps. So 4 hrs/week were cut from each pharmacist so that amounts to a 10% pay cut. I've been talking to some of our interns who are going to graduate this May. They are only getting offered 30 hours week as float. Assuming they are getting the same wage as I did upon graduation (doubtful), that's a 25% salary decrease from what I made as a new grad 4 years ago.

Don`t go to pharmacy school if you are looking for good income, debt free life, job security and respect.
The OP is an exception. She clearly has a place reserved for her when she becomes pharmacist in 2023.
Do not become a pharmacist simply hoping it will work out somehow. It won`t.

Become a pharmacist if you have true passion (willing to work for free) or if you have something waiting for you once you obtain the license.
NO please do not work for free. Do not even work for anything less than $50/hr unless you are working for an independent. All it does is demean the profession. If you have a true passion for pharmacy, you would stand up for pharmacy and not allow yourself to be disrespected by corporations who don't care for you or your patients. I read in another forum, a new grad pharmacist posted looking job search advice as he had been unemployed for several months now after graduating. He claimed even being open to work for free for pharmacist experience. That is totally pathetic and it saddens me that pharmacy is being filled with people like that nowadays.

Here is another recent pathetic pharmacist story: INTRO - Unemployed Pharmacist TLDR: Walmart gives pharmacist the choice to either get laid off or take a $30k salary paycut and she pathetically chose the paycut. Pre-pharms and pharmacy students, PLEASE NEVER DO THIS. Quit the damn job and go find work for a company that actually respects you. Or better yet build your own business.
 
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King2440

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NO please do not work for free. Do not even work for anything less than $50/hr unless you are working for an independent. All it does is demean the profession. If you have a true passion for pharmacy, you would stand up for pharmacy and not allow yourself to be disrespected by corporations who don't care for you or your patients. I read in another forum, a new grad pharmacist posted looking job search advice as he had been unemployed for several months now after graduating. He claimed even being open to work for free for pharmacist experience. That is totally pathetic and it saddens me that pharmacy is being filled with people like that nowadays.

Here is another recent pathetic pharmacist story: INTRO - Unemployed Pharmacist TLDR: Walmart gives pharmacist the choice to either get laid off or take a $30k salary paycut and she pathetically chose the paycut. Pre-pharms and pharmacy students, PLEASE NEVER DO THIS. Quit the damn job and go find work for a company that actually respects you. Or better yet build your own business.

Not a paycut if you work less. Seems like she went from 40hr to 32 hr. She must have been a horrible PIC to be part of the September cuts.
 
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working less hours is less money, but that doesn't mean you're making $42/hr like some of these doomsday people are saying, every p4 i know that has an offer is still at $60+
 
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rxkrafted

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working less hours is less money, but that doesn't mean you're making $42/hr like some of these doomsday people are saying, every p4 i know that has an offer is still at $60+
Yeah but I bet those offers are in California or areas of high costs of living. I guarantee you no one around my area, southeast region, is getting offers like that! Like I said, I have not seen anyone getting offers as low as $42/hr but they I have been seeing a trend of new job postings within the past 2 years that are giving a range of $25-50 dollars/hr and there may be a potential that the employer will low-ball a new grad with a low offer if they are very desperate for a job to pay off loans.
 
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Yeah but I bet those offers are in California or areas of high costs of living. I guarantee you no one around my area, southeast region, is getting offers like that! Like I said, I have not seen anyone getting offers as low as $42/hr but they I have been seeing a trend of new job postings within the past 2 years that are giving a range of $25-50 dollars/hr and there may be a potential that the employer will low-ball a new grad with a low offer if they are very desperate for a job to pay off loans.
All of them in DFW area and a few in San Antonio/Houston
 
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rxkrafted

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All of them in DFW area and a few in San Antonio/Houston
If those P4s were not lying to you and they were not offered positions for manager positions, I may have to consider transferring over there then
 
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If those P4s were not lying to you and they were not offered positions for manager positions, I may have to consider transferring over there then
stay out of my market bro! I've seen some of the offer emails and the ones ive talked to are pretty open about this stuff, for the exact reason of knowing who's getting shafted with crap offers.

I made $25 as a tech + differential wouldn't that be some irony if no education to 6yr pharm d. earned the same? not that i believe it will ever go that low
 

stoichiometrist

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TerryTerry

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I'll admit I've only heard of wages dropping to the 40s anecdotally from online forums and from a tech friend who told me some of the pharmacists he works with have new grad friends in southern California who are accepting offers for only $45/hr. I can tell you about my company though (I'm not going to say which but we are one of the top 3 chains in the country): my district recently cut most store hours by 1hr plus did away with most pharmacist overlaps. So 4 hrs/week were cut from each pharmacist so that amounts to a 10% pay cut. I've been talking to some of our interns who are going to graduate this May. They are only getting offered 30 hours week as float. Assuming they are getting the same wage as I did upon graduation (doubtful), that's a 25% salary decrease from what I made as a new grad 4 years ago.



NO please do not work for free. Do not even work for anything less than $50/hr unless you are working for an independent. All it does is demean the profession. If you have a true passion for pharmacy, you would stand up for pharmacy and not allow yourself to be disrespected by corporations who don't care for you or your patients. I read in another forum, a new grad pharmacist posted looking job search advice as he had been unemployed for several months now after graduating. He claimed even being open to work for free for pharmacist experience. That is totally pathetic and it saddens me that pharmacy is being filled with people like that nowadays.

Here is another recent pathetic pharmacist story: INTRO - Unemployed Pharmacist TLDR: Walmart gives pharmacist the choice to either get laid off or take a $30k salary paycut and she pathetically chose the paycut. Pre-pharms and pharmacy students, PLEASE NEVER DO THIS. Quit the damn job and go find work for a company that actually respects you. Or better yet build your own business.
I am not telling people to work for free. I only meant to say that pursue your dream of becoming a pharmacist if you have true passion because people with such attitude will still be successful even in this tough job market and working conditions. If you have true passion for something and have will to work for free, you will make money no matter what you do and be happy about it.

Follow your passion. You will not regret no matter what happens.
 
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That’s a bunch of BS. I work in the DFW market and I know for a fact it is low $40s and Houston is at $45mstraight out of school.
maybe you're working for the wrong company, but I've seen the offer letter emails so it's not BS at all.
 
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King2440

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maybe you're working for the wrong company, but I've seen the offer letter emails so it's not BS at all.

Hmm. $60+ straight out of school in a time where Supply >>> Demand? If that’s true good for them, but I wouldn’t think this is the norm.