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Discussion in 'Pre-Pharmacy' started by Amicable Angora, Sep 29, 2015.

  1. Amicable Angora

    Amicable Angora Lagomorpha
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    This post is mainly directed toward sub-par applicants who are hoping to get into (any) pharmacy school.

    When it comes down to it, you probably will get into a school eventually if you apply broadly enough and get lucky. There are so many schools popping up now that your chances of success of getting into just one school are high enough. However, I strongly advise you abandon your idea and instead change to a different major where you will be competent and excel at.

    While it may be depressing, the fact is you will be entering a schooling experience which is competitive. You will have at least some level of competition with your classmates no matter where you go, even if there is no curve. Furthermore, eventually you will have to take and pass the NAPLEX. If you are sub-par and have severe deficits, your road to graduating pharmacy school will be extremely hard, if not impossible.

    You will be putting yourself at a disadvantage. Your classmates will learn faster than you, be more competent than you, multitask better, in essence, be superior to you in every way. You will be paving their road to success. They may not be much brighter, but they just have to be brighter than you. So while the forum sentiment of "look at me, I got in with a 2.5 GPA, you can do it too," may be true, it is misleading and could result in serious financial and emotion harm. You were sub-par for a reason, and it's likely you will remain sub-par.

    I have seen many students/classmates break down, unable to handle the rigors of pharmacy school. I know of one such girl who took "medical leave," during school and drop out after a failed two years. She literally went mentally insane and started taking medications to try to cope with the blow to her self esteem and dignity. In addition, it ultimately is a waste of time if you cannot complete your education. There is also the sad scenario where you did everything right once you got into school, but then are treated as a second (or third) class citizen because you graduated from a new school.

    Please be very careful as you tread forward. Sometimes one must accept their lot in life. For example, I am not particularly good at biochemistry, and if I forced/deluded myself into thinking I could do a PhD in biochemistry, that would ultimately be my fault. I do sometimes wonder what happened to the sub-par applicants on this forum who got into pharmacy school. I am writing this post to help future applicants make a real, honest reality check before making a significant investment that will likely end only in tears.
     
  2. y0ssarian87

    Pharmacist 5+ Year Member

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    I definitely agree that this decision should not be taken lightly. However as an individual with a sub-par undergraduate GPA who has excelled compared to my classmates, I encourage ALL students to think about their capabilities as compared to others who might be attending pharmacy school. Use objective data that shows your ability to excel compared to others, if at all possible. If you have a great GPA and a sub-par PCAT, you might also want to reflect on why that's the case.

    Though, I'll say that it is possible to do well in pharmacy school even if you didn't do well in undergrad. I came out of undergrad with a lousy 2.3. In pharmacy school, my GPA is easily more than a full point above that. In fact, I'm able to say that despite my low undergrad GPA, I've accomplished a good amount in pharmacy school (for a student): Rho Chi, PLS, dual-degree program, honors pathway, large student org president, competitive internship/work experiences, national awards, extensive research, and various scholarships. I anticipate being competitive for post-graduate programs.

    But I didn't come into pharmacy school being passive. I had a chip on my shoulder after performing so poorly in undergrad. I felt as though I needed to prove something to someone, perhaps even to myself. I recommend you understand your motivations and your capabilities prior to initiating pharmacy school. Some basic self-reflection will pay off in the long run.
     
  3. Amicable Angora

    Amicable Angora Lagomorpha
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    1. Did you graduate from pharmacy school?
    2. What pharmacy school?
    3. Why was your undergraduate GPA so low?
    4. Are you and older student?
    5. What are you doing now?
     
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  4. y0ssarian87

    Pharmacist 5+ Year Member

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    1. Nope, but I'm happy to share my progress as time goes on.
    2. Univ. of Maryland
    3. I didn't take it seriously.
    4. I am about the class average which is slightly higher than the median.
    5. See number 1. Still a student. Again, I'm happy to share my progress as time goes on.

    And you'd be right to make the statement that since I haven't graduated yet, my experience means little at this point with regard to employment outcomes. However, you began this thread stating that individuals who aren't as competitive might not excel in pharmacy school. I'd agree, but I'd also say that not all hope is lost.
     
  5. Amicable Angora

    Amicable Angora Lagomorpha
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    Well you're one of the talented few who wasted their potential, so to say, but have the ability.

    Unfortunately, for most people who get low grades on their GPA or PCAT it's despite their best efforts.
     
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  6. pharmerjohn

    pharmerjohn Working on a Dream
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    Having read comments from members of this forum for the past several years, I would venture to say that your situation is quite unique and is not the same as that of the OP's intended audience. If I recall correctly, your stats were quite stellar (besides the undergrad fub) with a PCAT composite above 90%ile, a bachelor's degree from a top (very competitive) undergrad in California, along with strong indications that you reinvented yourself after your undergraduate years. That's hardly the same as someone with a 2.3 from a community college after taking 1 class per semester for the past 6 years to barely fulfill pre-reqs, a PCAT high of 45%ile composite after the 3rd attempt, and possibly a "C's get PharmD" mentality to boot. I think the latter scenario is the target audience that the OP was attempting to send the message to. Your situation does not qualify and is potentially misleading, given the context of this thread.
     
  7. Corpseman

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    What about high school dropouts?
     
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  8. Amicable Angora

    Amicable Angora Lagomorpha
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    Probably shouldn't even apply to be a pharmacy technician.
     
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  9. MyRealNameIs

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    My dad dropped out of high school to start a successful business.

    Just because people drop out of high school, doesn't mean they are stupid.

    I noticed a lot of people drop out of high school because they come from a poor family. It is hard to study when you have to worry about your meal. I wouldn't make such blanket statements like that.
    Most of us lived a privileged stable life.
     
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  10. Corpseman

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    Damn, I am screwed then. Hope I don't mess up over the last 6 months of pharmacy school!
     
  11. Amicable Angora

    Amicable Angora Lagomorpha
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    Your dad dropped out of high school decades ago. The world was completely different then. That's like comparing the need for pharmacists now in 2015 to 2005 and that's only ten years.

    Your dad did pretty good for himself and you... He even got you a computer for you to post with. I would say that that is pretty privileged.
     
  12. med77

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    I've been wondering lately about some of these low accepted GPAs I see. Sure, people drop the ball in undergrad and life gets in the way. But what about those students who have tried their damned hardest and only managed to get a 2.8 overall GPA? I feel like they're in for a world of hurt. It's hard to generalize since so many undergraduate institutions do things differently, but if you failed o-chem a few times, how do you expect to keep up with pharmacokinetics? I have friends who are pharmacists, having graduated back in 2006, and the average accepted GPA of their schools were much higher back then. I'm not saying everybody needs MD-level undergraduate GPAs, but above a 3.1 should be expected. **** happens, I get it, but you're entering a profession in which you'll be dealing with people's lives. You need to be bright enough to problem solve quickly and store a lot of information. If you struggled with concepts as elementary as nucleophilicity, how are you going to be able to comprehend a drug's metabolism or its interactions with other medications?
     
  13. Amicable Angora

    Amicable Angora Lagomorpha
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    Or how about the native English speakers getting like 40% on their RC or verbal?
     
  14. Amicable Angora

    Amicable Angora Lagomorpha
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    Bump for great justice.
     
  15. Dallice

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    This is funny... dude bumps his own post that got like no replies the first time. You would hope that you might have something better to do with your time than try and argue with people over an internet forum. That is obviously what you are trying to do.
     
  16. jokersmiles

    jokersmiles Membership Revoked
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    I don't see an argument here, if you reread his original post he is merely giving advice.

    Most students that pursue pharmacy have horrible GPAs even as low as 2.7 along with a horrible PCAT score
    This is not an argument, it is reality.
     
  17. Amicable Angora

    Amicable Angora Lagomorpha
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    Intelligent people who get something out of this post aren't going to reply to this message with, "DING! I get it now, thanks for saving me years of my life and tuition!" they'll just click out, leave, and make a better investment. Nor do I expect a thank you post. I'm pretty sure this is going to save at least one person grief, which already is $$$ and years of life and infinitely better than your troll post.

    That reminds me, lately there's been a bunch of students posting on the board asking for advice about how to appeal their failures/dismissals... their scenario being exactly the ones they could have avoided if they took my advice.
     
  18. nutripharma

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    It is common to see the students with low gpas and pcat scores the most because they're asking for advice here. You will have those students who ask with stellar stats, but they are less common. You can't generalize just because of what you see when you don't know.
    Any way, your post is correct. As bitter as it may sound, it will help others.
     
  19. RphCat

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    The stigma surrounding high school dropouts is pretty dated... There are so many alternatives to high school, which now a days doesn't teach you jack (at least public). I've known people with what seems like a 4th grade reading level who got a high school diploma.
     
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  20. ldiot

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    I think an important thing to consider is why your GPA is low. Is it work ethic? Intelligence? Both? For me it was work ethic which is something that I have majorly improved on while in pharmacy school.

    There are students who went to much easier undergrad programs, and worked hard to attain a high GPA. Some of these students are really struggling because they have never experienced classes that are this difficult and they essentially have no room for improvement in terms of hours studied/discipline/work ethic. In contract, pharmacy biochem is easier than my undergrad biochem and I am also studying a lot more than I did in undergraduate.

    As a result, I am doing much better. These deficits cannot be predicted by stats alone.
     
    #20 ldiot, Jan 29, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2016
  21. Amicable Angora

    Amicable Angora Lagomorpha
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    Education in general today is lackluster.

    What are these numerous alternatives? For the majority of people, not being educated results in poor outcomes (assuming one doesn't have a rich parent to bail then out)
     
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  22. Dalteparin

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    Bumping this thread because it seems like a lot of people need it lately. Don't throw away years of your life and $150K.


    Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile
     
  23. Amicable Angora

    Amicable Angora Lagomorpha
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    Dat bump
     
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  24. Heroic Combo

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    Well, here's one for ya. I learned to read aloud literally by the age of 24 months old. I scored a 28% on RC on the PCAT, but a 78 in verbal. International students did better on RC than me. Don't ask me how. 78 composite with 99 in bio 87 chem 33 math...

    My GPA in years 1-2 of undergrad was 2.3 cause all I cared about was partying. In the last 2 years of undergrad I brought that to a 3.1 cGPA taking all the science pre-reqs. Now, in pharmacy school, I have a 3.6 after P1 year. But as was stated earlier in the thread, my case involves not applying myself to then applying myself. I didn't actually struggle with pharmacy related or science-related material.
     
  25. pharmgal2020

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    Oddly enough there are many pharmacy schools that encourage people with low GPAs and low PCAT scores to apply. I wonder if the reason is because they want people to pay for their school. Does anyone think this?
     
  26. Amicable Angora

    Amicable Angora Lagomorpha
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    A customer is a customer. Even if you get a total idiot for a student, you're basically guaranteed two years of tuition: the first year of attendance, and a "second" year of attendance in which they try to repeat courses that they failed the first year.
     
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  27. Pharmd = Phake Doctor

    Pharmd = Phake Doctor Phorum Hedonist
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    You are correct. Some colleges open up pharmacy schools because they can charge an exorbitant amounts of tuition since it's paid for by federal student loans. Look at all the new pharmacy schools; the majority are at bible-beater colleges with weak science programs.
     
  28. GypsyHummus

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    and even if they hobble along to the finish line and barely pass, they are technically a pharmacist.

    A lot of C students who were with me in undergrad went into pharmacy school. They are 2nd years, so Im not sure the "happily ever after" tale has been completed, but if you make piece with going into retail and being miserable, it seems like a pretty decent way to make six figures.
     
  29. Sine Cura

    Sine Cura 10 seconds or less
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    More like make peace with working for CVS in the middle of nowhere.
     
  30. GypsyHummus

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    I know. It is such a burden to make 120-140K/year.
     
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  31. Amicable Angora

    Amicable Angora Lagomorpha
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    This isn't necessarily true as full time has been hard to come by.
     
  32. GypsyHummus

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    I wouldn't say "Hard to come by", you just can't be picky and live in large cities or big metropolitan areas.

    But for some reason, everybody just has to live in either California or New York City. Hey pharmacists, ill share with you a secret. Try small towns in Iowa or Kentucky. Heck, any midwest state if you are willing to relocate somewhere rural will hire. It is not the end of the world if you live in an area with 100,000 people or less.

    Y'all have it WAYYYYYYYYYYYY better than Optometrists.
     
  33. stoichiometrist

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    $200k+ in loans will eat away $25k+ of your yearly take home pay, unless if you decide to drag it out for over 15 years.

    Software engineers, accountants, and PAs have it far better than us in terms of work environment, time spent in school, student loan burden, and take-home pay.
     
  34. GypsyHummus

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    Let's do some quick math.

    So, how much does it cost to live? Well, if you live frugally, I'd say it's not too hard to make ends meet on a 2k/month. So, let's say after taxes, a pharmacists take home 9k\month. That would still get u 6-7k/month for loans. Put that to a 200k loan, and u could be done in 3-5 years
     
  35. stoichiometrist

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    Also depends on state taxes. In a high tax state such as CA, $120k/year gross would leave about $75k after state and federal income taxes, or $6250/month. It would be doable if you live like a college student (w/ parents or with roommates, inexpensive car, no vacations or luxury items, etc.)

    But that's also dependent on whether you can secure full time hours if any at all, and that hourly pay doesn't drop once all the new pharmacy schools graduate their first class in 2018.
     
  36. GypsyHummus

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    Well, I'm looking at current listing in my area, and it seems that there are plenty of retail positions open. I see nothing in hospital work.

    I'm looking at monster salary for the pretax income in my area as well, and it seems to hover around 120k/year. With state and federal taxes, ur looking at around 90k take home, about 7.5k/month.

    So again, living off of 2k/month, that still gives u 5.5k/ month to throw at the 200k loan. That still has a time frame around 5 years.

    Where I live, it's easy to find a single bedroom apartment for 700/month, 600 in more run down areas. There is no need to buy a car that costs more than 10k. Add to the fact that a big peanut butter jar is like 7 bucks and can let a month, ur basically set.
     
  37. stoichiometrist

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    This thread needs to get stickied for all those who are about to start pharmacy school. You need to rethink whether borrowing $200k+ to end up in a field with terrible job prospects is a good investment. You still have time to drop your classes and get a full refund on your tuition.
     
  38. Amicable Angora

    Amicable Angora Lagomorpha
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    Summoned from another thread.
     
  39. BidingMyTime

    BidingMyTime Lost Shaker Of Salt
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    No, barely passing gets you a PharmD degree, you still have to actually pass the NAPLEX in order to get licensed and be a pharmacist. And there are lots of posts here from people who are struggling to do just that.
     
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  40. premedvet

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    I consider myself to be sub-par and got into a top 20 school. I'll let you know how it goes.
     
  41. Amicable Angora

    Amicable Angora Lagomorpha
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    Sure premedvet, please do!
     
  42. Momus

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    This is gotta be one of those delusional posts to say pharmacist take home after taxes is 9k/mo. Maybe, you need to invert that number upside down.

    Good luck fighting for a part time rph position in 2022.
     
  43. Momus

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    God, another delusional post. 120k gross, take home 7.5k/mo???!

    120k gross = $3102 bi-weekly net (no 401k deduction)
    -$711 pretax 401k max (if you aren't maxing 401k, you are a moron)
    -$100 bare minimum for medical, vision, dental, FSA/HSA, sometimes union dues, life/disability ins
    $2534 left every 2 weeks

    Guarantee you are seeing 5k/mo net. 7.5k/mo net???? haha where is this 5.5k/mo to loan... even bigger HAHAHA
    You are in for a shock boy. Welcome to real life.
     
    #43 Momus, Nov 3, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2018
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  44. DagS132

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    Not sure if posting a link to a youtube video is allowed on these forums but I think this video is appropriate for this thread.

     

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