If You Want to become a Pharmacist

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A Day in the Life of a Retail Pharmacist

Thinking about becoming a pharmacist? Don't worry about it. They make some really good drugs for that, and with years of counseling, there is still some hope for you. Many people wonder what we actually do. You have come to the right place. I have been doing retail pharmacy for nearly 20 years. I started as a technician typing out prescription labels on a typewriter. For those of you who do not know what a typewriter is...look it up. You had to hit the keys hard because we only typed on stone tablets way back then! I'm going to explain what we, as retail pharmacist's do.

Okay, so what do we do? First of all, by a "retail" pharmacist I mean the pharmacist (or druggist, or pill pusher, or whatever you prefer) who is typically working behind that long counter at your neighborhood CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid, etc. The raised platform we stand on has nothing to do with a superiority complex. We aren't better than you. But we do need to be able to see what the teenager in the family planning aisle is trying to stuff in his coat pocket. You can also usually identify us by the white coat they make us wear (which is usually covered in stains from cough syrup, printer toner, and that meatball grinder I had to eat while standing up). We have chosen to work in retail, rather than in a hospital or other clinical setting because of a mild form of insanity for which shock therapy has not yet been successful. Yes, you can start feeling bad for us now.

HOW HARD IS PHARMACY SCHOOL?

One question I tend to get asked a lot is: How hard is pharmacy school?

That is a good question. Unfortunately there is no single answer that would apply to every person. I can tell you that personally I found Calculus (a class needed prior to pharmacy school) to be harder than pharmacy school itself.

How hard pharmacy school is will depend a lot on how easily science comes for you and on your ability to memorize. Feel free to ask me any specific questions you may have.


We went to school (go Huskies!). I know it doesn't seem like it, but we did. And it wasn't easy. Sleepless nights spent memorizing the pharmacokinetics of fluoxetine, the chemical structure of Klonopin, the 32 million drug interactions for Warfarin, the innumerable side of effects of virtually every drug we dispense, and, oh yeah, learning why you never, never, never want to overdose with Acetaminophen. Not pretty. Anyway, back to my point, we did go to school. Today pharmacy students typically graduate with what is called a PharmD. It takes 6 years to get it, unless you enroll in one of several accelerated suicide programs (like the one at which I taught for a couple years).


So what do we do? To put it very simply: We...

(1) prepare the medication for you...and then

(2) we prepare you for the medicine (or try to at least...).


That's over-simplified...but it moves us in the right direction.


Preparing the Medicine for You

Now, for the most part, we aren't "compounding" the medicine from scratch. We know how, and we could, but it isn't necessary too often any more. Although I have created some pretty cool compounds for kittens, tonics for turtles, and a variety of other concoctions for some curious critters. We compound for people too. But really, for the most part, we are overseeing the process which involves:


1) Properly interpreting your prescription. Yeah, that's no picnic. Ever tried to read one yourself? That is why pharmacists are the most trusted profession. You have to trust us...no one else can read your doctor's handwriting! Apologies to any MD's reading this! But really, this is critical. While doing this we are assessing if the dose seems appropriate for the patient. People make mistakes, and so we are a "double check" on the system to try to ensure you get a safe dose of the right drug.


2) Evaluating your prescription in the light of your other medication or conditions. The fancy little term for this is DUR (Drug Utilization Review). If this is the only drug you have ever taken....thank you! My job just got easier. But now its time to wake up and smell the coffee! The fact is most people are on several medications (or OTC drugs) from their doctor. Not to mention the fact that they got 1 from their general practitioner, 1 from their heart specialist, 2 from their endocrine doctor, another from the surgeon, and now 1 more from the ER doctor they just saw. Do you think all of the doctors get together over coffee at Starbucks and discuss if the meds they are prescribing for you are going to agree with each other? "What's that Doug? You gave her clarithromycin? Yeah, that'll be fine with the indomethacin I have her on. Now could you pass the sugar?" I don't think so. Sure, hopefully they ask what you have been taking, but maybe you forgot something or maybe they might be just a little bit busy and neglect to check the chart. Whatever the case, the pharmacist is responsible to ensure there are no significant drug interactions between medications you are currently taking. So, please, please, please try to get all of your medications filled at 1 pharmacy. If you do get something elsewhere, make sure you let your pharmacy know before filling a new prescription.


While I am on the subject, can I ask one other small favor? Please don't get mad when we ask for your date of birth (D.O.B.) when you drop off your prescription. We want to write it on the face of the prescription for a reason. We are trying to ensure we are putting this drug in the right patient's profile. We could look it up...but that defeats the purpose. If we hear it from you, then when we look it up we can MATCH it to the D.O.B. in our system. Imagine if we can't quite read your name on the script, OR imagine if another patient might just have a name similar to or identical to yours. If we put it under the wrong name, and that patient happens to come in to pick up something else, they could potentially end up with your medicine! That is very, very bad.


3) Verifying the final accuracy of the product. Thankfully...did you hear that all you wonderful pharmacy techs...thankfully we have some really great technicians these days who handle much of the actual counting, filling, labeling, answering phones, shredding confidential paperwork....I could go on. But before any medicine leaves the pharmacy your friendly neighborhood pharmacist must give it one final blessing. We ensure proper labeling, verify the directions, add any precautionary statements, include relevant paperwork, and a partridge in a pear tree. Ignore the pear tree joke, the fact is we actually take this very seriously.


Preparing You for Your Medicine

This is the fun part. Not that double counting your Oxycontin isn't thrilling; but really, it loses the excitement after a week or two. The fun part of this job for me is communication. I like to talk and I like to teach. So counseling my customers on how to get the most out of their medicine is what really puts the enteric coating on my tablets...so to speak. Of course, the real challenge is to do this with a phone attached to my left ear, a prescription pad in my right hand, a customer asking me which aisle has the Cocoa Puffs, and a store manager reminding me to turn in my payroll figures for the week. Insanity? Yeah...but I love it. So be sure to ask us your questions...I'll be right with you once I finish un-jamming the paper shredder with my pocket knife (yeah...I really tried that...it was a bad day).

IMPORTANT WEBSITES

If you are interested in applying to a pharmacy school, there are several websites that you need to acquaint yourself with. Go to these sites and begin to read and explore them. They contain a large amount of very important and relevant information about applying to pharmacy schools.

1) The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy

2) The Pharmacy College Application Service

For a more "step by step" article on getting into pharmacy school, see my article HERE.

Article Resources:


Prescription written in 1903..sorry..too old to fill!

10 OTHER THINGS I DID TODAY (Just for fun):

1) 15 minutes on the phone with an insurance company explaining that Mrs. Smith's ferret really did eat her antidepressant pills, and that is why she needs them filled early. By the way, the ferret was fine...happier than ever.


2) 20 total minutes of phone calls trying to track down when and where a particular drug-abusing customer got their last narcotic prescription. Then calling the prescriber back and informing the office that they were just the latest stop on this guys shopping trip. Cancelling the prescription, and then enjoying the moment when I tell them exactly where and when they got their last prescription filled (which they neglected to tell me about). I love the "deer in the headlights" look while they are thinking "how did he find that out???". My little secret. I could tell you, but then I would have to...well...you know.


3) Explaining to a well-meaning but misinformed customer that generic drugs really aren't just brand name drugs that people have returned or that have been collected from the deceased.


4) Patiently trying to help Mr. Jones understand that just because he is going to be taking his prescription for life...it can still run out of refills and needs to be authorized by his doctor.


5) Tracking down and transferring back a prescription for a customer who initially filled her prescription here, but then transferred it out to a pharmacy in Florida, who informed me that it was subsequently transferred to Colorado, which then I discover was cancelled and transferred to a pharmacy in Connecticut, who informed me that she actually has run out of refills. Ugghh. I should have just called the doctor to begin with...


6) Trying to explain to a new customer why we really need their insurance card, and the fact that it is "Blue Cross...or something like that...and I pay $5.00" really isn't quite enough information to go on.


7) Looking through a customer's profile that needs me to refill his "small, sort of yellow looking pill that he takes in the morning with his eggs and toast".


8) Explaining, for maybe the 20th time today, why we have to get a signature when the prescription is picked up, why it took 20 minutes since "we just have to put the pills in a bottle", and that I really don't know why they are out of ‘tickle-me-elmo's'.


9) Telling a hospital resident that, yeah, you can't really put 10 refills on a Percocet prescription.


10) Sympathizing with my complaining technician about the fact that she is the only one who does any work around this place, the other techs all being too lazy to file the scripts from the night before.


Okay...so if you still want to be a pharmacist...awesome! I wish you all the best. It is a rewarding and challenging career. It will often drive you crazy...and I wouldn't have it any other way.

More by this Author


Comments 1189 comments

Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 8 years ago from California Gold Country

I don't want to be a pharmacist-- but I read this anyway and was glad. It was very informative and entertaining. (A suggestion, which can be easily disregarded: change the title to "Why You Don't want to be a Pharmacist."-- which might attract more readers.)

 I have a friend who is a pharmacist, and he has become very disillusioned  with the amount of paperwork that he has to handle. He enjoyed it much more when he had time to talk to his customers.

Also, I think ferrets probably do need medication.

If you have time to look at my hub about historic patent medicines, I would like to know what you think.

https://owlcation.com/humanities/Early-Patent-Medi...

I also have one about side efects I don't want to know about. 

 I enjoy your articles.

 


shaine gutierrez 7 years ago

good day! i am a fresh graduate of B.S.Pharmacy here in the Philippines. glad to read you sharings! smile


pharmacist profile image

pharmacist 7 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Best wishes for your career Shaine!


Pharmacy School Applicant Database 7 years ago

1st yr pharmacy student checking in!


pharmacist profile image

pharmacist 7 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hi 1st year student!

Thanks for stopping by. Now get back to Goodman & Gilmans! :) Best wishes on your career!


Joanna Pantoja 7 years ago

Looking into becoming a pharmacist.


scared pharm student 7 years ago

I've worked as a tech at a chain for 2 years, and now in pharm school. This is the job I know, and the job I want! Sadly, I don't think there will be jobs when I get out in three years.


pharmacist profile image

pharmacist 7 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Dear Scared,

Don't be scared. The industry has plenty of jobs right now, and there are so many options with this career. I work for a website, a little retail, and do consulting. It is a wonderful profession. Make a good impression on potential employers while you are in school. You will be fine. Best wishes!


bill miller 7 years ago

hope to be a pharmacist. I was accepted at massachusetts school of pharmacy last year but got scared and declined the offer for 1 year then will probably reapply. I have a biology degree now. Grades indicated that I can do what is required to become sucessful at this school. But after reading some blogs about this school and how hard it is and how everything sounded so negative. I saw the cost and actually lost all confidence in myself. I am not afraid of any type of heavy work load but would like to know more about the curriculum. I had some tough subjects in college but graduated top 10 percent. Can anyone give me some positive info on pharmacy school will it be much harder than college was . thanks


Eh 6 years ago

I'm planning on becoming a pharmacist or pharmacy tech. My dad is one of those people who thinks it's just putting pills in a bottle. I tried to explain everything to him, but he just doesn't listen. I'm going to show him this post. It's very informative. Nice job.

Bookmarked.


RJ2010 6 years ago

Hi

I'm 20 years old, did average in high school

I am now interested in being a pharmacist.

I didn't do so well in science in high school and have not been to college since my graduation in 07. Is it too late for me?? and can I still potentially Do it?


pharmacist profile image

pharmacist 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Dear RJ2010,

You are YOUNG!!! It is not too late. Many people even go to pharmacy school after YEARS in another profession. So look into your options, make a plan, and go for it! Best Wishes!!

Jason


RJ2010 6 years ago

Great, I feel more motivated to do it now.

thanks

and i had another question.

what do you mean by "several accelerated suicide programs"?

is it the "fast course/under a year" type of thing? should i avoid those?


pharmacist profile image

pharmacist 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hi RJ2010,

Glad to have helped! That statement about "accelerated suicide programs" was a bit tongue-in-cheek. They are tough, but if you stay focused you can get your degree a bit faster, about 1 year less than the traditional 6 year program. You don't get a typical "summer" break. Massachusetts College of Pharmacy, Worcester campus runs this program.

Best wishes,

Jason


*Prayerful Pharmacy Student* 6 years ago

Hi Im 20 years old and im so motivated to become a Pharmacist. I am currently taking pre pharmacy courses at a community college and i am trying so hard in my science classes but my grades are OK they arent perfect. I live in Florida and there are only 4 Pharmcay colleges here, I really want to become a Pharmacist but what if I don't get accepted into Pharmacy college my first year? What am I goning to do?? I know you might say try again but I really want to go now I don't want to have to wait another year and not have anything to do in the mean time. Any advice?


pharmacist profile image

pharmacist 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Prayerful,

"You're a man haunted by those two most terrible words, What If?" That's a quote from one of my favorite stories, The Time Machine.

Try not to put to much energy into the "what if's." Without trying to sound too much like a counselor, my advice is to not worry about what you cannot control. Just do your best right now. You sound like you know what you want. Stay focussed. And yes, I would say try again. But right now just stay positive. Best wishes!

Jason


Mr Peace Fellows 6 years ago

Hallo Mister,

I am thinking of being a pharmacist, i am 18 years old right now and i graduated when i was 16 from HS and i spent 2 years already doing nothing because i never know what i wanted to be. So that being said being a pharmacist is kind a hard any tips for what to do first? and do you have any good suggestions like what book should i start reading? like the books that you folks memorizes when you were in college that time.


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pharmacist 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hi Mr. Peace Fellows,

The best advice I can think of is to immediately enroll in a community college and let the admissions department know that you eventually would like to go to pharmacy school. They will give you direction on the best classes to take. Study hard and get good grades. Also, try to find a job in a pharmacy as a technician or doing anything that will expose you to the profession. Best wishes!


lana10 6 years ago

great article! im currently studying to be a pharmacy technician (ill be done in july of this year yayy!) and I'm planning on becoming a pharmacist later down the road. One of my instructors told me that you can become a pharmacist with out going to the usual 4 year pharmacy school, she said you do this by getting a bachelors in pharmacy and you're considered a pharmacist but you don't have the title "doctor of pharmacy" which you get in pharmacy school. is this true?


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pharmacist 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hi Lana,

I'm not aware of any pharmacy school today offering a Bachelor of pharmacy degree. All the schools I know of only offer the PharmD program. You should ask your instructor who offers this degree. In order to work as a pharmacist you would have to graduate from an approved school, pass the boards, and meet the requirements of the State Board of pharmacy for internship hours. I hope you reach your goal!!

Jason


Planner 6 years ago

This article was just what I was looking for! I appreciate you taking the time to answer all of these questions of your readers. I am a sophmore in highschool and have had a 4.0 gpa ever since I could remember. I am not genus, but I work extremely diligently to get what I want and work harder than most of my friends.

I am planning on taking a pharmacy tech class my senior year. It will be for two semesters, every day for two periods at a local technology colledge. I am very interested in the field of pharmacy but I will decide if it's something I want to pursue after the class. Until then will get highschool credit and training as a tech. Please don't take offence by this, but my question is whether or not lots of pharmasists end up addicted to the pills they distribute. I would love to be a pharmasist but the idea of getting adicted to pills scares me. Thanks for your time


pharmacist profile image

pharmacist 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Planner,

Sadly, rates of addiction problems are pretty high amongst pharmacists as compared to other professions. Access is obviously a contributing factor here. But I certainly wouldn't let that discourage you, unless you know that this is going to be a problem for you. Best wishes!

Jason


tanle 6 years ago

i wanna be a pharmacy. im a high school student in CA (11th). im an english learner in my school(im Asian). ive been in the US for 2 years. people are always teasing on me because i have accent. i don't speak english well and sometimes im just being so stupid at english. do you think its possible for me to be pharmacist? i really want it because i love chemistry and math though im not good at both. i will attend to community college in 2years and tranfer to a UC. i know its gonna be realy realy DIFFICULT for me but i just love being a pharmacist. can you give me some ideas how to improve english cuz at school no one wants to talk to me because of my accent, and because i wasn't born in the US. please help me. i don't know what to do! :(


pharmacist profile image

pharmacist 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hi Tanle,

I am no expert on learning the English language. My first thought is that you should ask this question of one or two of the English teachers at your school. Get a few opinions and ideas from educators who might have some great suggestions. Off the cuff, I would suggest you consider memorizing some passages from great pieces of English literature. This will help you improve your memory (a real PLUS for pharmacy school!) and will also make you more familiar with some of the highest quality usages of our language. I would put in a plug to memorize passages from the gospel of John in the Bible, using a good modern translation like the NKJV (new king james version) or NIV (new international version). Just a thought. Best wishes!


Roukayya 6 years ago

Your article was so insightful and I loved it! I have been looking into careers (I'm a sophomore at Uni) and I am interested in Pharmacy. What major is best or easier to study..bio? chem? I am a bit worried though because pharmacy school is expensive like at George Washington!! But Science and drugs are fascinating. Also, I'm kinda worried because I sorta have short term memory, and I know memorization is essential to be a pharmacist!! I really want to go into pharmacy but I don't want this to stop me:(


pharmacist profile image

pharmacist 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hi Roukayya,

Pharmacy school will involve a fair amount of Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry, etc. Good to take these ASAP. As for memory...I wouldn't worry about that. But if you have never read a book about "memory" techniques like "the memory book" or others...I recommend getting one. Even if you never go into pharmacy it is valuable, as most people are never taught the "tricks" to a good memory. It is not as hard as you think. Best wishes!!


Dominique 6 years ago

Hi, I'm an 18 year old graduating this year and I wish to become a pharmacist. My plan is community college, then UC, then Pharmacy school. My question for you is- Can I become a pharmacy tech while studying to become a pharmacist? Your advice is greatly appreciated :)


pharmacist profile image

pharmacist 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hi Dominique,

I believe the answer is "yes" unless your state has some additional restrictions on being a pharmacy tech. In fact, not only CAN you...but I suggest you SHOULD seek employment, if possible, as a tech ASAP. It is a great experience and will give you a far better perspective on what the career looks like than I ever could. I started in pharmacy as a tech, and that is how I fell in love with this profession. Best wishes!!


tanle 6 years ago

thank you very much.

i really want to improve my speaking, and reading. im good at writing though. :D


eudora 6 years ago

wow! I enjoy reading your article! I'm entering university this year and I got more confused whether I should really go for pharmacy..As compared to a retail pharmacist, I'm more passionate about compounding pharmacist..what would be your advice on taking this job in the future?


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pharmacist 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Eudora,

Compounding can be very rewarding. Most "compounding" of prescriptions is done in retail pharmacies that also dispense "regular" prescription medications as well. Any pharmacy can compound. But some pharmacies, particularly those that are independently owned, often "specialize" in it, buy additional equipment (flow hoods for sterile compounding, etc), and advertise this service to local doctors or hospitals. Veterinary compounding is also a good business, which can be done from any retail pharmacy, but some will chose to make this business a priority. Best wishes on your career!!

Jason


Anxious 6 years ago

Hi Jason! Thanks for the article. Very insightful. I want to apply to pharm school this year but I'm confused and not sure where to start.

How did you prep for teh PCAT? Are there any tips that you can give us on how to prep for the PCAT? Sre there any good websites that you would recommend to us who are applying for pharm school this year?\

thanks!


Eudora 6 years ago

ohh haha i didn't know that..thank you so much!!!!


pharmacist profile image

pharmacist 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hi Anxious,

I recommend getting the practice tests which are available through the PCAT website. Also, the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy recommends you go here: http://www.pharmcas.org/ to begin applying to pharmacy schools. You remind me of this verse "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplicaiton, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God." Best wishes.


Anxious 6 years ago

Thanks Jason!


Rita CA 6 years ago

Pharmacist,

Great article! Funny, too. I enjoyed reading it as well as your answers to these questions. I'm 20 yrs. old and am very interested in becoming a pharmacist. Thing is, even after googling website to website, I still don't really exactly know where to start! I know we shouldn't concentrate on the "what ifs", but as a human being, I can't say I'm not concerned. Without telling my life story, (I don't want to and I'm sure a lot of ppl. reading including you are like 'gosh, please don't') I did use to be a decent student. I got caught up with the wrong ppl., basically ditched 3 yrs of school and instead of getting my hs diploma, had to settle for a Certificate of Proficiency. Bottom line, am I in over my head? I know it's never too late, but.. I don't know. I just want a better future for myself and my family and my Future family. Am I fooling myself into believing I can really do this when I've missed 3 years of hs? I mean, I know I'm not incredibly incompetent or anything, but.. Like I'm reading it's like 37k/year for pharmacy school? And I know it's about a 6 year degree? And you have to be accepted in? How should I prepare for this? I don't come from a family with a lot of money; especially during these times. I really need a professionals advice. Where do I start? Should I go right into practicing in becoming a pharmacy technician first? Would it be a good idea to start by enrolling in ROP (regional occupational program) it might be a good option for me because they should be inexpensive and are relatively quick (3-12 mo?). Or should I enroll into a community college and take math and science classes first? I'm literally losing sleep just thinking about this. I just want a better and secure future for myself and do see myself somewhere in the medical field. Until now, I've just been floating around because of uncertainty and confusion. Pharmacy is really the only thing that interests me enough to start thinking about a comfortable, real future. Thank you so much for your help. I know I need it.

-Rita, CA


pharmacist profile image

pharmacist 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hi Rita,

I would love to help you. But I can't. But YOU can!! Yes...you can!! I can give you some advice though. #1) Read "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People." Borrow it if you must, or buy it if you can. But read it. #2) Enroll in a community college, tell your advisor you eventually want to be a pharmacist, and then focus on getting VERY good grades. Study hard. #3) Begin looking for work as a pharmacy tech.

There. That should get you started. I'd love to hear back from you and hear how things are going!!! Best wishes.


Lost soul 6 years ago

This has been the most helpful page I have read in regards of how to become a Pharmacist and also what an average day looks like for a Pharmacist.

My problem is diferent from others, I'm already currently enrolled at a Community College with a B average. The problem is that when I was young I made some poor choices and now I have an attached "Felony." One of my life time goals were to become a Pharmacist. I know it's not impossible, but it seems as it's 2x harder to find a job as a TECH, I was wondering how should I approach the local Pharmacist to seek a job as a TECH, like what to say and not say.


pharmacist profile image

pharmacist 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hi lost soul,

Your "name" reminds me of a line from my favorite hymn "I once was lost, but now am found, was blind but now I see."

Anyway, I think you first of all need to find out what the law in your state is about a felony and working as a tech. Call your state board of pharmacy, you should be able to find their contact info online. Also, a lawyer may be able to help tell you what you legally have to disclose. Maybe you could get your foot in the door by working somewhere else in the store...and then eventually transfer to the pharmacy. Also, talk to the local police department about how and when your record will be "clean" again. Hey...we've ALL made mistakes. Be honest, work hard, go the extra mile, and things will go your way in time. It may be harder for you than for others...but in the end you will appreciate what you have accomplished even more. Take care my friend.


Lost soul 6 years ago

That quote, I hope eventually I'll be able to say that.

I've been dealing with the board of pharmacy for about a year, and after trips back and forth to the court and letters to the board of pharmacy they granted me a Certified Pharmacy Assistant valid for one year. So now I'm seeking to use that license, but it's been hard for me. I don't know how to approach the local drug stores or even the pharmacists and store managers.

I was wondering what is the most appropiate way to apporach them and what should I say when I tell them I'm pursuing a job there.


pharmacist profile image

pharmacist 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Lost soul,

I see. You have taken some good steps. Sounds to me like you just want the practical advice. Okay, here it goes. 1) Visit the local pharmacies and ask about job openings. I don't see any sense in spilling your story if there is no opening anyway 2) Dress well. First impressions matter. If you get an interview...dress very well and be on time! 3) Get some references. If you go to church, a pastor or priest might be good. Can you do some "volunteer" work for the police or town? If so...do it...then get them to write you a reference also. 4) Be honest. If you get the interview opportunity, explain to them what happened and that you made this mistake. You have changed. Give some practical examples about how you have turned around.

Those are a few of the things that come to mind. Hope that helps. Let me know!


Lost Soul 6 years ago

Pharmacist,

You have been so helpful. I use to go to church and stopped going for a long time, because I felt I was going for the wrong reasons, I thought it would let me forget my past, but it just haunts me more, no one in my church knows about my felony. I asked my current employer and got a recommendation letter and said I can use them as a reference.

My favorite thing about the reading was the "rewarding and challenges that come along this career." Which is why I felt this was a call for me as well.


pharmacist profile image

pharmacist 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Lost soul,

Glad to be of help. Give church a try again...its not meant for perfect people. Jesus came for the sick, not the healthy. Anyway, I hope you find your way through the job hunt. You can send me an email through my profile if you want. Would love to keep in touch and see how things go. Take care my friend.


mike 6 years ago

this by far has been the most helpful site since ive looked into the Pharmacy field!

i know this is looooong but please someone help! i am so stranded in a sea of negative opinions. like everyone i need honesty.

my issue is "where do i start?" I too like Rita feel like my lack of High School success may hold me back. I know admissions into PharmD isn't based on HS grades but I'm worried that my lack of study habits and overall IQ will make becoming pharmacist a living hell. (even though I was an A, B, and sometimes C student)

Since high school, instead of pursuing college I became a bible student and so far Its perfect! if it were a course, I feel like id be an A+ student compared to high school (if that makes sense) but thats all Ive had to occupy my mind. Ive forgotten all my math and science! I remember nothing but the basics of mathematical division and the elements of water.

so which route to take???

1) should i warm up to the field by GOING to SCHOOL for pharmacy tech certification?

2) skip the tech and start the required classes for Pharm School?

3) Both pharm tech schoool aanndd pre-reqs at the same time? (two different schools)and [yess it might've be the dumbest q I ever asked]

lastly do you recommend becoming a Tech with out school? but to just study the books and get certified? will that give me enough knowledge to be successful in pharmacy w out knowing much about drugs?

Im so sorry for all the random questions. but its 2am and Ive lost too much sleep over this the past couple days, and I am just really uncertain about school. One thing I do know is that my drive and determination for becoming a pharmacist is beyond anything Ive ever want to accomplish in my life!!(next to studying the bible). I believe my drive and trust in God will sustain me for any goal I put my mind to.

thank you soo much for any questions answered!! thank you!


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pharmacist 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hi Mike,

Thanks for reading, your kind works, and your question. You ask, basically, "where do I start?" As a Bible student, you already know the "big" answer to that question. "Seek ye FIRST the kingdom of God and His righteousness." Your pursuit of a pharmacy degree and career must fall within that broader umbrella. Does it? Is the Lord first in your life even if He says "no" to this career? Tough questions.

But more practically, without knowing your finances or circumstances, I recommend getting enrolled in a community college and discussing with an advisor your intention to go to pharmacy school so that the classes you take would be acceptable toward that degree. See if you can find a job as a tech while doing this. Get exposed to the career from the inside. See what you think then.

Finally, and this is just an arrow being shot in the dark....are you sure you are not being called to some form of gospel ministry? You love to study the Word. A pharmacy career is not, as you know, the highest calling...

With sincerely well-wishes,

Your servant,


Danielle 6 years ago

Great article. Is it absolutely necessary to get a job as a pharmacy tech to be accepted in pharmacy school? I'm going to a community college (to start), and I want to have as many advantages as possible since it seems like that would put me at a disadvantage. Does it matter if I'm a pharmacy tech, or could I do some other job in the pharmacy that doesn't require certification and it would still look just as good to pharmacy schools? Also, I'm 18 and just graduated high school - should I have started working at a pharmacy much sooner? I just began thinking about being a pharmacist and I feel like I've wasted some time by not already having a job in a pharmacy.

Thank you!


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pharmacist 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hi Danielle,

Glad you liked the article. Personally I think your main focus should be on your grades. Do the best you can. As for being "absolutely necessary" I don't think so, but this may depend on the school. Eventually you will need to be working in a pharmacy, as most states require a number of hours to be completed as part of your registration requirements. Any pharmacy related job would be good for experience, and eventually you may be able to get certified. For a more definite answer, contact a school of pharmacy in your state, and ask them. Also, you could call your state board of pharmacy and ask them. Sounds like you have a good focus! Best wishes and hope all goes well. Don't worry about wasted time. You are right on track.


Wasted time? 6 years ago

Loved your thoughts on being a pharmacist. I'm 22, and in my fifth year of college for a BFA in Photography, a stretch from pharmacy, but I started out in Mechanical Engineering, so I can't really stretch my interests much further. I had an interest in pharmacy back in high school but thought that engineering would be a better fit for some reason and never really looked into pharmacy school options. Now I am wondering if I should try going through 6 more years of school just to have a career change? I want to settle down and have a family in the next few years and I believe that I am capable of going to school at the same time. I just don't know if it's worth it. 11 years spent in higher education seems ridiculous?

On another note, I took 1 college chemistry course and did well, but this is all I have to go on as far as science courses go.


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pharmacist 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hi Wasted Time?,

I could imagine much worse ways to spend 11 years of your life than in education. Frankly, education should never end, it may just not always be so formal (and, of course, expensive). You are just 22. Imagine where you want to be in 10 years. Picture it. Give it some thought. At 32 what would you like to be doing? Seriously, you have to think this way. Then...start today taking small steps in that direction. How do you eat an elephant? someone asked. One bite at a time. You can do it. Blessings!


acie and narmi 6 years ago

hi! we're 3rd yr pharmacy students in Philippines. we're now experiencing the start of hard part of pharmacy course. i wish we could get over this. ( and yes, we will!!:D )

this is a nice article. gives us something to look forward to and relate to. :)


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pharmacist 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

acie and narmi,

Best wishes to you both as you begin some of your tougher classes. Keep up with your studies and I'm sure you will do well. Take care,

Jason


pharmacyhopeful 6 years ago

Dear Mr. Pharmacist,

Like all the rest, I loved your blog and am fascinated by all your horror stories. I doubt there are any profession that doesn't entail having to deal with challenging situation or people though, so being a pharmacist isn't the WORST job in the world. In fact, it's one of the best since you get to help so many people! After reading all the comments above, it's surprising to me that a lot of young people are afraid to start preparing for pharmacy school. Heck, I'm 27 years old and I'm going through it :)

On this note, I'd like to hear some advice regarding gaining pharmacy experience. Back when I was in college, I did an internship class that enabled me to shadow pharmacists in a clinical setting. It's been 4 years, however, and I don't have any other pharmacy-related experiences to speak of other than that my line of work which involces clinical trial testing for drug validations. I've read up a lot of blogs stating that it's almost a necessity for one to have experience in a pharmacy setting and I've tried contacting retail pharmacies to see if I could volunteer for them. So far, CVS, Wal-Greens, and Rite Aid have all given me a solid "no". I wouldn't want to give up my job and go through the pharm tech route (no offense) since I have a ton of student loan debts to pay off and the wage it provides wouldn't help me with that situation. My question to you is where could I get the resources on which pharmacy/clinics would offer me a volunteering position? Since my interest is in drug development and biopharmaceutical track (I'm aiming for pharmD/MBA), would I still need to volunteer? Please advise!


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pharmacist 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

pharmacyhopeful,

Great question. As for gaining useful experience I think it will be unlikely that a "volunteer" position is possible. Simply put, there are too many risks associated with bringing in "volunteers" to work closely with controlled substances and confidential patient files. Legally this would be a liability.

If your intention is to get accepted into pharmacy school, you may find that your present job is enough "experience" to qualify. Grades are still the #1 factor from what I am told.

However, if you really want such experience, you may be able to take a tech job on nights or weekends (often these shifts are harder to staff). Just let employers know the hours you could work and see what happens.

Best wishes! Yes, pharmacy is a fun and rewarding career. At times insane...but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Jason


Cristian J. 6 years ago

Hi!! ok so i just graduated hs im 18 years old. I am extremely interested in becoming a pharmacist, but right now im a bit confused of how to even begin, i have not enrolled to any college. I am interested in entering one of the accelerated programs...i am guessing i would have to move to one of the few schools that actually have the program? but you say here that i should go to community college first? im sorry im just a bit confused. And also i currently don't have a social security, would that affect me a lot? if i cant work as a pharmacy tech i would definitely do community service in any local pharmacy if i have to.


Cristian J. 6 years ago

Sorry the reason i ask you this is because i've heard or read that once a student graduates from hs they just apply to a pharmacy school and goes there for 2 years, then another 4 years for another school.


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pharmacist 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hi Cristian,

Good questions. Probably talking to an advisor in the pharmacy department of a school you are interested in would be a good start. Yes, you would need to relocate near a school that offers an accelerated program. But even those programs require that you have some prerequiste courses finished first...that is where a community college might save you some money. Just score well in math/science. Best wishes!


Cristian J. 6 years ago

Ok thankyou. Another question is i don't have a social security yet or a work permit. I know that they look at your work experience...or just experience at all, like if you've worked in a pharmacy. i was just wondering if just plain community service would help? i would love to become a technician first, but is it possible?


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pharmacist 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Cristian,

You would have to take the SS# and work permit up with your state employment agency. Work experience is good, but I am told that grades (math/science especially) and communication skills are even more important. Community service within an actual pharmacy is unlikely, due to privacy laws, etc. Hope it works out for you.


Hannah 6 years ago

I'm looking into becoming a pharmacist,BUT I would also love to have a big family one day..would this be too much of a job for that big of a family??


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pharmacist 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hi Hannah,

One nice thing about the pharmacy profession is the variety of work settings and hours available. Simple 9-5 is possible, evening shifts, rotating shifts (3-4 long days per week), part time, per diem. I have a friend who works 7 nights on...then gets 7 nights off in retail pharmacy. So...there are lots of options if you want to have a career and a family. Best wishes.


Alexis 6 years ago

Pharmacy has interested me and I'm planning to pursue it as a career. I just wanted to know if pharmacy is a career that allows you to do other things -painting for example- and have free time with you life, or does the career absorb your life? I was planning on having a family and I want to spend time with my kids. Does pharmacy allow these things? (Sorry, I'm just really concerned!) :)


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pharmacist 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Alexis,

Great question. I love your priorities. Pharmacy is like any other job or career really. It will take time, but it is up to you if it takes your "life." I'm married with 4 kids, pretty involved in my church, and take time to read, write and answer questions like this :) A pharmacy career can be rewarding and flexible enough to accommodate your priorities in life.


SuperWorried 6 years ago

Do you have to become a pharmacy tech first? To become a pharmacy tech, you have to become certified, right? Would job shadowing be enough, because I'm not sure I can work as a pharmacy tech and handle school at the same time.


Nerves of Jello. 6 years ago

I heard pharmacy school is SUPERULTRA difficult. I’m a good student at my current high school and don’t mind sacrificing time to study, but I don’t have nerves of steel. I’m afraid the pressures of pharmacy school – and waiting for acceptance into one- will make me crumble. Is it really that difficult, or is it possible?


:) 6 years ago

I really appreciate that you are answering these questions! There are not very many people I know that I can ask for pharmacy advice.

Well, I'm going to Columbus State University in Georgia (I know, no one has ever heard of it) for my first four years of college - pharmacy prerequisites included. I was looking to transfer over to UGA after I was done. They give prerequisites at UGA as well and I'm fearing I won't be chosen because I did not chose to complete prerequisites at their college. Does this happen often, or do schools usually accept transfers?

I just thought It would be more affordable to take my prerequisites at a university with a lower cost, but I certainly don't want to be hurt for it.


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pharmacist 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

In answer to several questions:

Pharmacy tech experience helps...but far more important is keeping up good grades in math/science and overall GPA. Communication skills are important too.

Pharmacy school is a challenge, but if you are prepared to study hard and have reasonable skills in science and math you will do fine. Memorization is key...and that can be learned through a variety of techniques.

Don't worry about "where" you take your prerequisites so much as about keeping up high scores. Where you go to school is not always negotiable...but there is no excuse for not studying.

Thanks for all the qood questions.


T-Man 6 years ago

I am 41 years old; always wished to be in the medical field, but I couldn't for financial issues. is it too late to be a pharmacist?

thank you


Hannah 6 years ago

I'm really confused. The university I'm going to next year is judged both good and bad by people in my area. The SAT entrance scores are really low as well as the GPA scores. I don't hate the university, and I'm sure those who don't take the education seriously will drop out after their core courses, but I'm so afraid that when I apply to a pharmacy school (and I'm positive the competition will be even more hectic in 6 years) that they will laugh at me. I don't want them to refuse me because of my university. Do you think becoming a pharmacy tech first will help my resume. (As you can tell, I'm a major worry wart!)


Inferno 6 years ago

Hi! Great article! I think I need to share this with all of the people I know who think that pharmacists just hand out pills! I'm going into my 4th undergraduate year of school for my bachelor's in biochemistry and currently applying to pharmacy schools. I'm also trying to self-study for a pharm tech license before summer's over to gain more exposure to the field as I apply. I have a question for you. I know that as you go through schooling, you are rotated in a variety of different pharmaceutical settings. I was wondering how difficult it is to move around between different settings (i.e. retail, hospital, etc) after you have your pharmD?

Also, do you have advice to give to an aspiring pharmacist in terms of the application process and interviews? Like I said, I'm in the process of applying and it's quite daunting! I have a 3.7+ GPA but not too much extracurricular activities going on. I do volunteer at a children's hospital though. I decided not to volunteer at a pharmacy because it's mostly menial paper work without much learning involved. I'd rather have some patient interaction, which I get from my current position. I'm wondering if that will have any effect on my chances, because I know that many applicants have experience in pharmacy (whether as volunteers or techs or interns). That is why I'm self-studying to get a tech license, but I don't know if that's enough to convince them that I really do know that I want to become a pharmacist. Any tidbits of advice would be helpful!

Thanks for this great post!


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pharmacist 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

T-man,

I personally don't think you are ever too old to consider pharmacy school. Other practical life matters may need to be considered of course. But as far as age...41 is not too old to do it. After finishing school you could easily have another 20-30 working years left if you wanted and were able.


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pharmacist 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hi Hannah,

If you are really worried, why not just call a pharmacy school that you would be interested in and ask them if it will be an issue. I have been told by those who work with admissions that grades (especially math/science) are the thing to focus on. Communication skills are important. Experience helps...but is not as critical. Best wishes!


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pharmacist 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Inferno,

Some very good questions. Moving between retail and hospital involves a learning curve and some adjustments due to the different nature of each setting. But a PharmD degree prepares you well for both. You will have to decide which setting best suits your interests and personality.

As for interviewing. Just relax. Prepare by learning a little about the company you are interviewing for so that you can confidently state "why" you would like to work for them. Show an interest in the place you want to work...that creates a good impression. Also, think about some examples in your work experience where you have overcome challenges, learned new things successfully, resolved conflicts, etc. These will be useful in answering questions. Dress well. Smile. Talk with others, if possible, who work for them already. Dropping a "name" of someone you spoke with helps create a connection also. Sounds to me like you are heading in the right direction. Best wishes!


MiriamMichelle 6 years ago

Hello pharmacist :)

So here's my story..

I was accepted to a four year college but declined the offer because it didn't quite offer a major I thought might relate to pharmacy. So now I missed a semester of college but im making it up in summer..To get to the point..Im going to attend community college for two years and transfer to ucsd..Does going to a community college affect getting hired in a retail pharmacy after I obtain my PharmD?..Does it affect getting accepted to a good pharmacy school?


MiriamMichelle 6 years ago

BTW!..Everyone tells me it will, and that I messed up giving up a four year..that when it comes down to getting hired I will be overpassed by someone with a better "education", but I'm in it for the kill to become a pharmacist one way or another..And either way they're not pharmacists!


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pharmacist 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

MiriamMichelle,

Pharmacy school is long and challenging. If you get through it, pass your board exams, and get licensed...there is not a pharmacy that will overlook you because of your community college experience. Focus on good grades, especially math/science. Best wishes!


Anna 6 years ago

Loved your article

Right now I'm a senior in high school, extremely interested in pharmacy. I was thinking about attending community college for 2 years and then transferring to usc and hopefully getting my bachelors in biology. My question is will this plan hurt my chances of getting into pharmacy school? I really don't want to attend a 4 year right after hs, mainly because of the expense (and not to mention pharm school)


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pharmacist 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hi Anna,

If you focus on maintaining strong grades in science and math, and keep a high GPA and score well on your exams you should be fine. Pharmacy is a great career. You don't need a BS in Biology. Check with a guidance counselor at the community college about how they could prepare you for being accepted to pharmacy school. Try to get a job as a tech...if that is a possibility. Best wishes to you!


Anna 6 years ago

Well USC's pharmacy school (which is what I'm aiming for) requires a bs degree, and I figured I'll major in bio and get those pre pharmacy classes out of the way. Thank you for your advice :)


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pharmacist 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hi Anna,

You're welcome. Yes. USC requires the BS degree. Best wishes!


Angela 6 years ago

Hi!I'm a junior in high school now, really interested in being a pharmacists, but I confused about do I really have to pick a college that has pre-pharm or I can also major in biochem?


Lisa 6 years ago

I am so glad there are people like you to help out.

I'm planning to attend my local university for 4 years and get the prerequisites out of the way and then transfer to a school of pharmacy.

Thing is...I've got my path all planned and everything, but I've been told to be a pharmacist you have to LOVE Chemistry. And, well, I don't love chemistry. I like the sciences and learning about them, but my true passion remains in biology - not chemistry. I do want a career where I help people, but I just cannot handle the thought of dealing with blood and other various body fluids. Would it be wise to consider pharmacy if I don't love the subject it centers around?


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pharmacist 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Angela,

Good question. Much depends on the particular pharmacy school you want to go to, and what state that school is in. Some require a 4 year BS degree first, others are just looking for strong scores in math/science. I recommend checking out the admission requirements of several pharmacy schools right now. Also, talk with an advisor at whatever college you are going to attend about your intentions. Best wishes!


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pharmacist 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Lisa,

You have to be able to handle and manage the challenge of some advanced chemistry courses. But to say that you must "love" chemistry goes too far in my opinion. Every house needs a foundation. But you don't have to "love" foundations to love your home. I'm glad the concrete is there...but honestly I hardly think about it. Chemistry is a foundation to pharmacy. But you can love pharmacy without loving chemistry.


Nicole 6 years ago

The college I'm going to for undergrad offers honors courses. I was wondering if it would be wise to take them to look better for colleges of pharmacy I will be transferring to. I know science classes will be difficult on their own, but should I take the honor classes? Or should I take regular classes and try to find a job - like a pharmacy technician.


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pharmacist 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hi Nicole,

You could call a school of pharmacy and speak to someone about whether honors courses are helpful. If it were my own son or daughter, and it was their first semester of college, I think I would advise them to get the best grades they can in the non-honors courses first, and then see how it goes. Ultimately...you need to make the choice you are comfortable with. Don't let anyone push you into it. Pharmacy experience is also helpful if you can manage the school and work together. Sounds like you are on the right track. Keep it up!


Erin 6 years ago

Are you sure it doesn't matter too much where you go to undergrad? I'm the top ten of my class at my high school (which isn't that big of a deal considering most at my high school are smart they just don't try). And I was planning to go to my local university. To some people in my city, the local university is 'a joke'. Of course I do not view it that way and I think it will provide a decent education, but most don't seem to think that and I'm a little afraid the pharmacy schools in my state will believe that as well. I'm just a sorry seventeen year old who can't really drive yet and is not ready to move out.


Erin 6 years ago

Plus my parents want me be at home for my first few years of college and that local college has the pre-pharmacy classes I need. And according to their website, the credits transfer to pharmacy schools in the state so...IDK.


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pharmacist 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Erin,

The criteria will change from state to state and school to school. But it sounds as though this local college already has made provision for helping students to pharmacy school. So ask them if they could tell you which schools of pharmacy have accepted their "pre-pharmacy" students. Also, put in a call to your pharmacy schools and speak to them. But I would be surprised if the school is an issue. Grades are important, and so is communication and then experience. Best wishes!


maria 6 years ago

First I want to say how much I enjoy your humor. Secondly, I want to appreciate your sincerity in telling us what it's really like to be a Pharmacist from your day-to-day routine, which didn't AT ALL disillusioned me. A little about myself. I'm 32, my first degree was in the Arts and I'm now pursuing an Associates in Pharmacy Tech. I lived almost 10 years as a starving artist, I followed what was in my heart, that's the kind of person I am. But following what was in my heart also put me in these dire straits of constant unemployment, unhappiness with jobs, and feeling disoriented. I chose to do Pharmacy Tech because I need a job! Come to find out, my professor pulls me to the side the other day to recommend that I should become a Pharmacist. OK, I'm a good student, always have been, but I didn't ever have an inclination toward Science or Math, it was towards the creative arts.

I'm a big dreamer, I DREAM about new things in life, I dream about me going into this field and succeeding and traveling and doing and just being called doctor, it's amazing, it gets my adrenaline going. But I'm scared. Yes I'M TERRIFIED once I look at that curriculum. My background is in the arts!!! what am I doing????!! look at all that chemistry , OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ok...calming down now.

OK, well let's say I go into the program, I take all my pre-pharmacy courses. I just want to have a plan B ok?

I can't just dive into taking courses that are going to cost a fortune - I don't even know if Financial Aid can cover everything first of all - anyway, just in case I don't get accepted into Pharmacy School, what else could I do with those courses? What are my alternatives?

(ps. love the huskies!)


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pharmacist 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hi Maria,

Love your enthusiasm. Getting into the pharmacy program will require a strong performance in the math/science courses you take. I wouldn't worry too much about "plan b" until you really hit a roadblock. I think you will get a sense for it pretty quick, without much wasted time or money. But....if you want to know what else you can do with a lot of chemistry courses...here is a link to some career options: http://www2.unca.edu/career/majorsheets/Chemistry....

Best wishes. Hey...maybe you could design ads for the drug manufacturers on the side! :)


fuzzybegum 6 years ago

Hi there, i#ve really been enjoying your article so far. I'm currently in the process of figuring out what i want to do at Uni, and have increasingly become interested in this area. Please could you tell me the difference between a pharmacy and a pharmacology degree. a lot of the people ive been speaking to are saying not to do pharmacy at any cost, although i think the money would be great! please let me know what you think! also, i live in the UK if that helps in any possible way! thanks so much!!!

Farzana

:)


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pharmacist 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hi Fuzzybegum,

Well, I'm not sure how to advise you on degrees that you could get in the UK. But in the U.S. a person could get a pharmacology degree (a B.S. in pharmacology for example) without any express intention of becoming a pharmacist. They may want to do research, or teaching for example. If you want to be a pharmacist, then you would pursue a degree in pharmacy, which is called a PharmD. This degree qualifies a someone to sit for the appropriate board exams and become a licensed pharmacist in the U.S. Hope that helps. Best wishes!


Confused 6 years ago

Great article! I am 22 and recently graduated in business. I feel that it is not a career that I want to pursue and suddenyl I thought of pharmacy. But entrance to PharmD programs here in Canada is really hard and it will probably take me 2 years just to get ADMITTED to a PharmD program. I am very discouraged and now I really don't know what to do. I know you can't really offer adivse but any word of encouragement would be appreciated. Regards!


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pharmacist 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Confused,

Glad you enjoyed the article. Listen. When it comes to thinking about a career...think in terms of where you want to be in 5-10 years. People come into this profession from MANY different backgrounds, ages and previous experiences. The road may look long and the end may seem VERY far away. But the fact is you can take steps TODAY that move you closer to where you want to be. Begin making a plan my friend. Do 1 thing today that will get you closer to where you want to be. Don't give up. It really will all go by much faster than you think right now. Seems like yesterday I was in your shoes. Now I have a son almost old enough to be making the very same choices that you are. Best wishes!


Interested 6 years ago

I'm glad there are people out there with wit and knowledge, sharing it on the net. I enjoyed this article.

I have some questions:

-How is technology (new software, networks, hardware) changing a pharmacist's job nowadays?

-Do you see the potential for any of this technology to threaten future job outlook for pharmacists? How so or why not?


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pharmacist 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Interested,

Now that is a GREAT question!! In fact, I may write an entire article on this, as I suspect others may also want to know. I believe technology will continue to improve the efficiency of the profession, but I simply cannot see a way for technology to replace the role of pharmacists and/or technicians. The short answer is that the retail pharmacist's focus today is centered around communication, problem solving, decision making, answering questions, etc. Add to that the management of the business itself, training staff, etc. and it becomes clear very quickly that what it takes to be a pharmacist is virtually "super" human...not "less" human involvement. Thanks again for a great question.


Year2Student 6 years ago

Hello! I thought your article was both hilarious and very informative to the many people who do not realize all the tasks and effort involved in being a Pharmacist. I am starting my 2nd year in Pharmacy School (Year 4/6 total) and I knew I wanted to become a Pharmacist since Junior Year in high school. From that point on all I heard from my family and friends was hey there's a pharmacist shortage and you will make a lot of money. They never actually knew what pharmacy was all about! I always hated that and yelled at them telling them to stop spreading the word like everyone else in this country that there is a shortage (because there isn't really one anymore already) and because although the money is great it's not nor should it be ever the sole decision for pursuing such a career. Now I have something (your article) that I can send to them all so they can become educated on what we do at least in retail situations. I'm focusing on clinical pharmacy and would like to pursue a 2-year residency with a teaching hospital in my future. Any tips or advice? Thanks again for such an awesome article, you have provided much inspiration for the new school year!


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pharmacist 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Year2Student,

So glad you liked the article. Yes...here is my advice: DO IT! It is always more challenging to go back to school later (challenging...not impossible). Get as much training and experience as you can afford to get while you are young. And then use the skills and experience you collect to be a resource and asset to the health care community and patients. Best wishes!


confused.. 6 years ago

Hey Pharmacist! I am a senior in high school and i have been wanting to become a pharmacist since 8th grade...my SAT score is not exactly very high which means I will not be attending the college I want to go to yet...but the college i am probably going to end up going to, doesn't have a PharmD major as one of its majors...? so what do i study when im there? do i just take some random science/math prereq's there and transfer to a college that has a pharmacy school? help me! :)


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pharmacist 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hi confused,

Believe it or not, you are actually must LESS confused than many of your peers who have NO idea what they want to do. You have a plan and a goal. What you need to do is get some good advice that applies to your likely PharmD path. So.....I would call 2-3 pharmacy schools and as a "prospective" student ask to speak to an advisor. Tell them where you will be going to college, and ask what classes you can take to best prepare you for entrance into the PharmD program. A good advisor from the college you plan to attend should also be able to do this for you. Grab the bull by the horns, and don't quit until you get the answers you are looking for. Unfortunately there is no 1 "right" answer to your question, since schools and states differ on their requirements. Best wishes my friend!


itam 6 years ago

i need to no what i should oready no if i am going to be a pharmarcist


Lilybella 6 years ago

I'm a high school senior, and I have A LOT of questions about becoming a pharmacist.

1) What kind of classes do you take and what do you major in? Because I heard from a friend you could major in chemistry or something like that.

2) How many years do I have to be in school?

3) What is the difference between a hospital and a clinical pharmacist?

4) What kind of school should I go to?

Thats all....for now.

And thanks ahead of time!


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pharmacist 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Lilybella,

1) You will be taking a lot of science and chemistry. Some schools require you get a BS degree first. Best approach is to check the websites of a few potential schools of pharmacy.

2) 6 years is the typical degree for the PharmD degree required now to practice pharmacy in most states.

3) A hospital pharmacist works in a hospital. A "clinical pharmacist" is a general term for a pharmacist who often has the same degree, or may have taken some additional training, and works in any number of settings with a focus on various clinical aspectes. Long term care is one example.

4) The school you choose will depend on so many factors. Best to apply to several and then compare them to make your choice.

Best wishes.


bryan 6 years ago

hey i got a felony in the army for awol is it possible for me to take my bored to become a tech or am I out of luck because of it


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pharmacist 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hy bryan,

Okay. Good question. Here is what I would do. Call the board of pharmacy in your state, and set up an appointment to go speak with them. Talk to them about your situation and your interest in pharmacy. See what they say. I have known cases where the board of pharmacy granted permission to overlook a felony. Of course, then you need to find a place that will hire you too...but take it 1 step at a time. Best wishes!


Jasmine 6 years ago

Hello I am an undergrad student and I guess I am having doubts about is this really the profession for me or am I wasting my time? I don't know if it is nerves because it is getting closer for me to apply. Somebody please help how did you know that this was right for you? I am scared what if I do something wrong?


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pharmacist 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hi Jasmine,

Have you worked in pharmacy at all or do you have some experience with this profession? I think it is a great field to pursue...but I don't imagine it is right for everyone. I can't tell you that it is the best choice for you. However...it is a better choice than doing nothing! :) Waiting for some special message to drop from the sky that says "do this!" is probably not going to work. Sometimes the best way to find the right path is to just start running down the path before you. If its wrong...you will find out faster by running than just standing at the intersection. Get it? Go for it! The right thing will present itself along the road of ACTION. Best wishes. Drop me an email if I can help in any other way.


Jasmine 6 years ago

Well thank you so much and yes I understand what your sayin but no I haven't worked in one it is hard tryin to get into one around here. But I will be shadowing one starting monday well I really hope that it comes to me.Again thanks


shenelee 6 years ago

hi. so i'm confuse on what to do with my life. I don't want to stay in school for too long i'm ready to get out of school and start my life. The thing is i want to do something in the medical field. I heard medical school is really long so i didn't bother to try something in that area. Right now my major is optometry which i want to switch to pharmacy. I've been praying about it and i'm still confuse. So should i try pharmacy ? Is it easier to get than other doctor degree's? One thing i heard is that the pre requirements for pharmacy school is harder than pharmacy school itself is that true ?

Sorry for the long essay !


Lily 6 years ago

Im about to graduate high school. And i want to pursue pharmacy but I don't know which schools to go to. I heard we could go to any school as long as we take the certain classes such as chemistry,biology and so on. And then transfer to like a master school for pharmacy. But still, I don't know which school to go to. And what's the difference between pre medicine, pre pharmacy and pharmacy?

Thank you! :]


Bamboozled 6 years ago

Currently I am a freshman in college; I am in an undecided "exploratory" major right now, but would like to go to pharmacy school. I looked at my state university pharm school, and printed their list of pre-requisites, but I am just so bamboozled! Should I major in a science to complete these prerequisites, since my school doesn't currently have a pre-pharm program? I thought maybe I can take summer courses to complete the list at my local college back home; or should I tranfer to a school with a pre pharmacy program? Any help or information will be appreciated greatly!

Thank You!


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pharmacist 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

shenelee,

Great questions. Whether a particular course is "harder" than another is a bit subjective. Strong math and science skills are helpful. One thing I would just remind you (and others) is to avoid the illusion that life only "begins" after you are done with school. Live every day! School may be a unique and challenging chapter in the book of life...but it is a 'living' chapter none the less. Don't look at school as merely a hurdle you have to get over before the "real" life begins. Those who do will always be looking ahead at the next 'hurdle' and never really living for today. Grasp the big picture. Life is a gift, even the "school" part. Best wishes my friend!


mike 6 years ago

so the pre-requisites are harder than pharmacy school itself ?


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pharmacist 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hi Lily,

Good questions. The choices can seem overwhelming. There are over 100 pharmacy schools in the U.S. to choose from. There is a nice "pharmacy school locator" tool provided by AACP here: http://www.aacp.org/resources/student/Pages/School...

Most pharmacy schools require at least 2 years of undergraduate studies, known as "pre-pharmacy" courses. Often these can be taken at any good local school, but always check with an advisor and call some pharmacy schools for their requirements. Pre-med courses are for those wishing to become an MD. Best wishes!


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pharmacist 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Bamboozled,

Thanks for reading and asking. Really, the best advice I can give you, is to recommend you contact an advisor either at the Pharmacy school, or at your current school, and explain your interest in pharmacy school. Every state and school has different requirements. But most require a couple years of "pre-requisite" courses which you could do at a variety of locations. It is just important to DO YOUR BEST and try to achieve the highest science/math scores you can. This will help secure you a place in the pharmacy school of your choice. Best wishes!!


hlp 6 years ago

is the PCAT really hard ?

and like Mike said r the pre-requisites harder than pharmacy school itself ?


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pharmacist 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

hlp,

Yes, the PCAT is hard...but get the study guides and use them and they should help.

I wouldn't go so far as to say the pre-requisites are harder than pharmacy school itself. As a former preceptor with a lot of contact with students...I have seen how tough it can be. But if you get accepted to pharmacy school...it is because you have shown the skills needed to succeed. Focus on getting in first...then take it 1 day at a time.


Interested 6 years ago

I hope to read your future article on technology and pharmacists.

Here's another issue I ran across: http://www.wmnf.org/news_stories/pharmacist-on-hun...

That article brings up two issues (very similar to what I experienced in the video game industry):

1. Hiring of foreign expert labor (so as to keep costs down)

2. Pressure from big drug companies to work at a very high speed (with problems for accurate work and quality of life).

What do you think, is this a trend, has it always been there, is it rare or common?


Me 6 years ago

Ok so I would really like to go nova southeastern which is an extremely expensive university in Florida . Are there ways to get fundin for the school such as scholarships ?

And the final year of pharmacy school do you only do training or internships ?


:) 6 years ago

Why do some universities have less credits than others during your 4 years of pharmacy school ? Does tht mean it'll b easier n more manageable than the other university that require more credits


Jaime Kerr 6 years ago

Thank you for your humorous bio of retail pharmacy! Very spot on. I have worked as a pharmacy tech for 9 years, completed college 10 years ago and now at 31 am decided that I want to attempt my Everest and become a pharmacist. When apprehensive about being intelligent enough, a friend stated: Look, when you run a mile there will always be someone faster and slower than you. Bottom line, you finished the mile. Reading your responses to the public's questions has been helpful to underline my goal. Thank you!


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pharmacist 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hi Me,

I would definitely look into scholarships. You would do this through the financial aid office at the school. And yes, most of the final year is typically different internships which are directed by the school. This is where you get to put a lot of what you have learned into real practice. Best wishes.


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pharmacist 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

:),

Good question about the credits between schools. I honestly don't know the answer. I assume there must be a minimum number that all schools must meet. I wonder what the actual range of credits is between the school requiring the most and the least.


Me 6 years ago

Thnx so much !

And in your opinion which professional year was the hardest and which one was the easiest ?


Lourdes153 6 years ago

Greetings Phamacist,

I go through that everyday I love it! It made me laugh :)

Im 17 and i started working as a pharmacy tech at the age of 15. The pharmacist taught me a lot of things including the side effects and the generics. I have gained a lot of experience i LOVE the job and the enviorment most importantly helping others.. I've dedicated time and effort into learning everyday at my job. Yes, it can get crazy at time but i LOVE it. Bad news is im applying for college and would love to be in an accelerated program of 6yrs. But im not so much of a school person and im horrible at math but i love science its amazing. I don't sleep at night fearing i wont make it because everyone says its so hard. But i really want this!


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pharmacist 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Lourdes153,

Glad to give you a laugh.

DON'T be afraid of trying...or even of failing.

DO be afraid of NOT trying! In the end, NOT trying is the only thing to be ashamed of.

Best wishes,

Jason


Hey 6 years ago

Like me said

Which yr was the hardest and which one was the easiest and why ?


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pharmacist 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hi Hey,

Personally my first year of college was the hardest for me. It was like trying to be a big heavy ball rolling. Lots of pushing and pressure. Once the ball gets rolling, it was easier to keep it going. I found the last year the easiest. The goal was then within sight, and that eased some of the burden.

That was just my experience. Others would probably have different opinions.


Hey 6 years ago

Thnx so much and I was wondering should I take anatomy and physiology 1 and 2 before the PCAT or could I just take the first one and do the second class after the PCAT ?


MysteryFlavour 6 years ago

Hey thanks a lot for answering all these questions, it really helps a lot. I am currently a senior in high school living in michigan. I have been strongly considering becoming a pharmacist but I don't know if I can handle it. I have always been interested in science, however I have always been around a B to B+ average in my math and science courses. This is because I never really tried studying that hard. I am considering going to Ferris state university because they have a good pharmacy program and I don't have to grades to get into the University of Michigan, let alone their pharmacy school. i'd just really like some feedback from a person thats been through it all. thanks a lot!

(oh I have taken chemistry and got a B and am currently taking human physiology and have an A)


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pharmacist 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

MysteryFlavour,

I didn't have staight A's in High School. I could have done better in quite a few courses. Try to finish strong. If you can't go to the Univ. of CT (my school) then all the others are about the same. LOL. But seriously, get in where you can. Congrats on the A in physiology! Keep up the good work.


MysteryFlavour 6 years ago

thanks a lot, this really helps. I jave another question, once you became a pharmacist how were the job offers? did you have to go job hunting? or could you pretty much choose where you wanted to work? haha


pharmacist profile image

pharmacist 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hey,

Good question. I would have to defer that question to a local advisor. Contact a pharmacy school in your state. Or even speak to someone NABPLEX or the pharmacy board in your state. Answers like that should really come from someone who has their fingers in that environment every day.

Best wishes!


Ashley 6 years ago

Good day Mr. Pharmacist,

My name is Ashley and I am a Junior Biology Student who just recently threw out the lifelong dream of medicine in hopes to live a somewhat more balanced work/home life as a Pharmacist.

Problem is...I live in Florida where you must get certification to even think about becoming a pharmacy technician. By the time I GOT the certification and a job in a retail pharmacy...I would only have a couple months working there when I actually apply for Pharmacy school.

I'm taking the PCAT in January and have a 3.3gpa (not terrible), but my question is...How does one prepare for Pharmacy school interviews when they cant say "Oh I was a tech first and did blah blah and it was amazing?"

I suppose, one would question...How do you know this is what you want without having physically done this profession, but Ive been reading blog after blog of information and talking to pharmacists about their professions ever since I made this decision.

I endeavor to be a pharmacist like you, who recognizes my job is crazy, but finds the time to speak to every customer and explain everything to them, and properly mop up after the physicians who don't realize they're prescribing improperly.

Is expressing my vicarious knowledge of Pharmacy enough?

Thanks :)


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pharmacist 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Ashley,

Those I speak with tell me that "grades" and good "communication skills" are the most important things. Experience is nice...but there will be plenty of time for that. You seem to communicate well in writing. I suspect your verbal skills are good as well. Study hard for the PCAT, and I think you will be rewarded for your efforts. Best wishes!


Rodney 6 years ago

Good Morning !

I'm very concerned about my future when it comes to becoming a pharmacist. It's something I've always been interested in. I don't have very good grades from high school and I just graduated this past June 2010. However, I'm highly motivated in pursing this profession. Here's my game plan and please with your honest opinion, tell me if it realistic and possible.

1. I'm planning on taking up pre-pharmacy courses in Community College ( I'd say a University but because of high school, I doubt I'm qualified)

2. After two years of CC, transfer to a University with a pharmacy program of some sort.

3. Retrieve a bachelors degree and continue on to a School of Pharmacy to get my Pharm. D.

So.. what do you think please let me know If I've dug myself into a hole. I've never been so sure about what I want to do in life.

Thanks for your time and consideration.


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pharmacist 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hi Rodney,

I think your plan sounds good. The sooner you can get into a school that offers a pharmacy program, the better. Getting in is easier if you don't have to transfer in. They will give preference to their current students already enrolled at their school. Focus on getting A's in all your courses if possible, get some experience, and then go for it!


anna 6 years ago

i am 25 yars old have 2 kids and thinking to i want to be a pharmacist, but am i to late , and i amfrom different country english is my second language i am scared that this will be a problem, im plannin to get my AA 2 year degree and transfer to usf to pharmacy school,but im not sure if i can do it im scared if i get my AA then i wouldn't be acepted in a pharmacy school then what do i do, is tehre a faster way what should i do thanks


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pharmacist 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hi Anna,

You are still very young. Managing school and kids has been done by others before you. Do what you can do to strengthen your English skills, obviously you have a great start. Get the highest grades you can, and then apply to a variety of schools. See what happens. There is no real fast way. But the efforts are worth it. Don't give up. Give your best shot. Nothing to fear in that. Best wishes.


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 6 years ago from California Gold Country

I think I was the first-- or one of the first, to comment on this article.

You have really followed through with helpful, thoughtful, and practical advice on this subject.

I admire what you are doing (though I rarely even take an aspirin).

Applause!!


Sophie 6 years ago

What part of your job do you like the most, despite all the chaos that you have to deal with on a day to day basis? What or who influenced you choose to go into pharmacy?


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pharmacist 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Rochelle - You were #1!! And you still are. :) I didn't anticipate so many good questions and opportunities to interact with students and others when I wrote this. It has been an honor to share these things with others. Thanks for the encouragement!


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pharmacist 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Sophie - Good question. I like helping people and I enjoy teaching, both of which I get to do in some measure as a pharmacist. It was while working as a tech while in high school that I really decided I wanted to be a pharmacist.


Lee 6 years ago

I want to become a pharmacist, but i don't know if i "can" i like chemistry at times, but does that mean pharmacy might not be best for me?


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pharmacist 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hi Lee,

I don't think a person needs to "love" chemistry to be a pharmacist. You just need to be able to pass it! Granted, an interest in chemistry might be helpful, but there are so many other aspects of the profession that it can hardly be considered a requirement. Best wishes!


Lee 6 years ago

ok thank you! I'm going to go for it! R.U. School of Pharm!! :)


April 6 years ago

Hi I go to a community college right now and I'm planning to transfer to a university for pharmacy, but I don't know what major I should put. For example should it be AA in Biology or AA in Chemistry? The community college I'm in right now doesn't have biochemistry.


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pharmacist 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hi April,

The best advice I can give is to speak to an advisor or faculty member at the pharmacy school you are considering. Different States and schools have differing requirements. You want to know the best approach for getting accepted. Hope you find your answers. Stick with it!


Jesi 6 years ago

:) I had to smile at the "plug" for the Asian student to learn a few passages in John :).. Great idea!!

Thanks for your post. I am reading anything I can regarding the world of pharmacy. I am a stay at home mom currently. I am 33 years old!! Nearly 34. How I wish that I had thought of this when I was younger. I took the trade school route and went for my cosmetology license. Being a hair stylist is great, being in sales for that industry is even better, financially. I just don't want to be held responsible for sales goals. Talk about stress! I think I would rather deal with all the crazy customers out there at a retail pharmacy than ever be held to a sales goal again. Pharmacy is attractive to me, because of the work hours that it offers and the pay incentive. I can't say that my first choice would be to work retail pharmacy. I feel that its a stable profession, one that my family can count on. I am NOT a pill popper. I don't even take meds for headaches. What interests me is the "science" of it.

My thoughts are to take the accelerated course they offer here in Las Vegas, NV. The local accelerated program here had over 1800 applicants last year alone and they only accepted less than 250. The competition is fierce! That is one benefit that my age has over the younger crowd, at least a percentage of the younger crowd. :) FOCUS! This is it. I have to get through it. One shot. Now, I know there are many studious and focused kids in the younger crowd. I will envy and look up to their initiative and drive.

Since you were actually an educator in the "suicide" course, do you know from an admissions stand point what they are truly looking for in a candidate for the PharmD progam? What sets one applicant apart from the other? I am sure plenty of candidates have excellent gpa's. Is it based solely on the personal interview? If I go speak to the admissions department for the PharmD program and ask these questions myself, will it give me an in? I am looking at either the College Southern Nevada or paying the higher cost at UNLV for my first 2 years. I wonder if it would matter, attending one over the other?

Thanks for always posting replies to the comments that catch your eye! I hope that mine is one that catches your eye! :)

Thanks

Jesi


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pharmacist 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hi Jesi,

Be assured your post has caught my eye. I applaud your determination. As for your question, my contacts tell me that candidates need to focus on 1) Grades and 2) Communication skills and then 3) Experience. Strategy is also important. By that I mean that you are more likely to be considered if you are already a student at the school that offers the pharmacy program. Actually speaking to those involved in the school of pharmacy is not a bad idea.

Feel free to email me if I can be of any further help. Best wishes!

Jason


Sally 6 years ago

Dear Pharmacist,

I thought your article was enjoyable, yet knowledgeable. I am currently a freshman at UT and am having some problems with my calculus class which is a prerequisite for pharmacy school. Soon, I will have to make a very tough decision if I should Q-drop the course. At this point, I am unsure if I am even able to pass the course. So my question to you, is how much do you think a Q-drop will affect my chances of being accepted into pharmacy school.

Thank you for your opinion!

Sally


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pharmacist 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hi Sally,

Thanks for the compliment. Calculus, I will admit, was my hardest course. Personally I found everything easier after tackling that beast. I think you really need to speak to an advisor at your school. Talk to your calc professor too. As you know, acceptance to the pharmacy program is quite competitive, so you want to maximize your chances. Please stop back and let us know what you decide, as your experience would surely be helpful to others.

Best wishes,

Jason


babsy 5 years ago

hi i'm 24. 1st year of a pharmaceutical science degree in u.k. i have many offers to do pharmacy if i complete my first year well... the thing is i'm not very good at science..only some bits. but find my self getting better as the years progress.. i really want to study pharmacy as it a fulfilling job helping people out and the freedom to move around is attractive.. i'm not 100% sure if its the rite path for me.. any advice would be helpful.. thanks.


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hi babsy,

A wise philosopher once said that this life must be lived 'forward' but can only be understood 'backward.' I think there is some truth to this. If you wait for 100% certainty...you may never move forward. You don't need to be great in science, or even love science, to be a good pharmacist. You must be able to handle it and get through it. I cannot tell you, or anyone, if this is the right path for them. That you have to decide on your own. The counsel of good friends, family and others who know you is valuable. But in the end, you must live with your choice, so it must be your choice to make. Trust those who love you, and your own "gut" instinct as well. Be objective about what it would take to reach this goal. Make plans. Don't give up. Don't be afraid. There's my advice. Best wishes!


Studying4ever 5 years ago

Dear Pharmacist,

Thank you for writing this article. too often i see pharmacists get written off as just "pill-poppers," so thanks for shedding light on the realities of the profession!!

I'm 30 (which i HOPE isn't too old to begin) and have just resumed school again after the economy collapse killed my job. you may have already answered these questions, but if you could confirm that i'm doing the correct steps, it would be enormously helpful.

1) I started off by consulting 5 universities, in the science departments, in regards to pharmacy and they all gave me, hands down, that pharmacy is an excellent field to pursue.

2) I checked into a community college, and have registered for pre-reqs transferable to the pharm school i'm interested in.. I'm taking a few additional electives just to boost my GPA as well. (what is the typical GPA to fall within? i thought it was 3.5, but not sure)

3) I am registering for pharm tech classes this spring (for networking, logging hours, and experience).

Reading this, it makes sense to me, but like some others on here, I sometimes have my doubts, but i know that mindset won't help. Could you tell me if i'm approaching this with the correct frame of mind? or is there a better way? any info would be greatly appreciated because it's gnawing me.

Many Thanks


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Studying4ever,

Your approach sounds solid. I think 3.5 is probably in the ball park. It would be helpful to know what % of applicants from the community college pre-pharm program get accepted to the school you are interested in. But really, your approach sounds fine. Stay focused. This is a long-term investment. Think about where you want to be 5 years from now...and keep taking little steps in that direction every day. Best wishes!


studying4ever 5 years ago

Thank you so much!! I really needed to hear that!! It really helps to get feedback from someone knowledgeable and already in the field!!


Sally 5 years ago

Hi again! I wanted to update the blog followers on my decision on whether or not to drop my calculus course. My advisor advised me to stick with the course if I could pull a C-(my university operates on the +/- scale). My professor reassured me (since he knew my circumstances and there is a calculus curve) that I would be able to pass with a C if I could pass my final. After an emotional roller coaster, I decided on the last class day it was in my best interest to drop the course. I felt I had a slim chance of passing the final. I tried my absolute best and it was just not enough. I made the mistake of taking M408C(accelerated 2-part calculus) when I was not ready for it. Next semester, I am enrolling in M408N (3-part calculus for science majors) and I will give it my best fight! I hope this does not discourage any future pre-pharm students. Remember, "C is for continue!" :D and remember, "Know your limit".

Sincerely,

Sally


daisy 5 years ago

Hello, Your blog is wonderful. The Godly advice found is such a blessing. I'm currently applying for pharmacy schools and would like to specialize in compounding. Does anyone know of any schools that would accomplish this goal?

Thanks


pharmacist profile image

pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Daisy,

Thank you for the kind words. Glad to help. I don't know that any one pharmacy school is better than another for a compounding focus, but you may get some help by speaking with someone at a National Pharmacy organization (APhA, NABP, etc). Most likely, the best training will come AFTER graduation and by making contacts with some Pharmacy Compounding organizations. Google: "Pharmacy compounding associations" and you will find several out there. Best wishes!!


hlee92 5 years ago

Thank you for taking time answering questions to curious students like me! I am senior in high school and have applied to University of Chicago at Illinois as chem major. I decided to become a Pharmacists after looking at lives of great pharmacists like you who help out others through their profession. And I have 3 questions regarding Pharmacy career.

1. I am a person who loves to move around and make trips to different places. So I was wondering if being a retail pharmacist would be right choice for me

2. And is there difference between hospital pharmacists and retail pharmacists in that sense?

3. Also,would you still recommend going to community college even if you can enroll in 4 year college in the first place?

Thankyou


pharmacist profile image

pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

hlee92,

Glad to be of service.

1. Well...if you mean by "move around" you mean actually moving to new locations...then sure...you could work for a national retail pharmacy and move around the country working for them...assuming you get licensed in all those States. Some pharmacists just like to "float." This means they don't have any 1 fixed pharmacy they work at. They go to whatever store needs help. This can be an adventure!

2. I suspect there may be a little less opportunity for that type of movement in a hospital setting.

3. Best to get into a pharmacy school ASAP if you can. If you can go right to a college that offers a pharmacy program, that is the best way. But some folks just aren't ready for that. But your chances of getting accepted are better if you are already a student at that college.

Best wishes in your career!


desertlight 5 years ago

thanks a lot for the blog is really has helped a lot of students around the world.

i am currently a first year biotechnology student, i will like to change to pharmacy soon, i just wanted on your advice on which BOOKS to read so far as to increase my general knowledge about pharmacy and be familiar with the terms in the industury.

Thanks a lot in advance, keep up with the efforts of helping students, i am truly grateful indeed.


pharmacist profile image

pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

desertlight,

Good question. If you have never read a book on developing "memory" skills, I would recommend something along those lines. It will serve you far better than anything else. Another good resource to begin reading would be the APhA Handbook of Nonprescription Drugs. Great practical reading that will serve you well.

Best wishes!


Jay 5 years ago

I've been following this page for a little while, and I appreciate all the attention you've given answering people's questions. This has been a great resource to me in deciding whether to pursue pharmacy. Here's my story: I'm 24 years old, and I've attended college on and off since finishing high school, where I had great grades. However, in college, I've changed schools and majors a few times, and haven't put my best effort forward. I think that because I struggled with figuring out what I wanted to do, I didn't have motivation, so often times I'd take classes just for the heck of it and because I knew I didn't want to quit. I have plenty of credits though, and would just need my science prerequisites before applying to pharmacy school. I know I can pull good grades if I just put my mind to it. My question is, will pharmacy schools look past a weak academic background if they see improvement and motivation? I've also recently obtained the PTCB certification and am looking for a job as a technician now. I know that would help my case as well, but I am having trouble finding openings anywhere. Any advice on finding a tech job? Thank you in advance for your help!


pharmacist profile image

pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Jay,

I'm glad to be of some service to the next generation of pharmacists. I can only be sure about 1 thing: If you don't go for it, you won't get it. That is certain. Beyond that you have to be willing to venture into the unknown. You have the right approach. I suspect you need to be enrolled full-time and pull off some very good grades, preferably at a school that has a pharmacy program. If not, be prepared and willing to apply broadly to get into pharmacy school somewhere. Yes, I think the tech job will help. Keep checking back with all the local pharmacies on a regular basis. Look your best when you go in, and don't give up. A pharmacy school needs to see you can handle BOTH the academic challenge and have the dedication to commit to full-time studies. I think you can do it. Best wishes!


studying4ever 5 years ago

I have a question with regard to being a "certified" pharmacy technician. I've exhausted my research abilities on the web for an answer to this.

"What is the difference between a Certified Pharmacy technician, and a CPHT?"

When viewing the salaries on both (US median income of a certified pharm tech-$48,000.00, CPHT-$23,000.00) there is a bit of variance involved.

I figured maybe the years of experience/employment would be a factor into that, but not much of what i researched supports that fully.

Some info I found stated that Pharm techs tend to make more working in a hospital, adding that "the more you can do, the better off you'll be."

Not that Pharm Techs make a lot (which is not meant as a slight to anyone), but as a student, every little bit helps.

Could you please shed some light on this for me? Thanks in advance.


pharmacist profile image

pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

studying4ever,

According to PTCB, those are the same things. Here is a quote from their site:

"There are two parts to being a Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT). First, pharmacy technicians must sit for and pass the national PTCE. Once a pharmacy technician has passed the exam, he or she may use the designation of CPhT. Second, to continue to hold certification, a CPhT is required to obtain twenty hours of continuing education for recertification within two years of original certification or previous recertification."


jobro 5 years ago

I have a question. I graduated with my bachelors degree in bio medical sciences from a university. I am applying to pharmacy college. My question is do they look at my gpa at the university or do they look at my gpa, in pre-pharmacy courses AA degree.

What is with the PCAT, It is not easy..


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

jobro,

Good question. I think you can expect them to look at the big picture first, including every GPA right back to High School. But then, when weeding out applicants, and deciding between applicants, they will likely put a special focus on GPA in courses related to pharmacy, math and science. Best wishes!


steffpuff2011 5 years ago

My 24 yr. old son has an under graduate degree in bio-chemistry from a highly regarded NYS SUNY college.

After working many years in a pharmacy and most recently as a pharm tech (he can't support himself on that salary!)desperately wants to become a pharmacist. He loves the people contact and I have had nothing but compliments from friends who have encounter him at the drug store. Right now he's been in his room for about 24 hr. after taking the PCAT for the second time...the only thing he'll say is "It was brutal". His overall GPA in High School was mid 90's but in college he partied a lot and it took him 5 yr. to complete.

Aside from working in the pharmacy he's also taking under graduate courses again on-line to boost his college GPA and getting A's.

Is there any stategies you can suggest to increase his odds of getting into pharmacy school aside from acing the PCAT? Are there "oversea" schools like there use to be for medical students that couldn't get in the US? He's smart enough...are there other jobs related to this field that he could explore that could use his people skills and smarts?


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Steffpuff2011,

Sounds like he has the academic skills needed. He's still very young. Yes, the PCAT is tough. I think he has all the basics in place. He should just apply broadly within U.S. schools and be prepared to relocate if necessary. I wouldn't look overseas yet, unless he really hits a road block. Best wishes!


clueless 5 years ago

Im just about to finish a community college for a liberal arts degree which is not much but I really want to be a pharmacist, I am only 19 at the moment but very confused. Living in New York, there are a lot of good schools ask for a 3.2 GPA or above but I am only 2.5. I really want to be a retail pharmacist but I cant find a school or the required majors and courses I need to take better yet I cant even find the right school for me. Is there any possible advice you can give me. I know I can do this and score higher then a 2.5 GPA, Im just lazy in a community college. Also how long would i have to study to become a retail pharmacist?


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

clueless,

It is not out of reach, but you will need to work hard. You need to do very well on the PCAT exam. Study and prepare hard. Then you will need to be committed to a college level degree, and may have to enroll under a different major to start. Get the GPA up. Pharmacy school is typically 6 years full time. Apply broadly to pharmacy school across the nation. There are application services that will do this for you. Best wishes!


Thames  5 years ago

I would apply to pharmacy school this summer but I am lacking shadowing/volunteering/extra curricular. So I am hoping to spend this upcoming year doing all of that. BUT this is where the confusion comes in. Anyways maybe you could clear some of it up.

1. Retail pharmacies won't let you shadow them. (Does this mean I can only shadow independent pharmacists? But isn't that a liability to them also? )

2. Once you get your Pharm Tech License, pharmacies won't let you volunteer for them anymore. (So it's not possible to do both?)

Is this true? What else would you suggest i do? I understand that they first look at your GPA and then your extra curricular activities so I need some help with what I could do to fulfill this "extra" component of the application.

Thanks.


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Thames,

Shadowing and volunteering are not really options, in most pharmacies. Your "experience" will have to come through actual employment most likely. But this is not critical to getting accepted to pharmacy school. Strong GPA, PCAT scores, references and a good interview are key. If you can get a job in a pharmacy, this may help too, but don't stress about this. Best wishes!


Baxter 5 years ago

Thanks a lot for all What you've been doing, through reading your posts, I found answers to lots of questions i was stuck on.

There's Actually a big problem preoccuping me, allow me to share it with you.

I have an associate degree in Mathematics, from a foreign country, witch has been evaluated to a 2.3 Gpa, I wanted to be a pharmacist and since last year i've started taking classes at a community college, and so far i've got a W from my calculus I and a C from gen chem 1; i'm desperate about my chances to get in a pharmacy school, what advices can you give me


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Baxter,

GPA isn't the only factor, although it is important. PCAT score is important, and you should cram for that. But honestly, you will probably need to get that GPA up higher. Don't give up yet. But also, keep your options open and think about other areas of interest. Best wishes!


BAxter 5 years ago

Thanks for your advice and your sincerity

When applying for pharmacy school, do they look at the overall gpa, from all the courses i've taken in Usa and overseas, or just the one of Usa Courses?


Jbrapid 5 years ago

Best advice I can give you Baxter is to go to another Community college, and start from a clean slate, that means, like a freshman, not a transfer student, and then work hard to get a high gpa.


Lost & Worried 5 years ago

Hi, I'm 18 and graduating hs in a few months. I've wanted to become a pharmacist for a long time but now I don't know if it's really for me (im lost). I thought I was sure, now I'm not. It wasn't an easy road to decide on being a pharmacist - my mind swtiched from pediatrician, to ped dentist. I recently dropped ap stats to be a TA bec I was so overwhelmed by all my responsibilities i chose to let go of some. So that meant i had to inform all the colleges i applied to that i dropped a course (UC Irvine, Davis). I'm scared that, that took me outta the race. And i know chem is a big part of pharm but its not my best subject. How will that affect me? Im planning on being a tech then go to pharm school at UCSF. Ive shadowed a pharm and thought it was interesting. Ive also interned at different depts at hospitals and a dental office. Idk what to do anymore bec im just confused. Pls help! Advice/consolation would be greatly appreciated...pls help, i need it!


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Lost & Worried,

You don't sound lost to me. Nervous, but not lost. You have a plan and know what you need to do. That puts you miles ahead of many seniors. Take it one day at a time. Some things are simply out of our control. Don't worry about them. 5 years from now you will look back and say "wow...it all came together." In the mean time, keep up your studies and try not to miss the joy and blessings each day brings.

Best wishes!


Lost & Worried 5 years ago

Thanks, I'm so glad to hear that from an experienced professional. I guess I'm just doing what I do best - overthinking and freaking out. I'm doing my best. And I'm working on enjoying life more. Thanks again :)

But, how do you think dropping Stats will affect my application to UC? And the chemistry?

I appreciate your help and consideration.


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Lost,

I'm afraid that is a tough question to answer. It really depends on what the other applicants look like. But don't worry about what is out of your hands. Do your best right now. You are quite young and still have lots of time. Best wishes!


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TinaTango 5 years ago

Amazing article! I am currently a technician for Walmart, and I see what Pharmacists go through every day! It's gruesome! Keep up the good work, sample some of those Xanax every once in a while .....(just kidding!)


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hi Tina,

Nice to meet a "fellow" Walmart associate!! How long have you worked as a tech? Send me a PM. Take care!


SuspendedInTime 5 years ago

I'm 17 and in my junior year of HS I became interested in becoming a pharmacist in my H Zoology class. I mainly became interested because I got good grades in my H chemistry class and it just all made sense to me and I enjoyed it. It just clicked even with a teacher who didn't teach at all. I'm generally a B student and have passed AP world history and AP Lang and composition. I'm a natural writer and I enjoy chemistry. My problem is I read that math is an important part of the pharmacist repertoire. I was generally good at math up until trigonometry, which I had a C. And I am now taking stats. I'm scared because I don't think I have what it takes to be successful in a calculus class or any other complex math. Biology was okay for me but am much more interested in zoology so my second choice of occupation would possibly be a bioengineer, though I was very much set on pharmaceutical work but am now not so sure.


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

SuspendedInTime,

Yes, math and biology are pretty important...but not deal breakers. This is not an engineering or physics degree. You need to be able to grasp the concepts and score well. But listen. You are clearly intelligent. You have done well in other classes and can articulate your concerns. You have the brain. You just need help getting these areas mastered. You need a tutor or a different teacher or some other outside help. That's all. You just need someone to explain it differently. You will then get it and succeed. Does that make sense? Don't give up. Just get some help. Hang in there!


latebloomer 5 years ago

Hello,

I am 37 and am in pre-pharm classes with hopes of starting pharm school in summer 2013. I worked as a Project Manager for over 10 years. never enjoryed it, and now the industry is saturated with no work. I have always wanted to be a pharmacist but life happened (married w/ two kids) and had to work hard. We are saccrificing for me to be able to do this but I know once I finish, I will be able to give us the future we realy want in a job that I want and can be proud of. I do have a couple questions for you.

1) Can you give some advice or summary of the PCAT. Is it more a well rounded test of education or is it directed more at sciences?

2) In the retail field, are you a manager that has to worry about the store's issues outside of the pharmacy and it's personel?

Last of all, I wanted to tell you how much I appreciate your post and how it is very considerate of you to answer so many posts. You are an inspiration for those of us who aspire to be Pharmacists and for those of us who wish to not only be successful but let our faith be a part of our everyday life.

Thanks


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

latebloomer,

Better late than never! Glad to hear you are pursuing this opportunity. There are some good PCAT study guides that you should probably invest in. Math, Bio, Chem are important. But also general reading and communication parts too. It is tough, but I'm sure you can handle it.

I have worked as a manager in situations where you are responsible for everything (OTC, staffing, scheduling, etc) including, of course, all the prescription stuff. Yep, it can be challenging. I liked it. I'm a bit of a control freak though. :)

Best wishes!


Ali 5 years ago

hi my background is bsc in comp sc and i wanna be pharmacist now i am 30 u think it worth it as my field is gone down no jobs


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Ali,

If you have a real interest in helping people through the pharmaceutical branch of health care..yes...go for it! I believe such a desire is the key to deciding on this profession. Job opportunities and financial expectations should be secondary. Best wishes!


Callie 5 years ago

Hi Pharmacist!

First off let me say that I really enjoyed your wit throughout your blog. It made me laugh often and made it a light read. I also really appreciate how you've used this bog as a missionary field as well, which I find really encouraging. I do have a question for you. I am a 3rd year biology major at a big university and am doing well. I thought of going to med school and was actually signed up for the MCAT before I realized that I don't like blood, am going towards doctor because my friends are, and that being a doctor is not compatible with the working part time mom I want to be in the future. I have plans to call a pharmacist in the next day or so and get a tour of what a pharmacist does, but I would also appreciate what you have to say is most interesting about your job and before you became a pharm-tech how you knew it is what you wanted to do. What type of classes can you compare pharmacy to? I really enjoyed organic chemistry and have heard pharmacy compared to that course. I'm not scared of the work or the amount of time Pharmacy school would take, but what worries me is the "after,." I fear pharmacy will be boring and leave me unsatified with my job. Please let me know your opinion. Thank you!


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Callie,

Great quesiton! Probably merits a whole article. And I personally appreciate your values and desire to be a stay at home mom, if you can do it. Best wishes with that. I started to work as a tech pretty much out of simple curiosity, combined with a job opening in the pharmacy dept. of a store I already worked in. That is when I fell in love with it (so to speak). So I attribute it more to the Providence of God than my own planning. If you are interested in what pharmacists do (i.e. provide medication and counseling) then you won't be bored. There are so many avenues to take this profession in (hospital, retail, clinical, legislative, the insurance industry, etc). Hard to see how someone who likes it could ever get bored.

Best wishes and stay in touch! Love to hear how it all turns out in the end.


may 5 years ago

I'm studying pharmacy,,my mistake,,wish me luck anyway :DD


Bee 5 years ago

Hi there, im currently studying 2nd year pharm in new zealand. luckily for us here it's only a 4 year degree (and it's a bachelors degree). However the work is still very tough and stressful. to be honest I don't want to be a pharmacist. But it took this degree anyway because it is a stable career and I don't really know exactly what to do. I do love chemistry though. Should I continue my BPharm degree or should I change to a bachelor of Science?

many thanks :)


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hi Bee,

If you really see nothing in the pharmacy profession that interests you, except for the "stable career," I would get out now. Although I wonder if that is how you really feel...or are you maybe just getting nervous. Do you have another career that interests you?

Another issue is, of course, your long term goals. Is your career the thing that is going to be the most important thing in your life? If so, then choose wisely. But there is NOTHING wrong with pursuing a "stable" career, doing it well, but investing your real heart and passion into a family, charity, a church, etc. I'm just not convinced that we have to "LOVE" what we do for a job. Yeah, it may help, but life is just too complex to boil all our hopes down to 1 area. I DO happen to love pharmacy. But I don't feel like my career is #1 in my life. Not even #2 or #3. But then, that is for you to decide....

Best wishes!


carmen 5 years ago

HEY pharmacist im really curious... about what your high school grades were like back in the day?


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

carmen,

A's and B's. Of course, back then we turned in all our assignments on stone tablets...


Madeline 5 years ago

Well, another aspiring -maybe- pharmacist here. My main career goal for the past couple years has been dental hygiene. But recently, due to all of the chemistry and biology prerequisites, I realized I love Chemistry...and I'm good at it too! So I'm considering a PharmD program. However, I am young and engaged to be married this summer and in the future I would like to have a family. Is it possible to be a part-time pharmacist as I raise a family?


Madeline 5 years ago

Also, your description does, oddly, sound appealing to me. I'm worried I'd be to squimish as a hygienist.


Lusine Madoyan 5 years ago

Hi there! very nice article :)

I currently going to a Community College in hopes of transferring to USC someday. Which major would you recommend for undergrad? Which will help me more in pharmacy school : Bio or Chem? ( I don't think I can handle biochem lol.)

Although my GPA is high, I kind of feel discouraged because I'm having trouble with Calculus, is there going to be a lot of math involved in pharmacy school?

Lastly, i just want to know if working as a pharmacist is a lot of times repetitive work like everyone says. I really want to pursue being a pharmacist, but a part of me is scared that I will be stuck doing work that I don't enjoy.

THANKS! :))


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Madeline,

Hi! To answer your question: sure...you can do pharmacy work part time. The "practical" issue many people encounter is the repayment of LOANS after graduation. If you graduate with 100K in loans...working part time may mean you are simply working to pay back loans...for many years. Is that what you want? If so...that is okay. And maybe you will not need loans. But just bear that in mind.

For what it is worth...in my opinion...raising a family is a MUCH higher calling than being a pharmacist. :)

Blessings,

Jason


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Lusine,

Best to ask an advisor about which is best. And if they don't have a suggestion...go with what YOU like best.

Don't sweat the math. I had a tough time with Calculus too. Really..pharmacy school is not too bad with the math.

If you go into retail pharmacy...I don't think you will be bored. There is WAY too much to do and there are TONS of opportunities for making the job interesting and rewarding.

Best wishes!


Jay 5 years ago

Hello, I'm back! Thank you for your response to my first comment. I did find a job as a technician (fellow walmart associate) and have been there for almost two months. I really like it, there's a lot to learn and days seem to fly by so fast.

I wanted to offer some advice to others here going the community college route for their prepharm. Check with the pharmacy schools you want to apply to before registering. I want to go to Albany College of Pharmacy so I can be near home, but found out that they don't accept transfer science courses. Also the only way I would be able to do their PharmD on the Albany campus and not at Vermont is to complete undergrad there. So I'm trying to get in for this fall. Good news about that is I wouldn't have to worry about getting in somewhere else for the next two years. But I am basically losing a year in the process. I hope I can get in. So to everyone, I advise doing your research on which courses you've taken will transfer. Jason, wish me luck. I will keep you updated. Thanks again!


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hi Jay,

Glad to hear the ball is rolling. Good advice!! Thanks for sharing!

Jason


saeed yousaf 5 years ago

hi i m saeed yousaf and i m from pakistan i have completed my doctor of pharmacy in 2009 and i have 2 yrs experience in a marketing but now i came to uk for MSC Pharmacology so i want here a job in pharmacy but i m not register here as a pharmacist so can i work as a pharmacy technician?


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hi saeed,

I'm in the U.S. so I am afraid I do not know what the UK regulations are about working as a technician. Best bet would be to go to a local pharmacy and ask.

Best wishes!

Jason


jone 5 years ago

hi , i like this article even i am not a Pharmacist , i am an engineer by the way my sister is Pharmacist . thanks


Sun_jz 5 years ago

Hi. It's a great article. I'm living in Thailand and I graduated bachelor from business school when I was 20. I have spent two years being spoiled and doing nothing. Before I can get myself back on track, and started thinking really hard about my life. I have had the idea that I wanted to be a doctor back then, but it's not possible (really difficult) since throughout my childhood I studied international program, and in my country you required a thai program to enroll into a med school. Then after being jobless for a while, it suddenly hits me that I'm always interested in the drugs composition and I can still become a pharmacist. Don't misunderstand this, pharmacist is not a second option since I think it is even better than doctor in many ways, such as, flexible working time, and being able to open up my own store without having to spend my whole life in a hospital, etc.

The thing is that I studied science back then in my high school and took an GCSE O'level examination, I scored A in Biology, A in Human Biology, A in Chemistry, and a in Mathematics, but I can barely remember anything now. Besides I'm already 22. It would take me another 6 years to graduate if I can enroll into the school. Do you think it's a good idea? I think I'm a little too old and I'm afraid that I can't study since I have left the science field for long, and this field is really difficult. But a part of me still want to give it a try. I'm really confused that I'm making the right decision or not, or I'm just being stupid.


Soka 5 years ago

Hi, I read this article and I love it! I even started to read all your comments and since I've been looking for someone to give me advice about being a pharmacist I think you're the perfect person to ask! I'd like to ask about your studying habits back when you were studying to become a pharmacist. How long did you study per night? And can you describe how studying affected your social life and hobbies? These questions are really important to me, since I'm scared of being that person who drops out of college :(


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hi Soka,

Great questions. I probably put in 1-2 hours per night regularly, with more time prior to tests or projects. I also worked at a pharmacy through school, dated my future wife, and stayed active in my church. So...I would say my social life didn't suffer too much. Was I busy? Yeah. But no more busy than I am now!!! Hope that helps!!


Jared 5 years ago

Hi, I really like the advice you are giving and i had a quick question. I am 25, Graduated with a 2.8 and currently have a Bachelors of Communication. I was never very serious about school until recently when I have had an awakening about life. I have not taken many of pre-req classes for Pharmacy. In your opinion, if i went back to school and did well on the pre-req courses, would that be enough to get me into a pharmacy program or will my non science major and low GPA forever hold me back?


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hi Jared,

When I was in pharmacy school, and also while working as a college preceptor for pharmacy interns, I had the privilege of knowing many students for whom pharmacy became an option later in their lives or careers. They all seem to appreciate the profession greatly, and I highly respected them for their decisions. You can do the same, and have the added benefit of still being very young. No, I don't think your previous performance will hold you back. There are many options these days for pharmacy school, and people will see your renewed efforts and improved grades and take that seriously. Best wishes!


Jared 5 years ago

Thanks a bunch! I really appreciate you answering all my questions! I currently work at a company full time for the last 1.5 years. I am highly considering quitting and going back to school full time in the fall. Thank you for the advice.


David 5 years ago

I have been a retail pharmacist for 16 years.Switched chains a few times,very stressing. Now I am without a job with no prospects. I just heard about that guy Mr Cropp who was convicted of killing that 2 year old 5 years ago.I am sure even you have made mistakes, I have. So now I am pretty sure I will try another job. I would tell people that if you have any kind of anxiety issues, stay away from hospital or retail.What do you think?


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

David,

As pharmacists we know we are often practicing our profession in circumstances very less than ideal. Retail pharmacy in particular expects pharmacists to accurately dispense medications that literally can kill or save if mis-handled, while at the same time juggling phone calls, business figures, customer complaints and broken equipment. I don't know a quick and easy answer to this problem. I pray a lot.

But the profession does offer some diversity, so that those who are not comfortable in hospitals or retail can find other avenues of employment too, though they may not be quite as numerous.

David, I have known VERY good pharmacists who have made a number of mistakes, have taken time off to re-think their careers, and then gotten back into the work successfully. You could do that too. We all make mistakes. We pray they are not too serious. But we are humans doing a very difficult job under difficult pressures. Humans, even the best, will make errors. That doesn't make you a bad pharmacist. I hope you figure out what you want to do next, and if I can help in any way, please shoot me an email.

Blessings,

Jason


Vicki 5 years ago

Hi, I work for Walgreens and I am in the pharmacy all the time helping. I am interested in becoming a pharmacist, but don't know what the best major to take up in community college to start off. Can you please help me with this. I am currently taking A&P courses right now. Are they necessary. Thanks in advance.


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hi Vicki,

The best thing to do is to contact the admissions department of a potential college of pharmacy and speak to them. AP courses are a great way to prove your skills. If community college is necessary, just be sure to challenge yourself and especially in the areas of math and science. Best wishes!


Monique 5 years ago

Hi Im 20 and start my undergrad classes Sept 6 2011. I'm going to my local community college then transferring to University. On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your experience at pharmacy school and undergrad? Do you have any tips for studying? I'm not the best math or science student so I'm nervous already about school.


Pharm Student 5 years ago

Hi,

I am a freshman at the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy. I am wondering how you got to where you are today. The biggest issue I have right now is getting the experience that I need to prepare myself for my rotations in Pharmacy school. I have applied to over 10 Walgreens, three Targets and many other retail pharmacies and have not been accepted to work as a Pharmacy Technician mainly because I don't have any experience to begin with. Even though I will be starting Pharmacy school this fall, I am wondering if the lack of pharmacy technician experience or just experience in general will be a drawback once Pharmacy school starts? How do I get my foot in the door (and actually work as a pharmacy technician or assistant)? So far, I have tons of volunteer hours in retail and in-patient pharmacies, but to employers that doesn't count as much. Any advice on how to be successful in Pharmacy school, how to obtain pharmacy experience, and any other related advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks so much!!!


5 years ago

Hi there!

I am currently a dispenser, and a year through my pharmacy tech course! Eventually I would like to become a pharmacist, the onlt thing is I live on the Isle of man and there is no uni here! I have kids and couldn't leave them to go to uni for 4 years! Are there any other options??


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hi K,

I'm afraid I am not to familiar with the regulations regarding becominng licensed in Man. Maybe you and your kids could move to a British university town? Best resource is probably the working pharmacists on the island. Talk to them. And enjoy some spuds and herrin for me! Blessings!


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Dear Pharm Student,

I have been in the retail pharmacy industry for more than half my life. More like 3/4 of my life to be honest. Experience can be good, or bad, depending on what kind of experience a person has had.

It could be you are just in a tough market for hiring. Some pharmacies may be reluctant to hire a student because a pharmacy student is typically paid a bit higher than a non-pharmacy student. But maybe there are other reasons. It is really hard to say. All I can tell you is this: keep trying. Be friendly, polite, and as flexible as possible with your availability. Something will open up. In the mean time, keep up the good work and focus on getting good grades.

Make sure your friends in pharmacy school know you are looking for work so they can tell you when they know a position is opening up.

Best wishes!

Jason


Hawaiian 5 years ago

Are you still replying? I want to start moving in a pharmacist career direction but I'm not sure if it a good idea for me because of my criminal record. I'm 23 almost 24, and when I was 20 I got caught up in a firearms charge which landed me a class B felony on my record. I'm really hesitant to start putting so much effort into starting school to become a pharmacist and end up realizing no one will hire a felon for a pharmacist position. Do you know any info on background checks for this career field? Like what types of convictions would stop me from becoming a pharmacist? I was only convicted of "place to keep ammunition" and "possession of illegal magazine(clip)", my lawyer got the big charge droped which was "place to keep firearm(in my car)". Anything thing you could tell me that would help me out?


Charlie 5 years ago

Hi, I really enjoyed your article. It was awesome to see you are still interested on working as a pharmacist and you have not get bored of. I am a first year student of a seven year BS/PharmD dual program. I'm sure it is a challenging career and actually my biggest challenge is the English, I'm a native Spanish speaker and I will attend to an English Pharmacy School, (NOVA South Eastern University College of Pharmacy). However, I trust myself and I know I'll do my best.

I have a little question for you...

I have heard that medicine doctors feel more important than pharmacists... is that true? I mean, I know that is not true, but really medicine doctors feel superior than pharmacists?

bye!


studying4ever 5 years ago

Dear Pharmacist,

I'm having an issue that, hopefully, you could shed some light on. Being that you're knowledgeable and have extensive pharmacy experience, I figured you'd be the best to ask. I've tried resolving this myself, but the only result i come up with is "I don't know."

I've recently become CPhT, but the trick for me is getting hired. I've sent out many online applications, but wondered if it would be better to apply in person. I've always preferred the direct approach (in-person) when applying for a position, but this field is different for me, and I'm not certain as to what would be best.

I would really like to work in a hospital environment, though i'm not against retail, and I understand that I would need to contact Human Resources on the matter, but my question is: would it better to apply in person, or should I keep it strictly online?

Do you have any tips that might help me in my endeavor? Are there any specific boards online that I should be looking at?

Many Thanks,

Studying4ever


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hi Charlie,

Best wishes, I think you will do great. As for your question, I don't think doctors are any more prone to the "I'm better than you" way of thinking than anyone else. Most doctors I have worked with are very humble and grateful for meaningful communication with pharmacists. We need to work, as pharmacists, to promote healthy and helpful communication for the sake of our patients.

Blessings!


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

studying4ever,

Hello. In my opinion the answer to your question is "both." Do the online application, but follow up with personal calls and visits if possible. The online information may be the only way to begin the process. That is fine. But the face-to-face meeting is critical. It shows interest and initiative on your part. Cast your net widely. You'll catch the right job eventually. Best wishes!


Confused 5 years ago

Dear pharmacist, u have a great post there with everything that one needs to know to be a pharmacist and also it's so nice of you to answer all comments since the day u posted this! Ya, let me introduce myself, i currently completed my year 1 in mpharm and would be proceeding to year 2 in Sept (fyi, it's a UK degree). But I have a problem, unlike most of the others who commented, i m just not into pharmacy. I think I have made a hassle decision and really regretted it. but i really wish that there's someone I can talk to and share my dilemma. Unfortunately, well no-one quite understands my feelings (or maybe I m just being too dramatic). I m quite lost n confused now in a way cause I really couldnt imagine myself in this industry after 3 more years... =(


Hawaiian 5 years ago

Wow, I've been checking this posting every day for two weeks, waiting for my reply. Then you just skip my concerns.


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hawaiian,

I apologize for the delay, I have been on vacation and am only now getting back to responses. Yours is tricky. I would hate to mislead you, and I am not an expert in the impact of a felony on your potential career in pharmacy. Here is my advice: Contact, by phone if possible, someone in the state board of pharmacy where you live. You need to find out if a felony will 1) Prevent you from obtaining a degree and license to practice pharmacy and 2) if a felony of this sort will stand in the way of your actually practicing pharmacy. I don't know how long such a felony remains on your record. I'm pretty sure an employer would ask about this, but I suppose that would be true for ANY job...so it is not necessarily a reason to avoid pharmacy. I would very much appreciate hearing back from you when you get your answers, as I'm sure others have been in your situation.

Best wishes!


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hi Confused,

I understand what you are saying. Let me ask you this question: How important is it to LOVE your career? I'll share a secret with you...I "like" pharmacy...but in spite of all that I write about it...it is not my "life." My life is more about my faith, my family, my opportunities to serve others, etc. Some people simply feel they have to "love" their work, or find something else to do. I've never felt that way. I try to give 110% to my job while I'm doing it...but I simply don't feel like I have to "love" it. Does that make sense? I would be happy to chat with you some more. Hit me up with an email if you like.

Blessings,

Jason


Hawaiian 5 years ago

Thank you, that's definatley a good direction to look for my answers, didnt know that there was such a thing as "state board of pharmacy". When I get in contact with them I'll share the info I receive about it. Thanks again pharmacist, I appreciate it.


undecided 5 years ago

Ive been looking into pharmacy school as of lately. Im not, however, very good at Oraganic chemistry. Will that ruin my chances of being a pharmacist? How much orgo is actually involved on the job?


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hi undecided,

As for how much "organic" is required on the job...in terms of retail or hospital pharmacy...almost none. HOWEVER...chemistry is obviously key to the whole science of pharmacy...so you would have to be able to get through these courses. Yes, they can be tough, but with help and good studying skills you can do it. Best wishes!!


studying4ever 5 years ago

Dear Pharmacist,

First I want to give you thanksgiving in allowing all of us to ask you questions, and also for the help you provide for so many aspiring to the field of Pharmacy.

I have a quick question (surprise surprise). After having received my certification, and having paid for my registration with the Texas State Board of Pharmacy, I've managed to get some hits. I have been contacted by a few facilities, and they say the drawback for me, currently, is my registration status--it's not showing up. It should show as "Active."

This past Friday marks two weeks since I had registered initially with the State Board. When researching further into this (TSBP), the site said it could be an additional 2-3 weeks. My question is: how long, on average, would you "guestimate" the time frame is on becoming registered as "active?"

Is this extended period of time normal for registration? Should I contact the State Board via Phone (or would it be an effort in futility)?

This is all new to me, and I'm just wondering if there are any steps I'm overlooking.. Thanks in advance, I really appreciate it.

Many Thanks,

Studying4ever.... and ever.. and ever


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Studying4ever,

Sorry about your situation. I'm not from Texas, but I can tell you what I would do. First, contact some folks from wherever you received your certification training. They should have some clue about the normal time frame. Next, sure, make a phone call to the board and just ask if they can tell you what is going on. Could they maybe provide you with a temporary "active" document that would suffice? Finally, is there a CPhT organization in Texas? If so, join...then ask for help. :)

Ultimately the right job will be there for you. Be patient and deal respectfully with everyone (as I'm sure you do).

And never stop studying!

Blessings,

Jason


studying4ever 5 years ago

WOW! That was a super fast! Thank you for the follow up! I know what's on my agenda for tomorrow morning :) Thanks again for all your help on the matter.

Cheers,

Studying4ever


Emilygrlff 5 years ago

I nearly have a year left in high school and am trying to decide on if I realy want to be a pharmacist or if i want to get my M.D im pharmaceuticals reading this im not sure i took college prep chemisty as a sophmore and passed with a high B i enjoyed chemistry and its challenges once i understood how to do it> my situation could you give me some advice on what to do? i would like to go to college for 6 years or less but stil make alot what are my options?


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hi Emilygriff,

Both roads are very challenging and rewarding. You certainly won't get an MD in 6 years or less. The pharmacy field is very broad and I think it suits many different personalities. Why not try to get a part-time job in a pharmacy? That way you can see it more closely.

Best wishes!


shivi 5 years ago

hi :) im thinking about being a pharmacist when i go to college (im only a sophmore) but are there any special classes i should do in high school ?


28 and lost 5 years ago

So im 28 years old and I went to college majored in Education well family and human services.... I am now interested VERY interested in becoming a pharmacist. I took no science classes at all... Will I possibly have to start the undergrad process all over again? Is it going to take me more than 4 years to become a Pharmacist? I was thinking about becoming a cashier in the Pharm department at walgreens or cvs and moving up from there to phram tech and then going into Pharmacy... Is that possible ? what would you recomend I do .... Help Please :/


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hi shivi,

The most important thing for you right now is to just give your best effort and aim for the best GPA you can obtain. It won't hurt to push yourself in the math/science areas either. Sophmore/Junior year are the most critical for college acceptance. Just do your best!


ant 5 years ago

Hi,

Im a 4th year pharmacy student in England! wondered if you knew if the profession was much different in the states to ours

cheers

ant


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

28 and lost,

Yes, I imagine you would need to pick up quite a few science courses at the college level first. Contact a pharmacy school admissions dept. and ask about where you should begin. And yes, getting a job in a pharmacy is a great way to start. That is exactly what I did. Love it! Never turned back! best wishes!


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

ant,

Well, I don't know if the profession is very different in practice. I believe it is a 5 year degree in England, whereas it is a 6 year degree now on this side of the pond. Oh...and pharmacists here typically get only 2-3 weeks vacation per year. You chaps seem like you are always on holiday! :) Take care!


28 and lost 5 years ago

Thanks so much thats exactly what I did today and they said the degree i have doesnt matter just gotta possibly take some science class at a community college to get the pre reqs and then apply... I am so excited!!! is there anything you wish you had known then that you know now?


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hmmm...wish I knew then. Well...what I know now...that I didn't know then...are things not necessarily related to pharmacy. I know life is short, and no one is guaranteed tomorrow. I know now there is more joy in giving than getting. I know God's plan is always better than my own. I know now, even more than then, how deceitful the human heart is. I know forgiveness. Oh...and I know my wife!! Love her. :) Blessings friend!


Justina anderson 5 years ago

hey, my name is justina and im 17. i was wondering if i could take pharm tech classes at this age. I was hoping you could help.


victoria 5 years ago

hi pharmacist! :)

i really enjoyed your article..... it was nice to read something that was kind of light-hearted and fun about being a pharmacist after the 10 or so negative i have read!

so... i am 23 years old and a stay at home mom of a 4 year old and a 1 year old. i've been contemplating about being a pharmacist for a couple of years now.

just a few problems though....

i didn't get the best grades in highschool. I will do my best in the pre-requisites for the pharmD program and am quite confident that i can get much better grades now, since i having a family of my own has given me the drive and direction that i never had as a highschooler.

Are good grades in pre-req's enough? I don't really have all that much time to go to volunteer or get a job as a pharm tech because of the distance from the big city and where i live (and not to mention time commitment to my family and gas money!)

Do you think it is wise for me to pursue this endeavor at this time?


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hi Justina,

This may vary from state to state. I would recommending contacting a college or other institution in your state that offers a pharmacy tech course and ask the admissions office if there are any age restrictions. Best wishes.


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hi Victoria,

First - let me just say that you are right now already doing the greatest and noblest job (in my opinion) in the world. You're a mom. Nothing compares to this. A pharmacist is a step down. :)

That said, I think you could accomplish this goal if you wanted. I suggest that you need to be determined to get a college degree, even if it ends up not being pharmacy. But aim for pharmacy if that is what you want. Get yourself enrolled somewhere and let them help you begin to take the right classes. Give it your best. Hope your dreams come true!


Shelby 5 years ago

Hello, this was an amazingly informative, and hilarious writing piece. I am a sophomore in high school and want to become a pharmacist. This year I am in pre-ap chemistry and health science in hopes for preparing to become a pharmacist. Do you have any suggestions for me? (:


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hi Shelby,

RUN!!! No, just kidding. I think it is great you want to be a pharmacist. Do your best in school right now and develop some good study habits. Read a book on memory...there are some good ones out there and it will help you no matter what you do. Most of all, keep your options open. You are still very young and have a lot of time to decide. Best wishes!


Emma 5 years ago

Hi, I just want to say that I really enjoyed your article. It was very humorous but insightful as well :) I am a student at a community college and my goal is to get a degree from UCLA in bio-chem and ultimately get a PharmD from USC. However, I would like to know, what would be the best degree to get to go to USC? Do I need to major in bio-chem or can it be something else? Students applying to UCLA with a bio-chem major are exceeding the available space that UCLA has. I was thinking that maybe a less popular major would make my chances of getting accepted to USC higher. Thanks for everything!


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hi Emma,

Good question. California is, as you may know, a bit unique. I grew up in So. Cal. I moved to the East Coast for pharmacy school though. Your best resource is really an admissions person at USC or an advisor at UCLA. They should help you. Personally I think bio-chem is a great major for transitioning into pharmacy, but there may be other good options. If I could go back...and I was in CA...I might consider (if they allowed it) an MBA with a focus on healthcare administration. That opens LOTS of doors in the pharma world...

Best wishes!


41497 5 years ago

Hi, I really want to be a pharmacist. And i'm a freshman in high school, what classes should i take..and is it really hard to be a pharmacist..i really want to be but really nervous and afraid of the hard work that will come....


Fraile 5 years ago

Hi, i just graduated from high school recently and just last week i passed my state license for Pharmacy Technician i went to a small trait school called The Pharmacy Professionals and all i need to do is my 160 hours to get my license. I never thought i would end up doing this, but i dont wanna stop now. im planning on taking my National test soon and moving up. But i still dont want to stop there, my goal is to become a pharmacist but i got sucked up in my course that i didnt sign up for college, what are some good advice you can give me to continue on becoming a Pharmacist in the future? Thank you! loved your article.


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

41497,

Lean toward the sciences, chemistry and math. BUT...more importantly...give your best effort in all your classes. And keep your options open. Yep...it is a few years of hard work...followed by about another 50 years of hard work. LOL. Hasn't killed me yet. Best wishes!


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Fraile,

Here is my advice: take 1 step, however small, every day toward your goal. Set a goal to take 4-5 such steps every week. If you do..you will, eventually, get there. You read my article. That was step 1. Keep going my friend. Keep going.


Goodec 5 years ago

Good day,

I really enjoyed you article. I also love that your taking time to answer all the questions. You are awesome!!!

Okay, here is my dilemma. I'm 33 yrs old and have been a part-time student on and off for the last 6 years. I have always been interested in pharmacy. My grades in sciences are A-B but math is my downfall. I still have quite a few courses to go. Sometimes this frightens me because I wanted this for so long. Now I feel as though its too far out of my reach. Anywho.. my question is..

I was accepted to a Pharmacy Tech program at my local community college. If I obtain a pharmacy tech certificate do I still have to complete more prerequistes to enter a pharmacy program? Or will the tech certificate and exprerince be enough to get accepted.

Also pharmacy techs get paid peanuts. Their starting salary according to salarywizard.com ranges from 24k to a median of 29k.


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hi Goodec,

Well, I suppose it might depend on what you mean by "downfall." Math scores are typically pretty important in the admissions process.

It is hard to say if a pharmacy school will accept any credits from a particular community college. I'm guessing they would not accept your math/science classes. Hard to say. Talk to an advisor at the CC. Remember...you are the paying customer!

I would encourage you to finish a college degree if you can. There are lots of great jobs out there in healthcare. And actually, pharmacy techs are being looked at for doing much more than just filling prescriptions in retail or hospitals. Keep your options open. But keep moving forward too. Best wishes!


Hannah 5 years ago

I loved this article :)

I am applying to pharmacy next year and I think I will get in (in canada). The problem is that I REALLY don't want todo retail pharm...I want to do one-on-one talking with patients in hospitals, ext. I think I would die if I had to work at wal-mart or shoppers for the rest of my life, most customers treat pharmacists like cashiers. (from what I have seen anyway). Do you have any insight on pharmacy jobs outside of retail? Thank you:)


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hi Hannah,

Glad to be of service. There are almost countless jobs and opportunities for pharmacists outside of traditional retail or hospital roles. Diabetic educators. Asthma educators. Many certification courses. Consulting. And then there are numerous opportunities working for pharma, for health plans, for drug information providers, healthcare writing, academia, government....I could go on and on. Keep pressing ahead. Lots of opportunities are before you. Best wishes.


balqees 5 years ago

hi :)

i need an advice , i am a 3rd year pharmacist student and i need to know if there are any courses or training i should take ?? to get an experience before actually working in the field

thanks :)


Kristina 5 years ago

This was really good :) I am 31 years old and worked as a pharmacy tech when I was MUCH younger. However, I am thinking about returning to school but feel like I am too OLD :) (and too scared for that matter). This was really encouraging and I will continue to pray about what to do. God Bless.


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

balqees,

Hello. Your school work should eventually move you into plenty of experience, so don't worry about that too much. If you can get a job in a pharmacy now, that will help. Other than that, just read some of the pharmacy magazines and journals and begin to expose yourself more and more to the many branches of this profession. Best wishes.

Kristina - Glad to help. Definitely not too old. There are different challenges for older students, but they can be met. God bless you too.


Ruby 5 years ago

I am 22 years old and I want to become a pharmacist. I was trying to become a pharmacy tech but did not get any luck. I was told to give an exam. How is it possible to work as a pharm tech without giving the exam? I am currently taking the prepharm courses at a CUNY college and have plans to go to pharmacy school next year (fall 2012). However, I believe I will not be done with all the prerequisites in time (spring 2012). Does it mean I do not stand a chance to pharmacy school? I do not want to waste another year. If I do not get in, what other options do I have?


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hi Ruby,

I am not too familiar with the pharmac tech laws in NY. I encourage you to continue to pursue working as a tech if possible. Contact the state board of pharmacy if you need more information on what is needed to "legally" work as a pharm tech. As for pharmacy school, all I can say is that waiting 1 more year, if necessary, will not be a waste. Keep your eye on the goal. When you get to my age (cough, cough) you will look back and see that 1 year is a pretty small investment of time in the big picture. Best wishes!


Brandi 5 years ago

Im 28 years old and I want to be a pharmacist... do you think its a bit old to be trying to pursue this career? I would have to take the prereqs and it looks like it may take 4-6 years to actually do this even thou I have a degree and its in Education ... do you think its a waste of time?


Mr cool 5 years ago

Hey,


tylerd 5 years ago

Hey pharmacist!

This was a great post. I've learned quite a bit from reading all of this. I'm just about to begin my junior year of high school and I have been looking at pharmacy. I have been researching it quite a bit over the last couple weeks. From everything I've read I think I would really enjoy the experience. I'm currently in two college courses (Psychology & Composition). I have been doing well and I love the experience. I plan on taking two more classes next semester. Then 4 each semester my senior year. It seems I could take a few chemistry classes. I was wondering if that would knock off some of the prereqs needed to get into Pharm School? I've read it is a bit tougher to get accepted as a transfer student, so I am looking into transferring to the University of Toledo when I graduate high school as a sophmore. Which sounds exciting. I would take a year or so there and then apply for there Pharm school. I wanted to know your thoughts on this? I'd be only 20 but applying for Pharm School. Would this be to soon and lower my chances of getting accepted? I'm a little confused on the whole college scene. But learning alot. Thanks


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Brandi - First of all, no, you are not too old. I had many classmates in my pharmacy classes older than that.

Second - I don't think it is a waste of time. 4-6 years from now you are barely in your mid-30's. That's young!! :)

Best wishes!


Brandi 5 years ago

Thanks you are right and not to mention 4-6 years from now I will have an awesome job and making a good amount of money.... Thanks you are awesome!!!


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

tylerd,

Sounds like you are doing well and have a solid plan in place. No, I don't think being 20 would lower your chances. Keep your grades up. 3.5 GPA or better if possible. And check out their admissions info: http://www.utoledo.edu/pharmacy/prospective/index....

Best wishes!


kushboo6 5 years ago

hello sir,

i think you have come like an angel to me today.

I am going to take a major decision. I am in the third semester of pre-pharmacy and I am really confused about pharmacy school. In the two semesters of biology 1 and 2 i have reached a conclusion that I am a failure at it. I score A's in chemistry but Bio has always been B and even C :( . I wanted to change into BS in chemistry bu my parents want me to consult to pharmacists whether Biology is involved a lot in pharmacy. Please tell me how deep does the curriculum go in Biological aspect in pharmacy school. Should i think of re-considering my major if i can't score good at biology or don't like doing it? help please.


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hi kushboo6,

Okay. Here's the deal. I have been a pharmacist for about 20 years. In that time I have never had to...

1) Recite the difference between symbiosis and mutualism

2) Write a paragraph on DNA replication

3) Culture a petri dish

Nope. Never.

Are they important? Of course. But for the pharmacy profession what is needed is not so much a masterful grasp of biology...but rather the basic study skills needed to pass such classes and move on.

You need to be able to get through it. Period. You don't have to love it. You don't even have to like it. Just get through it. Everyone has academic areas that are stronger and weaker. Your strength in chemistry is useful. Just work on the study skills needed to get through Biology and into pharmacy school.

Hope that helps!!


kushboo6 5 years ago

@ pharmacist,

thank you o much sir...I think my parents were right ! it is just some weak points you have to face up as a challenge and just get through it! I think I will just try to get through such classes as nicely as possible but keep my main aim to get into the pharmacy school!!!


tylerd 5 years ago

Great!

I've been emailing the pharmacy division at UT and they said they have a 2+4 program with some prereps. So I'm hoping I can knock off a few of those in my post secondary then I'll only have one year before I can apply! very exciting!


motivated 5 years ago

Pharmacy guy,

I have always been interested in chemistry and math and medicine. I wanted to do something with medicine that had nothing to do with blood which is why i wanted to become a pharmacist. I am taking classes in pre-pharmacy and am going for my pharmD but wanted to have a job getting experience as maybe a pharmacy tech, but the only problem is, is that mostly you have to be certified to have the job. Should i take classes as well as the classes i am taking to get that certification to get the experience?


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

motivated,

In a perfect situation it would be nice to have a part-time job in a pharmacy, but I don't think that going through the certification process is really necessary. Once you get into pharmacy school you can apply to work in a pharmacy as an "intern" rather than a tech. Until then, I would keep looking for opportunities, but don't sweat it if you don't find any. You will have plenty of time for experience down the road..

Best wishes.


tylerd 5 years ago

great news!

I contacted UT and they seem to be very excited about my post secondary and are going to send me a list of classes I can take to shave off some of the prereqs! I'm really excited.


natz 5 years ago

im a matric student and im interested in studying pharmacy next year.. i wanted to know if i apply for it and after the 6years if i can work in a lab actually making the medication? if not wat do i have to study to do dat? thnx in advance.. btw ur post about pharmacy was reali helpful


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

natz,

What you are describing would require you to pursue an advanced degree, probably a PhD, in chemistry. Chemical engineering would be a good route to go.

Best wishes!


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blairtracy 5 years ago from Canada

Great hub. As a nursing student the Pharmacology classes I am currently taking are personally enough for me..... and the mechanism of action of this drug would be what!? Yeah we sometimes look like deer caught in the headlights. So to all you Pharmacists out there keep up the good work!


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

blairtracy,

LOL. I'm sure I've had that deer-in-the-headlights look a few times myself. Thank you for the kind words. I can tell you will be a great nurse. Best wishes!


Kayla 5 years ago

I have been wanting to become a Pharmacist for quite some time now. I'm currently a senior in high school, and I have been taking extra science classes to help me prepare for college. :)


Yass 5 years ago

Hi hub,

so im on my 12th year planning to go into pharmacy . ( im in highschool )

im going to do a bachelors of biochem , and i have a few questions :S

1) Can i become a pharmacist after studing biochem for my bachelors ?

2) Im not sure so i was wondering if you could tell me which other careers there are that i can look forward to with biochem in bachelors

3) how high does my average in highschool and how high does my biology and chemistry need to be from grade 12 in highschool ?

3) and i was wondering if after my years in pharmacy, when i am done, can i easily hold a pharmacy by my own hands ? or even create a pharmacy in another country ?

thanks so much .

yass


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Yas,

1) No, you must complete a pharmD program to become a liscensed pharmacist

2) With a bachelors in biochem...I don't really know your career options with that.

3) 3.5 or better is safe

4) Creation is pretty tough. I leave that to God. :)

Best wishes,

Jason


Engineer 5 years ago

Thanks for your insight on retail Pharmacy. Now I am very glad I didn't chose that path - it sounds terrible boring and repetitive. How do you keep your sanity?


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Engineer,

Sometimes I'll count the pills by 4's just to mix it up a bit.

Jason


Hopeful Diana 5 years ago

I am a junior in college and I have taken a while to decide on my major. I was thinking of finally deciding on chemistry and later on into pharmacy. I wanted to try and get a job as a pharmacy technician in the state of Illinois and I have no certification yet. Is there something that I can do to help me get a job as a tech without any previous experience or certification? Do you recommend any retailer that may help me prepare for the test and become certified?


Emerald Nguyen 5 years ago

wow, I am glad I stopped by to read your story. I am still hesistating whether I should go into Pharmacy. i am a 25 year old female graduate high school in 2006 and slacking off until now. My dream is to be a pharmacist. However, i'm a slow learner. Oh can I ask you this, is there a career in the pharmacy field where I can do research drugs that can cure untreatable diseases such as cancer? if so, what is that position called?


Michael 5 years ago

Hello Pharmacist,

i am currently sophmore in highschool, and am taking pre-AP Chemistry. It is by far the most interesting course i have EVER taken, and i know i want to persue a career in it. next year i will be taking AP (college)chemistry. But after that my school offers no more chemistry courses after "AP chemistry", and i was wondering what other courses i could take that deals with things you need to know (besides chemistry) that would prepare me for working in the pharmaceutical field.

Also, does the 4 years of college you need to get a bachelors degree contribute to the six years needed to get pharm degree?

Also, after you get your degree, how easy is it to get a job as a pharmacist?

also, do you need exsperience as a intern at a phamacy to get a job a one? or just a degree?

also, is it possible to get a intern job at a pharmacy in highschool? to see if its really what i want to do, and so i can get a feel for it?

BTW, great article!!


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hopeful Diana,

I would pursue certification if possible. PTCB has great resources for preparing for the exam: https://www.ptcb.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Study.../CM/HTMLDisplay.cfm&ContentID=4399

Best wishes!


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Emerald,

"Oh can I ask you this, is there a career in the pharmacy field where I can do research drugs that can cure untreatable diseases such as cancer? if so, what is that position called?"

Hi. Research positions would require pursuing degrees in chemistry, biochemistry, etc. The "Pharmacist" degree is primarily for those interested in the "dispensing" of drugs or drug information. Best wishes!


Christinarose 5 years ago

I am interested in applying for Pharmacy this year hoping to become a hospital pharmacist. Can you suggest anything i could read that would look good on a personal statement and would be a good background read. I've looked on amazon and places but everything seems to be aimed at people who already have a degree in pharmacy i'm looking for something a little less complex just as some background information. Thanks :)


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hi Michael,

In most states you receive a 6-year PharmD degree, not a BS. Some states, like California, are an exception.

Job market is okay, but slowing down.

An intern is, by definition, a student enrolled in a pharmacy school. You do not need to be an intern to work in a pharmacy.

Take care!


confusedpharm 5 years ago

hi, i'm currently looking into becoming a pharmacist and i'm wondering what kind of communication class you would recommend to take. my school offers small group communication, public speaking, interpersonal communication, and a basic introduction to human communication. I was planning on either working inside of a hospital or somewhere along those lines....


Tina 5 years ago

hi i am a A level biology and Chemistry student i also study Psycology at A level. when your applying for uni do they look at your GCSE results or more on your A level results. I got an A in Chemistry and a D in biology is that good enough.thanks


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Christinarose,

Not so sure of any "book" that would look good on a personal statement. Maybe consider joining a national pharmacy organization and read their publications. Or subscribe to a Pharmacy & Therapeutics journal. You will, soon enough, have more to read than you know what to do with! Best wishes!


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

confusedpharm,

I highly recommend any public speaking course you can take. This skill alone will open more doors in your future than almost any other. Best wishes!


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hi Tina,

Since you are describing your courses in terms of A level, and you ask about GCSE, I'm assuming you live in the UK. I'm afraid I am not familiar with the UK requirements for entering pharmacy school. Sorry.

Cheers!


LoveDrugs 5 years ago

Hi! I'm 27 and I'm a pharm tech student I make amazing grades(highest gpa in every class and every academic list known to man)and I never thought that I would love this line of work this much and now i'm thinking about becoming a pharmacists. I'm married my husband is in the army and we have 2 kids under the age of five, do you think it's possible for a mom ( whose determined..very determined) to add more to an already busy life. I hear that the classes are pretty intense I'm a little intimated by that and I feel like I'm too old. Oh and p.s what do you think about jobs like Walgreens who offer to pay for portions of school tuition's is it worth it?


Thakkar 5 years ago

Hi,

I am an international student in the united states. Currently i am attending a community college in California. I am so lost about about what i want to do. I was just considering different careers and pharmacy is one of them. After reading your article, i am REALLY considering it and want to go for it. However, i am not sure how to get there. i know the pre requisites and all but it is just soo confusing if i need a bachelors degree before entering the pharmacy school or not? And if yes then in what? Can i enter into the pharm D program right after meeting all my pre requisites (please say yes!!)? And when is one suppose to appear for the test the PCAT? And since i am an international student am i eligible for those accelerated programs? currently i am taking few of the pre requisites i.e phy 101 chem 110 and others. so should i take the higher levels of chem in a community coll or after transfering to a university like the 200 level chemistry courses?


sarainsem 5 years ago

I'm in my first semester of college and seriously considering pharmacy. My biology grades in high school were in the high 90's. I'm OK with chemistry, but don't love it. I am taking precalculus and finding it pretty challenging. What does the actual job of pharmacy require, on a day-to-day basis, as far as chemistry and math skills are concerned?

I figured that this job could be the one for me because I have good oral and written communication skills, like bio, and enjoy teaching and meeting new people. I'd also like to work part-time once I become a mother.

Thanks for your time!


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Lovedrugs,

You sound very determined. The decision will take a lot of careful consideration, and a real hard look at what you really want in life. There will be some serious sacrifices and financial obligations. I don't want to discourage you. You can do it if you want to. But you just need to count the cost on every level, especially when it comes to your children. Talk to friends and trusted family members who know you. Pharmacy school is a full time (and then some) job, and then will involve a long-term commitment to paying off loans.

I hope that helps a bit.


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Thakkar,

I do not know of any restrictions you would face due to being an international student. As for when you can enter pharmacy school and what pre-reqs, these differ by state and by school. A lot of info is available here: http://www.aacp.org/resources/student/pharmacyfory...


Losthope 5 years ago

Hello, I really want to become a Pharmacist but I am doing poorly in my science programs in university in Ontario and I have to drop out. I really don't know what to do or if there are any other options available to me. I feel like I have no other options to become a pharmacist because I am doing poorly in science. Would going to college first help then transferring to University science programs again? Please help, I am so worried and I've lost all hope in myself.

Thank you


Ella Jonns 5 years ago

im a student in high school and i want to be a pharmacist, i want to start studying from now so what are the subjects i should focus on?


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Losthope,

Doing well in science is mostly about learning the study skills needed for success. To some this comes naturally. Much of it is memorization and problem solving, neither of which are taught well today.

But also, listen, your set of talents and strengths might be leading you into something bigger and better. Be honest about your skills, and see where that leads you. Best wishes!


Recovered Addict 5 years ago

Hi there,

GREAT article. Very interesting and entertaining to boot. I gotta admit though, I was a little dissapointed in something. please dont be offended, Im going to go on a rant. ;)

THIS:

2) 20 total minutes of phone calls trying to track down when and where a particular drug-abusing customer got their last narcotic prescription. Then calling the prescriber back and informing the office that they were just the latest stop on this guys shopping trip. Cancelling the prescription, and then enjoying the moment when I tell them exactly where and when they got their last prescription filled (which they neglected to tell me about). I love the "deer in the headlights" look while they are thinking "how did he find that out???". My little secret. I could tell you, but then I would have to...well...you know.

I am surprised at the lack of compassion here. And listen, I GET IT - I know its frustrating as HELL to you guys to have to deal with this crap on a daily basis. I AGREE its totally wrong for people to do this.(I got addicted long after I was on pain meds not because of pain meds but because of a combination of a crappy situation in my life, all the pain I was in, and a doc who was jacking me up to insane doses of dilaudid - at one point he had me taking 30mg SR 3x day :O I know now thats way way too high, but i didnt then - even now, im only 29) I get all those things and that it makes it harder for the ones who need it. What I also get in my situation, and from having been there, is that every.single.time. I had to do this because i literally COULDNT get into a detox,(they will not take me ever because of my concurrent health and pain issues - ridiculous) Couldnt get methadone(2 year wait list) Couldnt get into pain clinic (3 year wait list)(Canada) and doc wouldnt help(naturally) I cried afterward, and sometimes quietly in an aisle as i did it. It didnt feel good to be trying to pull things over on the pharmacists who were always so good to me. Of course, it didnt feel good to be coming off 90mg of dilaudid a day, cold, with no help and all these health problems. The point I guess Im trying to make is not all of us addicts are the sketchy dealer out to make a buck...some of us were legitamite patients or just someone down on their luck who made a bad choice and cant find any other options. Its terrible to me that there should be a wait list to get treatment for something that kills so many people. But it leaves you with no other choice, at least when you are poor - ive been disabled for five years on your eqivalent of SS.

I get the feeling you are an awesome pharmacist, and that this may be just tounge in cheek - i just want you to know that some of us dont want to be doing those types of things, and that we often cry BECAUSE we know you take glee in bringing us down - because we just wish you would reach out a hand and help deep inside...we wish ANYONE would.

Please keep being awesome ok? :)

Signed,

Recovered Addict #56743556


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Dear recovered,

Point taken. No offense intended.

Best wishes.


sarainsem 5 years ago

What level math skills does this job require?


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

@ Ella Jonns - 17th Century English non-conformist Puritan theology would be cool. But if your school doesn't offer that, I would say Math, Science and Biology.

@sarainsem - You'll have to be able to pass Calculus. After that, it pretty much depends on where you end up. In retail, you just need to be able to count by 5's. :)


Rodriguez.C 5 years ago

Hello, I really enjoy your blog. I have been a registered technician for almost 5 years now and I see myself working in retail pharmacy until I retire. Right now I have a few months to go until I graduate with a bachelors in health administration and health science. I would like to go to pharmacy school, therefore I found a university that can offer me the required pre-pharmacy courses once I complete my bachelors degree.My question is what are my chances of getting into a pharmacy program with just the pre- requisites rather than having a bachelor in biology or chemistry? Thanks.


maria 5 years ago

what is a more useful degree to have before applying to pharmacy school, chemistry or biology? and do rankings in pharmacy school matter, is it better to go to the top ranked pharmacy colleges or are they all the same?


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

@Rodriguez - Most programs (though not all) do not require a bachelors degree first. California is an exception. Most are just looking for a good GPA and PCAT score.

@maria - From what I have been told, it is really a personal choice, if you are applying to a school that requires a degree first. Many do not. As for rankings, what exactly do you mean by "top ranked?" Ranked by who? Personally I think the choice should be based on many things, but "ranking" may not necessarily be one of them. Best wishes!


saina 5 years ago

hello, i just graduated this year and want to do the pharmacy cource at uni.. but if they didnt accept me, what course should i do at uni to transfer to pharmacy ?


sayena 5 years ago

hello mr pharmacist

i am a year 12 student now and im having my HSC exams soon,im interested to be a pharmacist but im not satisfied with my results. my question is if i couldnt do pharmacy is there other cources i can do and then transfer to pharmacy???n


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Saina & Sayene,

Since I believe you are both referring to pharmaceutical training outside the U.S. I am afraid I am not your best resource. Sorry. Your best resource is probably an advisor at uni. Another option is to join a pharmacy organization that welcomes students. That would open doors for further resources and help. Best wishes to you both!


sayena 5 years ago

thank you


Jane 5 years ago

Hi, I'm in my first year of undergraduate college and I want to get a bachelors in chemistry, then move on into pharmacy school. Do you think this degree would be good preparation for pharmacy school?


Meli 5 years ago

Pharmacist

I loved your article! it was very helpful and gave me a great insight into a typical day of a pharmacist. I also want to become a pharmacist but i practically just wasted the last 5 years and have no college credits. I just turned 24 and i just wanted to know if you think that its too late to start now from scratch? I live in miami so the closest pharmacy school I have its in Ft Lauderdale but its way to expensive and i cant really afford it so i dont know if its just better to go become a tech first and then keep studying?? What would I need to become a tech?? Im soo confused!!! I appreciate any help or advise you could give! Thanks for the great page :)


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Jane,

Chemistry is a great degree in preparation for pharmacy school. However, many schools do not require a B.S. before acceptance. You have pre-requisites to do, and each school has their own list. Best to focus on what you would need to get into 1-2 schools you like. Talk to their admissions. Then get rolling! :)


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Meli,

Nope, not too old. But you do have to be prepared to invest the next 6 years into this project. It will likely take loans, hard work and probably a relocation. Basically...it is going to be a radical change.

Compare school prices here: http://www.aacp.org/resources/student/pharmacyfory...

Best wishes!


rafi 5 years ago

I am doing my prepharmacy at a four year college before I transfer to a pharmacy school. However I am wondering what happens if I don't get accepted to pharmacy school? What other options do I have? What other majors I can choose with my pre-pharmacy courses. I want to graduate early and get a job if I don't get accepted to pharmacy school.


Justin 5 years ago

Hello, I'm currently a freshmen in college, and just suddenly considered the PharmD program. I am VERY interested in biology, chemistry, math, and pathology. Those subjects that are my forte. But just like the average college student, I have so many interests...that are the contrary (ESPECIALLY music). I was going to pursue a BS in genetics, and before that I was considering other majors too. I wanted to fulfill a minor in Japanese and Music before I get into pharmacy school (if I really do eventually pursue pharmacy). I don't HAVE to apply to pharmacy school in 2 years right? I was thinking of spreading things out, and stay as an undergraduate for 3 years (fulfilling my minors), and maybe take courses in biochemistry that would also help me have a better chance in getting accepted to pharmacy school. Is that perfectly fine?


Michael 5 years ago

I'm in 8th grade and I am interested in becoming a Pharmacist what classes should i take in high school to reach that goal.


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

rafi - Well, if you don't get accepted to ANY pharmacy school, then you must have a plan B. What else interests you? You could pursue another career in medicine such as an MD or physicians assistant or nursing. Maybe the sciences don't interest you so much, but you like business. You could pursue an MBA with a focus on Healthcare and work for an insurance plan or in pharma. Lots of options. But give pharmacy your best shot. Best wishes!


need advice 5 years ago

Hello,

Thank you for your post and your generosity in answering questions! I'm 40 years old and have been on the pre-pharm route for about 6 years now (completing pre-req's and B.S. in biology). I am one class away from finishing with a 3.9 GPA and lots of extra-curricular activities, including volunteer work at CVS and the local VA hospital. I know that I would get into a good pharmacy school if I applied. Even though I know I will enjoy the work a PharmD degree will open up for me (I enjoy teaching and also helping people with their health), I am currently single (no boyfriend) and hope to be able to marry and have kids one day (preferably biological ones, though if that doesn't work out I'd be open to adopting). I know I'm probably over-planning for the future, but I was wondering if you could offer any advice to me on whether I should take the plunge and get into debt with a PharmD program (I still have to spend the next year studying for the PCAT before actually applying), knowing that this decision will basically force me not to be able to start a family til after school is over and after I spend a few years working full-time to pay off my loans. I cannot see myself having kids while in pharmacy school (unless my husband would be willing to be a stay-at-home-dad!). The other option is to not apply to pharmacy school and do a more flexible option (a "free" PhD maybe), which would not prevent me from having biological kids should I meet a person I love and God would want for me to marry. There are no guarantees, of course, that I'll meet a "soulmate" in the next 7 or 8 years, though. And if I didn't go to pharmacy school just because I wanted to have the option of having biological children, I'd be so disappointed (to say the least), and wish I had gotten a PharmD. I know a PharmD is the best degree to get for the kind of life and work I want to do for the rest of my life, but, like you, I feel like being married and raising kids is a much higher calling than being a pharmacist. So I don't want to sacrifice one for the other. I've been thinking about this so much that I've tired both myself and my family and friends with questions and deliberations. So I was hoping that you would be able to come with a fresh and objective perspective on my situation/problem. Thanks so much for reading this long message, and for helping with any advice/counsel you may like to give!!


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hi Justin,

It is great to have many interests. But just remember, the pharmacy school is a comptetive program. They have limited spaces. It is, therefore, unlike many other great degree programs you could pursue. You will need to perform well and also demonstrate your interest in this profession. I don't know for sure if obtaining these other minors would hurt your chances with pharmacy school or not. Talk with an advisor just to be safe.

Best wishes!


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Michael,

Greetings! Love hearing from those about to begin High School. Most importantly - Focus on getting a good GPA right from day 1. Your final high school GPA depends more on your Freshman/sophmore years than your junior/senior year. Its true.

So...pick what you will do well in. BUT also push yourself to take all the math/science that you can. Also, be INVOLVED in extra things. Build a good college application starting now. :)

Best wishes.


Crisee 5 years ago

This article was hilarious!! I am currently working as a tech. I had gotten accepted into USP's pharmD program but couldn't get a loan to go. Hopefully once I get some of my student loans from my tech schooling down I can go.


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Need advice,

Hi. Wow. You have some tough choices here for sure. And there are many factors involved as well. The possibility of marriage & motherhood, the demands of a pharmacy education and career, financial concerns. Hmmm. First, I truly believe your best advisors are those who are near you and know you. Those whom you trust and have your best interest in mind.

That said. Here it goes. Why not pursue pharmacy until the Lord makes it clear this road is not appropriate any longer? It seems like a reasonable direction to head in, given your present situation. The very worst that happens is you start...and have to stop. Big deal. Its only money. Really.

There you have it. Those are my thoughts. Pray...then do something. :)

Blessings!


Paulo Valderama 5 years ago

Dear Jason,

First of all, I would like to thank you for this informative yet comedic article. It truly is inspiring.

I am 16 years old and I am a junior in high school. I live near Los Angeles, CA and I am really confused and overwhelmed about the path of pharmacy but it really and truly is my dream and passion.

I just really want to clear some stuff up:

1. Do you have to be good at math? What is the math that is required to enter into a PharmTech or and Pharm school. I am currently taking Precalculus, but I am doing so average and barely hanging on a thread with a C.

2. If I do choose pharmacy as my path after high school, what is the best situation to follow: The 6 year Pharm.D or the 4 year BSPharm?

3. If I recieve the BSPharm does the time shorten to recieve the Pharm.D later?

4. How is the lifestyle after I get a job? (House, Marriage, Kids, etc.)

5. And I know this shouldn't be my main concern and I should not be asking it but how is the salary. (I really don't care but it would be nice to know)

6. Does the school matter? Do all schools perform the same? Are all schools treated the same?

7. Is there anything now I should do while still in high school and free from the over stressful world of adult hood and more school to prepare/engage/motivate myself become a pharmacist?

8. I am scared to talk to my neighborhood pharmacist because they always seem so busy and stressed. I really want to talk to a Pharmacist first hand and learn what is truly is like in their day.

Sorry to bombard you with this post of mine, but I really need some answers and some motivation.

Thank you so much!

Paulo Valderama


Need advice 5 years ago

Hi Jason,

Thank you so much for offering your thoughts. My parents think I should go ahead with pharmacy too, and not be concerned with the other issues. I'm definitely leaning toward going along this route, and am praying for direction too. You're doing a admirable work here on hubpages!


Hilare 5 years ago

Hello,

I'm currently a second year biotechnology major with a 3.0 gpa and I'm currently working to get it back up higher. I've been trying to figure out what I want to do and pharmacy seems more suitable for me because I'd rather interact with people that sit in a lab, isolated all day. What major do you think is suitable to be accepted into a pharmacy school or would biotechnoloy be ok? Also, what is the gpa generally required for admittance into a pharmacy school? Thankyou!


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hi Paulo,

1. Gotta be able to get through Calculus.

2. PharmD

3. It will be longer, harder and more $$ later.

4. I've been married 18 years, 4 kids, good friends, active in church. It fits my life.

5. Depends. Plan on 90K and up.

6. Only if it matters to you. Compare prices. Other factors often determine which school you choose.

7. LOL. Get the best GPA you can. Study for SAT's.

8. We don't bite. Not hard at least. :) But things do get busy. Bring me a donut and I'll tell ya just about anything.

Best wishes.


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hilare,

You want to focus on completing the pre-requisites required by the pharmacy school you are seeking admission to. Some schools (not most) require you to complete a full degree first. Check with the school. As for GPA...it depends somewhat on the group you are competing with. 3.5 is great, but if 100 applicants have a 4.0...well..you get the picture. Best wishes


Logan 62 5 years ago

Hi I was just wondering if UW is really hard to get into? I think it is the best pharmacy school in washington and plan on going there after two years at scc. Also I woul d like to know if pharmacy manager then assistant pharmacy director then pharmacy director are plausible goals for me with my eventual six year degree? Thanks in advance and I loved your article! God bless all:)


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

logan,

Talk to the admissions about how many applications they receive vs. how many students are accepted. That will give you a sense for the competition. And yes, those sound like fine goals, although starting out as pharmacy manager might not be immediatly possible. Best wishes!


Lee 5 years ago

Hey Jason,

Hey Jason!

I am a community college student planning to transfer to a university in Fall 2012. I was going for a BIOCHEMISTRY major, but I encountered a couple of universities that offered majors such as PHARMACOLOGICAL CHEMISTRY and PHARMACEUTICAL SCIENCES. Are these majors better than biochemistry in terms of preparing me for pharmacy school? What do you think?

Thank you! :D


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hi Lee,

Those are great majors. But more important is to make sure they are appropriate for the school(s) you intend to go to. You really have to talk to an advisor about that. Best wishes!!


Irene 5 years ago

What got you interested in pharmacy? Why did you choose it instead of, say, med school?


jeannette 5 years ago

Hi I'm a pharmacist here in the Philippines my question is do you know the step's in applying as a pharmacist in the US? Can I apply as a pharmacy tech for the mean time? do you know anyone who sponsor pharmacist from the Phil. to the US? thanks


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Irene,

I was introduced to retail pharmacy when I got a job working as a tech. I typed lables (on a typewriter), counted pills, answered phones, and helped people. I loved it. Honestly, I never seriously considered the MD route. Looking back, I believe I was much more suited to this profession than to medicine. But I chalk that up more to Providence than to my own personal planning. :)

Best wishes.


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hi Jeannette,

Philippines...cool! I have worked with severeal pharmacists from overseas who are in the midst of this process. You need to contact our National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP). As I understand it, yes, you can work as a tech. You need to pass any appropriate English Language tests. You need to complete about 1500 hours of actual work in a pharmacy. And you need to, of course, pass our National licensing examination and state examination for the state you choose to practice in. It takes time. But there is a process, and others are doing it. Best wishes!


Holly Parker 5 years ago

Im in school now to become a pharmacy technician, but im currently enrolled in the diploma program. Would there be any advantage to my career if I were going for my associates degree? Eventually, I want to work as a chemotherapy pharm tech. Is it a good idea to switch my degree?


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hi Holly,

Glad you enjoy the tech career and have a goal in mind. As for a degree...my only advice is this...consider getting a bachelor's in something. Even if you have to switch to night classes and start working. Because...if you ever want to make a change...the B.S. or B.A. will be very valuable. Could you roll your earned credits into the pursuit of a chemistry B.S? Just a thought.

Best wishes.


Michael 5 years ago

hey,

ive heard so many negatives about the over saturation of the pharmacy job market due to new scchools opening up, more grads etc. I have a BS in Biology, a great gpa, and good experience in the field. I think it sounds like a wonderful career if it wasnt for all the negativity ive been hearing regarding the job market for new grads and how hard the retail chains are pushing pharmacists. do u think new pharm d's will still be able to get jobs upon graduating in 4 or 5 years? and do u think


Amber 5 years ago

Helllo,

your article was very informative and intersted. i am 16 and a junior in High school. i go to a techincal high school and i take culinary, Ha i want to take up Pharmacy ( far from food right ?) and i just took my PSAT's... My question is Where do i start ? i realllly want to get away to college but im torn , do i go through a four year program, or start as a tech ? and if i do do a four year program.. what should i major in ?? Please help i really want to do this Thankss !


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hi Michael,

Well, I have no crystal ball. But I do believe pharmacy career options are pretty diverse, and will be so for quite some time. Beyond retail and hospital there are many industries that rely on pharmacists, so personally I am hopeful the job market will be solid. Best wishes!


Devin 5 years ago

Hey,

I am in my senior year of environmental engineering...but have found I enjoy organic chemistry and biology more than other topics covered in the major. I am currently wishing to enter the medical field and have a biomedical engineering research position at a nearby institution. I'm trying to make the choice between continuing on for a masters in biomedical engineering (which career options seem very hit or miss depending on the city), a pharmD (which seems to expand on my interests in O-chem and biology while honing in on my organizational skills) or an MD (likely following with pathology). My biggest concern is job opportunities: I think I could achieve any of the paths school wise. Do you have any thoughts?


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hi Amber,

You will have lots of questions. Best place to start is with reading on these sites (Google them):

1) The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy

2) The Pharmacy College Application Service


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Devin,

I personally don't know of any pharmacist or doctor out of work, and we are in the worst economic situation our country has seen in decades. So...I am pretty confident in those fields. And with the aging population...more will be needed. Best wishes!


Desiree 5 years ago

Hi Pharmacist! Read your article and loved it:) It gave me a good idea what of Pharmacist actually do behind that big counter! I have one question though

I did tons and tons of reading and some say that students have to complete 2 years of undergraduate study and then 4 years of Pharm school. However, I read elsewhere that they require 4 years of undergraduate study and 4 years of of Pharm school.

Would it be ok for a student to apply at a Pharmacy school with a 2 years behind them or is it better with 4 years?


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Desiree,

Hi. Your undergraduate study depends somewhat on the school you want to go to for Pharmacy. Most just require a couple years of "pre-requisite" courses. Along with good grades, and PCAT. But of course many people get a full 4-year degree and then decide on pharmacy. So either way is possible. The extra education never hurts...


PharmDmaybeforme 5 years ago

I was researching PharmD program online and I found your blog. Thanks for posting it and still offering advice to readers after posting.

I had a bachelor degree in information system. It sounds like a good one because I am in the silicon valley. However, it's a degree from a foreign country and so it doesn't carry much weight in the US.

So now, I'm working as journalist for a local weekly but it's an unpaid internship. I have secured a slot at one of the top journalism master's programs in the US but the tuition is too high. So my total debt, if I enroll, will be somewhere between $50,000 to $75,000 for less than a year of education. Imagine paying back all that with a reporter's wage! And in this economy, given the already shrinking news industry, even graduating from a top j-school can't guarantee a job.

So I am really worried. I looked at Dept. of Labor's published data and found pharmcists get decent salary. Since I have to take out loans for school anyways, do you think it would be a better investment to go to community college, complete the prerequisites, and then finish PharmD at a state school than going to a private school for journalism?

By the way, factoring age, I am in early 20s. So I guess it's not to late to go to PharmD program or medical school, right?


Bass 5 years ago

Hello there :)

I am currently studying a BSci degree, majoring in pharmacology. I'd just like to know the difference between pharmacy, pharmacology and medicinal chemistry in terms of career opportunities. I am actually interested in the drug development side of things.

many thanks!


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

PharmDmaybeforme,

Greetings. Yes,I think you would be better served investing in a pharmacy or medical career, compared to those costs for journalism.

But choosing a career is obviously more than running the numbers and counting the cost. I like to think of it this way: First...choose your life. Then choose a career. What do you want from life? What do you want to be involved in? What are your greater goals and plans and desires. Next, pick a career that will allow that to happen.

Best wishes!


Tenah 5 years ago

I am 33 years old and hold a BS in biochem; my gpa is 2.3 I also took graduate courses for one semester and decided to go into pharm school. I have applied to three accelerated pharmacy programs LECOM/MCPHS/SUCOP. My question to you is due to the pharmacy profession oversaturation how much an PharmD/MBA will help. On another note my relatives suggested Nurse Practitioner might be a better choice as far status and salary. But I am more passionate about studying pharmacy. Any suggestion?


pharmacist profile image

pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hi Bass,

If you want to be involved in the actual dispensing of medications to patients, than a PharmD degree is necessary in the U.S.

For drug development, you will likely be looking to pursue a masters or PhD in pharmacology or medicinal chemistry. I suspect the difference between them may vary from university to university.

Best wishes!


clinipharm89 5 years ago

Hi,

i joined the Hubpages because of this article :) i'm a fresh graduate from school of pharmacy, so it was interesting to read this :)


pharmacist profile image

pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hi Tenah,

If you check out major "job" sites, you will still see plenty of pharmacist positions. We may not have our "pick" of employer or location as we did 10 years ago, but the market is okay. As for the MBA..if you want to move up the ranks in management...it would help. And as far as a Nurse Practioner, I think it is a fine career...if you want to do hands-on patient care and diagnosis/prescribing. Just a different type of career. That'll have to be your call. Best wishes.


osama afridi 5 years ago

hi, i have done my pharmacy technician online through Penn foster and now i want to become a Pharmacist! is it possible for me to apply at universities with those results?? plzzz i need help... great article


pharmacist profile image

pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Clinipharm89 - welcome to Hubpages!

osama,

You will need to go through the whole process of pharmacy pre-requisites, PCAT and admissions to pharmacy school. See the links I posted above. Best wishes!


Katherine2012 5 years ago

I am thinking about becoming a pharmacist.

I am currently a senior in high school and I wanted to know if you absolutely have to love science to be a pharmacist.. I am really bad at science and do not enjoy it at all but really want to be a pharmacist...


KyraElise 5 years ago

I'm a junior in high school, but I am very interested I. Pharmacy already. I have a 3.8 GPA and I am very good and interested in math and science. What do I need to know to be a pharmacist and do you have any advice on anything that I should do in high school to prepare for being a pharmacist?


pharmacist profile image

pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

@Katherine2012 - That is a question I get often. My answer is this: No, you don't need to "enjoy" science to be a pharmacist. But you do have to be able to manage the material and perform well in your science classes.

@KyraElise - Keep up that good GPA. Build a good college resume. When you can work - consider a job that will put you around the pharmacy profession...even if it isn't right in the pharmacy. Stay out of trouble. :)

Best wishes to you both...


tracy 5 years ago

Im a highschool student, and im thinking to become a pharmacist. Do you know what colleges offers good pharmacy programs?


pharmacist profile image

pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Tracy - UConn School of Pharmacy. :) Go Huskies!


Devin 5 years ago

One more question for you: I know there are 2 different "paths" you can take as a pharmacist: One being in the Rite Aid type setting and the other being in the hospital. I've heard you have to (or should) complete a 1-2 year residency in pharmacy to work in the hospital. Do you have any thoughts on how these two lines of work are different? I've heard the residencies tend to be fairly competitive.

And how often do pharmacists have to work overnight shifts? I wouldn't mind working overnight sometimes or some weekends, but I certainly wouldn't want that to be my entire life.

Thanks,

Devin


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hi Devin,

Many pharmacists end up in either retail or hospital. Some do both. Some do neither. Hospital employment doesn't typically require a residency, though it may be helpful. While going through pharmacy school you will be introduced to both fields through a variety of practical rotations. Some pharmacists work overnight, both in hospital and retail, but this is not true for the majority.


Butterfly 5 years ago

I am 25 years young and have been working in Long Term Care Pharmaceuticals for 6 years. I am almost finished with my classes to become a medical assistant. I am wondering about a career as a pharmacist, will my medical assistant course allow me to start my 4 years at Pharmacy School or will I still need 2 years of pre-reqs? I consider myself to be pretty smart but as a mother of 2 little girls I am worried about the time needed to put in to an education that lengthy and in-depth. Any suggestions??


pharmacist profile image

pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hi Butterfly,

As with any degree, you have to remember that a college is generally reluctant to "sell" it without getting the full price from us. That means they don't really like to accept transfer credits if they can avoid it. With limited space in most programs...they prefer to give spots to candidates who need all the courses. It just comes down to money. So...yes...expect to put in 6 years and spend plenty. Is it worth it? That depends on what you want for yourself and your family. Definitely something that will require some serious consideration.

Best wishes.


emily 5 years ago

what has to be your GPA if you want this job???????????


pharmacist profile image

pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Emily,

You will be competing for a place in any pharmacy program. So, the higher your GPA, the better your chances. However, GPA is not the only consideration. Aim for 3.5 and higher...


Aria 5 years ago

I admire your truthfulness and thorough knowledge of the profession. Few years ago I tried to gain admission to a few medschools and was rejected; now I am aiming a doctorate degree in pharmacy hoping to make it through. Now when it comes for interviews; the admissions committee like to know why i chose to enter that field. Do you think it sounds strange if i say i like science...i like drugs....and i like caring for ppl.


Math 5 years ago

Why are there more women pharmacists than males pharmacists?

Also since it's anonymous blog I feel more at ease asking this question. I know of a foreign pharmacist who studied pharmacy in Haiti and worked there for years until things got out of control and now came to the USA and worked as a pharmacy manager at CVS Caremark in Boynton Beach FL making over 150k/year with no loans. He did not have to go back to school just took the NAPLEX pharmacy test and get his licensed. I went to school here in the USA and can't even land a job so I am thinking going back to school to earn a degreen in pharmacy but each pharmacy program tuition cost is over 100k for accelerated and traditional. What's your thought on that?


Cat 5 years ago

Im a junior in high school and plan on taking dual enrollment classes to start me on my way to become a pharmacist. Many have told me although the pay is good, the job isn't worth it. I can see you think differently but im still lost on where to start. You would think the faculty at the schools would be of some use when it came to this but they havent the nearest idea on what i need to start with or what its like.


RXsaLi 5 years ago

good day

i am a 2nd year pharmacy students, i am really looking forward to become one of the reliable and trusted pharmacist here in the Philippines..

thanks for sharing your knowledge..


RXsaLi 5 years ago

good day

i am a 2nd year pharmacy students, i am really looking forward to become one of the reliable and trusted pharmacist here in the Philippines..

thanks for sharing your knowledge..


Aria 5 years ago

I admire your truthfulness and thorough knowledge of the profession. Few years ago I tried to gain admission into medschool and was rejected; now I am aiming a doctorate degree in pharmacy hoping to make it through. Now when it comes for interviews; the admissions committee like to know why i chose to enter that field. Do you think it sounds strange if i say i like science...i like drugs....and i like caring for ppl.


pharmacist profile image

pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hi Aria,

I don't think that sounds strange. Just be prepared to expand on these things a bit. I'm sure you'll do fine. Best wishes!


pharmacist profile image

pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hi Aria,

I don't think that sounds strange. Just be prepared to expand on these things a bit. I'm sure you'll do fine. Best wishes!


Jonathan 5 years ago

Hi Pharmacist!

Great piece and great additional comments from all others! One question, just started at a retail pharmacy and began doing the finial check on the scripts that get thrown my way. Any suggestions on how to check such as the order or flow in reading over the script and comparing it to what's in and outside the bottle? They don't teach us this in pharm school! Thank you for all your insight! Jonathan, PharmD


William 5 years ago

Hello,

Your article was very funny. I have always found pharmacy interesting. My dream is to become a pharmacist and then possible pharmacology one day. I want to make my dream happen. If you could give me some advice, that would be fantastic. I graduate high school in 2012. Since 2010, I have been doing a program that allows me to take all college courses. What does this mean? For the past year and a half I have taken only college level classes at a state university. I feel that this gives me a very nice advantage. I am approaching the end of my second year quick, and to be honest, I'm incredibly nervous. So many questions. What major, where to apply, how to do this, how to do that? My GPA is very good and I love science and math. Could you give me some advice on a major to pick? How to study for the PCAT, tutors, websites, etc. Shadowing, anything good... How hard is it really to get into pharmacy school. I have never been this scared in my life and it would be awesome if you could help me or refer me to someone. Thank you Mr. Pharmacist


pharmacist profile image

pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Math,

As for "why" women outnumber men in the pharmacy profession, that is a good question, but I'm not sure I know the answer. I can only tell you that many women seem naturally more gifted in areas that pharmacy school requires: organization, communication and discipline. Many times I've thought my wife would be a better pharmacist than me....


pharmacist profile image

pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Cat,

You are the reason I keep answering questions here. Read them through...you will find answers. :)


pharmacist profile image

pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Jonathan,

Great question - I'm actually right now writing a piece entitled "tips for new retail pharmacists."

I'll give you this tip to start with - Use your head first...then your eyes. In other words, before dispensing anything, ask yourself this "Is this a reasonable drug and dose for a patient of this age and gender?" Seriously...you will prevent more mistakes by just asking that question than by any other means.

Second - Don't hesitate to hesitate. Get it? If you are not sure - check! Better to anger the patient (by making them wait) than kill the patient (by moving too fast).

There...that should get you going. My bill is in the mail...


pharmacist profile image

pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

William,

Love your enthusiasm. You are doing all the right things. Keep up your grades and keep active in extra activities, work, etc. Create a nice well-rounded resume for colleges to see.

Read some of the links I posted above. Many of your questions are answered there. Remember that the requirements for pharmacy school will vary by state and school, so pick a few "potential" schools and look up their requirements.

Best wishes.


Aleahna 5 years ago

Thanks in advance for your insight. I am 33 yrs old and I have 11 yr old boy; hold a BS in Biochem/Chem. I am hoping to gain admission to Sullivan University College of Pharmacy in Kentucky it is my first choice one b/c of their dual pharmD/MBA and two rent seems really cheap there unlike my homestate worcester MA; my question to you will i be able to get enough loans to cover my rent/food/gas all expenses in addition to school tuition. I am terrified just thinking how am i going to attend school for three years w/o a full time job (still hoping to work part time. I am a single mother with no child support.

please help!


pharmacist profile image

pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hi Aleahna,

As for loans, it is really impossible to tell how much you will be able to get until you just press ahead and apply. I know it seems like the "loan" info should come first...but it doesn't. First you must get accepted, then you explore the loans. You may want to chat with a college advisor at your son's school (the high school of course)...they may have some helpful information. Or contact your own high school and see if they have any insights.

You have to weigh the cheaper cost of KY against whatever resources you may be giving up by leaving your home state (friends/family to help out, etc).

Do you still live in MA? Have you considered careers that your BS degree might help with? There are a lot of drug development companies in our state. Shoot me an email if you like. Best wishes!


emily 5 years ago

thanks so much


Thuy 5 years ago

I heard youve to take calculus or cal 2? If I got a B in precal, can I make it in those two levels T.T


pharmacist profile image

pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Thuy,

Yeah, you've got to be able to muscle through Calc. But it sounds like you will be able to manage it. Hang in there!


Jonathan 5 years ago

Thanks Pharmacist for the couple of tips for checking scripts! When do you think your piece on, "tips for new retail pharmacists," going to be published? Can you let me know if it's going to be up on a website? Again, thank you!


Jkool 5 years ago

I'm A hs student in Canada currently enrolled in the IB program.What kinda marks do you need to get accepted to pharm school,and what kinda marks do u need during pharm school?do u just need to pass the class or do u have to get 90s or are 75s acceptable?


pharmacist profile image

pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

@Jonathan - It will be published here on my hubpage site. Probably in the next week or two.

@Jkool - Hard to answer. Sort of like asking "how fast do I have to run to win the race?" It depends on the competition at the particular school. Once in - you've just got to pass. But failure to grasp content will make each following course and rotation more and more difficult.

Best wishes!


Dominique 5 years ago

I just got an email from a pharmacy school regarding missing courses in order for my application to be considered completed: public speaking, A&P...I have taken so many classes in writing and discussion so I am really annoyed to see them asking me for public speaking class, does it need to say on the transcript public speaking or can it be any class as long as you do presentation and discussion in front of the students. Also i took A&P at a community college but on my transcript it's called bio112/122 lab included; but each pharmschool insisted of me from me to submit or tell them when i am planning to take it; I am starting going crazy with their nonsense request but still I want to gain admission. I graduated since 07 can't afford to take out loan for one course or two.

Please help!!!


lost guy 5 years ago

hey this is a great article and it gave quite much info, hats off.. what i wanted to find out was if i do only 1year of a-levels instead of the full 2years, am i legible to apply for the full pharmacy course with thaat?? and what if i have done a Pharmacy technician course? will that help me??

plz help, im really lost and i dont know what to do and i have never done sciences> Plz help me!!


pharmacist profile image

pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Dominique,

Sadly, when we are applying for admission to any pharmacy school, the school holds all the marbles. Certainly you can try to call and explain the courses you took, but in the end, they set the rules. Where you have some advantage is by applying to multiple schools. If one accepts you, then you may be able to negotiate with your "preferred" school to accept your community college credits. But otherwise, they can make us jump through hoops. But don't give up my friend. Mountains were made for climbing...


pharmacist profile image

pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hi lost,

I'm guessing you are currently being educated in the UK system. Unfortunately my only experience is with the US programs. I'm sorry. Cheers!


t girl 5 years ago

hi pls i need advice am a nigerian and graduated with a cgpa of 2.3 in human anatomy can i study pharmacy in the u.s pls advice on what to do


Ana 5 years ago

I enjoy reading your blog. I have a few questions for you if I may:

Who do they consider part of the admissions committee?

Are there all students in the accelerated PharmD program attend school only and no work on the side (whether 5hrs/wk)?

Do you make more money if you hold a PharmD/MBA versus PharmD (well besides career advancement what else can one benefit from getting a dual degree)

last question, can a student get money for living expenses in addition to cost tution; and what are the best loans who you recommend.

Thank you for your valuable time,

Ana


Lee 5 years ago

Hello!

I am not sure if someone already asked you this before but what is the minimum GPA requirement in any PharmD school and is it true employers only care about whether you're licensed or not?

I noticed there are so many dual degree PharmD/MPH or PharmD/PhD or PharmD/MBA....what's that all about? Does it mean we are left behind for those with only a PharmD? Tx!

Lee


Lee 5 years ago

Lee again to be more clear is 2.0 the mark just like college and if someone fails one class does it mean they are out? then when applying for jobs do we need to show transcripts or is it only required license?


pharmacist profile image

pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

t girl,

Good question, but I would need a lot more information. Are you in the U.S. now?


pharmacist profile image

pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Ana,

Not exactly sure what your question about the committee means.

Yes, some students just go to school, but many work weekends at a pharmacy

A dual degree will help if you want to move up in management with pharmacy or in the pharma world.

I'm afraid I don't have any loan suggestions, but I do think you can get loans to cover basic living expenses.

Best wishes!


Geeann 5 years ago

Hi,

I have my interview tomorrow for my reapplication into the professional phase from pre prof...I was trying to prepare for the interview with some questions I found. Please can you give an example of what kind of issues with patients would call for a pharmacists immediate attention? and your article made me so so happy because the things you mention are exactly what I've always wanted to do. I've never been able to work in a pharmacy yet. Please can you give me any advice on how to go about in an interview.

Thank You :)


Ana 5 years ago

Thanks again for your reply. I mean what kind of ppl make the body of the admissions committee; are they pharmacy lecturers, doctors, admissions staff, formal pharmstudents or just anybody who's hired to be the gatekeepers?..


Ron 5 years ago

Is it true pharmacists have the highest suicidal rate? some say other healthcare professionals and others say pharmacist in particular?

Beside retail and hospital; can pharmacists work in an office? I am not too thrilled about being the front person at a CVS or Walgreens or at a hospital...


pharmacist profile image

pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Lee,

The GPA needed to continue would depend on the school, but for the most part, you just have to pass your courses like any other program.

As for the MBA/MPH, etc. these are helpful for those looking to move up the ladder within companies that deal with pharmaceuticals (pharmacies, hospitals, pharma companies, insurance agencies, consulting). Necessary? No. Depends on your goals.


pharmacist profile image

pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Geeann,

1) Patient presents with hives 3 days after beginning a course of antibiotics

2) Newly diagnosed asthma patient being prescribed an albuterol inhaler for the first time

3) Elderly gentleman just discharged after an MI, now coming home with 8 meds and needs to know when to take each

4) Pregnant patient experiencing nausea and looking for an OTC treatment

5) An MD calls and wants to prescribe omeprazole for a 6 month old child and inquires about appropriate dosing and compounding procedure.

And...if you work in retail....

6) A customer asks which aisle we sell those curling irons that are on sale for 14.99 in the flyer.....

Best wishes on your interview...


Amelia 5 years ago

I am planning on going into pharmacy school and was wondering what major or degree is required. Thanks!


Xia 5 years ago

I was reading one of your latest responses to a blogger, "An MD calls and wants to prescribe omeprazole for a 6 month old child and inquires about appropriate dosing and compounding procedure".

I did not know if pharmacists are being consulted by doc on the dosage. Also can you elaborate on compounding procedure?

Thanks for your time,

xia


Lee 5 years ago

Thank you for the feedback; very informative.

Lee


Carlos 5 years ago

Hola farmacéutico!

I found your blog very informative and fun to read as well; but i can't help filling the chill when thinking how much debt one has to carry just to work in that profession; as a matter of fact any highly regarded profession such as doctors, lawyers...; is it worth it to take out 120k in loan ONLY to make 115k and pay it back for the next 30 years or so... Something does not sound right, I may never be able to own a house with that kind of debt, SIGH!


pharmacist profile image

pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

@Ana - usually they are made up of faculty members

@Ron - I have not heard that. We do, sadly, have a higher-than-average problem with substance abuse I believe. Basically any business related to pharmaceuticals could use pharmacists (regulatory, sales, research, writing and consulting, management...lots of options)

@Amelia - Many choose chemistry since it will cover a lot of the required courses. But that isn't necessary. You will need to make up pre-requisites through electives.


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

@Xia - Yes, and its pretty easy. Sodium bicarb is the standard diluent.

@Lee - y/w

@Carlos - Yes, its expensive. But in factoring its "worth" you must also factor in how much less $$ you will make every year without an advanced degree like this. What if you graduate without loans and can now earn $50K per year. Do the math. :)


Ashlee 5 years ago

What has led you to pursue a degree in pharmacy; in your profile you mention you are a father would you encourage your children in that field? Also, if you weren't a pharmacist what other profession would you pursue or if you could start it all over would you rather be doctor$, lawyer, a politician, or a school superintendent, or better yet an investment banker?

Have a bless wkd!!!


Anxious and Desperate 5 years ago

Dear Pharmacist,

I just received an email from Dr. Facione the gatekeeper for college of pharmacy at sullivan university college of pharmacy in KY; requesting to take A&P and public speaking class in order to be considered. I am 33 yr old graduate student with a BS in biochem and some graduate-level courses in Vet&Animal Sci, would you suggest to attend a community college (tuition cost is impossible cause i can barely pay for my rent). I really hate their constant request for this and that.....


Anxious and Desperate 5 years ago

Can these courses be considered for public speaking cause that's all we pretty much did in the class. I welcome any suggestions and thanks in advance!

ENG 111 College Writing 1 3.00 C 2003 SPR 1.00

ENGLWRIT 112 College Writing 3.00 3.00 B- 8.100

ENGLWRIT 111 Basic Writing 3.00 3.00 AB 10.500


pharmacist profile image

pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Anxious and Desperate,

Ah, well, the gatekeeper holds the keys. The courses you list all pitch themselves as writing, not speaking. Unless you can find a "course description" that proves they are primarily speaking classes...you will need to take a class somewhere to qualify. Get the info from the community college course and email it to the pharmacy school and see if it will be accepted. Best wishes!


Anxious and Desperate 5 years ago

thanks for your reply and I apologize for any inconvenience. I have taken so many of these classes they just don't have a public speaking title course but that's what we did; research a topic and present/discuss in peer group. But I'll definitely for the course description as you suggested.

Here are some of the courses:

BIOCHEM 491H Sem-Senior Honors Seminar 2.00 2.00 C+ 4.600

EDUC 395Z S-Issues Intergroup Relations 3.00 3.00 A 12.000

HONORS 191D S-Dean's Book 1.00 1.00 B 3.000


Anxious & Desperate 5 years ago

Can a class dialogue be considered as public speaking; I have looked at the course description and the Edu395 is mainly dialogue; hope he waives it but i doubt.

Again thank you for your feedback!


Sofia 5 years ago

Your article is just amazing!

I'm an Indian ,I've done Bachelors of pharmacy (4yr degree )and planning for higher studies in Canada .I'm interested in pharmaceutical analysis or manufacturing .But many of my friends and the education consultant have suggested me to choose pharmacy technician programme abroad as its the right step for pharmacist who wants to start their career abroad.But I knew nothing about what the technician do & and have started reading different articles and finally found the best one!!thanks for that!!I have few questions in my mind I hope I can get your valuable answers regarding this .

!)what are the requirements in order to become a pharmacy technician?I know something that ,I should get above 6.0 bands in IELTS before applying for particular pharmacy colleges.

2)whats the duration of that course?

3)which programme (i.e pharmacy technician or pharmaceutical quality assurance &quality control)

have good scope?

4)If I get an offer letter from particular college in Canada and finish off pharmacy technician

course with some good grade,Do I still need to give any further tests for getting a job in hospitals or retail ?

please do suggest me and your answers are so valuable for me to get into right path.

thanks in advance .


pharmacist profile image

pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Ashlee,

I sort of stumbled into it be accident, was immediately attracted to it, and just ran with it. Yes, I would recommend it to my kids, though no one seems ready to follow in daddy's steps just yet. LOL.

If I could do it all again? Hmmm. Hard question. A favorite theologian of mine, when asked how he was doing, would always say "wouldn't have it any other way."

I guess, in my more clear-thinking moments, I would have to say the same. I wouldn't have it any other way. Blessings!


Heather C 5 years ago

How do you manage your spiritual life and your profession?

Also, a good friend of mine just graduated in pharmacy and is not too enthusiastic of me seeking a degree in pharmacy; said NP has more respect and is more trusted.


Scared to be a Pharmacist 5 years ago

I am really interested in becoming a pharmacist, but I also have a few things that are holding me back. I have phobias of shots and blood, and have heard a few stories from pharmacists that they see many disgusting things. Is this true and will I have to deal with my two fears to be a successful pharmacist?


pharmacist profile image

pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Sofia,

Lots of good questions. I'm not really an expert on international transfers, although I have known several pharmacists from overseas who have come to the U.S. and are in the process of becoming licensed. There are no specific requirements in most states for becoming a Tech. National certification is an option, but not always required. Individual employers provide most of the needed training.

Best wishes


pharmacist profile image

pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Heather C,

Interesting question about spirituality and profession. I view my profession as a calling, just as "spiritual" as a missionary or pastor. The Bible says "whatever you do, do it heartily as unto the Lord." This is true of every honest calling.

As for "respect" this needs to be earned. There may be very good reasons for going the NP route, but respect and trust will come to anyone who earns it.

Best wishes!


Sofia 5 years ago

Hi Pharmacist,

Thanks for the quick reply,I really appreciate it & sorry for any inconvenience ,as I'm having another question in my mind,please do clarify .

may I know which one of the programmes i.e either pharmaceutical quality control &quality assurance or pharmacy technician have wider scope in America?

eagerly waiting for your reply pharmacist

Thank you so much!


pharmacist profile image

pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Hi Sophia,

"quality control" would be a pretty technical career within the pharma industry. Probably requiring an advanced Chemistry degree. Pharmacy techs have a lot of opportunities. I would think the "tech" field would have more openings.

Happy to help you.


Marilyn 5 years ago

Dear Pharmacist:

How powerful a LOR from a former boss or professor versus a LOR from a licensed pharmacist, in another word how much weight do you think the admissions committee put on it if it's from a pharmacist?

Also, when you went to pharmacy school did you have to spend 4 years back then (not that I am suggesting you're old) but what was the length of the pharmacy program?


Kaylie 5 years ago

I was recently contacted by the Dean of one the pharmacy school I applied to suggesting that I need to take a couple more courses to fulfill the pre-pharm requirements. Does it make it special b/c the dean himself (the gatekeeper)contacted 'me' versus the admissions office sending me an email about missing courses; and should I used this opportunity to remind him of my desire to pursue a pharmD at the school?

Kind regards,


Adam 5 years ago

Dear Pharmacist,

What's your stance on prescription marijuana? If you were a lawmaker would you have the same opinion regarding marijuana users knowing what you know now?


Sofia 5 years ago

Hai Pharmacist,

Thank you so much once again and I'm really glad about the information that you provide here in no time.Hopefully would be back to get the new stuff here and will be posting queries if have any later:)

Thank you pharmacist:)


pharmacist profile image

pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Marilyn,

LOR's are funny. Everyone wants them, but ultimately we all know they are hand-picked and biased in our favor. SO...I don't believe it so much matters...as long as the person you pick can write well and actually knows you well enough. If you know someone whom THEY also know...that could be an advantage. Otherwise...pick a good writer in some professional position. You'll be fine. :)


pharmacist profile image

pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Kaylie,

Yes, I would take that as a good sign, and use the opportunity to communicate your interest. Keep those lines of communication open while you finish the pre-requisites.


pharmacist profile image

pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Adam,

I think it has a usefulness that falls within the scope of medicine. How that usefulness is best managed is a challenging issue for patients, lawmakers and medical professionals alike.


Adam 5 years ago

Thanks for your feedback!


Rashid 5 years ago

Good morning!

I anticipate my doctorate degree in pharmacy for the class entry 2012; my question to you what was your most challenging course when you attended pharmschool? What strategy have you used to successfully pass the classes?


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Rashid,

Pharmacokinetics still gives me nightmares....

As for passing....I made a lot of flash cards...recorded lectures...and kept my eye on the goal...


Louise 5 years ago

I stumbled on your pharmacy blog; very informative. I think pharmacy is great profession one you don't have to deal with fluid/wounds and two you're kind like your own boss.

My question to you is; do you think at some point the high demand for the pharmacy profession here in the US will at some point shrink only b/c ppl travel all the way across the Canadian border to get their medications at a cheaper price; I myself have.

Thank you,

L


Susie 5 years ago

Hi!

I received my invitation letter for an interview yesterday and I am practicing already what possible questions they might ask during the interview process and my mom came up with a good one.

What kind of problems that would need the pharmacist immediate attention?

How do you say no to a known drug addict using different aliases to get his/her meds? Will you get in trouble for report it? I have seen on tv they arrest several dr's for prescribing unnecessary pain killers to patients with no known diagnostic.


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Louise,

I don't think so. This has been going on for a long time. Prescription utilization in the U.S. will continue to rise for the next 40 years.


Thuy 5 years ago

So I talked to my counselor yesterday about switching major from Graphic Design to Pharmacy. she said thats a big switch. a really really big switch


Emily A 5 years ago

I am really interested in becoming a pharmacist, but I also have a few things that are holding me back. I have phobias of shots and blood, and have heard a few stories from pharmacists that they see many disgusting things. Is this true and will I have to deal with my two fears to be a successful pharmacist?


Louise 5 years ago

Thank you for the info!


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Susie - Good questions. But don't forget about the more basic interview questions too. Name some of your strengths. Name some weaknesses. Describe an experience that has taught you something. Why do you want to be a pharmacist? Best wishes.


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Emily,

You reminded me of my first hospital rotation and I had to watch a live birth for the first time. LOL. Thought I would pass out. Not a big blood fan myself. But since then I've mostly seen rashes and burns. Except when I cut myself with my pocket knife trying to unjam the paper shredder. ugghh.


Liz M 5 years ago

Dear Pharmacist,

Why do some pharmacist schools do not use pharmcas web based appl rather ask direct submission to the school admissions office also require to send 2 photo passports along with completed application? Tx.

Do you think they might be biased just by looking the pics?

LM


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Liz M,

Well...I don't know why, but that happens in other schools and fields too. Some use a "common application" and some don't. May be a "control" issue. But I don't think there is much evidence of picture-bias. They let in someone ugly like me. :)


Liz M 5 years ago

No, you are actually very handsome. And one more question is there a major difference in the pay rate for pharmacist and pharmacy manager?

Thank you!


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Liz M,

LOL.

Not typically a big difference in retail. Some chains give the pharmacy manager a little nicer bonus.


OptimisticGrl 5 years ago

I am a 21 year old pre-pharm major and I am torn. Please tell me what you think about comments like these posted on this forum regarding a career in Pharmacy... http://www.indeed.com/forum/job/pharmacist/Don-t-b...

My faith is telling me to pursue getting a PharmD but articles like these scare the crap out of me. My biggest concern is leaving Pharmacy school 100,000+ in debt and have difficulty finding a job and all the other issues people have bought up in that forum. I know you have a better look on what's actually going on so can you tell me if there is any truth in those comments.


5 years ago

The pharmacist at my local chain drug store started working there about 6 months ago. She's young and looked fresh out of college. She started out smiling, wearing makeup, straightening her hair and looking really nice when she came into work. Over the course of a few months, all of that changed. Now, she goes into work looking frazzled with fluffy hair, no makeup and a sour look on her face. I can tell she's angry every time she answers the drive thru, and I think it's because of the reality of what her job is actually going to be like for the rest of her life. She's probably stuck now because of large student loans and all of the time she invested in school.


Amanda (Mandy) 5 years ago

Dear Pharmacist,

I am considering a career in pharmacy; I'd like to know how can one deal with the smell of the medications cause everytime I pass by a drugstore the strong odor nauseate me; how does that affect the health of pharmacists and pharmatech?

Tx!


Jen from Palm Bay 5 years ago

Goodmorning,

Is it perfectly ok to ask admissions committee how likely i'll gain admission if i complete their pre-pharm courses, let's say in addition to my BS i still need to take few additional courses to fulfill their pre-pharm requirements.


Dixie 5 years ago

As a licensed Pharmacist what's your thought on MJ being giving propofol?

Do you have a better solution as to regulate addict shopping for their prescriptions meds?


Tia 5 years ago

Dear Pharmacist,

I have a history with hives; I suspected the first time I had it was due to a mix of multivitamin and drinking tea in addition being exposed to the ac/ never had before it; went to the ER was given a shot and was prescribed benadryl; almost a year later started feeling the symptoms again such as bumps in my arms and face and a little bit of itchiness. I am currently unemployed and does not have health insurance; should I keep taking benadryl before things get worst.

your suggestions are welcome!


Loretta 5 years ago

Good day!

I gave my mom johnson baby tylenol w no known diagnostic or serious medical conditions; was told by an older co-worker it is a blood thinner that help prevent blood clot and stroke. My mom is a bit overweight and she is 67yr old.

Thank you for your reply!


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

OptimisticGirl,

The absolute number of people over age 65 is calculated to double between now and 2050. Double. That is huge. The 65+ crowd takes as many meds as the 1-64 crowd. There will be jobs.


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

@P - probably more going on than a busy pharmacy

@Amanda - try walking by a different pharmacy. :)


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Jen - Absolutely.


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Dixie - MD made a bad call allowing MJ access to propofol.

Narc shopping - The cheapest way to solve the problem is stricter sentencing. Taxpayers shouldn't have to pay politicians to monitor abusers.


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Tia - Benadryl is a good choice to treat hives. Hives come from lots of different causes - viral infections, food, stress. If it persists, or you have difficulty breathing, see an MD.


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Loretta,

Tylenol is not a blood thinner. Are you thinking of baby aspirin?


Loretta 5 years ago

Yes my bad; I meant to say baby aspirin can I still buy it for her even she does not have any major health issues? My mom has no health insurance so we try to take good care of her. (she is in solid shape though)


Karuna 5 years ago

I am frustrated that I have to take out loan to fulfill two pre-pharm req; I hold a BS in Biochem but I never had to take A&P and macro; I'll be bumed out if I don't get in after all these sacrifices. Are there any options out there for me? not really into working in a lab and not thrilled working direct care so pharmacy seems a better choice but it's just too demanding....


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Loretta,

Well, there is limited data on the health benefits of aspirin in otherwise healthy individuals. More important are things like healthy eating, exercise and watching out for high blood pressure and cholesterol.


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Karuna,

Hang in there and nail those 2 last pre req's. Take advantage of the lighter schedule to look for some opportunities to expand your pharmacy experiences. Visit a pharma company, sit in on a P&T committee, subscribe to some pharmacy associations and look for opportunities. Hang in there my friend.


Steve from SD California 5 years ago

Hello,

Quick question, does one need a pharmD degree to become a pharmaceutical exec? and what do they actually do? Thanks!


Sarah M 5 years ago

Do you think if we make "free" prescription birth control available will that prevent or reduced teen pregnancy and less abortions?

Do you get judgemental when an older man presents before you for a refill on viagra?

How young is too young for HPV vac regardless boys or girls..

Thank you for your reply!


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Steve,

Depends what you mean by a 'pharmaceutical exec.' Many are MBA's or sales degree folks. Some MD's. PharmD's would be used in sales and communication with third parties. A dual PharmD / MBA is a great option if you set your eyes on Pharma.


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Sarah M,

Wow...tough questions.

1) No - teen pregnancies will only drop once we, as a society, decide to stop supplementing and supporting bad choices. That sounds harsh. But that is how wise parents teach their children, and it is how a wise society curbs bad choices.

2) No. He isn't doing anything wrong. Why should I?

3) Too young would be when the medical risks outweigh the medical benefits. Solid evidence is needed, then we must make a reasonable decision. I have no objection to the current administration recommendations.


Sarah M 5 years ago

harsh reality for sure and I get frown upon when seing with my son; I am 33 years old but look like I am 19 or 20. I do not condone teen pregnancy either but I happend to have my son at 22 after years of sexual abuse from my teacher, not knowing I was pregnant at 5 months and was forced to keep the baby for religious purposes. Since then, I have never been able to date or been in a relationship so that's why I ask can birth control made avail with no prescription or free plan B to consumers.


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Sarah M,

Deeply sorry for what you endured. There is a lot of evil in this world. But why can't you date? You don't have to answer that. Feel free to shoot me an email if you like.


Sarah M 5 years ago

b/c of shame, guilt of having a baby so early and out of wedlock; I come from a very religious background. I apologize for writing this on your forum as I intended to keep it open to questions related to the pharmacy profession. Is there a way to send my email not using this blog?


Ron 5 years ago

How can I convince my preceptor to let me change location for residency; I am currently doing residency at a retail chain w/ no pay but the work is killing. I wouldn't mind if it was paid but I am doing all the work where other ppl are slacking around?

Thanks.


Meredith from Boston, MA 5 years ago

I am considering a career in pharmacy but I do not want to work at a CVS or Walgreens (I just don't think I have the right personality to interact with patients) but still want to work in the pharma world; can a BS in Chemistry or pharmacology help me land a job in the pharma industry; will the pay be less since I won't be a pharmD? Tx.


Raj 5 years ago

How helpful are pharm techs? Aren't they sometimes know more than the pharmacists since they are the ground dog?


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Sarah M,

If you go to my profile by clicking anywhere you see my avatar "pharmacist" then you will see a link right beneath my mug shot (LOL) which says "contact pharmacist." Your email is not disclosed publicly.


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Ron,

If you are talking about your 6-8 week residency in community practice...stick it out. You will have the opportunity to evaluate the experience at the end.


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Meredith,

You are surrounded by Pharma companies here in MA. Check out some of their websites and look under "careers" and see what the opportunities are. Your degree might get you in the door in a sales position. Then work your way up and add an MBA or something later. Just a thought.


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Raj,

Well trained pharmacy techs are super helpful. I've worked with many that can run circles around some pharmacists.


Danielle 5 years ago

Hi There, i am interested in studying science at university, i didnt study science at high school however. can you recommend any short or online courses i could do in my own time to bring up to scratch to a high school equivalent understanding of science.


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Danielle,

High school science proficiency is measured typically by our S.A.T. or A.C.T. tests in the U.S. They also cover other areas of HS knowledge. Anyway, if you get a good study guide for either test, they should have chapters on science to help you. Otherwise, just aska local HS science teacher what text book they are currently using.


Leslie from Ohio 5 years ago

Hello,

When asking for a recommendation letter is there a difference between "I waive my right to have access to this letter or I do not waive my right..."; I feel so uneasy about one recommender asking me to waive my right I am suspiscious a conflict of interest from her part. Les


Russel 5 years ago

Dear Pharmacist,

How much a pharmacist is expected to know about insurance coverage such as medicare part B, part A..etc.

Thank you


Ana 5 years ago

Can a pharmacist refuse to give flu shots? I am needle phobie but I was told pharmacists are expected to give flu shots as part of their job; shouldn't be nurses do that? I want to be a pharmacist b/c it fits my personality; I love science, I enjoy interacting with ppl and love taking care of others but poking ppl with needles is jut not one of them. Tx.


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Leslie,

By waiving your rights your recommendation has more strength. I recommend only asking people whom you can confidently waive your rights to see it.


Kim from Boulder, CO 5 years ago

Tell us three great things to chose pharmacy as a career (already know about job stability, good income and flexible hrs.)

Tell us three things that are not so flattering about the pharmacy profession.


Maria 5 years ago

Hello,

I would like to know as a female minority and immigrant, how much can my diverse background can help or hurt my application into pharmacy school; we need more bilingual pharmacists b/c each time I have to take my mom to fill out her precription.

Muchas gracias!!


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Russel,

You ought to be able to explain to your patients, when necessary, the basic differences between Medicare A, B and D. Some drugs/supplies are covered under B. Most other prescription drugs require enrollment in Part D.


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pharmacist 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA Author

Ana,

Most pharmacists have never given a flu shot. Some states are allowing it. None, that I know of, require it.


Kiara 5 years ago

Dear Pharmacist,

How many recom letters would you suggest; I got one from my pchem prof; my pharmD (friend)whom i conducted research with in college, and one from my long time supervisor. Do I need more? thanks!


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