I want to pursue a career in pharmacy!

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  1. Hi everyone! I am torn right now and would appreciate some advise. I am 25 years old and I have been in and out of college because I wasn't sure on what I wanted to major in. My family is big on getting a college degree and every time I speak to the family they as "when are you gonna graduate college?". So I finally decided I want to major in Pharmacy. I don't want to tell my family cause I am afraid of what they might say. They might not take me seriously. Aside from my family I don't know where to start and what the requirements are as far as what classes to take. I still need to get a Bachelors degree first but in what? Also, being 25 by the time I do graduate I'll be in my 30's. My family is already saying that I'm old and need to have my career going and also they think I need to start a family before my mid 30's. Any help and opinions would be appreciated!

  2. My husband is a pharmacist. He was first a Biology major and took like 5 years to get that degree. In his late twenties he decided to become a pharmacist. There are special schools just for Pharmacy majors IOW you don't go to a university you go to a school of Pharmacy. I believe the whole program takes like 5 years and that includes your Pharm-D.(Doctorate in Pharmacy).

    Here are the pros: One of the highest demanding professions today and in the future (stupendous job security). I've read that the more schools built, would still not asuage the demand for these professionals (there's going to be allot of old baby-boomers out there...which includes moi). Your pay will be very, very good and for a woman wanting a family you can do relief work (part time) for independant pharmacists or chains and thus get a nice little stash of purse money:p.

    Here are the cons: Whether it's hospital or retail it's HARD work with huge liability, so you better not make mistakes. It's a litigious world out there. Also there's committment to do continuing education yearly. Oh and you do have to be pretty smart.

    Are you good in Math, Biology, Statistics, Physiology, Chemistry. Like a doctor in a way? The sciences?

    With that said, my DH LOVES his job in the hospital setting seriously. Me?? I wouldn't do it in a million years, LOL.

    Good luck. Let us know what you decide.:heart:
  3. I'm actually considering going to Pharmacy school also and if I do so, I'll be in my mid-thirties when I receive my PharmD.

    Depending on where you want to go to school, you should check into the requirements for the schools that you are interested in attending. If the college that you attend offers a Pre-Pharmacy program, that would be the best and fastest route to pursue. You can go to Pharmacy school without having a degree first, most people do have a degree, but if you go to school full-time and are very focused you might be able to finish up your Pre-Pharmacy requirements in as little as two years.

    The college of Pharmacy in our area is a 4 year program that leads into a PharmD. The 4th year is a year of rotations in different areas of practice.

    Have you do any work in a retail pharmacy yet or as a pharmacy tech anywhere else?
  4. My friend just got her license. She is 23 and went to University of the Pacific in Stockton where they have a Pharmacy program that you can attend right out of HS (kind of like undergrad and grad all in one). She now works at a small, holistic-style Pharmacy where I live and is doing very well. I think starting salary is around $120k and there is a signing bonus of around $30-40k at some places. She says it is hard work and kind of a grind, but she enjoys aspects of it. The one main drawback I can see is that you make pretty much the same salary for your entire career, but it is a good salary, so that may not be an issue for most people. :smile:
  5. Thanks so much for the information! My whole family is in the medical field which includes: Medical supply sales, doctors, & nurses. I am familiar with the whole hospital setting so that won't bother me. I have done some research with Pharmacy... I wanted to do more of the pharmaceutical sales with a medical grade skincare line like OBAGI! I am 95% sure on this career changing decision.

  6. I have not worked as a pharmacy tech yet but I have worked in a specialty pharmacy as an insurance verifier. I could say that pharmacy would be a job I could live with. However, if it were up to me I'd be a singer or runway model. I don't know how to sing neither photogenic.:girlsigh:
  7. My daughter-in-law is a pharmacist - she went to a combined program and got her PharmD in 5 years. She decided to do that instead of medical school, since she wanted to get married and have children (so far my adorable granddaughter - 2 1/2 yrs!). She was pursued by many pharmacies but decided to go into a hospital setting. She worked in the pediatric pharmacy, but worked her way into a new position that was created for her - now she works on the computer part of the pharmacy department, so she's combined several careers in one!

    I think she may eventually go to a more traditional pharmacy setting...especially when she has more children (they want 3) - that way her hours would be more flexible, but she did work 4 long days for a few years, so she could stay home on Wednesdays with the baby (my son works from home, so he took care of her the rest of the time, and they also had a nanny 1 day a week). Now, the baby's in nursery, so my DIL works 5 shorter days so she can pick the baby up earlier.

    It's a great career for someone who wants to stay flexible - but you've got to enjoy science and chemistry and bio-chemistry - DIL is pretty brilliant!
  8. Hey I would totally do the same thing, but trust me you don't want to hear me sing!!! There is a reason I don't have a record deal!!;) But that is good you have been in the pharmacy setting some.
    Are you taking classes currently? I'm in a math and chemistry class this semester (wish me luck!!)
  9. One of the news programs did a report about a year ago on a pharmacist. He works for CVS in the Chicago area and was going to retire and move to Florida. CVS did not want to lose an experienced pharmacist so they talked him into working in Florida over the winter and coming back to Chicago in the summer. He said he was paid well and loves the arrangement.

    Something to think about.....
  10. You have to take a lot of science (biology, physiology, anatomy, chemistry, etc.) and math classes. For your B.S. degree, you can major pretty much in anything science or math related. There are A LOT of calculations in pharmacy and you must have precise knowledge of how the chemicals in the drugs react with each other. The last thing you want is to have a patient take different medications that would have detrimental effects (FYI, yes the doctors are the one prescribing the meds, but the pharmacists have to look over what's been prescribed by the doctors and make necessary suggestions to the doctors, then the doctors would change their presciption).

    What I would suggest are:
    1) find out what Pharmacy School (not all universities offer pharmacy as a major) you want to go to, then check out their brochures and find out what their admission requirements are.
    2) go to the university you want to finish your Bachelor's of Science Degree (not Bachelor's of Arts degree) and start taking those classes you need.

    Don't let your age get in the way of what you want to do. Also, eventhough you're still undecided, you don't have to leave school. You can keep taking classes towards getting your Baccalaureate Degree with Undecided Major, just as long you keep taking those Science and Math classes.
  11. I'm a pharmacist.

    I completed a six year track in program at Rutgers to get my PharmD. This included undergrad, grad, and rotations.

    Most of the advice above is correct. There are many directions you can go in Pharmacy - hospital, retail, HMO, industry, writing, consulting, long term care, etc. Decide what you want to do as a pharmacist, and then choose your school based on that decision.

    Most of the best schools are on the coasts - On the East coast: Mass, St. Johns, USP, and Rutgers are well respected. On the West, USC and UCSF are both very good. I chose Rutgers because I wanted to get into industry and Rutgers is located in the pharmaceutical industry hotbed. Of course - life gets in the way and I ended up working in a specialized field for HIV that isn't industry related. There are several other well respected schools throughout the country, but from when I was in school, those were our competitors.

    Pharmacy is a very difficult program. I'd say that 500 started out in my class and most either failed or dropped out as the years went by - about 200 from my class graduated at the end of 6 years. It does take a lot of discipline to take the science courses required, so my advice is to be certain that you want to be a pharmacist before you start school.

    If you like, please feel free to pm me for more info.
  12. You have received lots of very good info! I work at UIC (University of Illinois Medical Center) and we have a very good pharmacy college and program but it's tough!!!

    Good luck with your decision and do what YOU want to do for your life, not what your family what's you to do!!!
  13. DS is a pharmicist...took him 6 years at University of Rhode Island to get his PharmD...lots of hard work...he has a great job now at Sams Club...My DD works at Walgreens and is planning to go to Pharmacy school here in Florida when she finishes high school...Good luck in your decision...There is a great need for Pharmicists....
  14. I have been a Pharmacy tech for almost 2 years and a full time student majoring in Nurse anesthics. The pharmacy enviorment is very stressful, you need to take it seriously. Most of the prequiste are science and math. I decided not to become a pharmacist because its not a job were you get to do different things everyday. I wish you luck:smile: