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Decided to go to pharmacy school

  1. Jan 31, 2010 #1
    This sounds pretty enticing:

    Plus I love the study of pharmacology. I was thinking about medical school, but after shadowing doctors, I don't think I would want to work 60+ hour weeks, especially once I have a family. The pharms where my dad works work 80 hr weeks and get the whole next week off. That would be nice to have a vacation every other week.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 1, 2010 #2
    yeah but an 80 hour week is two weeks in one go, innit?

    I like 37 hour weeks...
  4. Feb 1, 2010 #3
    My good friend is a pharmacist, and I work in a pharmacy, how they all do it, is they rotate the days. Don't think they get anywhere near 80 hours per week, unless one of them went on vacation. It is pretty awesome pay, but think of the bills that you will have to be paying on in order to pay off the school loans. One of them, I think just now paid his loans off, and it's been about 20 years or so that he graduated. They have been giving awesome benefits to get more people to work for the certain companies. I would suggest looking into it, before you say yes. Maybe shadow a few pharmacists, from different comapnies, and weigh out the options (and incentives), and see how the work flow is.
  5. Feb 1, 2010 #4
    To be honest, we live in a great country (US and Canada) where if you make decent money, manage it right, just about anyone can retire early (unless everyone does the same thing but no worries since no one does).

    My plan is to try and save money, invest in different areas (real estate, stocks and bonds) and try to make myself a financially secure future by the time I'm 45 or so.

    As a pharmacist, I would look at that as an opportunity to accomplish this quicker. Unfortunately, most see it as a chance to spend more and more money.

    Invest wisely.
  6. Feb 1, 2010 #5


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    One of my oldest friends is a pharmacist, but he decided that he didn't like working in a retail environment. He and his wife moved back to PA and he worked for a chain pharmacy while putting his wife through grad school so she'd have a masters in special education. Then they moved back to Maine so she could get a well-paying job and put him through law school. Not surprisingly, he got sick of legal work, too, and he and a friend started an import business that thrived until the recession struck. His major import was custom jewelry from Nepal, and it's pretty easy for women to give up buying jewelry in times of poor income. Now he's working as a pharmacist again to pay the bills. At least he's got the skills and the certification to fall back on.

    If you can shadow a couple of pharmacists, see if you can work with at least one in a strictly retail environment, and another that works filling prescriptions for hospital and nursing home patients. My friend would have preferred to be in the latter position, but the openings he found were in retail, so he's working for a retail chain for now.
  7. Feb 1, 2010 #6

    Ivan Seeking

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    Great! Yet more life-critical jobs where those doing the job are working too many hours. Only recently did the medical establishment start cracking down on the scheduling of ER docs, who were working ridiculous numbers of hours.

    That aside, my perception has long been that pharmacists do quite well. I think you have made a great choice! However, I also understand that pharmacy students have a very high failure rate - something around 90% - so plan to work hard. :smile:
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2010
  8. Feb 1, 2010 #7

    Ivan Seeking

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    Oh yes, when you are on the national board of pharmacologists, please do something about those 80-hour weeks. I want my pharmacist to be awake to do his or her job.
  9. Feb 1, 2010 #8
    Eh, I've come to accept 20 or 30 year student loans a simply a part of life now. It all depends on how you live. Do you pay off all your loans right away, or buy a house and a car after you get a real job and prolong the payments for 20 years? I've been looking at some pharm jobs, some places will actually help pay your loans off if you decide to work in an under served area.

    I just applied for a pharm tech job for the next year at my local VA hospital. Definitely a pay cut, but the experience is invaluable to put on the application for schools.
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