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Tray in Abilene, Texas

37 months ago

mvd in Godfrey, Illinois said: What are the terms of your tuition reimbursement if there isn't a job with them when you graduate? The future for pharmacists looks pretty bleak but I think PA looks pretty good. I would lean towards PA. You may find a health system that would offer you a great tuition reimbursement package. PAs have more autonomy and a larger scope of practice.

They company gives me 1/4 of my tuition and per year and I sign a contract that says each year they give me money for pharmacy school I will work for them a year. If I dont then I pay it back like a regular loan.

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Scared for Rx in Brooklyn, New York

37 months ago

Tray in Abilene, Texas said: They company gives me 1/4 of my tuition and per year and I sign a contract that says each year they give me money for pharmacy school I will work for them a year. If I dont then I pay it back like a regular loan.

Dear Tray,

I graduated in May of 2013 and therefore can offer you some insight on what you are going to face:

I am pretty sure there are jobs in TX as it is a very big state. You will have to seriously start looking into rural areas to secure employment before spill over from the oversaturated cities take place (in fact I think it's beginning to happen).

Competition for a job is going to get ferocious in the next few years. Those students who graduated in 2012 and 2013 are experiencing the over-saturation 1st hand. In 2009, when I entered pharmacy school, the jobs were plenty in NYC, but what happened in the 4 years I was in school was that other states that had new schools built prior to 2009 were graduating their 1st classes. The job openings rapidly declined......

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Scared for Rx in Brooklyn, New York

37 months ago

Part 2

If you see my post to Desperate Student from above, I talk about why paid internships are rapidly disappearing.

Many pharmacists who are faculty at the new schools as well as clinical pharmacists (those who did 1-2 residencies)work per diem in retail. Their greed for vacation money, and money for cars etc. are harming the very students that they are teaching! Hence, many students are graduating pharmacy school with no experience whatsoever.

As for hospital, it came over the news in NYC that 2 hospitals are about to close down. Where are all those pharmacists going to go? State governments are tightening up their budgets. Hospital was very nice to work probably 15-20 years ago, but now b/c of budget deficits and the schools popping up like mushrooms, the pharmacy market has become a little more.....vicious........

Bottom line: as supply outweighs demand, merit is thrown out the window. It will boil down to "who you know" than "what you know".

Hope this helps Tray.

Look at my advice for Desperate Student to help guide you should u continue with pharmacy school.

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roboWhale in Marietta, Georgia

37 months ago

As far as getting a double major or specialty, I have some ideas that may help those students who feel as if pharmacy is a field with limited space. One way to go could be towards the direction of a therapist. Having an advanced knowledge of medication, a pharmacy-trained therapist would be able to provide educated counseling to patients beyond that of a physician, pharmacist, or therapist alone. Physical therapy jobs are always posted, although PT might be misread as Part-Time! Respiratory therapists are needed in hospitals. I was once recommended to become a RT by an occupational survey, and I am a pharmacy Tech, cpht. People ask me if I am going to be a pharmacist, but I am more likely to become a therapist. Other medical jobs include but are not limited to: sonographer, laser technician, MRI tech, diagnostic lab specialist, ambulatory therapist, RN, dietician. These are the ones I can think of off the top of my head. Often times, you may need to be qualified as a RN to follow another medical path, but if you are in school to become a pharmacist, you probably know these things already.
The job market is a madhouse, but small hospitals (satellite health centers) are being built around the metro-Atlanta area which already has a few large hospitals. Other large cities may undergo the same development in the near future which leads to more opportunities for people who are looking to be trained and work for the same healthcare company long-term. Being a temporary worker for a temporary employment service is possible and becoming a specialist who is contracted by multiple hospitals is another option. I wish I knew how to accomplish everything that I discuss here. Remember why you chose to work in this field as you go along to help you focus during adversity.

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retail8 in exton, Pennsylvania

37 months ago

To anyone still in the early years of school, consider switching majors. The surplus of pharmacists versus need for pharmacists won't correct itself anytime soon. Salaries are dropping, jobs have dwindled and it is all who you know unless your town has some actual openings. Where I live, forget it. Not even the staffing agencies are interested. I have tried for everything, FT, PT, per diem, floater, etc,...nothing, nada, zilch. Think of the debt you'll have after six years, probably close to 300K. You might as well study to be a doctor, nurse, or PA. Bottom line, pick something you love to do and that will give you a good future. I don't see that with pharmacy. Scared for rx, you hit it on the money with the comment about the greedy two job rphs who are shutting out the rest of us. Remember, get out now and save your parents and your checkbook the pain of having spent a small fortune and then graduating without a job. To all the new pharmacy schools, shame on you and I hope you close soon.

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jaymichaels in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

37 months ago

I never understood why students chose pharmacy after the worked in the field as a tech. I mean you would think after working retail they would choose a different career. But I think I figured it out. The student don't realize the responsibility a pharmacist had until its their name on the outgoing scripts. Once the sign all the daily legal paperwork making them liable for what goes on in the pharmacy, that is when the anxiety starts.

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hardwrkrphNJ in New Brunswick, New Jersey

37 months ago

Jay Michaels in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania said: I never understood why students chose pharmacy after the worked in the field as a tech. I mean you would think after working retail they would choose a different career. But I think I figured it out. The student don't realize the responsibility a pharmacist had until its their name on the outgoing scripts. Once the sign all the daily legal paperwork making them liable for what goes on in the pharmacy, that is when the anxiety starts.

It is an excellent profession and always will be now like everything else it is being morph into something totally different than the original ideal. When my father graduated in the 1950's he wanted me to follow in his footstep and I was proud to do it just recently he said he was sorry to have suggested it to me. Yes we take on alot but I went to school for this and worked hard for it so be it. I knew exactly what I was getting into because I worked at my father's store as a cashier so I knew what to expect. Everyday Im being told how important techs are to the pharmacy and they are the backbone of the industry what ????? I get tired fighting them to try to protect the patients and my license. This isnt the techs fault it is cheapier to hire 10 techs than one pharmacist instead of working as a team we are constantly at odds with each other nothing is more scary than to walk away and hear them giving medical advise to patients(they say things as a professional I would never say!!!) so what happen to the profession, after being unemployed for almost 2 years I keep my mouth shut. It easier to fire a pharmacist than a tech and they save more money that way. I guess the ideal is to start paying us maybe a couple dollars more than techs or try to replace us completely. It will be sad day in the healthcare profession if we were no longer part of it.God help the pharmacy profession noone else will!!!

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Dontbelieveit in Crazyhorse, Indiana

37 months ago

If you look around in medicine, you see the same pattern, and it's usually instituted by "business people". There will be one professional person, for example, an X-ray tech, and several students or "tech aides". The lower ranks do the work and the fully registered or licensed person has to make sure things are fine and sign off on the exams.

One has to wonder if the average patient or client knows these things.

What is happening with pharmacists is happening with other sections of medicine.
We are told it's about the patient, but it's all about the money, and the money is at the upper ranks.

The insurance companies want a piece of the money, so it's always a huge grab with the management wanting money, so at the end of the day, there isn't much going around to make the job of the healthcare professional better.

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retail8 in exton, Pennsylvania

37 months ago

hardwrkrphNJ in New Brunswick, New Jersey said: It is an excellent profession and always will be now like everything else it is being morph into something totally different than the original ideal. When my father graduated in the 1950's he wanted me to follow in his footstep and I was proud to do it just recently he said he was sorry to have suggested it to me. Yes we take on alot but I went to school for this and worked hard for it so be it. I knew exactly what I was getting into because I worked at my father's store as a cashier so I knew what to expect. Everyday Im being told how important techs are to the pharmacy and they are the backbone of the industry what ????? I get tired fighting them to try to protect the patients and my license. This isnt the techs fault it is cheapier to hire 10 techs than one pharmacist instead of working as a team we are constantly at odds with each other nothing is more scary than to walk away and hear them giving medical advise to patients(they say things as a professional I would never say!!!) so what happen to the profession, after being unemployed for almost 2 years I keep my mouth shut. It easier to fire a pharmacist than a tech and they save more money that way. I guess the ideal is to start paying us maybe a couple dollars more than techs or try to replace us completely. It will be sad day in the healthcare profession if we were no longer part of it.God help the pharmacy profession noone else will!!!

I agree 100%. I want to warn others too, it IS easier to get rid of/fire a pharmacist than a very bad tech. Such the case was my work environment. After many years of working with substandard and highly disturbed techs, I left. Unless you are the PIC, you are at their mercy. I witnessed techs taking copies, counseling patients, doing the narcotic inventory. Walgreens wants to make techs more powerful. It won't be long before CVS and others copy this.

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Dontbelieveit in Crazyhorse, Indiana

37 months ago

retail8 in exton, Pennsylvania said: I agree 100%. I want to warn others too, it IS easier to get rid of/fire a pharmacist than a very bad tech. Such the case was my work environment. After many years of working with substandard and highly disturbed techs, I left. Unless you are the PIC, you are at their mercy. I witnessed techs taking copies, counseling patients, doing the narcotic inventory. Walgreens wants to make techs more powerful. It won't be long before CVS and others copy this.

It's all about the money, not quality, not care, not how it affects our nation.
Just about those who can make a buck off of us.
The new slave has a college degree.

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Dontbelieveit in Crazyhorse, Indiana

37 months ago

Pharmacist-Keith in Shepherdsville, Kentucky said: It's been all about money for a while now. Name the last drug that actually "cured" anything. There hasn't been any because there is no money in cures.

That's true. So many prescribe a drug or surgery and there is an alternative. PT really helped a biceps tendon tear for me, when I met so many in PT, who had just gone the surgery route first.

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Sad RPh in PA in Pennsylvania

37 months ago

I feel for the fellow pharmacists who are constantly applying for jobs and coming up empty, no matter what state they live in. I was "riffed" from one of the biggest long term care pharmacy providers in the US in February. I was content as a consultant pharmacist, and had happy nursing home clients. The company lost a large local contract (due to service issues at the pharmacy level) and as low consultant on the totem pole, I was laid off (along with 2 RPhs inside the pharmacy as well). My manager even said she would provide a reference if I needed it. Even with 22 years of experience in retail, hospital, and long term care, I may need divine intervention now...I can't believe the current glut of pharmacists, the lack of professionalism during the job application and interview processes, the addition of pharmacy schools...well its all been said here before. One college here boasted last fall their pharmacy school enrollment was up 30%. UP 30%???? Are they proud of the fact that they are contributing so well to the current glut? I began a non-traditional masters in MTM program in January and unfortunately do not give up on anything. It may take some savings to complete, but I will see it through, knowing full well I may never use it. It is definitely a gamble. This is the turning point for a lot of us pharmacists out there. I am currently looking at other business opportunities where I can be my own boss, maybe make $30K a year, and where my success or failure will NOT depend on someone else's performance.

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Dontbelieveit in Crazyhorse, Indiana

37 months ago

It's like that in many parts of medicine now. They want the cheapest person, so they can keep the money at the top for the managers.
It's sad when one does their job well, and patients are happy, and they know you are doing a good job for them, and management doesn't care.
Everything is bean-countered down now.
I am looking to start a business too, I can't find anyone willing to do so. Everyone just wants to go in and get a paycheck.

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retail8 in take a guess, Pennsylvania

37 months ago

Sad RPh in PA in Pennsylvania said: I feel for the fellow pharmacists who are constantly applying for jobs and coming up empty, no matter what state they live in. I was "riffed" from one of the biggest long term care pharmacy providers in the US in February. I was content as a consultant pharmacist, and had happy nursing home clients. The company lost a large local contract (due to service issues at the pharmacy level) and as low consultant on the totem pole, I was laid off (along with 2 RPhs inside the pharmacy as well). My manager even said she would provide a reference if I needed it. Even with 22 years of experience in retail, hospital, and long term care, I may need divine intervention now...I can't believe the current glut of pharmacists, the lack of professionalism during the job application and interview processes, the addition of pharmacy schools...well its all been said here before. One college here boasted last fall their pharmacy school enrollment was up 30%. UP 30%???? Are they proud of the fact that they are contributing so well to the current glut? I began a non-traditional masters in MTM program in January and unfortunately do not give up on anything. It may take some savings to complete, but I will see it through, knowing full well I may never use it. It is definitely a gamble. This is the turning point for a lot of us pharmacists out there. I am currently looking at other business opportunities where I can be my own boss, maybe make $30K a year, and where my success or failure will NOT depend on someone else's performance.

I am in PA too. Six months and nothing. I am even looking at non pharmacist jobs but I am too proud to leave my profession. It is discouraging. There is an MTM job in Philly but you are required to travel. Good luck

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Sad RPh in PA in Pennsylvania

37 months ago

Thanks for the good wishes retail8. I saw that MTM posting and would gladly have taken it but I live in W. PA. and relocating is not an option. My husband was laid off in 2009 from a management position at a gigantic telecommunications company. We started a local business (for him to work at) with a little savings and, after 4 years, it is doing good, just not quite enough to pay the bills. With his current income and my unemployment, we are making just 25% of what we used to 5 years ago, but we live well below our means so adjusting to my income decrease hasn't been an issue. What is an issue is NO health insurance for either one of us - can't afford that now. My federal unemployment also runs out in December because the economy is doing so well! (LOL) I do feel bad for new grads who may have major loans, kids, spouse, house, cars etc. - how are they going to survive??? My husband and I have done some flip houses successfully a couple of years ago while we both held down full time jobs. It seems as though flipping houses or buying rentals may be my one of my new business ventures. And good luck Dontbelieveit - hang in there!

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Dontbelieveit in Crazyhorse, Indiana

37 months ago

Sad RPh in PA in Pennsylvania said: Thanks for the good wishes retail8. I saw that MTM posting and would gladly have taken it but I live in W. PA. and relocating is not an option. My husband was laid off in 2009 from a management position at a gigantic telecommunications company. We started a local business (for him to work at) with a little savings and, after 4 years, it is doing good, just not quite enough to pay the bills. With his current income and my unemployment, we are making just 25% of what we used to 5 years ago, but we live well below our means so adjusting to my income decrease hasn't been an issue. What is an issue is NO health insurance for either one of us - can't afford that now. My federal unemployment also runs out in December because the economy is doing so well! (LOL) I do feel bad for new grads who may have major loans, kids, spouse, house, cars etc. - how are they going to survive??? My husband and I have done some flip houses successfully a couple of years ago while we both held down full time jobs. It seems as though flipping houses or buying rentals may be my one of my new business ventures. And good luck Dontbelieveit - hang in there!

You are a lot better off than most! You have another income in your household. I am single and have no one to lean on...I also don't own a home due to the unstable job market.
Good luck to you too, I hope you find work soon!

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Dontbelieveit in Crazyhorse, Indiana

37 months ago

BTW, what is "flipping" houses?

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Sad RPh in PA in Pennsylvania

37 months ago

Buy a small house for $15K, rehab for $20K (new carpet, kitchen, bath, windows etc.) sell for $60K (that's a flip"). If they don't sell, you rent them out. Could get that kind of a loan when I had a job but not now. I will probably have to roll my hospital and other 401Ks into a 401K for my business (Rollover for Business Start-up is the term I think the financial gurus use). You can do that without being taxed or assessed 10% penalties, but the maintenance/paperwork fees the one financial company charges are $2500 per year. (You can't pay yourself directly out of those funds, but you can use them to start a business that makes $ which you take as a salary). I hate to liquidate 401Ks but where else does one get the $ to try and start over? I even thought about getting my CDL license to drive trucks for the gas well companies around here...I may still have to do that. I was very depressed earlier this year but now I've decided I am NOT going down without a FIGHT! Best of luck to EVERY caring and dedicated pharmacist who is looking for employment! You are in my thoughts...

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Dontbelieveit in Crazyhorse, Indiana

37 months ago

Sad RPh in PA in Pennsylvania said: Buy a small house for $15K, rehab for $20K (new carpet, kitchen, bath, windows etc.) sell for $60K (that's a flip"). If they don't sell, you rent them out. Could get that kind of a loan when I had a job but not now. I will probably have to roll my hospital and other 401Ks into a 401K for my business (Rollover for Business Start-up is the term I think the financial gurus use). You can do that without being taxed or assessed 10% penalties, but the maintenance/paperwork fees the one financial company charges are $2500 per year. (You can't pay yourself directly out of those funds, but you can use them to start a business that makes $ which you take as a salary). I hate to liquidate 401Ks but where else does one get the $ to try and start over? I even thought about getting my CDL license to drive trucks for the gas well companies around here...I may still have to do that. I was very depressed earlier this year but now I've decided I am NOT going down without a FIGHT! Best of luck to EVERY caring and dedicated pharmacist who is looking for employment! You are in my thoughts...

I don't have that kind of money. I doubt I'd get any loans...
Take care of yourself!

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Rx Veteran in Maryland

37 months ago

[QUOTE "Sad RPh in PA in Pennsylvania"]Buy a small house for $15K, rehab for $20K (new carpet, kitchen, bath, windows etc.) sell for $60K (that's a flip"). If they don't sell, you rent them out."
******************************************
See my other business on Linkedin. Under Suzanne Spurr

Flipping houses is not an occupation for beginners. Watching “This old house” will help. But, they do not rehab the way I do. They showcase new and higher end products. I reuse almost everything that I can. The old kitchen cabinets end up in the laundry room, garage, and basement.

You must have an excellent carpenter and other subs. You are responsible for deciding on the sub’s schedule, arrival of materials, making sure their work is above code. Accounting for weather is another variable.

The age of the home comes into play. Older homes will have lead paint, asbestos or other hazards. Radon is a factor in my area. Dealing with the permit office can be problematic. Flipping requires a ton of skills.

The first? Assessment of the property to purchase. Is it structurally sound? Is the neighborhood stable? I could wax poetic for hours.

I call it Remuddling when I find a home that someone has worked on.
Not easy money.

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jaymichaels in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

37 months ago

Sad thing is that pharmacist, or should I say past pharmacists, have and continue to make the job horrible. I talkin about those dms and directors that have left for 'the dark side'. You know they read these comments and say,"those lazy pharmacists, the should be grateful they have a job". When I go into work nowadays I am just numb. I have no emotion because I have learned I worthless and replaceable in the eyes of my company. You student that think your gonna have a great career in pharmacy mistaken. There are pharmacists out there that work 16 hours days. The get paid for 12 but have 4 hours of catch-up work to do. Hope you like not having a life. I'll see you at the depths of despair.

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retail8 in take a guess, Pennsylvania

37 months ago

Jay Michaels in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania said: Sad thing is that pharmacist, or should I say past pharmacists, have and continue to make the job horrible. I talkin about those dms and directors that have left for 'the dark side'. You know they read these comments and say,"those lazy pharmacists, the should be grateful they have a job". When I go into work nowadays I am just numb. I have no emotion because I have learned I worthless and replaceable in the eyes of my company. You student that think your gonna have a great career in pharmacy mistaken. There are pharmacists out there that work 16 hours days. The get paid for 12 but have 4 hours of catch-up work to do. Hope you like not having a life. I'll see you at the depths of despair.

I have yet to meet a good DM or director. The day I see one, I'll let you know and hell will freeze over, pigs will fly, and I'll have won the lottery. They have just become worse in my opinion. Quotas or not, treat your employees with respect and maybe they'll actually respect you. I agree on finding other venues for work. Dozens of applications and nothing. Everything is given out to the newest grads for the lowest price. Also different DMs react differently. Regarding the five pages of red, I know of a pharmacy here that has 7 to 10 pages of red every day. They never catch up, nobody stays late to clean up the pages and the DM likes the store. It's all about who the DM likes or hates.

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Sad RPh in PA in Pennsylvania

37 months ago

Retail8 - I agree with you - its not about quality patient care anymore. Its about overworking the RPhs. I was technically a .8FTE (800 beds/month) but I routinely reviewed 950/month (without the extra $ of course). The lost contract took 400 beds away (not necessarily my beds). The DM determined that I would be riffed, then the RPhs left could split my "400" beds remaining - 600 in realty. All is good for the DM, but now each one of the consultant RPhs still there is essentially working as a 1.3 FTE (they were working as a 1.1 FTE before my rif) and getting paid at 1 FTE rate. It just keeps GOING ON AND ON.....Oh, and this year the consultant RPhs have to do many mandatory MTMs...the gals I left behind asked our DM to hire me back just to do the MTMs since I am working on that masters degree.......cue the chirping crickets.

RX Veteran - you are correct that flipping is not for the uneducated and it is a lot of hard work. It is also not an easy business venture to attempt as you could literally lose everything financially. My husband used to be a real estate agent and is also a registered contractor here, which helps a great deal. We have bought 6 houses, flipped 5 and rent 1 (owned outright). In all of this we have subbed out a job maybe 3 times. Some of the shows are a joke and inflate the $ possibilities! Do the shows mention that homeowners insurance is sky high for a vacant home you are flipping? Research, research, and more research is the backbone of flipping. Evaluating and buying the worst houses in the best neighborhoods and flipping them responsibly and not greedily should be the goal.

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MichaelPharmD in New Jersey

37 months ago

I am back. I thought I would let people know what happened with me.

All my pharmacist training was a gigantic waste. The Pharm.D., the residency, ALL A WASTE.

I could not find fulltime work at all. The per diem work has all dried up and gone away. Companies only hire per diem now because they do not have to give benefits so it saves on the budget for managers. We have so many people competing for per diem hours that nobody can get more than a couple a week at most.

I have now enrolled into Nursing school. A Pharm.D. going for a BSN. Talk about a rude awakening. Becoming a pharmacist was the worst decision I ever made. I hope some undergrads and pharmacy students are reading my posts. I hope you have time to change majors and avoid the Loan Debt, Lost Income, and mental health impacts that this profession how has.

Mike

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Scared for Rx in Brooklyn, New York

37 months ago

MichaelPharmD in New Jersey said: I am back. I thought I would let people know what happened with me.

All my pharmacist training was a gigantic waste. The Pharm.D., the residency, ALL A WASTE.

I could not find fulltime work at all. The per diem work has all dried up and gone away. Companies only hire per diem now because they do not have to give benefits so it saves on the budget for managers. We have so many people competing for per diem hours that nobody can get more than a couple a week at most.

I have now enrolled into Nursing school. A Pharm.D. going for a BSN. Talk about a rude awakening. Becoming a pharmacist was the worst decision I ever made. I hope some undergrads and pharmacy students are reading my posts. I hope you have time to change majors and avoid the Loan Debt, Lost Income, and mental health impacts that this profession how has.

Mike

Mike,

When did you graduate? What areas of pharmacy have you worked for before? I see you are in NJ, but what other states have you worked in?

I ask b/c I just graduated pharmacy school in May and there is nothing on the east coast unless you have connections (which I don't have). Another pharmacy school just opened their doors in NJ and I know those students are going for whatever is left in NJ, NY, PA, CT, DC, etc. I am literally freaking out as hospitals are lowering salaries for Pharm.D's that are new hires, 2 hospitals are closing down in NYC and retail is literally bursting at the seams.

I wish you all the best with nursing and I am sorry to hear that it has come to that.

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Catherine in Buffalo, New York

37 months ago

MichaelPharmD in New Jersey said: I am back. I thought I would let people know what happened with me.

All my pharmacist training was a gigantic waste. The Pharm.D., the residency, ALL A WASTE.

I could not find fulltime work at all. The per diem work has all dried up and gone away. Companies only hire per diem now because they do not have to give benefits so it saves on the budget for managers. We have so many people competing for per diem hours that nobody can get more than a couple a week at most.

I have now enrolled into Nursing school. A Pharm.D. going for a BSN. Talk about a rude awakening. Becoming a pharmacist was the worst decision I ever made. I hope some undergrads and pharmacy students are reading my posts. I hope you have time to change majors and avoid the Loan Debt, Lost Income, and mental health impacts that this profession how has.

Mike


Why did you choose nursing over Physician Assistant studies? Just curious in your decision-making process there. Thanks ahead for your response.

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retail8 in take a guess, Pennsylvania

37 months ago

Catherine in Buffalo, New York said: Why did you choose nursing over Physician Assistant studies? Just curious in your decision-making process there. Thanks ahead for your response.

I am seriously looking into the Nursing thing because at one local university it is a 14 month program versus years for PA. PAs need doctors, nurses can work almost anywhere. A nurse case worker or head nurse makes more than rphs. You get overtime (shocker!). I know the environment is about the same but it's a career that will last. I too like Mike am kicking myself about getting into pharmacy. I had 8 years, none of them great. Mike, I'm sorry about your situation. Have you tried your friends or students you graduated with? I know CVS has quite a few openings in NJ. Ask them for an in. Chances are they'll connect you directly with the DM. Also do you have to study Gross Anatomy for that BSN? That is the only thing holding me back but if I have to look at a dead body, so be it.

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Rx Veteran in Maryland

37 months ago

Be Careful with nursing. I believe that is on of the next professions that corporate is looking to usurp. Plot how many students vs how many jobs. That should give you an idea. Also I would get the CRNP so you can Rx.

Just a thought.

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ddsrph in Tullahoma, Tennessee

37 months ago

Pharmacy is facing a perfect storm of troubles. On the economic side hospitals can no longer afford pharmacists in white coats earning 125K a year. The chains have always been trying to push the pharmacists harder and using more tech's. Automation such as computer programs that can provide quality drug interaction and dosing information, bar
coding to get the right drug to the correct patient. On the political side state boards and politicians can be pressured and or enticed by big money to relax rules such as pharmacist/tech ratios, number of rx's filled and by whom. I only worked part-time
my whole pharmacy career and it served me well but am so glad when I was able to retire
my RX license. My other profession of dentistry gave me more control of my life but like
all such activity- work is hell. If I was early in my pharmacy education I would get out. If you must stay in the medical field go to medical or dental school.

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Rx Veteran in Maryland

37 months ago

@DDS
"Automation such as computer programs that can provide quality drug interaction and dosing information"

It's important to keep repeating the message that computers DO NOT provide quality interaction data.

Didn't understand why my machine didn't flag a propranolol/Albuterol DI.
After checking. The machine checked the drugs which were a category 3.
3 was below the flag threshold. The actual interaction is an INFERRED
drug-disease interaction. Reactive Airway disease w/a non-selective beta blocker.

What about selective beta blockers over the non-selective threshold?
Will a machine flag Metoprolol 200mg w/albuterol but not a 100mg dose?

Automation will NOT replace a Clinical pharmacist review. Technicians are just that technicians. You must have oversight with a clinically trained eye. What about all the crap interactions we have to over ride? Machines don't have the flexibility that the human mind has.

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mvd in Godfrey, Illinois

37 months ago

Try using that argument to persuade a CFO to maintain or add FTEs. Let me know how that works for you.

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ddsrph in Tullahoma, Tennessee

37 months ago

Computers and programs may not be there yet, but compare computers of today to twenty years ago, or even five years ago. Tell me a busy hospital or retail pharmacist verifying orders or scrips by the hundreds each day, with many patients on 10 or more drugs are going to catch more than the most basic of drug interactions. It all works in theory as described and promoted by pharmacy educators who wouldn't last a week on the front lines at CVS or Walmart.

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jaymichaels in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

37 months ago

Awesome comment

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ddsrph in Tullahoma, Tennessee

37 months ago

[QUOTE who="Rx Veteran in Maryland"

I agree totally with your comment but hospitals are staffed with pharmacists with varying degrees of abilities and a certain level of risk is always present. At least in hospitals you have a layer of people to help prevent errors and a medical staff to deal with problems that do arise. The real risk to the public is the retail sector. A rx filled incorrectly can be refilled incorrectly many times before it is ever caught. Does the chain DM or store manager care if the error was on the 300th Rx you had filled that day while working with a trainee tech? State boards and our professional organisations have let us down by not spelling out max workloads. 13 hour shifts, no lunch breaks, irate customers, what a great working environment. Try taking 10 minutes to review a 10 to 20 drug profile checking for interactions or incorrect doses. Current computer programs are after thoughts tacked on to a hospital or retail software package.
The hardware is sufficient and great programs are in the realm of possibilities that could be at least a great asset to the worlds greatest clinical pharmacist and game changing for guys in the trenches trying to do the best job possible.

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mvd in Godfrey, Illinois

37 months ago

Excellent point about hospital pharmacy. Doctor enters order, pharmacist checks the order and the nurse signs off the order. This makes sense because the scope of medications used in a hospital setting can potentially cause much more death and destruction. Each pharmacist is responsible for about 180 patients during the day. The night pharmacist is responsible for the whole house. The computer programs that catches drug interactions are great but they are to numerous. Have you heard of "alert fatigue"? This is a real thing. The pharmacists get desensitized to alerts and they will just blow right by them, especially when the orders are piling up.

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Rx Veteran in Maryland

37 months ago

DDSRPH "I agree totally with your comment but hospitals are staffed with pharmacists with varying degrees of abilities and a certain level of risk is always present."

I do not require 10 minutes to review a profile. I generally need about 2 minutes. Scanning for compliance, Dx identification from Drug Hx, Generates omission/commission/drug-disease/drug-drug/and potential age related issues. The real problem is lack of mail order data. Also scan for high risk medications that require testing. Many hydroxychloroquine patients do not get the required ocular testing.

IDing previous fill errors can be partly accomplished by trend analysis. I won't go into it, but it can be done.

In other words, have a refined protocol for quick assessment.
Totally agree about theof competence. It amazes me how deliberately
lax some are.

My entire purpose for posting? It is insulting to believe a computer can integrate new knowledge as fast as a human, has the ability to ignore some DI but triggers after a threshold dose, will detect lack of testing or the myriad of other issues that 'good' pharmacists regularly detect.

If corporate thinks Rx drugs are simply a commodity and a pharmacist's responsibility only involves stuffing the right drug into the right bottle, let them be fore warned. There are many pharmacists who will testify to corporate's pattern and practice of interference with a professional's ability do their job, thus putting the patient at risk.

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MichaelPharmD in New Jersey

37 months ago

Catherine in Buffalo, New York said: Why did you choose nursing over Physician Assistant studies? Just curious in your decision-making process there. Thanks ahead for your response.

Catherine,

Nursing has endless opportunities. A PA can only be a PA. A nurse can be a hospital administrator, NP, floor nurse, etc.

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Catherine in Buffalo, New York

37 months ago

MichaelPharmD in New Jersey said: Catherine,

Nursing has endless opportunities. A PA can only be a PA. A nurse can be a hospital administrator, NP, floor nurse, etc.

I have read much of the PA versus NP decision debates. Againt NP, one has to choose a speciality in which to train, where as PA can work in any practice type without having to train in separate specialities as NPs do. PAs are trained in the physician model, NPs in the nursing model. Do you still consider the NP route better over PA, for pharmacists wanting to gain entry as mid-level practitioners?

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ddsrph in Tullahoma, Tennessee

36 months ago

Another option I mentioned in a much earlier post is medical or dental school paid for by military via a Health Professions Scholarship. During my last year of Pharmacy School
I decided I could not work my whole life in a drug store. It just was not for me. I applied to the Navy and received a four year scholarship for dental school after I had been accepted by Marquette college of dentistry. They paid all costs plus a stipend for living expenses. These scholarships are more numerous and easier to get for medical school because the need if greater for MD's. I served my four years to pay back scholarship and with my previous four years of enlisted time in the Air force I stayed in reserves and retired as a Navy Captain with a very good pension that began at age 60
(four years ago). I have turned my Pharmacist and dental license in and no longer work.
During my reserve days I traveled the world for the navy filling in on several short term assignments at navy shore based dental clinics. I had a small dental practice and worked part-time at a local hospital as stsff pharmacist. If you are nearing or recently graduated ask yourself if you want to work for some chain under terrible working conditions for the next 40 years assuming you are one of the lucky ones to get hired.

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CAO in Pennsauken, New Jersey

36 months ago

MichaelPharmD in New Jersey said: Catherine,

Nursing has endless opportunities. A PA can only be a PA. A nurse can be a hospital administrator, NP, floor nurse, etc.

Michael, thanks SO much for your input. I thought that I was going crazy. I lost my job over 2 years ago and haven't been able to find anything. I guess that it's time to find something else to do.

That's the reality. I was VERY good at what I did. Thanks again to everyone for sharing stories.

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mvd in Godfrey, Illinois

36 months ago

Rx Veteran in Maryland said: "Tell me a busy hospital or retail pharmacist verifying orders or scrips by the hundreds each day, with many patients on 10 or more drugs are going to catch more than the most basic of drug interactions"

Also responding to the CFO and legal department.

That is exactly what I used to do. That's why I refer to myself as a clinical dispensing pharmacist. My discussion to corporate would revolve around legal liability. Legal action reduction is the reason to allow a modicum of time for me to inhale the entire patient's profile. It is in corporate's benefit to reduce legal liability. Liability is reduced by clinical analysis of each profile. Analogous to a spill no one cleans up.

Example. Our LTC Rx contracted to develop a wing for high risk pregnancies. Told the operations manager we were bound to be sued. Was assured a neonatologist would be writing the orders. Not 2 weeks later, caught a filled secobarbital rx waiting to go out. The cleft palate or whatever would have constituted a huge liability. I take comfort that a 17 year old kid doesn't have defects affecting their dating/self image.

I am not giving up. I am not buckling under. Corporate will realize the hard way, if a missed clinical situation results in a multi million dollar law suit. This is my corporate angle, legal liability reduction. My personal angle is still my fiduciary duty to my patients.

The business is sued and they then sue the employee. Isn't that usually how it goes?

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Rx Veteran in Maryland

36 months ago

mvd in Godfrey, Illinois said: The business is sued and they then sue the employee. Isn't that usually how it goes?

Yes and no. Always had my own liability insurance. In addition to the former corporate perk of pharmacy practice insurance. Don't believe I would be sued. Would be a witness for the plaintiff. Printed/archived all the emails ever sent to corporate, documenting lack of help as a risk factor.

Example.
Lawyer called about a pt from many years ago. Said couldn't discuss that pt, but would discuss my professional routine of warning patients.

Have a pattern and practice of documenting verbal/written warnings.
Showed lawyer current scribbled note on misoprostol. "Verbal Warned abortifacient". Don't remember warning that specific pt. I am sure I did. Never heard another thing about it. Remember legally, misfills require pt harm to generate lawsuits.
Every professional needs to develop a routine of intervention and documentation and never vary from it. It will save you one day.

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Kaycee in Stone Mountain, Georgia

36 months ago

Just turned 43 and enrolled in pre-pharm program at a local community college.
I have a wife and 4 kids. Should I right now switch programs, to what program do you
recommend. I'm taking your advice on the current situation with the pharmacy job market very seriously.
Please advice.

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jaymichaels in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

36 months ago

Find your a very busy pharmacy in town and just stand in front of the counter for 12 hours on a Monday and watch and listen. You will never think about pharmacy again.

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Rx Veteran in Maryland

36 months ago

Kaycee in Stone Mountain, Georgia said: Just turned 43 and enrolled in pre-pharm program at a local community college.

Pre-Pharmacy is very similar to any other pre-courses. (Med, Nursing, Dental) All require the same basic knowledge set.

Suggestion. If your hands are smaller and you have good dexterity go to Dental Hygiene school. It's only two years and currently appears to have a good market and income stream. My friend is a hygienist. But don't think Hygiene school is a cake walk. I helped her study. The amount of rote memorization is on the order of other professions.

Consider trying it first..Become a dental assistant. Believe there is on the job training. AVOID PHARMACY at all costs. Good luck

BTY, anyone consider flipping houses, Volunteer for Habitat for Humanity first. Then you will understand the massive amount of knowledge needed.

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realisticrph in Chicago, Illinois

36 months ago

I would not recommend pharmacy for anyone. If you are 43 and expect to be a pharmacist in 8 years, you will be 51. The age discrimination going on today is horrible. Employers want blind pups they can manipulate into spinning faster and faster on the gerbil wheel for less and less money.
The risk is too high for you Kaycee. Perhaps you have an edge we don't know about? An uncle with a few independent stores? History of strong management skills? Skin like a rhino?

We have not seen the worst of the new school glut yet. It will be like a zombie movie.

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thomascarrigan in Denver, Colorado

36 months ago

Part One
I love pharmacy, but…

I'll share my story. Graduated in 2008. Mom was proud. Got a hospital job, just per diem, cause I didn't have the experience. I worked hard, did a great job. Per diem status was ok, because I was working about 4 days a week. Then I was ready to move onto fulltime work, got licensed in a total of five states spread out across the USA. The market shifted, my hours were cut slowly, then eventually I was entirely eliminated. Not that it matters, but I worked without health insurance the whole time, and never got a raise.

I have 5 years experience in a hospital - which sounds perfect. I have applied to about twenty jobs that sound like they were created with me in mind. I have the experience and the state license. But I rarely get any sort of response. When I do, the one question they ask is whether I'm working now. When I say no, they seem to lose all interest. I have NOT sent out hundreds of applications, but it's been three months now with no interviews, so I am starting to apply to anything, really -- retail even tho I have no retail experience, and to states I don't have licenses in.

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thomascarrigan in Denver, Colorado

36 months ago

Part Two
I made mistakes: I stayed per diem in the first three years of work when I had the chance to go full-time. I became comfortable, an expert at a few functions, instead of taking the challenge and learning ALL aspects / skills of the job. I didn't put effort into making contacts/friends.

It hurts when I keep reading the BLS prediction that 69,700 new pharmacist positions will be created this decade. They don’t mention that 140,000 students are graduating during the same period.

I know a student, class of 2013, who had no experience and got a retail job at $120k in a cool city on the coast. There ARE jobs out there, but getting one is like winning the lottery.

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Scared for Rx in Brooklyn, New York

36 months ago

@ Kaycee

I graduated this past May. If you are in a major metropolitan city, you will have to MOVE unless you have the patience of a saint and wait it out in the metropolis for a job to open up. Be prepared to travel anywhere from 1-2 hrs. from the city to work. And be prepared to deal with fickle recruiters and hiring managers.

One thing you need to consider: by the time you graduate, more schools would have graduated their 1st, 2nd, 3rd classes across the nation. That will be your competition for not only internships but pharmacist jobs as well. As a recent graduate I can tell you that many rural areas are now saturated due to the spillover from the cities. If you have connections on the executive end then you will be fine........

The next 1-5 years in the world of pharmacy is going to be a tough one not only for new graduates but for seasoned pharmacists with years of experience under their belt. The schools, the boards of pharmacy, retail giants and hospitals BLEW it. Not only that, but you are going to have to deal with foreign trained pharmacists as well. It's a nightmare. I live in NYC and can't relocate due to circumstances beyond my control. Trust me when I say NYC is scorched earth. Actually all of the east coast is a fight. With the job market this tight, don't count on your classmates as they are all fighting for the same position. Think the pharmacy version of "The Hunger Games". I kid you not.

I saw the writing on the wall as I was doing my final year rotations. That's when I started to freak. Hospitals are cracking down on their limited budgets. Retail is like a water balloon about to pop. Seriously, if you decide to go through with pharmacy you need a serious game plan before you enroll in pharmacy school.

My advice to you Kaycee: do not go to pharmacy school.

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jaymichaels in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

36 months ago

It is great to see so many of explaining the horrific conditions we face, we need to get the word out to the general public. It is very hard to explain are work to anybody that's not a pharmacist. We need to contact major news to ask them to run special show on this, ex. 20/20 dateline talk shows. Write to any and all to get are voices heard. We now know that every pharmacy organization and college is just as bad as the retail giants. Let's turn this ship around. Even the government job outlook handbook has the prediction of pharmacists needed wrong. Keep posting here, but write to major news outlets even if you do as anonymous

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