PA vs. Pharmacy

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Comments (16)

Jumpy in Staten Island, New York

71 months ago

is being a PA better then becoming a pharmacist....hmm, i can't decide which would be best. the salary of a pharmacist is soo much a difference but does the work they actually perform differ by alot? is pharmacy more work then a PA? which is worth it?

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Samira in Oceanside, California

60 months ago

PA-C in Los Angeles, California said: Go to Pharmacy school. Your bedside manner is probably not that appealing and would interfere with patient care.

Hi, I am interested in becoming a PA....what is the difference between a bachelors or masters....some programs offer a bachelors and some offer a masters.....when I asked, they told me it doesnt matter, as long as I take the exam and become certified, it wont matter if I have a bachelors or a masters....is this true?

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wade ward in LA

60 months ago

I'd like to be a Pa, because I want deal with patients, not pills. Taking care of others and hear thank you from them is great joy. But it depends on yourself.

______________________________________
By www.boxset4less.com

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DEE in Cerritos, California

59 months ago

Wade Ward, sorry to disappoint you. When taking care of patient you, should not expect to hear a "Thank You". It is your duty as a care provider to give optimal care, regardless. In Los Angeles,...well the whole United States, you will get very few "Thank You" from patients.However, when you do get that rare "Thank You" it is the most beautiful moment.

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adr22367 in Englishtown, New Jersey

53 months ago

PharmD programs are better..would you rather have that degree or just be an assistant under a doctor forever? They are both 6 year programs. University of AZ, University of RI, University of the Sciences in Philadelphia and Rutgers all have great pharmacy programs.

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pharmd2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

48 months ago

OrthoMD in Waterbury, Vermont said: PA is definately more training than PharmD didactically and clinically.

Pharm is about counting pills and couseling patients regarding their interactions

Computers will someday replace them

the fact that your name says MD amazes me cause you are just such a moron. As a future pharmacist, we do more than that. And computers will not replace us someday. If computers replace us, it is likely doctors will be replaced by machinery too. A pharmacist doesn't count pills. Techs do that. The job of a pharmacist is to counsel patients on medication, look at drug drug interactions (AKA save a doctors butt when they don't notice potentially dangerous drug interactions), verify script and product. This is basically what a retail pharmacist does. There are many branches of pharmacy. Some pharmacists work in nuclear, hospital, managed care, drug industry, etc.

There are such things as clinical pharmacists who go thru residency and they basically are the drug experts in the hospital in their field (critical care, ID, ER, etc). They take part in medical teams and give the drug recommendation to the attending.

I suggest shadowing both fields and then seeing what you like better because if you ask this on the pharmacy site, you will get a whole lot of different responses

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pharmd2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

48 months ago

I do go to USP.

Just to let you know, there are schools that have joint PharmD/PA programs. I dunno if he would be interested in this.

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Pharmd in midwest in Saint Louis, Missouri

45 months ago

Ok, this from a pharmacist that has practiced for 20 years: The image of the jolly old guy behind the counter is now gone. The need for a pharmacotherapy expert and clinical pharmacologist has been met in the new pharmacist role. I work in the hospital's drug monitoring and intervention team. Physicians now are the folks that enter in the drug information ( something that pharmacists had to pound through in the past ) and then the drug can be released only until the pharmacist approves it. If the pharmacist does not approve, he has the right to change to a rational therapy. Most major hospitals are changing to this CPOE ( computerized physician order entry ). This is following the UK's formula of MDs diagnosing and PharmDs prescribing a therapeutic program. MDs are finding out that just because you enter a drug into a computer, the computer will find interactions ..But , every drug interacts with everything, so you get a page of false positives. It takes clinical judgement to gleem the answer. What a computer can not tell you is the interaction between drug and medical conditions and final metabolisms. Drugs change how the body responds and ultimately changes how other drugs behave in the body.
Pharmacist monitor a patients lab results to determine correct drug dosing using a science called pharmacokinetics. It is a highly involved science that requires knowledge in calculus.
We also babysit PAs, and RN practitioners. Insurance actuaries are now finding out that PAs and RNs are causing lawsuits ( 18,000 in past 4 years). They are requiring MDs to pay a high fee to insure their PAs and RNs. But, they are charging less if a PharmD is on board to collaborate. Hence the upstart in collaboration of MD-PharmD in clinics.

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mm1692 in Austin, Texas

43 months ago

PA/PharmD in Waterbury, Vermont said: Practicing medicine as a pharmacist and a PA are completely different. I have done both. The PA program was far more intense academically with long days in school. THe amount of material you have to grapple with was intense. Fortunately for me I was a Pharmacist before going to PA school and I had a little advantage over other students. I don't know if I would have made it if it weren't for my background. Pay is about the same in reality...although averages are higher for pharmacy, my experience is that pharmacist work more hours compared to PA. I used to work 50-60 hours a week as a pharmacist to make as a PA working 40. I have the option as a PA to work more hours or in any specialty I wish. As a pharmacist, I essentially filled Rx for MD/DO/PA/NP's and couseled patients about the medicine/interactions. It wasn't exactly rocket science and most of what I do can be done with computers and a body that can count pills and read....although sometimes being able to analyze the data can help....clincial pharmacy is a little better, but in that case you may as well be a PA/MD/DO with the autonomy to do everything. Pharmacy definately helps me as a PA. PA is far more stimulating in my opinion and I have much more autonomy than when I worked in pharm. Just my experience
Why did you go to pharmacy to start with? What made you change your mind and go back to PA school? What are the differences you found and do you enjoy it more than being a pharmacist?

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Lincoln Brown in Florida

39 months ago

Very true Pritcbl,

The thought that pharmacist counts pill is so weird. There are various kinds of roles a pharmacist plays. It can be in the field of teaching, quality assurance, medical transcription, clinical research, sales and marketing etc. Pharmacy is related to medicines and medicines are so important in our life.

Every career has its importance, just you have to excel in that.

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Anonymous in Wenatchee, Washington

38 months ago

There are great pharmacists and poor pharmacists. There are great PAs and bad PAs. There are some (few) very sweet pharmacy positions. There are some awesome PA positions. The roles differ, but we are both mid-level practitioners. As mentioned, the pay is about the same depending on your setting. Excel in whatever you choose to do, that is when opportunities will lead you to a job with great satisfaction. The health care team needs people that are passionate about what they do and don't get hot and bothered about who's better, smarter or whatever. The people that argue about that are just destroying health care, raising costs and creating animosity amongst providers. Whatever your job is, do it well. And, by the way DEE, I hear "thank-yous" all the time from patients and providers alike. I'm sad to hear that LA is such a bitter place.

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abdulPharmD in Columbus, Ohio

34 months ago

5 Yrs after graduating as a PharmD, I am finding my role as a retail pharmacist not so exciting anymore. If you had very high grades in undergrad and you were a premed student, but somehow ended up just doing PharmD, you will feel same way as I am. Nothing wrong with the profession of pharmacy or the pay, but having to constantly get bogged down by unruly and demanding customers (pts), insurance companies, and the not-so-pleasant medical assistants and nurses at doctors' offices gets to you. I am confident that we have more knowledge and training in what we do than do NPs or PAs, but yet it is uncomfortable to not have the autonomy and the privilege of prescribing. This is bound to get worse for pharmacists in the retail setting with more PAs and NPs staffing medical offices and prescribing more inappropriate prescriptions that require the pharmacists to make even more phone calls to correct DUR related issues. I am considering the PA route, because such is the politics of the day! Small, affordable and accessible clinics staffed by PAs and CNPs is what the US Health care is calling for. As pharmacists, we have failed to convince state and federal legislators that our contribution to the health system is as valuable and worth the autonomy that nurses and PAs have!

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Leslie Lovette in Lumberton, North Carolina

33 months ago

Hi everyone! I have read some really interesting posts in this forum and thought I would just give my point of view on this subject. I am a 21 year old college graduate who planned on being a pharmacist since my freshman year of high school. I researched all the top schools, learned about the roles of a pharmacist, and made sure that most of the courses I took in undergrad were pharmacy prerequisites or related to the medical field. I had never even considered any other career choice until I started shadowing pharmacists. I did a summer internship in a hospital pharmacy and also shadowed a retail pharmacist and I thank God that I did! I realized that I was much more interested in the diagnostic side of medicine than the pharmacy side. That is why I've decided to go to PA school and will be starting August 2012. And since pharmacy schools and PA schools have similar prerequisites it wasn't too hard to switch paths. I did however have to take a night class during my sophomore year to become an EMT and had about 1000 hours of experience by the time applied.
Now don't get me wrong, I have the utmost respect for pharmacists. They are intelligent, well trained, well paid, and from experience really great people. But, once I actually spent a long amount of time in a pharmacy I realized it was just not for me. So, if you are having trouble deciding what route you want to take, whether it be PharmD vs. PA vs. NP etc...Just do your research and shadow shadow shadow! This will definitely help make your decision easier.

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pjackp in Cerritos, California

32 months ago

Leslie Lovette in Lumberton, North Carolina said: Hi everyone! I have read some really interesting posts in this forum and thought I would just give my point of view on this subject. I am a 21 year old college graduate who planned on being a pharmacist since my freshman year of high school. I researched all the top schools, learned about the roles of a pharmacist, and made sure that most of the courses I took in undergrad were pharmacy prerequisites or related to the medical field. I had never even considered any other career choice until I started shadowing pharmacists. I did a summer internship in a hospital pharmacy and also shadowed a retail pharmacist and I thank God that I did! I realized that I was much more interested in the diagnostic side of medicine than the pharmacy side. That is why I've decided to go to PA school and will be starting August 2012. And since pharmacy schools and PA schools have similar prerequisites it wasn't too hard to switch paths. I did however have to take a night class during my sophomore year to become an EMT and had about 1000 hours of experience by the time applied.
Now don't get me wrong, I have the utmost respect for pharmacists. They are intelligent, well trained, well paid, and from experience really great people. But, once I actually spent a long amount of time in a pharmacy I realized it was just not for me. So, if you are having trouble deciding what route you want to take, whether it be PharmD vs. PA vs. NP etc...Just do your research and shadow shadow shadow! This will definitely help make your decision easier.

Hi... Im not in school yet but do share the same predicament of choosing a career path between these two. And was just wondering how you acquired the priviledge of shadowing a pharmacist? Since im not affiliated with any type of college yet, its kind of hard to get resources to find out how... Thanks in advance

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maca04 in Hialeah, Florida

31 months ago

in regards to the comment above me, i am a bit confused right now also... I am currently in pharmacy school and i am doing my rotation in a retail store, this is my second semester of classes, and while i do enjoy my classes, i am somewhat confused about the profssion.... i also have a hip/back issue and it hurts to be standing for loong long hours a day in the same spot... i am highly considering the pa program! does anyone know how the work environment is??? does it require standing for hours as well??? i also think i am more interested in the diagnostic side of things, and not the medication ones! idk, can someone describe the pa profession to me???? i am looking to shadow somewhere, i just dont know what to do???

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MEDNA in Adrian, Michigan

31 months ago

Ofcourse they all pay within a range but typically on average the Doctor of Pharmacy will make more. But really based on the type of job you want. If you don't shadow or research carefully you could be in for a big dissapointment and future. Pharmacology ismaybe perceived as a bit dry and routine but so many avenues, plus the biggest you are a doctor, prescribing or not is not a big deal. You will never be working for a doctor. PA's will and always will. Not that there aren't some docs that are somewhat respectful. But an NP or nurse or hospital staff or patient will always listen to a doctor over you. And imagine yourself 15-20 years at 40-45 now working for an arrogant 33 year old md. Or having to deal with newbie interns who know less at the time then Nurses, NPS or PAs. When it comes to Prescriptions , none no as much as the PharmD including the the Doc's, sans a view top specialists with just their specialty's meds. But come to the Chemical structure and design,a PharmD knows more, especially if the PharmD goes another year or two at hospital fellow or resident to also become board certified specialist in that particularsetting (nuclear, oncology,endo, etc.) But if you want to treat hands on and accept you will be working under docs then PA is a decent paying rewarding career lso. Don't ever let money be the reason, many docs do , they are not happy or suck as a doctor.

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