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How hard is it to be Pharmacist?

I am attending college in less than a month and I'm majoring in Pharmacy. Is it hard? Is there any advice for me inorder for me to succeed.
#chemistry #pharmacy #pharmacist #pharmacists #pharmaceuticals #experience

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Allison’s Answer

Hi Steven,

Pharmacy is a great field. It pays well, gives you opportunity for growth, is changing and keeping up with the new demands of modern medicine. As a Pharmacist you will be part of the healthcare triad - patient, practitioner, pharmacist. But know, getting a pharmacy degree is hard, or everybody would be doing it!!! Im in Texas and I dont know the route to pharmacy school in New York, but let me tell you what i do know.

You usually have to take pre-pharmacy course work, then apply and be accepted to the professional program. Look up the pre-requisite classes for pharmacy school at a couple of different schools. They can be different. Dont assume that just because you do pre- pharm at a particular institution, they will automatically let you in because you are already there. Pharmacy is quite competative!

You will come out with a Doctorate in Pharmacy ( Pharm D ). You will then take the licence test, NAPLEX. You will earn a licence and become a Registered Pharmacist (RPh). It is a national exam, all states take it as licensure except California and Florida. Check their requirements if you intend to practice in those states. All states will require that you take their law exam. Usually you can send your scores to all interested states when you first take the exam.

During pharmacy school you will rotate thru several fields in pharmacy. You can choose to go to work or do a residency.

As a Pharm D, RPh, you will have the opportunity to do a residency, like a medical doctor. A pharmacy residency is between 1 and 3 yrs. You can specialize in a number of topics like: cardiac, ambulatory care, diabetes, pediatics, oncology, nuclear medicine and geriatrics. You will then be able to take the specialization certification test and add those initials behind your RPh and Pharm D.

The more specialized the higher your pay rate.

By the time you finish school, pharmacists in most states will probably be considered "practitioners". Currently, a few states offer this opportunity, where you will be able to precribe and dispence medications for common ailments. We can train and give immunizations in Texas, currently.

Network, get involved in the pharmacy organizations, decide what kind of pharmacy you want to do...

This is your career it takes time to pursue. Invest in it now. It will pay off.

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Kori’s Answer

Hey Steven! As someone about to wrap up pharmacy school, I would definitely recommend you shadow some pharmacists prior to starting the programs to see if this field is a good fit for you. Unfortunately, there are many students who sign up about the big paycheck and find that they are ultimately unsatisfied with the job after graduation. The hours can be long, the patients can be mean, and the metrics your hospital/retail setting may impose on you can be overwhelming. Even pharmacy school alone is 5+ years of education, including acquiring pre-requisites prior to applying, and the workload of the courses and rotations can very challenging.

However, if the job is the right fit for you, the hard work will be worth it in the end. Some people really thrive in the fast-paced environment and love the setting as a whole, even with the challenges that Covid has put on the field as a whole. Also, there are many different areas where you can use a pharmacy degree, such as mail-order, industry, or independent pharmacies, which are all worth exploring.

Thanks for asking!
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James’s Answer

Almost impossible right now. They have flooded the profession with new graduates and your student loans will be astronomical unless you can afford to pay cash.

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Michael’s Answer

It's very hard. You will spend the next 6 years studying long hours. Your liberal arts major friends will be partying and skipping classes profusely during this time. At the end of your studies you will find a job making $100,000 per year while those friends of yours will be flipping burgers. You decide if your willing to work hard for 6 years or work hard the rest of your life??

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