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What steps would you recommend I take to prepare to enter the pharmacy field ?

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David’s Answer

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Pharmacists in training have two different paths they may follow to complete educational requirements. The first option involves completing undergraduate coursework before moving into a graduate program, while the second is a combined option that incorporates all coursework into one program. Both are reviewed in this section.
UNDERGRADUATE + GRADUATE
Pre-pharmacy courses are offered as either two or four-year degrees, so students should already have an idea of which graduate program they will pursue before committing to an undergraduate program. Four-year degrees incorporate more general education and liberal arts classes, while two-year programs are focused on courses relevant to the field. To meet prerequisites for advanced study, students must take courses in general and organic chemistry; human anatomy and physiology; molecular and cellular biology; microbiology; statistics; calculus; and English. Some programs may require multiple semesters of these topics. Once completed, students apply for a four-year pharmacy doctoral program.
GRADUATE
Combined degrees are offered in various forms and allow the student to complete all required coursework in a shorter time frame. Six and seven-year programs are most common, and award both a bachelor’s and doctor of pharmacy degree upon graduation. These programs are well-suited to students with a resolute understanding of future career goals and those who want to finish their studies earlier. Both educational paths discussed in this section require students to pass the Pharmacy College Admissions Test before being admitted to a graduate program.

icensing requirements for pharmacists are mandated at the state level, meaning graduates should check with their local board to learn about specific requirements. While some states may have requirements others don’t, the majority include these components:
Graduate from a doctoral program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education.
Pass three parts of the licensing examination series for pharmacists, including the North American Pharmacist Licensing Exam, the Multi-State Pharmacy Jurisprudence Exam, and the Written and Practical exam.
The NAPLEX is comprised of 185 questions and is designed to test a candidate’s knowledge of pharmacotherapy and therapeutic outcomes, preparing and distributing medication, and optimizing the health of their patients. Like other computerized exams, the NAPLEX is adaptive, meaning the test selects questions based on how the student is fairing on the exam. The fee to take this exam is $505, so students should feel well-prepared before scheduling a testing date. If you fail the NAPLEX, or one of the other required examinations, you may be able to apply to retake it. This usually entails an additional exam fee and written approval by a state or national pharmacy body. However, some states have a limit on the number of times you can retake a test.
The Multi-State Pharmacy Jurisprudence Exam is focused on a student’s knowledge of federal and state laws surrounding pharmaceutical practice. Participating states use this exam to ensure all pharmacists understand the legal ramifications of prescribing and distributing drugs. This exam costs $250.
The written and practical examination component is typically specific to the state. More information may be available from a local board of pharmacy.
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David’s Answer

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Preparing to enter the field, in my opinion, begins with knowing what the job is like to do and knowing yourself. All the tedious details of entering the program etc is good but i believe you need to see it and be around it. In practicing over 20 years i can tell you this: unless you can deal and handle customer service as a person...dealing with the differences in practice sites ( hospital vs retail, vs industry or home infusion) you wont enjoy your practice until you get to understand some of those places. So if you have never worked retail and SEE how a pharmacist must work if they have only 1 tech...working in a hospital with a team dealing with asap orders...etc. seeing these things will give you the day in and out situations you must face. If after seeing these things you know its something you can do and handle...THEN proceed with the steps to learn the field. I personally feel that many see the profession from the outside and know very little beforehand. I think this is the most crucial step to preparing for entry. I hope this helps. I wish you success in any endeavor you pursue
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