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What advice would you give to someone looking to get into the field of pharmacy?

#pharmacy #pharmaceuticals #healthcare

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EJ’s Answer

There are many different career opportunities in pharmacy. You need to find out what do you like about career in pharmacy. If you have specific area of interest, then try to talk to a pharmacist who works in that field. If you don't know that much about pharmacy and just starting to get interested in a career in pharmacy, then maybe drop by a local retail pharmacy and talk to a pharmacist. Once you have general idea about retail pharmacy, then expand to other pharmacies like hospital pharmacies or mail order pharmacies. If you're ready for the next step, start looking for an opportunity to work or volunteer at a pharmacy. Many retail pharmacies or hospital pharmacies offer summer program , volunteer program, or work opportunities for high school students. Talking to a pharmacists work in different pharmacy settings also will be helpful. Pharmacy program is quite competitive so make sure you study hard while researching on career path :)
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Jackline’s Answer

Pharmacy is a rewarding profession to consider. Pharmacists are one of the most trusted and respected professions in healthcare and are easily accessible. You can take many avenues in pharmacy, so the best way to determine which route or even if pharmacy is the right career for you is by getting as much exposure to these fields as you can before and while in pharmacy school. This will help you with life and career choices when you graduate.

Most importantly, while academics are important and will take a lot of your time, it is essential to be a well-rounded student by participating in pharmacy organizations and volunteering in the community to gain the knowledge and clinical skills you will need to be a competent pharmacist upon entering the workforce.
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Anthony’s Answer

Hi,
I believe the most critical piece of advice I can give someone interested in pharmacy is to understand the profession's scope entirely. The pharmacy field is enormous, and there are many opportunities given to someone to earn a PharmD. Often, I believe students entering pharmacy school are unaware of these opportunities.
With that being said, community pharmacists who work at retail pharmacy chains or grocery stores are the most "popular" pharmacists. So often find people typically think of these positions when they think of pharmacy. Although there are many opportunities outside this profession, I believe it is crucial to understand what these pharmacists do as it is very much a "love it or hate it" position. It is not unlikely to work in this setting throughout your career or through schooling.
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Rheena’s Answer

I would say that there are a lot of areas and fields within pharmacy, so if you are interested I think it's crucial to do your research and learn about what is out there. I also would recommend getting a job as a pharmacy technician in a retail setting (ex. CVS, Walgreens, Walmart) or a hospital pharmacy if possible, that way you are able to get a better idea of the different roles pharmacists play. It's also important to have a passion to help others when wanting to go into pharmacy, so it's important to evaluate what you want in your future career and lifestyle as well.
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Michael’s Answer

I agree with Michael's answer, pharmacy is a very rewarding career choice and there are many possible roles a pharmacist can fill. Some of the areas I've seen pharmacists be quite happy in are basic research into how medications work in the body or new combination therapies work, working as a Medical Science Liaison for a pharma company, directing clinical research studies, directing clinical work in hospitals, and analyzing drug safety reports to look for trends in how medications impact patients. As Michael noted there is also a career avenue in retail pharmacy. Retail pharmacists can be a vital member of local communities both as an expert who knows what combinations of medications are safe and helping patients navigate the ever more complex healthcare and insurance systems.

Michael recommends the following next steps:

Continue to study hard. Many pharmacy programs these days only offer a PharmD as a degree which is a five or six year commitment and the workload is substantial (but rewarding.).
Ask yourself which aspects of pharmacy appeal to you most. Basic research? Working with patients? Clinical research?
Explore the idea that maybe an MD is what you really prefer or in a different direction, is a PhD in chemistry or physiology a satisfying choice for you?
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Hayden’s Answer

I would say have an actual reason to wanting to get into pharmacy. Wanting to become a pharmacist because of the salary or because “you want to work in healthcare but you’re afraid of blood” are not good reasons to get into the field. The pharmacist I have met who get into the field for reasons like that are always the unsatisfied pharmacist. There are many careers out there that will pay a high salary for way less schooling and loans than pharmacist. So I believe the number one thing before going down the path of pre-pharmacy or pharmacy is to have a reason to doing it.
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Lawrence’s Answer

In my opinion, there are a lot of avenues to consider if you want to pursue pharmacy. The first consideration would be what you like about pharmacy. The first starting avenue would be a pharmacy technician at either a chain pharmacy(CVS, Walgreens, etc.) or a hospital inpatient pharmacy. Retail pharmacists are the most accessible member of local communities, and pharmacists can help ensure patient safety and better health outcomes. It comes down to passion for the topic. As a potential candidate, you should start taking as many STEM courses. In this case, anatomy and physiology courses can help later in pharmacology.
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Paul’s Answer

My advice would be consider "Why pharmacy?" Why pharmacy and not MD, RN, OT, etc. Are you truly passionate about medication use and the challenges for patients that come with it? There is a lot of overlap among the health professions, each have their own challenges. It really comes down to, how confident are you that this is what you would like to do for a living? There is a lot of diversity in jobs for pharmacists, so also take that into consideration. Descriptions of those types of roles can be found: https://aphanet.pharmacist.com/career-option-profiles
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Michael’s Answer

Study hard in high school. Take all the STEM courses you can. Pharmacy is a great career choice. You can work at a retail pharmacy or for a large pharmaceutical company. You will have a rewarding and financially lucrative career!
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Dinah’s Answer

The most important thing is to make sure that pharmacy is what excites you and makes you want to show up to work everyday. There are so many avenues to go into with having a PharmD. The best thing to do is to shadow a pharmacist if the company allows you to do so or better yet, becoming a pharmacy technician to get some experience and feel out how you are liking the career. Volunteering at a hospital can also open up your eyes to what pharmacists do. Taking it one step at a time and doing your research is going to save you alot in the long run and save you from getting into a career that you will dislike for the rest of your life.

Another important thing is to take as many STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) courses as you can because that will help you become a well rounded applicant. Research also really helps because having some research background can help you in the long run, if you plan to do research in pharmacy school or even any research during your pharmacy career. Also having extracurricular activities is also another great part of your application, which helps the admission counsel your unique skills and personality. You don't have to do anything and everything underneath the sun, pick a few things that really shows cases who you truly are.

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