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What’s the most difficult part of graduate school, and of becoming a pharmacist?

I am currently a senior in high school. I plan to earn my bachelor’s degree in Biology. At this time, I am interested in pharmacy as a potential career. I feel it would be a good fit for me. If I were to continue on the pharmacy path, I may begin my career in R&D and then work my way to Pharmacy Administration. From your personal experience, what is the hardest part of graduate school? What’s the toughest aspect of pharmacy?

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Min’s Answer

Hardest part of pharmacy school is balancing school work and tests on top of extra curriculars. Hardest part of becoming a pharmacist is the sheer amount of knowledge you need to store before sitting for the licensing exam, although once you get them down, it's not difficult nor impossible.

Min recommends the following next steps:

If you aren't, get a job at a pharmacy as a technician right now before entering pharmacy school. A technician job will give you inside perspective of a pharmacist's day to day stressors and responsibilities, and give you time to learn materials that will make pharmacy school significantly easier to figure out.
Look through accelerated 3 year programs compared to traditional 6 year programs. Weigh the pros and cons, paying close attention to NAPLEX pass rates. School reputation plays a role in the jobs you can land, unfortunately.
Don't pigeon hole yourself in to pharmacy. The ugly reality of it is, the job market is hard right now for a pharmacist and it's only going to get harder. Other medical careers can be just as rewarding as pharmacy. Be open-minded.

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Lindzie’s Answer

Just wrapping up the end of my first semester in my third year of pharmacy school, I would have to say that the most challenging thing about this whole process is balancing my life, school, and work. Sometimes it is difficult to know which you need to prioritize as occasionally you cannot do it all. As far as actual curriculum goes, I think it depends on the person; for me it is infectious disease and its therapeutics. At the end of the day, it can be a really rewarding career but the job market has gone down for pharmacists.