From the article: Pharmacist: Career Information
When choosing a career, it is helpful to get information about it from those who actually work in the occupation one is considering. Please share information about your career as a pharmacist so that those thinking of entering this field can make an informed decision.
- Describe what you do as a pharmacist?
- What do you like about being a pharmacist? What don't you like about it?
- With the proper training, how easy or difficult is it for someone to get an entry level job as a pharmacist?
- Are you happy you became a pharmacist? Why or why not?
Pharmacy is now nothing but Misery
- As a senior in hs back in 1980, I was told by a pharmacist to avoid the profession. I ignored him and graduated 2nd in my class. I began my career when jobs where plentiful and salaries climbed. Retail has always had it's measure of stress and frustrations, but something in the last 5 or 6 six years has changed dramatically and it's NOT been for the good. It's all economics, really. Insurance reimbursement has plummeted and the only way for chains to make money is to force us to do much more with much much less. Workloads have skyrocketed and tech help declined. With the pharmacist glut, the chains can now take gross advantage of us. As we older (!) pharmacists get fired, or drop out because we can't keep pace, YOU WILL SEE A DRAMATIC DROP IN RPH WAGES VERY VERY SOON! Pharmacists must go thru a long and difficult education and licensing process. It is no longer worth it. EVERY single retail pharmacist I know is miserable. If you are considering pharmacy school....don't.
- —Guest Rickrph141
- Almost 10 years in retail in a busy store and I can tell you, retail pharmacy is not for most people. The abuse, the lack of help, the nonexistant breaks, the backstabbing coworkers. I like (not love) my paycheck. It is not the level it should be but I am thankful I have a job. For those of you in school, think twice. Retail is stressful and for those who are in school and say retail is wonderful, you are in the minority. It stinks. Selling needles to junkies, hearing excuses for early fills, suboxone freaks, bipolar coworkers..sound familiar anyone? Like what you hear, then go for it. I am counting down to retirement.
- —Guest don't do it
Do not attempt
- I read the previous posts as looking for another career. So much rings true. I have been a pharmacist for over 10 years and the working conditions have declined dramatically. I finished pharmacy school at the top of my class, completed a residency and am a veteran. I have worked both clinical and retail positions. When I first started my career the shortage made conditions acceptable, but now the workload is becoming unbearable I have stayed late many a time on my own time to finish work. Breaks non existent, safety of staff and customers compromised. If you are smart enough to be accepted to pharmacy school, you can choose another career before starting. Don't believe me, work as a tech first that will provide some education.
About being a pharmacist.
- If you plan on retail, be prepared to be more of a salesperson than a healthcare professional. No breaks, no respect, and my employer now expects me to go door to door to businesses to recruit "flu shot opportunities". On my own time of course. And be prepared for the forced overtime at straight pay to even be able to give a flu shot clinic. Not at all what I bargained for. My boss all but told me to fill bad Rxs because if not able to be verified, we MUST give them the benefit of doubt. Even when the orthopedic "nurse" calls in with baby crying and dog barking in the background. Some get bad scripts made up with their own phone numbers printed on them. Caught one answering the verification call from my waiting area. Repeated forgeries? No problem. We are not to lose a dollar so we welcome your repeat business. Needles in parking lot? Still expected to sell them. Must give the benefit of doubt. I'm sure my company will not stand behind me if the board were to reprimand me.
- —Guest Rather not say
- Do NOT do a pharmacy degree. I did it 20 years ago. There were loads of jobs then. Now there are far too many new pharmacists. Plus the employers expect you to dispense twice as many scrips and do extra services eg. immunisation and medicine reviews. It is a thankless task. Repeat: do not do a pharmacy degree.
- —Guest tony
Nothing but negativity here!
- Well im a 2nd year pharmacy student, and although I'm not out practicing yet, I gotta say its so far been a great experience. I work at a major retail as an intern, I'm starting a job in a hospital next week as a tech, and I've been working at a research lab for the past 3 years. I'm trying to get involved in the 3 major branches of pharmacy. That's the beauty of our profession... the diversity. I hear stuff about market saturated, but the chain I work at in DC area is always hiring new pharmD's, and worst case you can float/work part-time at a retail and still make a solid living. Retail may not be a glamorous setting, but there's alot of patient interactions and I think pharmacists can really make a big difference in peoples' lives, and public health in general. What drew me into pharmacy was my interest in chemistry and the desire to get professional licensing where I could practice in healthcare. If you're interested, I say go for it! If you're business savvy, even better.
- —Guest RG
Are you serious?
- I am going to pharmacy school and I work in a pharmacy with 3 pharmacists. None of them regret their decision. Yes, dealing with ungrateful patients is rough but do you seriously think that doctors, nurses, and physical therapists don't deal with the same thing? The whole health care field is one big assembly line! If you want to avoid this, then don't go into health care at all. There still are people out there who make it worth it to be a pharmacist. I do not regret my decision.
- —Guest Guest
pharmacist job description
- A pharmacist job description can be broad and sometimes can be simple as abc's. But being a pharmacist is not going down the drain, it's one of the fields that will not fade simply because medicine is always around as long as there are illnesses.
- —Guest Carl Madisson
are there any careers similar to pharmac
- i am interested in becoming a pharmacist but after these comments i am not so sure. however, this career really interests me and i am disappointed to see the way it is going. are there other similar careers out there, besides nurse or the like? I am more interested in medicine and research-more like pharmacy....
- —Guest la
too many pharmacy schools
- Go to Nursing School!! Pharmacists are going the way of the shoe repairman...being replaced by outsourcing, automation, and technicians.
- —Guest kirok
AVOID PHARMACY DEGREE
- I finished my pharmacy degree in dec 2010 and now in may 2012 am still unemployed!! Its soooo difficult to find work!! You go to university to get an education and a job that will pay the bills, not struggle to find work and be unemployed!! Alot of my class mates are in the same position! If your smart then go into dentistry, medicine or optometry!! I regrrt doing pharmacy, its a wadte of time and money!!
- —Guest fay
- I"m a registered pharmacist in the Caribbean and wow, I didn't realize others in the profession felt the same way I did. When people come to the dispensary they are impatient and act rudely. I sometimes wonder did I ever behave like this before entering this field....
- —Guest Shane
Pharmacists ...we're better than this!
- I agree with all responses regarding how regrettable the profession is for those who have a true passion for caring. I am a Doctor of Pharmacy and I also have a masters in public health. Several things annoy me. Pharmacists are one if the most educated professionals that have been minimized to being Bill, Catherine or Tonya. Personally that is unacceptable in my professional setting. Do patients walk into a physicians practice and say "hey John". Absolutely not! It is not a slight against pharmacists who received degrees in pharmacy prior to PharmD's being the standard at all. However, even college professors and school principals and other PhD's carry their professional credentials when dealing with patients. Why do we succumb to just accepting that! The retailers have made this profession ridiculous but WHY are we not standing up for ourselves and demanding some changes. Hours, Schedules, Holidays etc. all need to be addressed. It is insane that you can rarely get a minute to eat a meal.
- —Guest Casey
DON'T DO IT!!!
- Turn around and run, DON'T WALK, the other way!!! Pharmacists get paid well - but you are selling your soul to the devil! It is one of my most regrettable decisions I have ever made in my life!! I have a PharmD an a BS in Biology and I can not find a different job to save my life! This career has made me hate people. The large retail companies are out here for a buck - they could not care less about their employees, much less their customers.
- —Guest drdj
- I have been a pharmacist for 30+ years. Each year the stress increases and so does the demand. I've been saying for some time not to go into pharmacy, once we had it made now we're just highly paid pawns in a money exchange. Take time and listen to people that tell of the opening of 26 rxy schools in 3 years no jobs due to the decreasing economy. These factors are real, please do plenty of research and stay out of pharmacy. Look at the jobs listed nationally and then think of the 200,000 pharmacists out there.
- —Guest Paul
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