Sunday, May 31, 2009

Why do you want to be a pharmacist?

As I ponder all that has happened the past week or so in my life and in the world, I reflect on those reasons why I became a pharmacist and then ask myself why you might be considering a future in the profession. At my advanced age, I know I still don't have all of the answers. But you should be prepared to answer the question, "Why do you want to be a pharmacist?"

So, let me ask you, "Why do you want to be a pharmacist?" In an earlier blog entry I wrote about some of the wrong answers that we hear time and again during the interview process, but I didn't discuss what the "right" answers are in much detail. For everyone, the answers are different. You may have a family member in pharmacy, you may have had some personal intertaction with a pharmacist, or maybe you just want to help people and think pharmacy is a good field to be in.

When I asked myself the question this week, I was able to clearly answer this: I want to be a pharmacist who can mentor the next generation of pharmacists. I have worked in community, hospital, and specialty pharmacy. I also have experience in academia. I have enjoyed them all, but what I have found is that the greatest joy I have experienced in this profession are those that I have shared with my students. Whether giving lectures, precepting students on clerkships or working side by side with them in a pharmacist-intern relationship, I have loved every minute of my career. I hope that I am able to help you with the process of applying to pharmacy school so you can someday answer the question as emphatically as I can today.

So, your homework is to ask yourself - "Why do I want to be a pharmacist?". I look forward to seeing you responses.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Where are the tech jobs?

During a conversation with a colleague of mine, he mentioned that he was helping advise a young "would be pharmacist". The individual was looking to begin a new career as a pharmacist and had decided to end his current job and begin a full time job as a pharmacy technician as the first step in his process of preparing for pharmacy school. Slight problem -no jobs available.

With a sour economy and limited jobs available in many areas of the country, pharmacy has been somewhat insulated from the cuts that many industries have faced. However, I have spoken with at least 2 retail pharmacists who said they have cut hours for their "PRN" pharmacists and are reducing or not adding to their technician pool this summer. Plus, now that pharmacy schools have begun summer vacation many of the pharmacy interns across the United States are looking to increase their summer hours as well.

So, what is an aspiring pharmacist to do? My suggestion is to wait a couple of months until school is back is session and then pursue a full time technician job. During that time, talk to people you know in the industry and fill out applications. If you are persistent, your work will pay off.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Murder Charges for Pharmacist in Shooting

Are you sure you want to go into pharmacy? I haven't had a chance to post on the blog at all today or even check my email, but I saw the story of the Oklahoma pharmacist who was arrested on murder charges for shooting (repeatedly) a would be robber of the pharmacy. Unbelievably sad. I would be interested to know what anyone thinks about this. I will get back to emails and post on the blog again tomorrow.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Admissions will no longer be posting on SDN

I just wanted to let you know that "Admissions" will no longer be posting on Student Doctor Network. We were informed twice by Anna Peck, an SDN Moderator, that posting our email address and/or link to the blog was considered "siphoning" SDN's membership. If you have followed this blog you understand how preposterous that is, but it isn't worth arguing about so we have chosen to simply move on. One month ago when we started, our intent was to provide information that had previously not been available to pharmacy school applicants. I believe we have succeeded in doing that.

I appreciate everyone who visits the blog, sends email and questions, and those who have passed the link to others interested in applying to pharmacy school. I figure we have spent about 100 total hours between SDN and writing this blog over the past 30 days - we have now made almost $5.00 in adsense ads. I hope that makes it clear that our intention is to provide advice free of charge and without any financial benefit to us. Dare I say we write the blog because we enjoy it and find it rewarding to help others. Gasp! If you see a topic on SDN that has been answered on the blog, I encourage you to post the link or send a PM to the poster informing them that we exist. The greater volume of comment and questions, the more effective this blog becomes.

Thank you and best of luck-