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What do I need to do to become a pharmacist?
I’m a junior in highschool right now and I want to be a pharmacist. I am an A B student as of this year and I have not yet taken the ACT or SAT. Math is my weak subject, whereas history and science is strong. Is it still possible for me? If so, what kind of education will I need and how long will it take (according to today’s laws and college degrees)? Also, if you think it’s futile for me, what should I be? I’m so confused…I really want to open my own resteraunt as well
hese days, being a pharmacist is a highly sought after career, partially due to the fact that a typical pharmacist’s starting salary (fresh out of college) is about $90,000 per year. Since pharmacy is a 6-year degree, most pharmacists enter the profession at the age of 24. It is pretty cool when you are 24-years old and you are earning 90 grand per year.
Pharmacists are not supposed to work off-the-books but many do. They get about $40.00 cash per hour if they choose this avenue of compensation. Since many pharmacists work 12-hour shifts, they are pulling down major cash.
This high starting salary attracts many would-be pharmacists. Since there are so many applicants the pharmacy schools can afford to be picky.
Up until the mid 1990′s pharmacy was a 5-year degree. You graduated with a Bachelor Of Science in Pharmacy. Nowadays, pharmacy is a 6-year degree. You graduate as a Pharm D. Pharm D’s like to be referred to as “Dr. such and such” but they are not medical doctors.
They can not prescribe drugs. They can only dispense exactly what the medical practitioner prescribes if they work in a drugstore.
However, these days pharmacists have expanded clinical horizons. They are not limited to dispensing pills. Many of them work in clinical settings such as hospitals where their expertise on drugs and drug information is sought after by doctors and other medical professionals.
Many Pharm. D’s gravitate toward teaching. Another avenue of professional endeavor for pharmacists is working for the drug companies. Working for a drug company as a Pharm. D.is a highly sought after position because of all the perks that come with working for a rich corporation.
If you are a high school student and you want to be a pharmacist here are some friendly points of advice:
Take science every year – this will be a factor regarding your entrance application. Lots of kids don’t take science in 12th grade because it is not required to graduate but if you want to be a pharmacist you need to take it anyway. Biology, earth science, chemistry, physics – take them all. If you can handle AP science all the better.
I hope you like chemistry because if you are fortunate enough to get accepted into pharmacy school, you will be taking tons of chemistry (and labs too).
You will definitely take organic chemistry, which is very hard. They give you organic chemistry early on to weed out marginal students. If you don’t like chemistry, forget being a pharmacist. Your life will be a living hell is you don’t like (or have an aptitude for) chemistry.
Take math every year – Lots of kids skip math in 12th grade because you don’t need it to graduate. BUT taking math every year shows college admission officers that the student is studious and is not afraid of difficult coursework. If you can handle AP, all the better.
Foreign Language – believe it or not, taking a foreign language enhances your chances of getting accepted into pharmacy school (or any good school for that matter). This demonstrates that the student is well rounded and capable of memorizing information. Memorization is important if you want to be a pharmacist.
The rest of this page gives you a taste the sort of information that pharmacists deal with in their profession. If you are into this stuff, pharmacy school may be an option for you:
Misc. Pharmacy Information
Pharmacology Tests for 19 Drug Families; from UMKC School of Pharmacy
Drug Co Web Pages – contact Information for most drug companies.
Drug Company Database -Intelligence, news, stock prices.
FDA Site Dissection; explanation of approval process.
>FDA NEWS Updated hourly from Yahoo.
>FDA Product Recalls, Alerts and Warnings
Hospital Directory – USA + international; more that 12,000 entries
Medical and Pharmaceutical Libraries- [ USA] excellent for research.
See Also> Medical and Pharmaceutical Libraries [International]
New Drug Approvals – updated in real time PRN
Pharmacy Choice – continuing education, jobs, drug resources, pharmaceutical marketplace, etc.
Pharmaceutical Databases and Directories – Pharma Lexicon (Preferred)
RPH world.com – many useful resources that are helpful in the practice of pharmacy.
Wholesalers – US & International