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I’m thinking about moving from microbiology into a PharmD degree, which seems much more likely to attract employers at the end of the process. Does this make sense? What kinds of jobs are available.  

 

Jackson
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January 3, 2019 3:48 pm  

I’m thinking about moving from microbiology into a PharmD degree, which seems much more likely to attract employers at the end of the process. Does this make sense? What kinds of jobs are available.

This topic was modified 6 months ago by Bio Careers

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Dave Jensen
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January 3, 2019 3:49 pm  

The classic career for an individual with a doctorate of pharmacy (PharmD) degree is to work as a pharmacist in any of a number of different settings, including retail pharmacy, hospital administration, clinical research, public health, and others. A PharmD degree is usually a four-year program, with good job prospects and salaries upon graduation. In the pharmaceutical/biotechnology industry, PharmDs often help to design, monitor, and coordinate clinical trials, and they interact directly with scientists and physicians at companies, universities, and hospitals.

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Lisa
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January 3, 2019 3:50 pm  

The PharmD is often perceived as more valuable than a Master's degree for nonlaboratory positions (for example, medical writing, regulatory affairs, project management, competitive intelligence, medical information). In many hospitals, physicians diagnose patients and determine whether there is a need for drug therapy, and pharmacists determine the specific agent to be prescribed based on the patient's disease state, genetic profile, other medications being used, and other factors. Monitoring drug therapy is another major responsibility of pharmacists. Much of the dispensing role is now delegated to pharmacy technicians, freeing up the pharmacist to become more involved in therapeutic decision-making. Some states have already passed laws that allow a pharmacist to intervene and override prescriptions by a physician. With increasing focus on factors such as drug-metabolizing enzymes, signal transduction proteins, DNA promoter regions, and so on, the future of the profession will be drastically different than the past. This is already apparent from the gradual elimination of the BS degree from pharmacy programs, resulting in only PharmD graduates in the future.

A PharmD degree is worth considering for anyone with an interest in biology, chemistry, or a related field; in communicating information to others; and in employment that requires analytical and critical thinking skills to solve problems that affect the health and well-being of individuals.


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DX
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January 4, 2019 9:10 am  

Hi Jackson,

It would be for you know what your motivators are for going after a pharmacist training.  Clearly from the responses above and from my experience you will have more access to a broader range of career paths contrast a microbiology degree.  Yes there are paths with a microbiology background that I assume you've researched but it will come down to what you want.

Pharmacist are well in demand and there are many careers one can do beyond being "a pharmacist", some are listed above, others include roles in Insurance Companies, Hosptial Group Purchase Organizations, Formulary Management and so on.  There is infact a health-economic component to when it comes to patient access to medication and Pharmacist by virtute of thier training can play a key role in these areas.  Pharmacist also have access to Research for example in the area in Outcomes Research looking at burden of disease, effect of intervention and so on, and relating that to costs, so that is another area.  And in the industry where I sit, many of my cross-functional colleagues do have pharmacist backgrounds be it their sitting in commericial, clinical development, medical affairs, drug safety and so on. 

I would add, that one additional value of a PharmD degree is if you decide to take a path that is not being a direct pharmacist (say industry/corporate), in the future you if you do get tired of the corporate life or you want more life to your work-life balance, you have a parachute - you can go back to be a CVS/Walmart/hospital pharmacist.   I've know a few that have done that, be it to focus on family or to close out their career as they approach their golden years.

Best,

 

DX


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