Growing Popularity of Becoming a Pharmacist

  • What you need to Become a Pharmacist
  • Exploring Pharm. D.  programs at  the AACP website
  • USC’s TAP Program

If you have a strong penchant for biology or chemistry, and are even contemplating majoring in one of them in college, yet aren’t stirred by the Siren song of medical, dental, or veterinary school, you might want to try pharmacy school. What does a pharmacist do? The best way is to actually job shadow one as she performs her daily duties of organizing and coordinating medications with doctors and patients. Or you could just take your next prescription into a CVS, or Rite Aid and look across the counter: you’ll see what about 2/3rds of those that become licensed pharmacists do.

If you want to conduct a more formal search, then go to the AACP (American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy) by clicking on the following link: http://www.aacp.org/RESOURCES/STUDENT/PHARMACYFORYOU/Pages/default.aspx. You’ll find over a dozen articles from “Top 10 Reasons for Becoming a Pharmacist” to “Job Outlook for Pharmacists.”  By the year 2020, because of the aging population and the growing number of pharmaceuticals reaching the market, the US expects a shortfall of 157,000 pharmacists. Currently the median income is $115,000. Pharmacist’s compensation is clearly heading higher between now and 2020.

Convinced that this warrants a bit more consideration? To become a pharmacist, you must get a Pharm. D. degree—which you can without a bachelors—right out of high school, in six years. Two of those years will be spent as an undergraduate, gaining the scientific foundation, and four in a combination of graduate classes and clinical rotation. With your Pharm. D. in hand, you then need to pass the state certification exam and you’re ready to become a purveyor of pharmaceuticals.

One of the questions that might cross your mind is what it is a pharmacist must master over six years? A PDF on the AACP website entitled, “Doctor of Pharmacy Degree”  breaks down the studies into 6 areas: 1. Pharmaceutical chemistry: learning how chemicals are used in medicine and how to detect their purity and efficacy; 2. Pharmacognosy: dealing with ‘natural drugs’ found in nature-such as quinine, derived from the bark of a cinchona tree and used for treating malaria; 3. Pharmacology: how drugs act in the body, and the effects of doses; 4. Business management: many pharmacists run their own businesses; 5. Pharmacy practice: how to professionally dispense and track usage of drugs; 6. Clinical practice—which varies from school to school. Massachusetts School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, has Pharm. D. students spending well over 1500 hours on clinical rotation across a range of facilities.

If this article has stimulated a voracious desire to become one of 54,000 students in the 115 colleges and universities offering first time professional degrees in Pharm. D. then it might not be a bad idea to do your search for institutions at the AACP website, which contains a college locator:  http://www.aacp.org/RESOURCES/STUDENT/Pages/SchoolLocator.aspx. If you wish to enroll into a Pharm. D. program directly from high school, the program is alluded to as a ‘0-6’ program. Some of the schools that have such programs are University of Pacific in Stockton, California, Northeastern in Boston, and St. Johns in New York. The AACP website contains a search engine to compare the various Pharm. D. programs by length and PCAT scores. (Note, though Pearson education offers this SAT type test, a lot of pharmacy schools don’t require it.)

There are alternatives to the 0-6 program. One worth mentioning is USC’s Trojan Admission Pre-Pharmacy program (TAP), which allows entering freshmen to finish their bachelors in 2 years and then enter USC’s Pharm. D. program, one of the largest in the country. Get on the PharmCAS, which is the Common Application for pharmacy schools, and start pounding out your applications. And remember: don’t mix niacin and Lipitor, and drink plenty of water with that.                                                                             

약사가 되자

  •         약제사가 되기 위한 조건
  •        AACP웹싸이트의조사하기
  •        USC TAP 프로그램

여러분이 생물학과 화학에 강하고, 대학에서 이 분야를 전공하고 싶고, 의과, 치과, 수의학 외에 다른 전공을 원한다면, 약학이 적격이다.  약사는 무슨 일을 하는가?  가장 많이 하는 일은 처방을 내리고 적용하는 일 일것이다.  아니면, CVS나 Rite Aid의 카운터에서 처방전을 주고서 하는 일을 지켜보면 알 수 있다.

만약 더 공식적으로 살펴보고자 하면, AACP (전미 약학 대학 연맹)의

웹싸이트(http://www.aacp.org/RESOURCES/STUDENT/PHARMACYFORYOU/Pages/default.aspx)에서 찾을 수 있다.  “약사가 되어야 하는 10가지 이유,” “약사 직업 알아보기” 등 많은 기사들이 있다.  2020년까지 인구의 노령화와 제약회사의 증가로, 미국 내 157,000명의 약사가 부족할 것이다.  약사의 중간 수입은 현재 $115,000 이며, 계속 오를 예정이다.

이제 약사를 고려하고 싶은가요?  약사가 되려면, Pharm.D. 학위가 있어야 하며, 고교 졸업 후 6년이 걸린다.  그 중 2년은 학부과정으로 과학적인 기초를 다지고, 4년은 대학원과정과 병원 실습이다.  학위를 가지고 주정부 자격시험에 패스하면, 제약회사에 갈 수 있다.

약사가 되기 위한 6년 기간 동안 무엇을 해야 하는가?  AACP의 웹싸이트의 “약학박사”의 기사를 보면, 6가지의 영역으로 공부가 나뉘어져 있다.  1.  약학 화학: 케이칼이 어떻게 약학에 쓰이는 지와 순도와 효율성 2. Pharmacognosy: 말라리아 퇴치제인 치코나 나무껍질 등의 ‘자연 의약’ 다루기 3. Pharmacology: 약이 몸에서 반응하는 법과 약의 량 조절하기 4. 경영: 약국경영 배우기 5. 제약 실습: 약의 량 조절과 적용  6. 병원 실습: 학교마다 차이가 나지만, Mass. School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences 의 Pharm. D. 학생은 1500시간을 보내야 한다.

115개 대학에서 54,000명을 위한 Pharm. D. 프로그램을 처음으로 여는데, AACP의 웹싸이트에서 찾을 수 있다.  만약 여러분이 고교 졸업 후 바로 Pharm. D.  프로그램에 들어 가고자 하면, ‘0-6’프로그램이 매력적이다.  University of Pacific in Stockton, California와  Northeastern in Boston, 과  St. Johns in New York 등이다.  AACP에는 Pharm. D. 프로그램의 길이, PCAT 의 성적을 비교하고 있다(http://www.aacp.org/RESOURCES/STUDENT/Pages/SchoolLocator.aspx) (Pearson 출판사에서는 SAT 시험처럼 문제집이 있으나, 대부분의 대학에서는 요구하지 않는다.)

0-6 프로그램외에도 프로그램들이 있다.  USC의 TAP(Trojan Admission Pre-Pharmacy)프로그램이다.  이는 2년간 학부를 마치고, 전국에서 가장 큰  USC Pharm. D.  프로그램에 들어간다.  이제, Common Application에서 약학을 위한 PharmCAS를 찾아서 원서를 쓰기시작하자.  그러나, niacin과 Lipitor를 섞지말자 (너무 독하다),그리고 많은 량의 물을 마시자.