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Hello, 

I am a pharmacist seeking advice on becoming a PA. 

I have several friends who are PAs and according to them, they are very happy with their profession which is the main reason I want to make the transition. Pharmacy is a dead profession with no foreseeable improvement in the near future. Over saturation and 0% predicted job growth in the next decade. 

First and foremost, I would like your opinion on how difficult or competitive it would be as a practicing pharmacist to be accepted to a PA program. 

I have BS in bio, MS in Neuroscience, Pharm.D.,  4 years of experience as a pharmacist, 3 years of clinical research and published 2 papers prior to becoming a pharmacist. 

There are two programs near where I live. One requires me to retake my prereqs since it's been more than 10 years but will waive GRE due to my professional degree. The other program will accept all my prereqs no matter how old but won't waive GRE even with my professional degree or b/c it's been more than 5 years since I took GRE. To save time and effort, I'm assuming just retaking GRE would be better in this case? How much of weight do PA programs put on GRE vs. everything else I accomplished? 

Thanks for your input. 

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At the VA you can practice as a PharmD, prescribe and have your own clinic comanaging diseases with PCPs such as CHF, COPD, DM and HTN. We are always in need of PharmDs at my location. 

This might give you the fulfillment you need without more school.

Just a thought.

I do think you would have great advantage in selection with your history. And you sound motivated!

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25 minutes ago, Reality Check 2 said:

At the VA you can practice as a PharmD, prescribe and have your own clinic comanaging diseases with PCPs such as CHF, COPD, DM and HTN. We are always in need of PharmDs at my location. 

This might give you the fulfillment you need without more school.

Just a thought.

I do think you would have great advantage in selection with your history. And you sound motivated!

Yes, I thought about this as well. I did a bunch of rotations at the VA while I was a student where pharmacists were basically acting as a prescriber. Only problem is, based on what I found out, when i applied to VA positions, again due to enormous saturation that is happening in pharmacy, there would be hundreds of applicants for one position haha. Not a very practical goal to have at this point. The best thing to do if I want to continue having a job and stay in health care is probably become a PA.  

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Take the GRE. Most put very little emphasis on this, especially in an otherwise very qualified candidate. If I were a admissions committee, the interview would basically be to make sure you’re not a douche canoe. 

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1 hour ago, LT_Oneal_PAC said:

 douche canoe. 

Technical term, often utilized in the profession. Would recommend familiarity with such.

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41 minutes ago, MediMike said:

Technical term, often utilized in the profession. Would recommend familiarity with such.

You must wear an asshat to captain a douche canoe. (I'm done now....promise)

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Never heard douche canoe. Thought it was auto correct gone rogue. 
My go to is currently ass clown.

Now the OP is wondering what he started.....

Join us - it’s not a competition - you have to have a sense of the bizarre 

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Other phrases:

Legend in own mind?

Suffers from rectal-cranial inversion?

BMI greater than chronological age?

Very close to the center of the universe?

Does not suffer from a lack of self-confidence?

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6 hours ago, Reality Check 2 said:

Never heard douche canoe. Thought it was auto correct gone rogue. 
My go to is currently ass clown.

Now the OP is wondering what he started.....

Join us - it’s not a competition - you have to have a sense of the bizarre 

The nice thing is it’s expandable for different people..

If someone sucks more, they’re a douche yacht.. even more and they’re a douche rocket.. 

Maybe they only suck a little, they’re a douche raft..

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16 minutes ago, kidpresentable said:

Hands down.

I also wonder how OP would do with the PA-CAT, but I guess we’ll never know.

I've done well on  SAT, GRE, PCAT and NAPLEX. I'm sure taking GRE again will not be a problem nor any other standardized exams including PA-CAT. 

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I have a wife who is a pharmacist and she is envious of our profession. I went to a 3 year program but if I were you I would only apply to the 2 year programs. You would save one year of tuition and gain one year of income. 

 

 

Edited by SoCal_PA
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1 hour ago, SoCal_PA said:

I have a wife who is a pharmacist and she is envious of our profession. I went to a 3 year program but if I were you I would only apply to the 2 year programs. You would save one year of tuition and gain one year of income. 

 

 

Trying to go through the military route so I don't think I have to worry too much about financial issues. Although my budget will be tight going from pharmacist salary to military officer salary for 2 years haha. 

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2 hours ago, LT_Oneal_PAC said:

Sarcasm? This guy is perfect for PA. Older, experienced, smart, probably will be a good advocate for advancing the profession rather than stagnation 

Thank you for your kind words. I think with my experience as a pharmacist, good and bad, will allow me to enjoy my life as a PA. 

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1 hour ago, VictorOfHungerGames said:

Trying to go through the military route so I don't think I have to worry too much about financial issues. Although my budget will be tight going from pharmacist salary to military officer salary for 2 years haha. 

You'd be surprised how lucrative it can be. They have good residencies too.

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1 hour ago, VictorOfHungerGames said:

Thank you for your kind words. I think with my experience as a pharmacist, good and bad, will allow me to enjoy my life as a PA. 

For what it's worth- I also believe you'd be an awesome PA. Head and heart in the right place. Best of luck in your endeavors. 

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Can you imagine a PharmD being forced to take pharmacology I, II, and III in PA school? They've already demonstrated their competency. Perhaps accelerated programs for PharmD->PA should exist.

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3 hours ago, MedicinePower said:

Can you imagine a PharmD being forced to take pharmacology I, II, and III in PA school? They've already demonstrated their competency. Perhaps accelerated programs for PharmD->PA should exist.

There are dual PA/PharmD programs out there. The clinical yr counts for both. U.WA has one. There are something like 5-6 in the US. 

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3 hours ago, EMEDPA said:

There are dual PA/PharmD programs out there. The clinical yr counts for both. U.WA has one. There are something like 5-6 in the US. 

I meant for practicing PharmD applicants to PA school.

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18 hours ago, MedicinePower said:

Can you imagine a PharmD being forced to take pharmacology I, II, and III in PA school? They've already demonstrated their competency. Perhaps accelerated programs for PharmD->PA should exist.

I probably forgot all the details lol

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you can register to take the pa cat now, registration comes with a free practice exam should be a review for you.
yale and the university of n dakota offer online programs. those are two other programs you may qualify for (yale online no longer requires the gre) pa schools love academically strong and experienced candidates ! good luck you’re going to do great!


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