What advice I would give students graduating from pharmacy school

Seems others are doing the same, so I'll put in my 2 cents. 1.  Don't assume that all of pharmacy is retail.  Yes, you will make the most bucks in retail and if you have gone the way of borrowing your way into a huge hole, then it may be your only way to make it out and then find something else.  Perhaps retail is your goal, and you love it, but personally, I found 3 years of retail to be enough pharmacy prostituting that I could do.  The bucks WERE nice, but the abuse to my body from standing 14 hours a day, lack of bathroom breaks, treatment from STORE managers who have barely any sort of education, abuse from patients, and abuse from non-caring technicians, I look back now and say RUN -- no I SCREAM RUN!  There are some great jobs out there that don't involve retail at all.

2.  If you DO choose retail know that the longer you stay IN retail, the less likely you'll ever get out.  It's like getting hooked on a drug.  You keep doing it saying you'll quit, but by the time you are ready to leave, it's almost too late, unless you are lucky and some poor sweet manager in a different realm of pharmacy sees the pain you have experienced and wants to throw you a lifeline.  I had one of those - a female pharmacist that I am forever indebted to.... thanks J!

3.  Make pharmacy a hobby somehow.  Read and read and read.  The only difference between you and the girl (since girls are taking over ;)) standing next to you is that you somehow have made yourself marketable... you are reading publications and keeping up.  You are giving a rats ass about pharmacy and all the crap going on...  You know how to find anything FAST...  you can think on your toes.  Who care what you made in Biochem.  No one cares.  But do you know the difference between using Primaxin/Fortaz vs. Tygacil in different situations?  Can you think critically?

My top advice... DO NOT GO INTO RETAIL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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