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Whats with the retail hateage?

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Original is here
Before I tear this poster a new one, in his defense the last paragraph:

I know I’ll get flamed for all of this by the retail pharmacists who read this for being too idealistic and for not even being out of pharm school yet, but I’ve seen what pharmacy can be.

Ah, to be young and in school again. Anyway, on with the show.

I agree with your whole post except the one part. Your comment that profs couldn’t cut it in retail bugs me. In my opinion the profs that did the residencies and are making real clinical decisions worked a hell of a lot harder than those who got through pharmacy school and accepted the sign-on bonus from X pharmacy chain.

Because being someone bitch working for minimum wage in some hospital for a year makes you better than the retail folk? Makes you ‘harder working’? Tell the poor guy working graveyard at Rite-Aid who fills your child’s antibiotics at 2am that. Tell the BS’s in the crowd that the PharmD’s are “harder working” and see where that gets you.

I know this is a big source of contention for you, but I have no problem at all calling them “Dr.” At least at my school..aside from teaching, the profs are clinical pharmacists who do a hell of a lot more “pharmacy” as opposed to retail pharmacists who spend more time dealing with insurance issues.

Son, I’m going to have a heart to heart talk with you. You are going to piss off /a lot/ of retail pharmacists with an attitude like that, so change it right now. Regardless on how you view the world from your wool-pulled-over student eyes, you will have to deal with retail folk, and belittling them by saying that they are less than “clinical pharmacists” is going to get your ass hung out to dry.
This is beside the point that when the public thinks of “pharmacy” they think of the retail guys who give their children antibiotics and prevent medication errors.

Many of them left retail not because they couldn’t cut it, but because they were sick of the retail experience and wanted to actually use their education.

That sounds like “couldn’t cut it” to me. I thought they went through residency programs? Why (for all of their “harder work” than us retail folk) would they settle to be nothing more than pill vending machines and insurance agents? Why don’t they go and work in a hospital to put their “clinical skills” to work rather than sit there and recite the same bullshit year after year to student after student?
I think a real “clinical pharmacist” does a whole helluva lot more than just sit there and talk for an hour to a bunch of students from stuff that they could just read in a book for themselves.

I’ve shadowed and had several experiences in the hospital with these professors and pharmacy residents who do have relationships with doctors and who actually make therapeutic decisions that the doctors listen to. They go on rounds and have full clinic days in addition to teaching.

Gold star for you. I’m proud that you set this old retail pharmacists who has never ever worked in a hospital (do you ever read my site?) straight. Because we all know that us stupid retail folk NEVER EVER make any therapeutic decisions and NEVER EVER do ANYTHING that would have anything to do than what we learn in pharmacy school. We’re nothing but just stupid pill counters.
When your testicles finally drop, and you get your shiny diploma and license, think of me as you are getting screamed at by the attending because you gave someone atenolol with a CrCl of < 20 instead of something like metoprolol. Because us retail folk know nothing of that sort. Our PharmD’s and state board licenses are obtained via crackerjack boxes unlike yours which is granted upon thine holyness by the great god of pharmacy himself. However something makes me think you’ll be working retail after you get out. Having an entire school of uppity “clinical” students tends to sap out the clinical jobs quite quickly.

As if teaching is automatically the fall back option when in reality retail is the fall back option. They actually use pharmacy school knowledge…it’s not a “fart in the wind” to them. The teaching hospital that our school is a part of employs over a hundred pharmacists. It can serve as a model for what pharmacy could be. I know all this is not the norm by any means, but if pharmacists can’t even respect other pharmacists then how can we ever expect MDs to?

*sigh* I’ll let the other retail folk rip you a new one. I’m too tired to tell you how stupid you sound.
I respect all pharmacists, however its fun to sling shit at each other once in a while to stir the pot.

Maybe it’s just my school, but my professors don’t sugarcoat the retail experience at all. They tell us how much they hated their retail experience and why. They tell us that it would be great to sit down and perform MTM, but the barriers are large. On top of that, The majority of our class has or has worked retail. We are fully aware of how shitty retail is in real life.

I’m glad your professors give you unbiased information. How would they know about ‘retail experience’ if they are all ‘clinical pharmacists’? How would you know anything about pharmacy by just being a student? Why dont you go formulate your own opinions about things like I do vs having them spoon fed to you by the faculty of your school.
My post was not “how shitty retail is”, its that what pharmacy schools teach you is NOT what the real life is about. Maybe if you would actually READ the entry before you spout off your holier-than-thou “clinical pharmacist” attitude crap you would of gotten the picture. Retail isn’t crap, its what the population thinks of when they hear the word “pharmacist”. Like it or not, we are the backbone of the profession and will always be the backbone of the profession.
I’ve worked as a “clinical pharmacist” and to be honest, I’d rather stand for 9 hours and actually socialize with my patients and their families than be some doctors bitch up on the floors of the hospital. I’m a person, not a fucking interactive drug book. Retail guys are furthering the profession of pharmacy so much more than the “clinical guys” because more people interact with us, we are accessible to everyone, and we’re everywhere!
If you would of read my post, you would of gotten that one of the major points (other than the “couldnt cut it”) is that most professors have not worked retail for a while so they have no idea what its like on the “real world”. How can a professor who works only floors at a hospital have any sense as to what retail pharmacy is like vs the guy who has been doing retail for 20+ years?

As a response to Nicole…in almost all cases there isn’t time to sit down with patients. However with the integration of MTM and diabetes-ed services into certain retail chains and the new changes to Medicare D there is an opening for retail pharmacy to move towards allowing actual counseling to happen. Did you know all those techniques for talking with patients IS actually used in the clinical ambulatory settings? Soo…maybe it isn’t all BS. However, if we all as (future) pharmacists continue to keep saying that this will never happen and continue calling all of this BS, then it won’t.

Make sure you make FUTURE pharmacist quite clear, because you are spouting off shit like you have been in the trenches for years. Damn PharmD CANDIDATE (hahah! I hate that word).

Maybe the reason doctors are so mean to you on the phone is because you’re a bitch. I’ve talked with and clarified scripts with more friendly doctors and nurses than assholes.

HAHAHAH I cant wait until you get screamed at by a doctor and end up crying in the pharmacy. Maybe your preceptor will hand you a tissue between giggles. Oh wait, you’re smarter than that stupid retail guy that just ‘settled for’ his job. Or maybe when you make that suggestion to the doctor and he totally shuts you down you’ll get the idea. Getting a script clarification is easy, getting something changed when the doctor has his mind set on something is a completely different story.
Pass the boards first and get your degree before you start throwing shit around, you just look like an idiot.

I know I’ll get flamed for all of this by the retail pharmacists who read this for being too idealistic and for not even being out of pharm school yet, but I’ve seen what pharmacy can be. My retail pharmacy (that does over 400+ scripts a day) has MTM, diabetes ed, flu immunizations, and other counseling sessions that people pay for. I’ve seen first hand the impact and the role that pharmacists can play in the clinical setting. It CAN happen, but if we keep denigrating our own profession and our own colleagues it won’t.

Your retail pharmacy? Son, you have no retail pharmacy and by the way you threw shit at the retail scene up there, what are you doing settling for a retail job anways? I hate to break it to you, but most retail outlets do all that diabetes/immunizations crap too. Of course we are expected to help people manage DM, to council and answer their questions and to give injections. Its part of the job, so don’t think your shit smells any better than ours because we have been doing for years.
You have NO idea how much you are going to get flamed by the retail guys. I really think you should stop visiting this site, because you obviously take stuff obtained from THE ANGRY PHARMACIST as the gospel of pharmacy.

Comments #

Comment by greensunflowerRN on 2007-12-08 18:13:30 -0800 #

Oh this reminds me of about a year ago, when I started my preceptorship in the unit I currently work in. I thought I knew everything about PICU nursing after about 1 week.
Now that I have been on the floor for 6 months, I know that I knew absofuckinglutly nothing at all. Shit, I dont know that much right now.
As students they really lead you to believe you know something when you dont.
My professors? They will openly admit they teach because they didnt want to do administration and they couldnt do floor nursing any longer.

Comment by boxdesker on 2007-12-08 18:21:37 -0800 #

Yea Brian, leave. Just leave and never come back.
Even from someone that doesn’t know shit about being a pharmacist (me)–wait I guess we kind of are similar in a way–you really do sound like an arrogant little bitch.
“but if we keep denigrating our own profession”
That’s all your post was, just a bunch of bullshit about how retail sucks. Then why don’t you quit your retail job, jackass.
Pharmacists are there as experts of drugs no matter how they use their knowledge: to teach others, advise doctors, or advise patients.
Just stop being a bitch, Brian, it’s really not attractive.
WOW, being angry is kind of fun.

Comment by apotheKURT on 2007-12-08 19:57:58 -0800 #


  1. STOP blowing your profs.
  2. You don’t quite understand this site, do you? (or ANY of the routes of pharmacy practice, for that matter)
  3. You’re not “idealistic”, you’re “ignorant.”
  4. Your argument is filled with the logic of a drug rep, it warrants this timeless response:”[Brian], what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.”

Comment by Jason on 2007-12-08 21:24:25 -0800 #

Wow, that post is pretty sad, that a pharmacy student is going to turn on the profession he is going into, be it that he swears he isn’t going to go into retail though. Boo hoo, at my pharmacy school we are taught by a few clinical pharmacist in therapeutics, yes these teachers have done 2 year residencies in their field and yes this is all they teach. These Pharm-D’s only see the same thing everyday, so tell me why they are so much better than the retail side, b/c they get to write a prescription, well guess what this prescription gets double checked at the patients local pharmacy by a retail pharmacist who will then counsel the patient along with all the other drugs the patient is currently taking. Sorry bud, we all can’t hold the glorious position of clinical pharmacist, and I for one do not want to hold that role. I like getting to see all my patients not just a select few who have the disease that I specialized in. I will have my Pharm-D just like all the other people that I graduate with. So anyway, TAP, keep the posts coming, not all pharmacy students are like this and thank god, b/c if they were I know I wouldn’t be able to sit next to them in class.

Comment by Pharmacy Dick on 2007-12-08 22:38:52 -0800 #

First off, it’s going on 1AM here, and I’m tired, so if I start rambling, let the old fart ramble.
As a hospital pharmacists, and I guess technically a clinical pharmacist, as well as a former retail pharmacist, I have to say, Brian, you have no fucking clue what it’s like in the real world. Bubba, as Brian will hence forth be called, is living in a fairy tale land, IMHO. I graduated 12 years ago, with my BS and really no desire to ever step foot into a hospital. Every doctor I met on “Externship and Clerkship” was basically an ass, and most of the Pharm D’s that were working at the hospital were jerks with no idea how things really worked outside of their clinical specialty. Thankfully, my preceptor while I was doing my slave labor, not only was a professor, but also worked part time in retail. I have no idea how he accomplished the feat of bending space-time to allow him to do all three, but he did. As a professor, he was an arrogant pig, but as a preceptor, he actually turned out to be pretty cool, and we generally agreed that hospital wasn’t what I was looking for. I had already worked 4 years as a pharmacy technician/intern in the retail setting, and could look back at my father’s pharmacy career, and could see where I wanted to be, at least at the time. Now, looking back at what I’ve been through, and seeing how things work, I can tell you that 99% of your professors, and most of your classmates, are completely ignorant as to what happens in retail. I’d also say that the experience I’ve had the last few years in hospital are not representative of what I learned about clinical pharmacy. In the hospital I work in, we do ABX monitoring, Chemotherapy verification, and lots of other clinically significant stuff, but I have to say that most of the doctors you meet do treat you like a drug reference with 2 legs, if they recognize you at all. Even in the hospital, they will yell and curse you, have their PA do the same, and then have the floor nurse call down and ask how much longer it’s going to take you to get them what they want. The nurses on most shifts will treat you like dirt, complain about how long it takes to get medications up to them, even when you do your job perfectly, and I do mean perfectly. Forget margin of error, that was thrown out 2 years ago, it’s supposed to be on the floor before the order is wrote, at least in the nurses opinion.
Getting back to professors, my last interaction with any professors from where I graduated from, which I really don’t feel is anyones concern, was in 1995. Since then I’ve only ever dealt with one professor, a pharmacy law professor who actually taught at a different pharmacy school in the same state , and only because: a) He got suckered into coming to teach law at my university because our law professor died, and b) He said to call him anytime, if we ever had a legal question that came up while we were in practice, and he’d answer it to the best of his abilities for free. Great guy, I hope he’s still around. Other than that, I’ve not seen hide nor hair of any professors. I guess I’ve filled prescriptions for a few, and not realized it because I was working for the Borg of pharmacy at the time. I sure don’t see them working at any pharmacies, picking up any extra cash for the holidays. I’m sure the univesities that have both a pharmacy and a hospital have some professors pulling double duty, but I didn’t go to a school that had both, so I really don’t have experience as to how much clinical work they really do, how much interaction they really have with medical doctors. I can’t imagine a pharmacy professor/Pharm D getting treated any better than any other pharmacist is by doctors. It really makes me wonder about if any of these clincal pharmacy professors are really working in the field, or are they just blowing bullshit up Candidates collective asses about all of pharmacy practice, trying to sell what they think is cool.
As a side note, I had a professor, back in the day, that showed a video to his class every year. It was a video of a person driving up to this thing that looked like a big ATM box. The person put in a card, and the video showed this vast area underground that filled the persons prescription with robotics, and then popped the bottle out of a cannister. The professor would then say that was what we all got to look forward to in about 10 years. Of course, that was shown our fifth year (back then, our last year.) Really gave you a warm fuzzy feeling. He didn’t even say that we needed to go out and show the public that we can make a difference, only that we were all going to be replaced. The funniest part was, he had been showing that video for 19 years before my class, and saying the same “10 years from now” crap and that all pharmacist were going to be out of jobs. LOL, what an ass.

Comment by Chiro-head on 2007-12-09 04:13:54 -0800 #

I don’t know how this website ended up on a chiropractic website but it did.
I have to say it’s hillarious and educational to read this site at the same time.
Take it from a member of the “least trusted” health profession (chiropractic) – things can’t be too bad. At least you guys are in demand because you do the work that no one wants to do. Unless you really screw up, I can imagine there’s always a job waiting in the wings.
There are 1000’s of more problems in my profession than yours. You think your angry? We should have you as a guest at some of our closed forums.
Can I ask a question with a between-the-lines suggestion?
Since pharmacists are in demand and you have that leverage that we don’t, why don’t you guys organize and assert yourselves on the MD’s/PA’s who treat you like a walking/interactive drug reference? Take it from the MD’s most popular whipping boy (the chiropractor) – we wouldn’t mind seeing you guys actually getting some control of all or at least some of the 19 medications that our seniors come in on.
We’d be laughing our assess off if pharmacists started to collectively refuse to dispense saying enough is enough.
IMO. . .that’s exactly what is needed to stop overmedication – a practiticioner is going to have to step forward.
Alright. . .call me a troublemaker (because I am) but I do think there is an untapped social role for pharmacists here.

Comment by Noelle on 2007-12-09 05:42:58 -0800 #

People like that is why I hate half of my pharmacy class

Comment by Biggest Fan on 2007-12-09 08:50:27 -0800 #

Again, I am a physican and I love reading your posts and the comments of most of the people reading this site.
I get tickled by these kinds of posts in particular because it 100% parallels the physician-med student world with regards to idealism and not really knowing what the job will be like until you are actually doing it.
My only “defense” of the idealistic adolescents of the profession (medical or pharmacy) is that I am still somewhat envious of their idealism. I wish I was still (not really, but in some SMALL corner of my soul) sitting in class imagining how I’m going to make a difference every day with every patient. I wish the ideals I had when I did my backflips after receiving my med school acceptance letter still occupied even a small space in my mind. But, they are gone for the most part.
If we equate these idealistic-still-under-the-influence students and trainees to children, it’s kind of like a small child who still believes in Santa. You want them to hold on to it as long as possible. The only difference is that the 4 year old isn’t a self-serving, evangalistic (sp?), narcissist who must convince everyone that Santa is truly real when they don’t know any better.
Although I’m all in favor of letting the youngins believe for as long as possible, if they don’t want their little world rocked with realism…they need to stay off your site – or be willing to accept that differing opinions aren’t meant to ATTACK them personally. (However, when you do attack them personally due to inexperienced comments – I get very amused! …and, thus..would be saddenned if it stopped!)
TAP and the rest of you pharmacy people – keep up the good work…You are smarter than I’ll ever be! (sorry for the typos in this post…remember, I’m the doc still trying to figure out amoxil!)

Comment by MrIncognito on 2007-12-09 10:05:39 -0800 #

I recently realized that the main reason I don’t want to do a hospital residency is so I don’t have to work with people like this. I’m sick of the MD wanna-bes. If you want to act better than other people, you should go to medical school and become “that resident.”
I’ll put it this way for the other Doctor of Pharmacy Candidates out there: for the rest of your life, you will be the equivalent of the TA. The professor is the doctor, and you’re just there to help the doc out. Instead of grading papers, you’re checking scrips for safety. Good pharmacists and good TAs both make a huge difference, but if you wanted the spotlight you’re in the wrong profession.

Comment by mainburner on 2007-12-09 11:29:17 -0800 #

GREAT comment…the cost of the “Billy Madison” DVD is warranted solely for that scene.
Stop blowing your Profs…FUNNY

Comment by klc on 2007-12-09 14:26:31 -0800 #

This guy reminds me of at least 1 guy from my class. After all the smoke was blown up our asses about how great clinical pharmacy was and how it is what everybody should be doing, he is still trying to find a job. This guy thought he could get a “clinical pharmacy” job that is 9-5 M-F, salary over 100,000, all with no experience or resindecy. I do not kid, a year later he still does not have a full time job and cannot figure out why he can’t get the job he wants…..stupid. Another great one I had was a pharmacy student recently who acted like he was too good to do anything but make recommendations, nevermind that he couldn’t do simple caluclations to savce his ass or anything like that, but anything dispensing was pretty much beneith him. And this is in a specialty satellite…..ggggerrrrrrr….what do these students think they are doing?

Comment by Grasshopper on 2007-12-09 14:54:19 -0800 #

You know, having worked fairly extensively in both retail and hospital (and home infusion and some in long term care), I can tell you that most jobs have a tie in to dispensing. There really are very few jobs that are purely clinical. Hospital pharmacists do different things and make different decisions than retail pharmacists but they are generally along the same lines as far as protecting the patients and keeping costs down.
I’d have to agree with TAP when it comes to pharmacy schools. There are some prof’s that work on weekends, but few do. I don’t support my college because of crap like the white coat thing and also plain academic stupidity.

Comment by Nicole on 2007-12-09 15:18:29 -0800 #

Okay, since my name was mentioned in her little rants… I feel OBLIGATED to say something (ha, this might be good).

  1. I highly, highly doubt that no matter what happens with Medicare D and all the BS that comes with it, I am seriously going to follow all 15 steps they are trying to teach me, not to mention that the professor for this course has NEVER worked in a pharmacy and only has a Bachelors of Science and only got the job because he is screwing the dean. I will never have to invite them to sit down (they will never deduct 10 points for not doing so). If, in real life, I don’t tell the patient at least 3 times everything about the medicine, asking them to repeat what I have said three time, they won’t deduct points and actually will be a little happier because I didn’t waste 15 minutes of their life. With some patients, it is necessary to repeat, not to all though and that is what is retarded and BS in school (Are you sure you go to pharmacy school?)
  2. I can be a bitch, thank you for pointing it out, but like I said in my comment, normally, people at the doctor’s office do NOT want to talk to you. You want to make ti seem like pharmacists are high and mighty… go into retail and you will see that you are the ONLY person that views yourself in that sense.
  3. I’m going to bet you have also never dealt with a nurse who called in a prescription saying, “I’m not sure what he wrote here, ummmm… division sign ummmm, P-O maybe… oh, ummm maybe T-I-D or maybe P-R-M… or is that an N?” and you politely have to tell them to fax it to you because they are to moronic to even know their sig codes.
    4.Are you sure you go to pharmacy school? Just checking because if you do then these blogs should be absolutely hilarious to you! Are you sure?? might want to check… just a suggestion!

Comment by Nicole on 2007-12-09 15:56:53 -0800 #

I should add that the professor isn’t really screwing the dean but I’m pissed at him right now so yeah, ha ha!

Comment by The Ole’ Apothecary on 2007-12-09 20:31:35 -0800 #

I just read all this, andI am dizzy. Please give me some Bonine.
I wonder why Fioricet continues to be non-controlled, why Bonine is OTC and meclizine
swallow tablets are Rx-Only, and why pharmacists on this thread are going internecine. So, folks, I guess it is not only nurses that eat their young. We, too, are becoming cannibals.
So, let me be a peacemaker. Yes, I know you hate that, as blogs tend to be amusement parks for ranting. But, as the survivors of the Titanic said, we are all in the same set of boats together, and thank you, Higher Power, whoever put us together.
We are all practitioners of pharmacy. The qualifications for licensure have changed several times in the last 60 years (my first boss, first licensed in 1948, needed no degree at all), but the duties are the same in principle. I am kith and kin to every pharmacist, be (s)he an apprentice, a baccalaureate, or a Doctor of Pharmacy. We provide care,in the form of drug products and drug information, for patients. The care involves technical, financial, and hopefully, personal and friendly support for our patients. We may not get it, but ours is a mighty profession. Despite the problems we face from day to day, we do help people a great deal. The prescription blizzard hides this fact from us, and the nagging powers-that-be want to hand us these weapons that they, and we, use on ourselves and each other (OBRA, HIPAA, Part D, AMP), but we do keep patients, physicians, and nurses out of the dark.
A very wise old man from Maine who grew his Dad’s cigar stand into a 66-store drug store chain once said, “Problems are a sign of life. Dead people have no problems.” We have problems. I had some tonight. But I did make sure an infant got the right dose of I.V. immune globulin for his Kawasaki Syndrome, and smoothed over the computer problems for the nurses, and acted cheerfully.
A lot of time, we want to feel like heroes, but I heard a great thing about heroism from the film “The Flags Of Our Fathers.” Heroism is something we create. Actually, there are no heroes. The concept of heroism serves to help us cope with the sight of the huge sacrifices we see selfless people making. They do it because they just want to get the job done. We want to be dramatic, but we end up just being helpful. If we can appreciate our own simple helpfulness, we can go home at the end of the shift with the satisfaction we were looking for to begin with.
So, on that note, I say, pharmacists of all venues, unite!

Comment by SCG on 2007-12-09 20:51:15 -0800 #

I am a “clinical pharmacist” and I’m no one’s little bitch. Guess I got lucky because I have a pretty sweet job – pays well too. I agree that there are profs blowing sunshine up your ass in pharm school, but there ARE jobs out there beyond retail and hospital. Thank god, because neither one was for me.
I worked retail for years and seriously have nothing but respect for retail pharmacists because I couldn’t do it forever. I bow to those of you who can, and you DO have the biggest balls of them all.
Love your blog, but cut us non-retail PharmD folk some slack. We’re not all uppity assholes.

Comment by SCPharm on 2007-12-10 11:57:38 -0800 #

Ahhh…the days of being a young pharmacy student. I remember the sunshine blown up our butts about clinical positions and saving the world. One instructor told me how well I’d do at clinical work…that the “C students made the best retail pharmacists.” What a load of BS…
Anyway, I’ve done home infusion, retail and hospital. All 3 have their own niche in the pharmacy world, but to say one is superior to the other…well, that just isn’t so. It was great in home infusion to call a doc to let him know how his ambulatory TPN patient was getting along with our home infusion therapy and to get an order to change the dosing based on labwork we ordered and reviewed, BUT it was also great to talk to the elderly patient at the counter who just got a “new grandbaby” and needed help deciding what the heck to do with the paperwork Medicare part D was bombarding her with (and how else to best manage the cost of her medications.) On the same note, it’s a pain in the butt to see your regular “Vicodin junkie” headed your way with another “I’m going out of town for a month and need my refill early” story OR to get a 5pm referral for an infusion start that has to be prepared and started (for a dose due in 1 hr!)
The point is, I agree with the Ole Apothecary that we should stick together as a profession and not stab each other in the back. Even fellow retail pharmacists will bash one another and that is just SAD! We still don’t get a lunch break at my particular chain because where some pharmacists will stand up for their right to scarf a sandwich in peace from 2-2:30, others will call them “wussies” for doing so and proudly work their entire 12 hour shift without as much as a bathroom break.
If we as a profession are to ever get anywhere, we need to embrace the “stength in numbers” concept. I just don’t see our profession as a whole improving much if we can’t stick together for the common good!

Comment by PharmaTecha on 2007-12-10 16:14:09 -0800 #

I am a pharm Tech and I have a weird job, I know most people are going to say “what the hell” but I work in a Dr.’s office and I over look labs, do diabetes education, and monitor INR’s and do numerous theraputic interchanges daily. I do this becuase one I know what I am doing and have more of an education than just what is required to be a pharm tech, there are lots of times through out the day when I do not know something, and I can’t go running to the doc, or the doc doesnt know. Who do you think we run to? It isn’t a clinical Rph at the local hospital, its the retail guys. Becuase they know their shit inside and out. They know my docs patients as well as we do, and what they know is what makes them hard core. They fill in the continuity of care gaps that those sniveling Rph’s in the hospital can’t. HAIL TO RETAIL! They have helped me out more often than not!

Comment by one_angry_tech on 2007-12-10 21:00:57 -0800 #

That guy is full of shit.. our interns were treated like kings.. got weekends off, nice golfing trips.. too bad they didn’t realize they will get in the ass once they graduate. :/

Comment by sergmeister on 2007-12-10 23:10:55 -0800 #

my e-mail is [email protected] if you have any personal comments, questions, or advice. Or if you’re sympathetic and have deep pockets; that would be helpful 🙂

Comment by PharmStudent on 2007-12-11 07:47:55 -0800 #

Methinks there is more to the story than what “poor serg” wants to type or let us read…
(snip from hcop’s handbook)
Students are responsible for assuring the faculty that they satisfy the qualifica-tions for the profession of pharmacy. The faculty reserves the right to dismissfrom the college at any time a student who, in its judgment, is academicallyunqualified or is mentally or morally unsuited for a career in pharmacy

Comment by steph on 2007-12-11 08:46:42 -0800 #

Oh…I don’t know…as an outpatient pharmacist, I’ve done a lot of clinical work. I helped a woman cure her ringworm, and pointed out that the new kitten in the home was the likely source…reminded the doc that treatments for uncomplicated uti are inappropriate for men, and got the 3-day course increased to a week(the doc thanked me profusely for the “good catch”)…picked up a drug interaction on HIV meds (they were written by an ID MD who thanked me profusely for the “good catch” and changed the regimen)…made a cute baby giggle…helped an old lady save over a thousand bucks a year on her medications by recommending alternative meds and half-tabbing…read a doctor’s mind and figured out he really meant lisinopril for hypertension, not lovastatin (he thanked my profusely for the “good catch–you know that electronic prescribing makes it so easy to pick the wrong med, but, really, thanks”)…I could go on and on, but I’d say I definitely use my degree out in the retail setting. I suppose I could take a pay cut and go into teaching and have to constantly fund raise to keep my job, and get my name in a journal somehow, and justify it by convincing my naive students that I *am* in fact highly important and wouldn’t reduce myself to practice in retail, when in fact I know it’s really the pace and demand on my intellect and character that I can’t keep up with. I might really dig having my ass kissed endlessly by 20-year-olds who act like puppies. They’re so naive, you know.

Comment by jeepfreak2002 on 2007-12-11 17:07:08 -0800 #

I blame the teaching institutions for this blatant ignorance. As a Pharm D. grad of 2000 I never thought that my education was on a higher standard than the BS. I was just pissed that I was missing out on th 80K that I should have been making that whole extra year I was on rotations.
What develops you as a professional is experience. I just turned 30. I own 2 retail pharmacies (not community pharmacies – it’s not evil to want to make money – another issue I have with the lib teaching institutions) and will open another within 4 months. I am in this position today because I worked 40+ hours a week while in school because I needed to eat! Although it blew, I learned. I learned how to talk to people and how to take care of people. You can’t learn that in school.
I challenge any pharmacist in any other setting to even try to contest my next point: I affect/touch more people’s lives on a day in and day out basis than pharmacists in any other position. I am not superior to other pharmacists, but I damn sure am not INFERIOR to any other pharmacist.
Now excuse me as I call up an insurance company and M.F. them to cover a PPI suspension for a 2 month old with reflux. The thing is, it will be paid for in the next 15 minutes – something that the pediatrician has been unable to do for a month. Retails blows at times – but I make a difference. My people (and their families) depend on me.

Comment by SassyTech on 2007-12-13 00:35:31 -0800 #

Brian, please stay with your professors where you all can dance with unicorns and bunnies in the land that is clinical pharmacy. You are an asspile idiot, and if you ever come to my retail pharmacy, I will again tell you so, and then proceed to work on some important insurance problem.
Normally I dont throw shit at fellow pharmacy students and pharmacists, but you make me want to smack you.

Comment by rph3664 on 2007-12-14 16:35:28 -0800 #

I worked for a mail order place my last year in pharmacy school, and would probably be there now had the company not decided to relocate (long story). While doing rotations, I learned very quickly not to tell anyone where I would be working because their attitude towards me did a 180 once I did. No more eye contact, insulting me, answering questions wrong on purpose… get the idea.
I simply said, “I have a job” and left it at that. Thing was, I probably got paid more, and DEFINITELY had more job satisfaction, that the majority of them.
As for the business closing, not once did I ever hear anyone say they were sorry they had worked there.

Comment by RutgersPharmGirl on 2007-12-14 20:59:59 -0800 #

I find this whole debate pretty interesting. I, for one, really hate the bickering back and forth between “retail” and “clinical” pharmacists.
I’m graduating in May. I most likely will be ending up in a residency program and eventually spend my career in a hospital…maybe teaching, maybe not.
That being said, I have nothing but respect for “retail” pharmacists. (I put that in quotes, because I really hate even making the distiction between pharmacists that work in different settings, but anyway…)
I will admit that I am just not cut out for retail. It’s not in my blood. I let the bad aspects get to me and forget to remember the very rewarding aspects. Maybe I just haven’t been lucky enough to have enough good experiences to outweigh the bad ones.
Retail is really the front line of pharmacy. It’s what the public gets to see. When someone is in the hospital, they very rarely are even aware that pharmacy exists inside those walls. They have a nurse give them their medicine, and very rarely is there even a thought as to where that medicine came from or how it made its way to the floor. (At least, I know I never put any thought to it when I had been a patient in my younger years…)
In school, we do get a glorified view of pharmacy. I guess that’s what our rotations are for: to burst the little idealistic bubble that we had been living in. I must say that mine have helped burst that bubble. I know that whichever career path I choose is not going to be easy and isn’t going to be perfect…
I know plenty of my fellow students that are planning to go the retail route. And for many of them, it’s not even about the money. I had one of my friends tell me that she was sticking with retail, because she “would miss her patients.” Another one of my friends, who is near the top of our class, has always had the goal of retail. It was never a question.
I’ll admit that, maybe a year ago, I wouldn’t have understood why these people would ever choose retail. I get it now. In retail, you have probably the biggest impact on the profession and you really have plenty of opportunities to “use your education.”
P.S. I’ve had a clinical faculty preceptor that has said “we really need good retail pharmacists; that’s what the public sees.” See, not all “clinical pharmacists” bash retail!

Comment by Heatherlynne on 2007-12-24 07:13:24 -0800 #

I’ve been reading this blog for a long time and I’m a pharmacy technician for a retail pharmacy chain. A co-worker of mine goes to Rutgers Pharmacy school and she wants to be a retail pharmacist. The huge stigma in this school is the same as what was written in this “little boy’s” letter to you. She battles it everyday with students and teachers looking down on her because she wants to be a “lowly retail pharmacist”. It’s sad to see kids like this being brainwashed as they enter schools like this. I want to see where this kid ends up when he gets his shiny degree.. probably some retail pharmacy somewhere.

Comment by Student-Pharmacist on 2007-12-28 07:57:21 -0800 #

I don’t know where this guy is going to school. Our professors get really pissed when someone refers to the community pharmacy way of life as being “non-clinical” pharmacy. I’m a 3rd-year student and my father has been in community practice for 37 years. I have seen more patient interactions that are life changing events than I care to shake a stick at. Sure, in a hospital setting things can get exciting, but when was the last time that a patient in the hospital had a life-altering interaction with their pharamcist and continues to have a personal relationship with him/her on a weekly/mmonthly basis. When was the last time that a hospital patient sent their pharmacist a yearly Xmas card. Sure, we can make a difference in peoples lives no matter where we choose to practice, but DON’T YOU DARE belittle me because I CHOOSE to practice in the community setting.

Comment by pharm2034 on 2008-05-09 08:04:33 -0700 #

I’m a hospital pharmacist who did a residency and I don’t think hospital or retail pharmacists are ‘better’ than the other. I have worked in both retail and hospital settings- in rotations and as jobs. Both are valuable. It’s not a contest nor is it about who can ‘cut it’ where. Don’t forget those are not the only places pharmacists work. There is also industry, policy, admin, homecare, investigational, etc.