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My made up graduation speech

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I’ve always wanted to speak at a pharmacy school graduation.  Give my thoughtful insight of my many years in the trenches of a profession that is going down the shitter faster than that burrito I had on cinco-de-mayo.  If I ever received the privilege of talking to a classroom full of new graduates and their parents, it would go something like this (before the school snipers took me out).


Fellow graduates, family members, and friends.  We are gathered here today to celebrate a special person in your life and their accomplishments in recieving their Doctorate of Pharmacy degree from this wonderful instution.  Before you, in their regal cap and gowns, are your professors, who have worked day and night to mold the clay that you came in as into something that will help people.  Well ladies and gentlemen, let me tell you how this shit is going to go down once you enter the real world.

Look around you.  Go ahead, look around you.  Those smiling faces will be bitching at you as to why you are taking so long to fill their fucking prescription.  They will pester you on the phone about stupid shit like the price of condoms as your tech is texting his fucking girlfriend about the parking-lot blowjob he just received (nod to BKBJ, sorry I made your vagina sandy at work, pussy) while the backlog is out the fucking door.  See grandma over there? Shes proud of you now, but will demand you cater to every one of her fucking drug needs at this very moment, want free delivery after you have been on your feet for 10 hours, and make you special order the blue ones instead of the pink ones.  Oh, and she’ll say “I never paid last month” when she has; EVERY FUCKING MONTH.  Your uncle will be too stupid to have the Rx numbers, but will gladly call in “the pink ones, and the capsules that help him pee”.  Oh, and your parents? They will want “all my regular meds” and make you RTS all but the pain pills.

Your professors smugly sitting over there haven’t work a retail job since Lozol was trade name only.  Sure they can recite the pages from Lexi, but throw an angry patient in front of them and they cry to administration.  Maybe one day you can fill the heads of students with knowledge and not any practical retail skills.  Get working on that.

The “hard work” that you have accomplished with your royal sash of dark green is worth $1.50/Rx to the insurance companies.  Its worth even less to your employer that demand you fill 500 a day by yourself without the luxury of a lunch.  Oh, sure, they say you can take a lunch, if you want to get dinged on your metrics and be out of a job.  From here on out you go from student to the bitch of your employer, and the bitch of your patients.

You, in the back, stop your sniveling.  Yes, I know you just wasted $100k on an education, but its not MY fucking fault you haven’t stepped foot in a pharmacy until you graduated.  Moving on.

To those uppity students smugly smiling that you got a ‘residency’, prepare to be a doctors bitch.  Yeah, they will treat you like an ‘equal’ to your face, but you’ll just be their walking drug reference book and get made fun of in the lounge.  You’ll run the clinics that they don’t want to deal with and think you’re getting a good deal.  You’ll be walked all over by attendings and residents because you’re just a PharmD and they are an MD.  You’ll go to sleep at night with the feeling of “at least I’m not in retail, but I should of went to med school.”  You will live life as a “should have”.

Lets all cut the bullshit.  You didn’t go into pharmacy because you want to “help people” like those smiling idiots in APhA magazines, you did it for the fucking $100k/year salary.  Well I’m sorry to say, but a lot of professions make $100k a year, and that ship sailed without you about 3 years ago when you stepped foot on this campus.  Looking down on all of you, it reminds me of that time I visited the slaughterhouse.  All those cows walking in a single line unknowing that their life was about to get really shitty really quickly.

In closing, I would like to take a second to reflect on all the hard work you have done to further your career, and cheerfully remind you that I am at least 10 years ahead of you to retiring, if you make it to retirement age, with the MI you’ll have in 15 years.  Pray its a stroke, one that kills you quickly, at work, in front of a crowd, so your employer can get sued.  You’ll laugh and think I’m wrong now, but in about 10 years you’ll be singing my praises.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.  Thanks.


All joking aside, I really do with our new grads the best of luck as you enter into our profession (you’ll need it).  Its good to have you in the family, because misery LOVES company.

Comments #

Comment by FML 0.1% on 2011-05-14 06:17:51 -0700 #

My school made me feel stupid for going into retail. I enjoy it still after 3 years because I worked part time while in school to know exactly what I was getting into. I hated the hospital experiences I had. I loved ambulatory care but 80 hours of work a week/writing pt charts was not going to fit into my lifestyle. I make sure to tell it like it is to my interns, hoping they know it’s 95% talking to people/dealing with crap/kissing corporate’s ass in retail and 5% using the crap you learn in school.

Comment by Dr. Grumpy on 2011-05-14 08:21:46 -0700 #

I guess I could use this if I ever get asked to give a med school commencement speech.

Which I won’t. The local neurology residency stopped me from teaching years ago, after I told the residents that Neurontin was as effective for acute stroke as TPA, and had a lower incidence of bleeds.

Comment by PharmIntern on 2011-05-14 08:53:11 -0700 #

Glad to hear I’m not alone in that feeling. My school basically makes you feel stupid, or like you’re not worth your degree, if you “settle” for mere retail work. I’ve worked retail for 4 years before my graduation, which is pretty damn close, and I know what I’m getting into. But like TAP said. . . $100+k/year will feel pretty damn nice, especially with my loans on the line.

Oh, and spot on about the residency bit, TAP. The handful of people I know who opted to do a residency have confirmed that 100% with me. . . prepare to be the doctor’s bitch / walking and talking drug reference.

Comment by Rafpharm20 on 2011-05-14 10:44:18 -0700 #

So true. I have 6 years ahead of them in graduation. Good luck grads. Retail, ltc, hospital… It all sucks. They fail to mention that in school. Pharmacy is glorified, when in reality we work long hours, are blamed for everything, and are treated like a nonhuman.

Comment by Farm.D on 2011-05-14 11:16:28 -0700 #

Yes students, its all true… Enjoy paying back that 100k boulder hanging over your head while simulaneously wondering every day how much longer you have before the whole “profession” we share collapses. You will be shit upon from every direction possible. The little asshat kid who lived on your block while you were growing up who used to eat dog turds for $5 on a triple-dog-dare.. Congrats! He is now your store director. He envys your 125k salary, and will take every possible opportunity to let you know that HE IS IN CHARGE by cutting your labor with no notice or reason and giving anybody who so much as snivels about you a $25 gift card so they WILL KEEP HARASSING YOU EVERY SINGLE MONTH UNTIL YOU RETIRE. Your customers, oh shit im sorry i mean “patients”, will bring you giant plastic bags full of 10 unopened bottles of Abiliy that they will want you to throw away for them. Then they will then rant to you about how awful it is that they have to pay $3 each for all this Abilify (that cost the state $500 a pop) and now the doctor changed their dose to another strength that you will throw away for them in another 3 months. As you toss that $5,000 bag full of unused drugs into the garbage, the governor announces that due to a lack of state funds the reimbursement rate to pharmacies will be cut from AWP -20% to AWP -23% (thanks Washington state!). You see its not the hours or the achy feet or the asshole doctors that get to me… its the fucking hipocracy of it all. Dont complain or you will get written up!

Comment by Farm.D on 2011-05-14 11:32:20 -0700 #

And also you have to deal with TAP… Yeah thats right hombre, IM CALLING YOU OUT! I specifically remember you promising 2 posts per month… Lets see if I can do this math like a patient… I got a three month supply (more like 1 week supply) of TAP last on March 14th and now its May 14th so I can get my refill tomorrow right? Dammit TAP, im not gonna follow your tweets, or your queefs, or your farts so you need to post more than once every two months! How else am i supposed to regain my sanity after tossing out my monthly salary in unused drugs while simulatenously getting our reimbursement rate cut and telling Shithead patient at the in window that NO, 60 count of VICODIN ES IS NOT ON WAL-MART’s $4 list. I have an idea for you, I thought of it during my lunch break yesterday… HA HA HA thats hilarious.. We really need to call out APHA! I mean it, we really need to sell these snake oil salesmen down the river in their virgin white lab coast (of course devoid of the pink 250/5 pharmacy holy water). As much as i enjoy reading your comments Grumpy MD, at least you have an organization that will back you to some extent. APHA has the gall to look the other way when it comes to our working conditions when HALF of their consitiuents work in retail pharmacy… MTM sounds great on paper but take a closer look and we are really just pushing an unfunded mandate to get people to PAY FOR SOMETHING THAT WE ARE SUPPOSED TO OFFER FOR FREE. Seriously people, if you work in retail and you give your money to APHA i am willing to bet you also own 2 slap chops and an ab roller plus, because you are a sucker! TAP please God give “the voice of the pharmacist” (me laughing) some serious Hell!

Comment by niterph-pacingmyselfsargeant on 2011-05-14 15:03:26 -0700 #

I feel sorry as hell for anyone getting out of pharmacy school now, because I can’t think of a worst profession (always a hilarious description) to go into, but like you said, it’s their own damn fault for not checking out what hell-on-earth (I mean pharmacy) is like these days. With 25 years of this shit already under my belt, at least I can now somewhat taste and dream retirement in 10 years or so. I can’t tell you the number of fresh rphs I know, out of school for only a year or two, that are already HATING their job. I seriously don’t know how they are going to cope.

Comment by pharmgirl on 2011-05-14 19:14:23 -0700 #

About residency: yeah, it sucks ass, but it’s kind of supposed to. Anyone who goes into residency expecting it to NOT suck ass is delusional. But I do NOT I wish I had gone to med school!! If I ever find myself envying an MD, I remind myself of the grossest, smelliest people I’ve ever had to deal with… and realize that the MD actually had to TOUCH them! EW!!!

Most nights I go to sleep happy with the choices I made. I don’t live life as a “should have” and I’m sorry you do.

Comment by bcmigal on 2011-05-15 16:23:36 -0700 #

If I make it to retirement without having an MI or CVA, I will consider myself fortunate. Although I do not regret choosing pharmacy, I have done my best to discourage others from selecting the same fate. So far, the only ancillary who still wants to go to pharmacy school is the person whose parent is a pharmacist who never worked a day in retail. The others went to med school, grad school, formed a heavy metal band, or joined the Marines!
My advice to new grads: use your pharmacy degree as a springboard to something else: medicine, dentistry, research, writing, etc. Run, run from retail as fast as you can!

Comment by lovinmyjob on 2011-05-15 17:54:58 -0700 #

who cares what those in acedemia think. I love retail. If we only look at the salaries, we have retail to thank. Do we really think that the acedemics would make their 100K+ salaries if pharmacists in general made less. No one would be willing to pay the tuition. I got the same BS when I was in school. As they say, “thos who CAN’T, teach”.

Comment by Rphtothestars on 2011-05-15 19:34:39 -0700 #

You had me at: “let me tell you how this shit is going to go down once you enter the real world.” Amen brother RPh!

Comment by newname on 2011-05-16 06:39:14 -0700 #

Maybe if you pharmacists are so put off by your profession and the people you have to deal with, you should try another career. Like, say, fast food?
You say you’re sick of dealing with abusers and demanding customers? Well, maybe some of we customers are sick of being treated like junkies if we ask to have a prescription refilled a few days before we’re completely out. Maybe we’re tired of getting funny looks from so called “professionals” when we get a pain medication filled or refilled, even if it’s totally legitimate. Pain meds exist because pain exists. Not everyone who takes one (in my case it’s tramadol, which is’t even that strong), is a dope fiend. So quit painting with such broad strokes.
You’re being paid to do your job, so enough with the judgemental bullshit directed at people who have done nothing wrong. Yes, I’m sure you have to deal with crackheads who get a prescription for vicodin and try to get it refilled a week later because they supposedly lost it. But that doesn’t entitle you to have a nasty attitude towards any customer who takes that medication. I live twenty miles from town, so if I’m there on the weekened to get groceries and I know I’ve got a prescription due in 3-5 days, of course I’ll try to get it filled so that I don’t have to make an extra trip later. Is that so wrong or does it mean I’m using common sense?

Comment by countingthedays on 2011-05-16 09:24:53 -0700 #

I cant believe I have made it through 30 years of this crap, its quite an accomplishment. But so is spending 30 years in prison, somehow it seems like the same thing. I pity anybody getting out of pharmacy school now, if you are going into retail I think you are going to be disappointed overall. Especially when the salaries start to drop over time as the pharmacist shortage disappears. Its all about supply and demand and when you have more pharmacists than you need then the wages go down.

Comment by BandAidForRiteAid on 2011-05-16 19:37:08 -0700 #

My advice to new grads: After graduation do not buy an expensive, fancy new car. Do not buy an expensive new house. Do not get in credit card debt. And, if possible, live with your parents for 3 to 5 years after graduation. Get a part-time job in addition to your full-time job and SAVE SAVE SAVE your money.

This is what I did and in 5 years I had $185,000.00 cash in the bank, in addition to my 401K. This way you, like me, will be in the driver’s seat. At any time I could quit pharmacy and buy a small house cash and cut grass to make ends meet.

It’s much more enjoyable working a job you don’t really need. And it’s nice to know your not living paycheck to paycheck and dependent on your job to survive. My employer doesn’t control me and I don’t control my employer. They get what they want from me and I get what I want from them. My point is I am not controlled by them because I can survive doing something completely unrelated to pharmacy if I had to.

If you do all the “do nots” mentioned above you will be a slave to The Man. And they will jerk you every way from here to Sunday because they will have you by the short hairs, and that’s exactly where they want you.

Take advantage of your youth and energy. Bust your ass for 5 years and reap the rewards. Going to work at a job you really do not need makes it soooo much more enjoyable.

One fly in the ointment: if you have $100,000 to $200,000.00 in student loan debt you are screwed. Read and reread TAP’s graduation speech because this is not what life might be like, it’s what your life is going to be. If you are very motivated you can still make it work, but you are starting with a huge monkey on your back.

Comment by Franstuff on 2011-05-16 20:23:37 -0700 #

I have been a tech for around 20 years, in retail for my entire adult life. Yes, I am nuts… Everything you say is true. Even the family owned chain I have worked for since dirt has gone that way…at least we don’t guarantee 15 minutes…yet.

Comment by Agent Bristow on 2011-05-17 13:47:10 -0700 #

Great post. I hope the next post (you know, the one in two weeks) is a “real life” pharmacy School syllabus designed by TAP.

Comment by Obi on 2011-05-17 16:20:57 -0700 #

I just graduated last weekend and am currently cramming for the NAPLEX. Scary to think that so many people in the profession hate their jobs and their lives, when I just worked so hard to get here. I hope things aren’t really as terrible as they say.

Comment by Murray on 2011-05-17 20:48:39 -0700 #

I have worked in retail pharmacy in New Zealand, Australia, and England. In every one of these countries the job has been crap. 25 years and now I am free.

Comment by newname on 2011-05-18 08:24:22 -0700 #

I’m fairly certain that most of the whiners are people who have been in this profession for many years and are just too jaded. They seem to think that this is a problem unique to them. Well, guess what? Most of us have the same issues when it comes to growing tired of the negative aspects of our chosen professions. That doesn’t give a pharmacist the right to give you a hard time for wanting to get your prescription refilled a few days before running out.

Comment by fmaon06 on 2011-05-18 11:25:41 -0700 #

A pharmacist’s job is to protect people from themselves sometimes. Yes, they don’t know what you’re going through at that particular time, and why you may need your drugs early. The fact that you live 20 miles out from time is no excuse to pick up your meds early. You need to plan your trips to town more efficiently (this coming from someone who lives an hour from the closest town). If you speak to most pharmacists, they would most likely agree that tramadol is in fact a very addictive pain drug. Since you’re trying to get it filled earlier than you’re due, of course they’re going to look at you funny. Perhaps call the pharmacy ahead of time to know if you can go ahead and get it filled. What a novel idea… Then you won’t have to waste your time driving those 20 miles for drugs that you can’t get for another few days.

Comment by Shannon on 2011-05-19 15:44:40 -0700 #

Dr. Grumpy, I think I just fell in love with you. Can I be your pharmacist bitch? At least I would get some laughs out of the deal!

“after I told the residents that Neurontin was as effective for acute stroke as TPA, and had a lower incidence of bleeds.”

I love it!

Comment by michele on 2011-05-20 04:15:52 -0700 #

RN for 20 years here. I warn everyone I know not to get into any form of healthcare, esp. with Obamacare lurking around the corner, after which our already paltry salaries will be slashed. I ask the little nursy students if it’s not to late to change their major – they just laugh, like they think I’m joking – and I told my own daughter that if she went to nursing school I would not pay for it, as I love her too much to have her suffer like me. And now there’s this trend towards “customer service” instead of patient care – do they know how much it messes with my personal mission statement to refer to my patients as “customers”? I’m awaiting the day that administration decides that blow jobs are part of our job description. After all, it would improve customer satisfaction (at least for the men, the women don’t care so much) and really bump up those Press-Ganey scores.

Comment by rph3664 on 2011-05-20 07:36:33 -0700 #

When I graduated, I was signed on to work in mail order. If you think they made retailers look bad (and this was in 1994), just imagine what they did to me. During my last rotation, I learned very quickly not to tell anyone where I would be working, because they would suddenly stop making eye contact, wouldn’t sit with me at lunch, answered questions wrong on purpose, etc.

I lost my job 2 years later when they decided to shut our facility down and relocate. We have a reunion every 2 years, and I have yet to hear anyone say they regretted working there.

Without giving too many details that could identify me, I haven’t worked in 14 months and am not sure I want to go back to it. And part of the reason I haven’t worked is because I have that pharmacy degree; I can’t get a job doing anything else either, not even stocking shelves at Menard’s. Believe me, I’ve tried.

Comment by Marco on 2011-05-20 14:42:22 -0700 #

i’ve just worked in that hell for 6 months, just to achieve the score to do the state exam.. here in Italy is considered a well payed job, an insurance against unemployement. anyway now i’m working for a cosmetic company. No more dinosaur breath on your neck (the owner), no more idiots to serve, no more nappies to sell.

Comment by rph3664 on 2011-05-20 16:30:27 -0700 #

Believe me, we know the difference. That’s why we make the megabucks (or, in my case, used to).

Comment by rph3664 on 2011-05-20 16:31:45 -0700 #

When they embarked on this journey, it was still a promising, fulfilling career. It’s only changed in the last year or two, overall anyway.

Comment by newname on 2011-05-20 18:10:49 -0700 #

We’re talking about a couple of days, not weeks. There’s nothing wrong about that and it sure as shit doesn’t make someone a junkie. And what makes you think I don’t call my pharmacy ahead of time???
Sometimes there’s a lack of communication between pharm techs and the pharmacists.

Comment by kdog909 on 2011-05-22 14:05:11 -0700 #

I somewhat agree with you, but I also have friends that spent the better part of their 20’s after graduation busting their ass, working 80 hours a week in a sweatshop retail environment, just so they could pay off of their loans. Looking back, they are glad to have their 100K loan paid off, but are now realizing that they are in their 30’s, totally burnt out, bald and overweight, with no friends, no love life, and have spent the best decade of their lives slaving away in a corporate hellshop pharmacy.

Balance is good. Work a lot in your twenties, but don’t do it at the expense of the rest of your life. And I don’t have to say this because it’s already been said, but I’ll say it anyway, ANYONE THINKING ABOUT PHARMACY AS A PROFESSION: RUN AWAY!! RUN AS FAST AS YOU CAN!!

Comment by The Cynical Pharmacist on 2011-05-22 15:14:38 -0700 #

“All joking aside, I really do with our new grads the best of luck as you enter into our profession”

No joke, he’s telling the truth.

Comment by newname on 2011-05-22 21:49:28 -0700 #

A couple of days early is all I ever ask. Not weeks.
There shouldn’t be a problem with that, at least not anything based on common sense. And I do call ahead of time. I’m not one of these people who shows up at a pharmacy and expects something to be filled in ten minutes. I’m also not somebody who needs attitude from a pharmacist. I’ve never “lost” a prescription and asked for it to be filled several weeks early, nor am I one of these people who supposedly takes several vacations a year and wants to get his medicines well before it’s time.

Comment by JamesColesPardon on 2011-05-24 16:55:08 -0700 #

While I know half (maybe…?) is tongue-in-cheek, I truly pity those who didn’t really work or get experience before they graduated.

It’s a completely different world out there after you slide that tassel from the right to the left. I just graduated and love my job, and take the 1-4 (four? holy shit today was a good day) interactions a day when people thank me for their knowledge and appreciate the shit in my brain.

That said, this job most definitely isn’t for everyone.

Sucks for those who just mortgaged 100k on their brain thinking they were going to be clinical masterminds working community. If you liked it before and finally get a big fat raise to do what you love, more power to you. To all the rest of you…. good luck.

Comment by fmaon06 on 2011-05-24 16:57:33 -0700 #

That’s all well and good, but a couple of days every month for a few months can actually be weeks early in the long run. I’m sure you can see why they are hesitant to do this. And it’s not just for you, I’m sure it’s for everybody. There shouldn’t be any reason why you need to get anything filled early, because according to the instructions that were written on the prescription, and the amount given to you, you should still have enough at home. It just sounded like you dropped by and tried to have it filled, and then found out that you had to wait a couple of days. If you’re calling the pharmacy ahead of time, and you know it’s too soon, then don’t be surprised to get there and it’s too soon.

I didn’t call you a junkie, but you seemed to take my response very personally. If someone had an allergy or blood pressure medication and wanted it filled, it would go to the early pile too. I don’t know if you have insurance, but they often require you to wait for so many days before you’re out before you are able to refill a prescription. In that case, you can either ask the pharmacist if you can pay for the medicine with cash, or you can wait till it’s time to fill.

Comment by PharmDmommy on 2011-05-25 23:58:27 -0700 #

@ the above suggestion of offering to pay cash if you have insurance that says it is too early to fill, don’t be surprised if they turn that down. I do not allow patients to pay cash to get around early refills on those types of meds, tramadol is not scheduled in my state, but because we pharms know that was wishful thinking when drug was released and it is scheduled in some states I do consider it a technical control (soma too). It irritates me when I say it’s too soon, INS won’t pay and they think they can pay cash. INS is not paying for a reason so unless the Dr says ok (and I’ll call thanks, you all of a sudden remembering he said it was doesn’t make me warm and fuzzy inside) you will have to wait. .

Comment by PharmNerd on 2011-05-26 15:07:42 -0700 #

AMEN!! I have been telling kids (that ask me) to skip pharmacy school and go to med school instead. There is a such a surplus of pharmacists in my area that the new grads cannot find jobs, sometimes for 6-9 months. Good luck paying back those 6-figure student loans!

Comment by rph3664 on 2011-05-26 17:07:42 -0700 #

A while back, I was on and they had a section for people who work in and/or own nurseries, and there’s really not much difference between that and this. I also once had an acquaintance who managed a Steak & Shake say to me, “How do you know so much about fast food? I thought you were a pharmacist” and I replied, “I am, but I haven’t always been, and the two jobs are not as different as you might think.”

Comment by newname on 2011-05-28 10:57:59 -0700 #

It wasn’t too soon. I usually ask for a prescription to be refilled a couple of days before I’ll be out of it, not a couple of days before the date it was filled the previous month. Can you give me a good reason a pharmacist should have a problem with that?

Comment by fmaon06 on 2011-05-29 15:54:06 -0700 #

That may be your problem then. If you have an amount of medication that, due to the instructions given by the doctor should last you for X days, and you’ve taken them more often than expected, then you will run out sooner. Since you’re coming to the pharmacy before you run out (which is what every pharmacy loves, actually), then the computer may flag you as trying to fill early since it says you should still have enough medication to last you until whatever date. If that’s the case you’ll need to speak with your doctor for either a greater quantity of the medicine, have him change the instructions so that the computer information will reflect that and not flag you, or get something stronger. I hope it works out and you feel better.

Comment by newname on 2011-05-30 08:38:27 -0700 #

It’s not against the law to get even a controlled substance refilled two days before you’ll be out of it. There is no reason I can think of that a pharmacist should have a problem with someone not waiting until they are completely out of something before getting it refilled. I know you guys have to put up with people trying to dope fiend you all the time. Believe me, I can sympathize with that aspect of your job. I take medications for severe allergies, hypothryoidism, OCD, and back pain due to arthritis. My doctor actually offered me vicodin for it and I turned it down. I have no desire to walk around in a daze all day. He then suggested tramadol (I can take six a day but try to keep it to four if I can). It can be addictive too, but only if you’re some idiot who takes a fist full at a time. That’s not the kind of person I am. I am very careful about the prescriptions I take. That’s why it frustrates me so much when some pharmacists makes a comment about how I shouldn’t be out of a prescription yet or gives me a funny look for simply not wanting to wait until I’m out of my medications before I get them refilled. Is two days before I’ll be out of a prescription really that early? If even the FDA says it isn’t, they why should a pharmacist have a problem with it?

Comment by fmaon06 on 2011-05-30 17:25:47 -0700 #

No, it makes perfect logical sense to want to have your meds before you’ll need them. Pharmacies love people like you that take initiative and are conscientious of how many pills they have left and take care of their own health. It is too often that someone didn’t pay attention to refills and will come to the pharmacy expecting a handout. So, kudos to you on that respect.

The only thing I can think of is that the days supply in the prescription is off somehow. Whether that is due to you possibly taking more than calculated by the computer, and therefore it’s saying you should still have some, or if the days are just in there wrong, I don’t know. The computer usually does the calculations once the tech types in the instructions. I suppose just look at the instructions on the bottle and compare that to the amount you’re already taking per day.

Also, I don’t know if you have insurance, or if the pharmacy computer calculates this way, but here is something to read:

That’s for North Carolina state insurance, but I suppose other states could work the same way. I don’t know if this would be applicable to anyone in the state, with insurance or not, but it’s possible.

Comment by got da blue tabs on 2011-06-01 09:09:46 -0700 #

WTF- you got a lunch break?

Comment by got da blue tabs on 2011-06-01 09:17:52 -0700 #

If your are only taking 4 per day then you have an extra 2 each and every day. 2 tablets x 30 days is 60 extra per month. So you really have 15 extra days worth and you are coming in a few days early each month. They still teach us math at school. Troll crackhead…….

Comment by got da blue tabs on 2011-06-01 09:27:01 -0700 #

If it walks & talks like a crackhead…….check my math on your “early refill” that you take less than prescribed amount. You should have quite a surpluss each month. Crackhead

Comment by parttimethankgod on 2011-06-02 01:01:31 -0700 #

I started my internship in 2005 and quickly realized that retail pharmacy isn’t all that different from retail anything else. But you know, that was OK because of three things:

  1. I knew that once in a while I could actually help someone,
  2. I’d rather get paid 100K to work retail pharmacy than 20K to work retail books or food or clothing
  3. My coworkers and I made fun of the annoying patients, made friends with the nice ones, and kicked the assholes out of our store. Management backed us up.

Guess what? It’s only been six years and it’s already a world worse. A patient is drug-seeking or non-paying or just plain rude – and now we don’t tell him he’s not welcome, we give him a gift card.

Oh, but we’re adding services like health screenings and immunizations – Oh boy, a break from the monotony, maybe? WRONG! We don’t get any additional hours to do it. Actually, my tech hours have been cut – the company supposedly rewards us with 2 extra minutes of help for each shot (cause that’s all it takes to bill, prepare, educate, and vaccinate, right?), but somehow I still have to fire people.) Yeah, that’d be just more stress piled on.

This blog has it spot-on: retail pharmacists are no longer professionals – the owners treat us like fast food managers. I’m coping with my \career choice\ by going part-time and pretending I didn’t go to school for six years for this crap. New grads, beware – the only people that take you seriously are the professors who live in fantasyland and pretend MDs aren’t laughing at them.

Comment by newname on 2011-06-03 06:44:46 -0700 #

No, Einstein, I said I TRY to stick to four a day, but most of the time I can’t. Besides, if the instructions say I can take six a day, then there would be no reason for a pharmacist to think I was taking less unless I said so. As for your childish name calling, that’s the kind of bratty attitude I’m talking about when it comes to some pharmacists. Not all, but you obviously are one of them. Let me state this in terms even you can understand. The doctors instructions say I can take two at a time, three times a day. So if I go to get it refilled when, by those instructions, I should only have two days worth left, then I’m not doing anything wrong. I hope that was easy enough for you to understand. And one more thing, if I was taking less than the doctors instructions said I can, exactly how would that make me a crack head? Obviously you’re not the sharpest tool in the shed.

Comment by newname on 2011-06-03 09:02:18 -0700 #

You’re a real genius. I said that I stick to four a day when I CAN, but that isn’t very often. Besides, if I was taking less than what the doctors instructions said I could, exactly how would that make me a “crackhead”? And did you miss the part where I said I turned down vicodin and opted for tramadol instead? I seriously doubt a dope fiend would have done that. As far as me being a “troll”, all I’m doing is giving the other side of things. If you can’t handle that, you need a thicker skin and a more professional attitude. I feel sorry for anyone who gets their prescriptions at the store you work at.

Comment by newname on 2011-06-03 09:59:45 -0700 #

Is that the best you’ve got? Seriously, you come off like a twelve year old. I’m a crackhead for wanting my prescriptions refilled two days before I’ll be out of them? Out of them, Brainiac, not two days before the date I got them filled on the previous month. By the way, if you’re a pharmacist do you have the guts to call people crackheads to their faces or do you just play a tough guy on messageboards where there’s no danger of getting your ass kicked?

Comment by newname on 2011-06-04 05:55:17 -0700 #

You’re a real genius. Tell me something. If you’re a pharmacist, do you have the guts to call people crackheads to their faces, or do you just play a tough guy on the internet where there’s no chance of getting your ass kicked?

Comment by newname on 2011-06-04 06:07:56 -0700 #

Mr Angry Pharmicist, can you explain to me why some of your posters are allowed to refer to others as “crackheads” while any response to such childish behavior is deleted?

Comment by newname on 2011-06-04 07:38:15 -0700 #

Once again I have to ask why some posters are allowed to call people names while the poster being called a name isn’t allowed to respond.
Any good reason for this?

Comment by theangrypharmacist on 2011-06-04 10:09:56 -0700 #

I dont just sit around anxiously waiting for new comments so I can approve them

Comment by rph3664 on 2011-06-06 21:23:36 -0700 #

And in the meantime, I found a job. Started last week!

Comment by newname on 2011-06-09 15:08:45 -0700 #

I can understand that, but what happened was that a couple of my posts disappeared while the “still awaiting moderation” sign was on them. That caused me to assume they’d been deleted and that they poster calling me a crackhead had been allowed to post that while my responses were nixed. That’s why I have several double posts on this forum.

Comment by momof3 on 2011-06-15 14:51:56 -0700 #

Pharmacist only make 100,000 a year? I thought they made a lot more. Damn my husband makes more than that working in IT and he doesn’t have a college degree at all. Now I feel more sorry for my pharmacist.

Comment by I_hatemyjob on 2011-07-02 20:38:26 -0700 #

Me too, three years in the job I know what i was getting into when i graduated. I hated my job and still hate it but when I see my paycheck I have a mile on my face. Yes, it is for 100k/year not because I like to help people

Comment by I_hatemyjob on 2011-07-03 14:18:57 -0700 #

Good luck for the new kid of the block. It is bad and getting worse everyday. let me ask you a question, did you get your job line up already? or you were told to wait until you pass NAPLEX. This is how bad it is. The degree you earned that will not show up on your name tag when you are working at retail. The people come in to pick up medication will not address you as Dr…. So wake up new kid, it is not too late to prepare MCAT and apply for 2012 med school entrance

Comment by aree on 2011-07-06 18:07:44 -0700 #

im super far in debt. i dont know why or how, but super far. i am currently in my second year of residency. honestly, all the medical residents i work/ have worked with assume im making 100k as a resident and then will make much more as a clinical pharmacist. in reality, im going to be far in debt the rest of my life, wont be able to buy a house any time soon, and am in my mid-twenties and dont have time for any form of a personal life.

if i were a sophomore in college again and had to make the decision between pharmacy school and dental school (because i truly did have the choice), i would 100% go the dental side. those guys are living the dream, for sure… and not that im asking people to, but they have always been referred to as dr.

Comment by PharmIntern on 2011-07-09 09:24:48 -0700 #

Eh, let’s be honest; pretty much any job out there will “help people” in some way or another. People going to pharmacy school, while yes, they likely *do* want to help people, are taking the route they’re taking for $100k+ / yr. If I’m going to be helping people ( which can mean a lot of things, but usually dealing with the whiny public ), I might as well make $100k vs $35k.

Comment by Dee on 2011-07-17 18:26:40 -0700 #

Have you ever thought of changing professions?

Comment by NewPharmStudent on 2011-08-21 08:59:34 -0700 #

So, I am starting Pharmacy school tomorrow, I chose pharmacy school because i am 26, and i really dont feel like doing M.D and being in school for an additional 10 years. i took my time in undergrad to get a 3.8 just to later find out i was being used for my bright futures scholarship. I have a wife and a 16 month old son. I live in florida which recently opened a few more schools. School is extremely expensive, $25,000 a year plus need to take out $20,000 a year in gradplus loan. i have been having a lot of trouble sleeping, i feel like i am making a horrible decision but dont feel i have any options at this point, Florida is becoming extremely saturated. i have agoraphobia with panic attacks and have been on 6mg of xanax a day, i have never worked in a pharmacy or as a tech. i took a year off after undergrad and im having a real hard time getting motivated after reading all this. i truly feel like a cow entering a slaughter house. Maybe the economy will pick up? my dad promises to pay off my student loans when im done but if past reflects future just another lie. FML

Comment by Ollga on 2011-09-24 02:32:57 -0700 #

I am 21. have an interview for pharmacy school in minnesota next month.. Any suggestions???

Comment by Ollga on 2011-09-24 02:33:50 -0700 #

I am finishing up my bachelors degree but have a few quick questions. Is this worth it?? Will I be happy?

Comment by RxpRph on 2012-11-28 11:43:11 -0800 #

Been in retail for 30 years. Started with a salary in the mid-eighties in the low forties. Today it’s 120k+ I was never the smartest kid in school, but had a friendly personality, so I naturally gravitated towards retail. My customers have always loved and respected me, and I was the one they asked for in any pharmacy I worked at. They all know my name and ask for it constantly. This makes me feel good, and it’s why I don’t hate my job. I’ve worked extra all my life and the jobs the same wherever you go. Yes, there are some nasty customers, but you have to remember that they are not there because they want to take meds. If you treat treat people with respect you will get it back. If you wish bad on anyone, it will come back to you in spades. My one bit of advice is that it’s easier to say yes than no. If you don’t give people early refills, they are just going to go to the competition and get them. Not to say you should become an enabler, but help people out for Pete’s sake. Lighten the hell up. The State Board of Pharmacy is not going to take your license for helping people out. If the customer is out of their lanoxin, and it is their third time there for it, just give it to them! In retrospect, I would not go into this profession again only because of the saturation. If you are considering pharmacy, switch to primary care medicine, where there is a huge demand, and lots of respect. Peace.

Comment by SOuthern_NewGrad on 2013-09-25 13:26:27 -0700 #

I just graduated in 2013, all these stories are true, actually they are exponentially worse. My hours that were agreed at my retail employer were cut the day i was licensed. I have been with this giant 3 letter red company for years. I float now. They company expected me to be licensed to immunize right out the door, since it took 3 weeks, i was told i would be taken off the schedule till i could immunize. I work at good stores and bad stores, good help and bad help. Im 6 figures in debt with no solution but to work as hard as i can and live as cheaply as possible to be debt free. Many speak of working 80 hour weeks but that is not possible any more, there are no hours, no part time jobs, I really dont know what is going to happen to new grads. My district manager has told me he has stopped hiring interns and in parts of the state they have refused to promote interns to pharmacists. i can truelly say the shit has hit the fan people,