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Is anyone here a pharmD? Are the hours flexible enough for you to get out? Everyone else: what's your career?


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Lardtazium · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 0

Hi all. Considering pursing a pharmD, as I'm interested in healthcare and patient care. Additionally, a pharmD opens a lot of career paths and that's very attractive. You can be boring in retail, or have some excitement in the clinic if you do a residency.

Anyways, my hobbies (Skiing, Climbing, Cycling, Backpacking...colorado hobbies) are important to me. Important enough that I won't take a career that chains me down too much. 

So, I'm asking if anyone here is a pharmD and if as a practicing pharmacist, whether it's clinical, retail, hospital, or non-traditional, has still allowed them to get after week long backpacks and taking a day or two off every month to go climb something big. In other words, how's the work/life balance?

Non PharmDs, please chip in. What's your career? How much free time do you have?

Nick Young · · Spokane, WA · Joined May 2015 · Points: 215

I work in an emergency room as an ER- Tech. Not a career in the sense that I dont want to be stuck at $20/hr forever, but the scheduling is similar to nursing. I have up to 2 weeks off or more if i want it, and have friends with benefited positions as RNs that work 4 on 9 off, etc. Some of the more outdoor focused providers (Docs, NPs, PAs) I work with have killer schedules, 4 on, 7 off, 4 on, 14 off. Ultimately, theres tons of options and flexibility with how you want to orient your schedule if youre willing to work for it. Hope that helps, shoot me a PM or let me know if you have more questions.

T-Tran · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2011 · Points: 40

I'm a PharmD. Would not recommend it as a career path. Market is overly saturated with pharmacists, and it is only going to get worse in the near future.
Supply and demand means you'll be expendable (if you can even find a job), and starting salaries for pharmacists are trending down as a result .PA school would be a better bet - 2 years of schooling, not as much debt, and you get to do things PharmDs wish they could do.

Jack Servedio · · Raleigh,NC · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 35

My wife is a PharmD for the VA and if she climbed, it would be a really good option for a fairly high-paying job that allows lot of time to climb - 4x 10 hour days a week, government PTO, no takehome work, etc. Plus it's an incredibly fulfilling job - she sees patients every day, has a scope of practice, and runs clinics.

However, T-Tran is definitely right - a decade ago PharmD's were in shortage and schools started pumping them out like crazy. Unless you have 2 years of residency, top of your class at a top-tier school, Rho Chi, etc, you won't get a job like that - you will likely be doing retail.

Max Rausch · · Monterey, California · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 125

Pharm had sparked my interest years ago, but decided i wanted more patient contact. I’m now a critcal care Respiratory Therapist. Relatively low stress, incredible pay, and you get to do some really cool stuff. I work 3 on 4 off every week. Only a good choice if you live on the west coast. Specifically the Bay Area. Same amount of school as an RN. Many RT’s go on to become PA’s or Perfusionists. 

Matt Himmelstein · · Orange, California · Joined Jun 2014 · Points: 125

Define "flexible enough."  If you have a regular job, then you are pretty much going to have a regular schedule.  That may mean 4x10 hours a week, 5x8, 3x12...  My wife is a nurse and does 3x12, so in theory she has 4 days off, but the 3 days are overnight shifts on Th, Fri & Sat, so she has a really tough time getting away on weekends, and she has to flip back and forth between a night and a day schedule.  I have a 'normal' career, and my schedule is a 9/80, so in theory I get every other Friday off.  So I could go on a 2 day trip every other weekend, but my climbing partners don't have the same schedule and I often put in extra hours.

Anthony Lubetski · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 25

I substitute teach, subsistence farm, make kombucha, and just generally live simply. Bought a house 30 minutes from incredible alpine climbing.  I decided to make climbing my top priority.  I definitely can't afford a ton extra, but I'm pretty stoked.  Substitute teaching is also a great option if you have a bachelor's degree but don't know exactly what you want to do career-wise.

PosiDave · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2011 · Points: 65

Have you thought about remote medicine or Crisis response?

I know PA's and Paramedics that work 1/2 the year and have a good career. 

I work on Oil rigs and other remote camps and provided you are single it's a good trade off for 6 months of freedom. Only down side is your future partner/family may require a career change pending how they/you can handle it

RB Simon · · Fayetteville, WV · Joined May 2015 · Points: 0

My wife and I are both registered nurses. We got our degrees, worked in one place long enough to get the needed experience, and now travel nurse together. Demand is high, supply is low in most specialties. We work one or two 13-week contracts a year and take the rest to climb and travel. We have no kids obviously... The job is certainly not for everyone, and I never thought I would be a nurse, but it is fun and I love the ability to take off and do what I want.

We only take contracts near climbing, or at a very minimum, in a town with a decent climbing gym. Schooling was reasonably priced so school debt was at a minimum. There are lots of different specialties in nursing and if you are interested in this route, make sure there is demand for travelers in the specialty you like. 

Good luck finding something that you like and that works for you.

Lardtazium · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 0
T-Tran wrote:

I'm a PharmD. Would not recommend it as a career path. Market is overly saturated with pharmacists, and it is only going to get worse in the near future.
Supply and demand means you'll be expendable (if you can even find a job), and starting salaries for pharmacists are trending down as a result .PA school would be a better bet - 2 years of schooling, not as much debt, and you get to do things PharmDs wish they could do.

Tran, could I ask where you live? I know the market is saturated, but in my area it seems like new graduates are able to land some retail gigs but the clinical stuff is definitely full. 

Are you clinic or retail?

Lardtazium · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 0
RB Simon wrote:

My wife and I are both registered nurses. We got our degrees, worked in one place long enough to get the needed experience, and now travel nurse together. Demand is high, supply is low in most specialties. We work one or two 13-week contracts a year and take the rest to climb and travel. We have no kids obviously... The job is certainly not for everyone, and I never thought I would be a nurse, but it is fun and I love the ability to take off and do what I want.

We only take contracts near climbing, or at a very minimum, in a town with a decent climbing gym. Schooling was reasonably priced so school debt was at a minimum. There are lots of different specialties in nursing and if you are interested in this route, make sure there is demand for travelers in the specialty you like. 

Good luck finding something that you like and that works for you.

Could you tell me more about your job?

You work basically half the year with the other half off? That sounds incredible. And I have to ask about the pay. Is it just enough? Or is it enough to live on and have a few nice things, save for retirement, etc. 

How easy is it to find new contracts? Is a traveling nurse something that every hospital will accept? 

Lardtazium · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 0
Matt Himmelstein wrote:

Define "flexible enough."  If you have a regular job, then you are pretty much going to have a regular schedule.  That may mean 4x10 hours a week, 5x8, 3x12...  My wife is a nurse and does 3x12, so in theory she has 4 days off, but the 3 days are overnight shifts on Th, Fri & Sat, so she has a really tough time getting away on weekends, and she has to flip back and forth between a night and a day schedule.  I have a 'normal' career, and my schedule is a 9/80, so in theory I get every other Friday off.  So I could go on a 2 day trip every other weekend, but my climbing partners don't have the same schedule and I often put in extra hours.

I guess I mean I can take a few weeks off every year to travel or climb, and if I'm eyeing the weather and suddenly it clears, I'll have a good chance of getting a day off to get after it. 

I suppose lots of this is employer dependent. 

Jeff Luton · · Ventucky Ca · Joined Aug 2016 · Points: 0

7 day shifts, 7 night shifts, 7 days off working as an engineer on an oilfield supply boat. But the money ain't all but so great

Steve Hulett · · Laramie, Wyoming · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 0

I'm on a railroad thermite welding gang, 16 miles from Vedauwoo. 

Mason Stone · · Boise, ID · Joined Sep 2017 · Points: 0

Become a teacher. Pass on the things you have learned in climbing via the ways you teach. You can ply your trade near any climbing area. You won't get rich but have a great life with time to climb while paying "it" forward. What is "it" you ask? The things that make for a strong climber in a community make for a great society. 

Terry Parker · · Fort Collins, CO · Joined May 2006 · Points: 0

Don't start your own company...your employees get vacations and time off...you don't. And you are not your own Boss. You have more Bosses, including the new 21 year year old graduate at the bank (always get the new guys, not a big company) that you have to explain your business and hope he continues your line of credit. And the 150 emails per day. OK, make good coin and have great gear, but little time to use. You can recognize me, my gear is always so shiny and new it blinds everyone else. It was choice, not unhappy with it, but definitely not a climbing choice. But sometimes very envious.

Edit - went down this path so that I could have job security...and that has paid off. 

ViperScale . · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 235

Software Eng... I generally work from wherever I can get an internet connection. Normally show up around 10-11am for online meetings and go home / stop working around at 3pm but normally keep watching chat encase someone needs something for the next 2 hours but can do that from a phone. Have to do extra random hours of work for publishing software or fixing random bugs if things go wrong off hours... get paid pretty well for doing it.

James Witowsky · · Bend, OR · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 0

Lardtazium, A career option for Pharm Ds with quite a bit of flexibility is getting into biotech/pharma as a Medical Science Liaison.  The money is great, you work from home and travel quite a bit. It is not devoid of BS but you can plan free time and have the $ to enjoy it.  I was a MSL as a PhD and retired after 7 years.  You can PM me if you want more details.

James

r m · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2015 · Points: 0

IT dude here. Infrastructure focused. Similar story to ViperScale except my job is nominally at the office, though I can work remotely when I feel like it.

Can be a good deal if you enjoy it and are good at it; but expect it to consume more than 9-5 of your life if you want to stand out.

Downside is relatively constant learning else you risk being seen as irrelevant, positive flip side is people don't pay too much attention to formal qualifications.

Can be pretty good paying if you're good

Zach Holt · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2014 · Points: 60

I am an elementary teacher and summers off are pretty fantastic. However, knowing what I know now, I would probably go RN, speech and language pathologist (in public ed), or p.e teacher. My wife is a RN with a great schedule. While I think the medical field is a solid direction, it seems that outside of nurses and techs, everybody else works too damn much. 

Luke R 84 · · Georgia · Joined Apr 2015 · Points: 353

I just graduated Pharmacy School, and am 0 for 7 on jobs as a hospital pharmacist. I currently work at a grocery pharmacy and hated the first several weeks, but it is getting better. I work mostly 12 hour shifts so I have a lot of days off, but have been injured this summer, plus studying for boards and trying/failing at the job hunt. I love the profession overall, but hate many aspects of it too. 

Anyways, it's nice to have the potential for income (aka dealing with a lot of loans is about to crimp my style) and having the days off is nice for climbing or training, but it's been tough doing those too- life fills up pretty quick. If you were to go for it, it'd behoove you to live near a larger climbing scene, so you could find partners with similar schedules. 

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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