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help with pharmacy?

A photo of CoralVenus CoralVenus
Hi guys,

I am in grade 11 now and I am interested in going into pharmacy. So what can i do now to increase my chance of being accepted into pharm school? I actually went to a pharmacy today and asked if i could volunteer there, but they said they don't take any students. Can you really find a pharmacy to volunteer when you are in high school? where else can i go to volunteer?

Thanks a lot!:bounce:
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4 replies
A photo of mynameismattgotmlgo mynameismattgotmlgo
If you want to know your odds, they are approximately 1 in 7 of getting into any ONE pharmacy school. Maybe 1 in 3 or 1 in 4 to getting into a pharmacy school in Canada, keeping in mind that most applicants actually do have a good chance of getting accepted. That is, people with GPAs less than 3.3 will not apply at all. What will help your odds is having a high GPA, pharmacy volunteer experience, a very good letter of intent, an excellent performance at the interview (if required), and/or more education (three, four years of undergrad, grad studies).

Spending a lot of time in a pharmacy is probably not necessary. A job shadow (say, 5-10 hours long) is great, especially if you have related job/volunteer experience (e.g. any job that involves customer service to an appreciable degree, particularly if the job/volunteering requires that you do a lot of explaining to other people). Tutoring, sales, teaching, etc... are all great because, while they may not require pharmacy knowledge (which is what you will spend four years of pharmacy school learning), they do show that you have the skills needed to be a good pharmacist. For example, if you have volunteered at a kids' camp, teaching kids how to play soccer (or whatever), then you probably would also be good at teaching seniors how to use a nebulizer, if you were taught how to use it yourself (as you would in pharmacy school). Time spent in a pharmacy is looked fairly highly on simply because it shows you have a strong interest in pharmacy (you're considerably less likely to get into pharmacy school and then realize that pharmacy isn't your thing) and know the basic operations of a pharmacy and what pharmacists do on an everyday basis. You don't need to spend a lot of time in a pharmacy to know these things, and you don't need to know the ins and outs of a pharmacy (like how to use Kroll to process a prescription) because you will learn that in pharmacy school.

So, yeah, try to do a job shadow at a pharmacy. Most pharmacists would be fine with taking you on for a shift or two (or three). In Alberta, for example, a pharmacist must do 15 hours of "accredited learning" per year. Taking on a student like yourself could be counted towards some of those 15 hours. Plus, pharmacists are a generally people-liking, teaching-liking bunch of people. They'd be glad to teach anyone interested in the profession a thing or two about it. Especially try independent pharmacies (i.e NOT places like Shopper's, London Drugs, Rexall, etc...), as they are not governed by a corporate policy that may make it hard to take on job shadowers and typically aren't as busy as chain drug stores.
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A photo of CoralVenus CoralVenus
Thank you so much for your answer. =)
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A photo of tiffanyamills tiffanyamills
I am also looking into pharmacy but am going to take at least 2 years of undergad in biochemistry before applying to pharmacy school because 1) will know some stuff needed in pharmacy school before i get there, and 2) will have more to show when applying. i have heard that at U of T about 2000 people apply but only 200 get in for their pharmacy program so there is a lot of competition.
I did a job shadow with a pharmacist and it was a really good experience and it made me want to be a pharmacist even more. It was for a class and my teacher knew the pharmacist so it was easy to get it but just go to a pharmacy and ask if they are willing to have you.
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A photo of mynameismattgotmlgo mynameismattgotmlgo
Honestly, I'd suggest applying to pharmacy school as soon as possible. Having completed three or four years of undergrad before getting in isn't a big advantage.
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