One of the delights as a blogger and a pharmacist is to get letters from readers who have questions. You should know that I respond to each and every email I receive. While this takes valuable time, I consider it to be a part of my professional service to my fellow-pharmacists and pharmacy students. So…if you have a question…don’t hesitate to email me.
Click HERE to email me a question.
I received the following email today:
“My name is ‘XYZ Pharmacist’ and I’ve been a pharmacist for 21 years with extensive clinical pharmacy experience. I currently work in an anticoag clinic. I’ve been contemplating doing a non traditional pharmd. What are your thoughts about doing an external pharmd at this point? I’m 44 years old.I have a secure job however if I ever move I doubt I’ll find a job without pharmd. I was also contemplating bcps instead of pharmd but not sure if it’ll carry as much weight.Your input is greatly appreciated. Thanks so much. XYZ Pharmacist”
Dear XZY Pharmacist
You ask a good question. And you will find a variety of opinions on this subject. Mine is just that…my opinion. But it is an opinion based upon numerous conversations with other professionals. You are not the first person to ask this question for sure.
My opinion is that the BCPS is a better way to go. The PharmD is purchased title. That is not meant to disparage the degree. But what will it give you that 21 years of real-life experience hasn’t taught you already? Yes, the PharmD would be a barrier in some institutions to being the head “clinical” pharmacist, but I personally wouldn’t spend the money at this stage in your career.
However, given the choice between A and B…I would personally recommend option C. There’s another way. Titles and certifications are great. I have no objection to them at all. But there are many people that are highly motivated self-learners. Give them any job…and they will figure it out and exceed your expectations.
They are the “highly motivated” variety of professional. Many of the most famous and wealthy entrepreneurs got where they are today, not because of a degree or title, but because they out-worked and out-shined everyone else around them. I’ll take ONE of these people on my team over TEN professionals who just have the “title.”
So, if you are THAT kind of person, then my advice to you is:
1) Invest in a great resume writer who will work with you to create a document that truly highlights your accomplishments and skills. With your experience, you have enough years to really showcase what you have accomplished and what you can do. I can recommend someone if you want.
2) Network. Start building your network of pharmacists by reaching out to past co-workers and through LinkedIn. Jobs usually come through a connection. And while you are at it, obtain letters of recommendation from past supervisors and co-workers and even employees who worked under you. Get their permission to include statements from their letter in your LinkedIn profile. Also, if they are LinkedIn members, ask them to give you a recommendation and endorsement on LinkedIn.
3) Building on #2 above, get your LinkedIn profile optimized. I have personally gotten more job offers through my LinkedIn profile than through any other method. If you have a LinkedIn profile, then look me up and request that we connect. I can help connect you with someone who can help make your profile better. Read my article on 5 LinkedIn Tips for pharmacists.
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