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Thursday, June 25, 2009

How to become apharmacist: the complicated career path

Last night I received my pharmacy license - hallelujah! - and I took a moment to reflect on this journey-to-a-job. You know, you should really take notes. I have some fabulous pointers here.
Step one: Completely write off all math and science in highs school because you're an artist and math and science are meant for people who know how to use a graphing calculator.
Step two: Accept art scholarships to a small private college. Acceptance of said scholarships requires the occasional wearing of a head scarf or snakeskin patterned pants on campus. Fulfill your ONE required math or science credit by taking "Finite Math" aka "Football Math". Enjoy being the only non-jock in the room and bragging that you already know the rules for dividing decimals.
Step three: Wake up one morning and realize that you are not a good enough artist to make a living. Art's my hobby, not my job. Randomly choose to change major to pre-pharmacy.
Step four: Realize you are WAY behind in your pre-pharmacy classes. Realize that the only class you've taken for two years that will count toward pre-pharmacy is basic English. Realize you have to take 8 hours of trig and calculus - which you've never taken before ever - for pre-pharmacy. Realize that you don't know how to turn your TI-83 on, and that you are getting ugly stares from students who are TOTALLY HP FANS. Cry a little. Go home and paint for therapy.
Step five: Refuse to give in! Wake up the other side of your brain! Take and pass the CLEP tests for Trigonometry and Calculus and get credit for 8 hours you never had to take (still never did real math in college, so fun)! End up tutoring physics and organic chemistry! Pretend you think DNA is cool and vectors explain everything!
Step six: Apply for 4 schools, get accepted to three prestigious schools but NOT the one school in your own neighborhood. End up choosing one in the boonies. Ugh. End up transferring back home after one semester, wasting an entire semester of credits (sounds familiar eh?).
Step seven: Do great in school while working yourself to death. Never say no to anyone! Take on leadership, several jobs, and a husband all at once.
Step eight: Spread yourself so thin that you are not truly dedicated to any one company or cause [not good in health care]. Get a job offer that seems low-stress. Take it, blowing off the offers for oodles of money for big companies.
Step nine: Graduate, pass the boards with flying colors, and get a pink slip before your job even starts. Can't go back to other companies now; they've filled their spots. End up searching for high stress jobs with an hour commute just to have something to show for 8 years of school.
Cry a little and go home and paint for therapy.

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