I have had the opportunity the last five years to work with about 30 pharmacy interns and countless other pre-pharm students. You know what I have discovered after these past five years? The system is seriously fucked. I mean royally fucked up the ass.
Of those 30 interns I have met two or three whom I could say I actually liked. Those three will make great pharmacists once they are done with school. The other 27.... well that's another story. I do not mean to come off condescending to those in pharmacy school. I have met several outside of work settings who do not meet what I'm going to bitch about here and I am not trying to single them out. This is more of a release of frustration for a system which I, and I know many many others, agree is screwed.
We have a kid working for us who was just accepted to pharmacy school. He is an extremely bright individual, I will give him that. The kinda kid who can look at a chapter once and understand it. But the kid is a complete and utter dipshit. He has worked for us for over three years and came up to me the other day and asked me if a tech could refill a prescription. How do you work in a pharmacy for three years and not pick up on this? Furthermore you ask him a question and you can literally see the synapses working in his brain as he actually receives the question. He's bright for sure, but he has no communication skills and just simply isn't that quick. I hope to God he ends up in a nuclear pharmacy (something I would assume he would excel at) and not a place which deals with a high volume of customers. This is your future pharmacist.
I have seen a fourth year discussing an antibiotic prescription with a patient. When asked what he couldn't take it with, this intern went into enzymatic reactions and actually started to draw a diagram of the molecule. I looked at the man and simply told him do not take with milk and/or dairy products. This is your future pharmacist.
There is another kid who is a first year whom I have worked with. One day I caught an error he had made and the pharmacist had thus missed, (he was a fill-in). The kid had filled Hydroxyzine 25mg (an antihistamine) with Hydralazine 25mg (a vasodilator). When I brought it to this kid's attention he just laughed it off saying that it was just a simple mistake. That is not a simple mistake. You could chalk it up to him being only a first year, but this was another kid who had been with us for a while and should have known better. This is you future pharmacist.
We have had SEVERAL interns who decided they were too good for just about everything. They were going to be pharmacists so they didn't have to put paper in the fax machine when it ran out or actually fill a prescription. These were usually the ones who went into pharmacy school namely for the money. This is your future pharmacist.
I have worked with several first and second years whom had never worked in a pharmacy before and literally knew nothing about the field. Its as if they just closed their eyes and picked a profession. These are usually the ones who are caught wide-eyed by the fact you have to deal with customers and insurances and customers and wholesalers and customers. These students can go either way, but I can only hope they can deal with the stress. This is you future pharmacist.
So where does that leave us? In my fight to get into pharmacy school I see countless kids who have 4.0 GPAs but couldn't tell a spatula from their finger get into pharmacy school. Meanwhile there are ~3.0 GPA students whom actually care about the profession, myself included, who envelope everything there is about pharmacy into their lives and they get shut out. It seems unfair to reward a student brains coming out their ass, but whom has no people skills and really is just smart, nothing else, over someone who actually cares about the industry.
I have talked to many many pharmacists (I have worked with roughly 30 in my eight years) and they all say the same thing. The general consensus is that the 'C' student during undergrad years will by far be the best pharmacist. That the selection process itself is entirely unfair and that pharmacists who are coming out of school now are not near as competent as those who came out roughly ten years ago. I know several pharmacists who fight with schools on a yearly basis to help remedy this issue.
Alas I am left to continue this fight for my dream. This entire rant was not to put down all pharmacy school students, as my disclaimer stated. This is more of a bitch about the system as a whole. I will get in at some point, I don't know when but damnit I'm not going down without a fight. Cause ya know what, I want to be your future pharmacist and I will do whatever I can to ensure that.