Jump to content
Premed 101 Forums

Pharmacy vs Computer Science


Recommended Posts

Hey guys, I was wondering whether I could get some of your thoughts on this.

For starters, I love both pharmacy and computer science. I recently received an offer to a pharmacy school at UBC, and although I'm really proud, I'm hesitating on whether I should accept it. As many of you guys may have heard, the job market for pharmacists is not that great now, with wages falling to the mid 30s and full time positions being hard to find unless you move to more rural areas, which isn't something I see myself doing.

However, computer science is another field I'm extremely interested in and I loved the elective CS courses I've taken in the past.  Also, I always hear stories about the CS job market being really good with much more room for advancement. However, most of these stories are about USA, and I've heard from some people that CS isn't that good in Canada.

I have such a big headache deciding on what I should pursue, and I was wondering what you guys think. Any feedback and thoughts would be much appreciated. Thanks!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Are you open to potentially moving to the USA? Would you enjoy the work environment and pace more for CS or pharmacy? What kind of a career path do you see yourself pursuing in both fields? How much stability do you want? Do you care these two careers have different cielings in income and advancement? Which path will likely lead to a lifestyle that's more congruent with what you want?

These are all things to think about. 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/4/2019 at 7:26 PM, inadilemma123 said:

Hey guys, I was wondering whether I could get some of your thoughts on this.

For starters, I love both pharmacy and computer science. I recently received an offer to a pharmacy school at UBC, and although I'm really proud, I'm hesitating on whether I should accept it. As many of you guys may have heard, the job market for pharmacists is not that great now, with wages falling to the mid 30s and full time positions being hard to find unless you move to more rural areas, which isn't something I see myself doing.

However, computer science is another field I'm extremely interested in and I loved the elective CS courses I've taken in the past.  Also, I always hear stories about the CS job market being really good with much more room for advancement. However, most of these stories are about USA, and I've heard from some people that CS isn't that good in Canada.

I have such a big headache deciding on what I should pursue, and I was wondering what you guys think. Any feedback and thoughts would be much appreciated. Thanks!

Do not do pharmacy... do not do not do not. Do computer science. 

Pharmacy is uniquely competitive in only Canada and no where else in the world. It is such only because there are a lot of people who blindly pursue a life science degree with vague hope of pursuing medicine. Eventually they need to find a job and choose pharmacy which drives up competition but this is not because the job is actually a great gig. 

Warning, trash talk ahead.. 

Pharmacy itself is actually quite a boring job and it is also usually a dead end job. Most pharmacists work for a local pharmacy, wiling their days away behind a pharmacy counter for the rest of their lives. Being a hospital pharmacist is considered a competitive job, but all the hospital pharmacists really end up do is round endlessly with teams rattling off medications or paging busy overworked residents to meekly discuss missed medications only to be dismissed by said busy resident because its just a few home meds why am i getting paged about this at 2am. Even when you are 50 you will still be meekly discussing medication concerns to dismissive 26 year old PGY-1s and rounding endlessly which is a job most residents hate and can't wait to stop doing. Pharmacists are bloody brilliant with their medication knowledge of course and immensely helpful to the team, but I just can't help but feel bad for them because of what their job entails. With that being said, i'm sure there are plenty of pharmacy opportunities that are more interesting and exciting that I am not aware of, but the two pathways that I do know of sound really depressing and boring to me of course that is just me. 

Computer science will pay better, give you more opportunities and if you love it it can take you to great places. You can get a great job in the US, in big cities in Canada, good pay and live a good life. Don't do pharmacy. 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...
On 6/9/2019 at 8:00 PM, Edict said:

Do not do pharmacy... do not do not do not. Do computer science. 

Pharmacy is uniquely competitive in only Canada and no where else in the world. It is such only because there are a lot of people who blindly pursue a life science degree with vague hope of pursuing medicine. Eventually they need to find a job and choose pharmacy which drives up competition but this is not because the job is actually a great gig. 

Warning, trash talk ahead.. 

Pharmacy itself is actually quite a boring job and it is also usually a dead end job. Most pharmacists work for a local pharmacy, wiling their days away behind a pharmacy counter for the rest of their lives. Being a hospital pharmacist is considered a competitive job, but all the hospital pharmacists really end up do is round endlessly with teams rattling off medications or paging busy overworked residents to meekly discuss missed medications only to be dismissed by said busy resident because its just a few home meds why am i getting paged about this at 2am. Even when you are 50 you will still be meekly discussing medication concerns to dismissive 26 year old PGY-1s and rounding endlessly which is a job most residents hate and can't wait to stop doing. Pharmacists are bloody brilliant with their medication knowledge of course and immensely helpful to the team, but I just can't help but feel bad for them because of what their job entails. With that being said, i'm sure there are plenty of pharmacy opportunities that are more interesting and exciting that I am not aware of, but the two pathways that I do know of sound really depressing and boring to me of course that is just me. 

Computer science will pay better, give you more opportunities and if you love it it can take you to great places. You can get a great job in the US, in big cities in Canada, good pay and live a good life. Don't do pharmacy. 

 

Holy crap, the amount of assumptions and ignorance in this post is astounding. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

I personally feel that pursuing pharmacy would be overspecializing yourself into a narrowing field that is saturated while pursuing computer science (although certainly saturated as well) gives you a broader range of options in terms of finding something that you like.

Consider me a layperson though. I know little about either (my extent of experience with pharmacists is calling in scripts for painkillers, antibiotics, dexamethasone), just depositing my two cents.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/18/2019 at 1:37 AM, Thunderbirds said:

Holy crap, the amount of assumptions and ignorance in this post is astounding. 

ha, would a PGY 1 resident think they are invoking fear in a staff pharmacist (at least one that has been there for a bit). I never had one of those approach me meekly on anything - if anything I was the one meekly approaching them asking how to best not kill someone with a dozen medications I had limited understanding off during my ICU blocks. Plus you have to do some extremely bad to get a phone call from a pharmacist at 2am (well at the places I have been). That isn't home med territory, that is you prescribed something that will kill someone and they are looking for some "clarification" on what your goals are (like do you want to actually practise medicine, not kill people and not get sued). Also as a rule it is probably not a good idea to come off as. a jerk to a branch of the hospital whose entire job is to prevent you from making the kind of serious mistakes that mess up both the patients and your life - seriously if you are smart as a PGY 1 you will remember you know very little and build strong relationships with your allied health professionals. . 

Some people may hate endlessly rounding ha - but in many branches of medicine that is the job, or at least the only time the real medicine comes in. Pharmacists tend to round with the really sick patients/complex ones. On those blocks even as staff well rounding is the norm - it takes hours to figure out everything. The residents may not want to be there I guess (probably off rotations - particularly if you are not at all interested in that area - I do understand that. Peds rounding any one? ), but you will notice there is a staff doctor there ha, someone that is doing that rounding for decades. Someone clearly wanted to do that job and I don't think you can disrespect that. The debates between some ICU doctors and the team members were for me the most interesting aspect of all my medicine rotations - the rest of it can be somewhat formulaic (which is a good thing for the patients but less exciting for me). 

That doesn't mean that pharmacy is a the best job in the world though - particularly for people that went into life sciences with particular goals. Everyone is different. 

I am a computer science major and I guess you could say I am now a computer scientist as I am trying to develop machine learning applications in the health field in addition to my clinical duties. I can speak more about that than pharmacy which I only have a limited understanding off (other than again them saving my ass more than once). If you like it and are good at it there are a number of fields open to you - particularly if you combine it with something else. A computer programmer that also understand say the health field would be targeted for certain things. Doing a masters in a sub area can also of course help with that. Income will vary based on skill, and how much you want to branch out to project management in the end. 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/4/2019 at 7:26 PM, inadilemma123 said:

Hey guys, I was wondering whether I could get some of your thoughts on this.

For starters, I love both pharmacy and computer science. I recently received an offer to a pharmacy school at UBC, and although I'm really proud, I'm hesitating on whether I should accept it. As many of you guys may have heard, the job market for pharmacists is not that great now, with wages falling to the mid 30s and full time positions being hard to find unless you move to more rural areas, which isn't something I see myself doing.

However, computer science is another field I'm extremely interested in and I loved the elective CS courses I've taken in the past.  Also, I always hear stories about the CS job market being really good with much more room for advancement. However, most of these stories are about USA, and I've heard from some people that CS isn't that good in Canada.

I have such a big headache deciding on what I should pursue, and I was wondering what you guys think. Any feedback and thoughts would be much appreciated. Thanks!

Do CS and pharmacy, get a job at a pre-IPO protein-folding modeling company, profit...

Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, rmorelan said:

ha, would a PGY 1 resident think they are invoking fear in a staff pharmacist (at least one that has been there for a bit). I never had one of those approach me meekly on anything - if anything I was the one meekly approaching them asking how to best not kill someone with a dozen medications I had limited understanding off during my ICU blocks. Plus you have to do some extremely bad to get a phone call from a pharmacist at 2am (well at the places I have been). That isn't home med territory, that is you prescribed something that will kill someone and they are looking for some "clarification" on what your goals are (like do you want to actually practise medicine, not kill people and not get sued). Also as a rule it is probably not a good idea to come off as. a jerk to a branch of the hospital whose entire job is to prevent you from making the kind of serious mistakes that mess up both the patients and your life - seriously if you are smart as a PGY 1 you will remember you know very little and build strong relationships with your allied health professionals. . 

 

 

"Hello Doctor.  Just wanted to make sure, Doctor, that you're happy prescribing [x] to this patient, Doctor, who is on medications [y, z, lambda] and has co-morbidities [a,b,c].  Because, as I'm sure you know, Doctor, there could be the following interactions...[extensive list, some relevant, some not]"

I love my pharmacists.  At times it's a bit of a passive-aggressive love from both ends, but we work together to try and limit the amount of iatrogenicity in the unit.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, rmorelan said:

ha, would a PGY 1 resident think they are invoking fear in a staff pharmacist (at least one that has been there for a bit)

My favourite was watching one of my juniors try and debate a pharmacist who was one of the authors of the international guidelines on the topic under discussion.  She seemed to be enjoying the discussion, so I let her poke at him for a few minutes before I finally put him out of his misery...

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 5 weeks later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...