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Pharmacy Leaders Podcast: Inspiring Pharmacy Leadership Interviews

May 10, 2018

After hearing a #podcast episode on market saturation on RxRadio two days ago a P1 (just finished P1 year) reached out asking "should I quit pharmacy school?" The podcast reported that Kroger wasn't hiring ANY pharmacists, so I looked into the numbers for the big 5 from their own websites: CVS 880 openings/Walgreens 54/Walmart 169/Rite Aid 83/Kroger 32 so 1223 openings of the 60,588 jobs, so 98% filled. Many of these jobs are intern/hourly/float but some are salaried. I think before P4 year we need to get away from I'm getting a job with my pharmacy license to I'm getting a job using my training as a healthcare professional. 

Full Transcript:

welcome to the pharmacy leaders podcast
with your host Tony Guerra the pharmacy
leaders podcast is a member of the
pharmacy podcast network with interviews
and advice on building your professional
network brand and a purposeful second
income from students residents and
innovative professionals hey welcome to
the pharmacy leaders podcast it's the
hundredth episode which is kind of cool
I've had 83,000 downloads so far and
thanks again to Todd Yuri who mentored
me for the last gosh two years I guess
and really explained what it is to
provide value and really just thanks to
everyone who came on the show I I had a
show planned for today but I'm gonna put
it off till next week I think I'm gonna
go to two or three days a week instead
of four but I'll talk about that a
little bit later but I got the weirdest
email today and I and I wanted to
address it so I got an email from a p1
that said should I quit pharmacy school
and they just finished their p1 year and
I was like why that is crazy I don't
have an answer and they basically said
you know you don't teach it a pharmacy
school so I feel like you'll be honest
with me I can't really get good answers
from my classmates I certainly can't get
an unbiased answer from the school I go
to so it just really bothered me I just
wonder where this came from
and it came from a podcast that came out
yesterday called episode 24 market
saturation on rx radio and this student
you know just did their due diligence
and and saw that yeah it's true Kroger
doesn't have a lot of jobs for
pharmacists right now you've got 700
jobs for technicians I think something
like that
but what I wanted to do was kind of talk
about if you are in a position now where
you're about to graduate or you just
graduated and you've got your cap and
gown you're probably putting up Facebook
pics and all that stuff and I'm getting
ready to take nap flex but you don't
have job yeah where do you look well the
good news is that I think we're still
around there but I think we're at a 96%
employment rate so that's good just
across the country so there's jobs it's
just a matter of figuring out where you
fit in outside of the traditional role
and this may end up being a little bit
of a long episode because it just was
kind of a shock to me I'm like what is
going on and now the first thing I kind
of wanted to go over was what's going on
with the big five so this data that I
have the the number of pharmacists data
might be dated because it's from 2016
it's from beckers Hospital review the
ten largest retail pharmacies in America
but what they give is the number of
pharmacists that they employed in in
2016 so CVS was at 18,000 631 Walgreens
at 17 437 Walmart at 10 458 Rite Aid at
nine thousand one hundred ninety four
and then Kroger at 48 68 and of course
there's some mergers and things going on
so but what we wanted what I wanted was
just a big five number like what is the
total number from the big five and at
sixty thousand 588 back from 2016
but with that merger I don't know when
you know what exactly what's changed so
I'm looking at I'm looking at the number
of job openings so what I did was I just
went to their sites I just went to CVS
comm and and it's it's a little goofy
with each one because if you put in
pharmacy it's gonna bring up all these
but most of them have like a button that
says like in store or pharmacist or
something like that in CVS
is at 885 so they have a 4.7 percent job
opening percentage or something like
Walgreens when I looked there it said 54
and they were all hourly and what that
means is I keep I think this is what
that means
so there's hourly pharmacists that are I
think I don't know if it means you're 32
hours or if it means you're literally
hourly like we'll let you know how many
hours we need you versus salary I don't
really understand that but there were 54
on the Walgreens site and I'm not sure
if that's correct but I just put it in
for you know in-store pharmacists now
for Walmart
it was 169 for Rite Aid 83 and then for
Kroger 32 so of the big five they still
need 1223 pharmacists of the 60,000 500
that they employ so basically there are
two open jobs for every hundred jobs
that there are at the big five so two
percent and this podcast quoted the PDI
and I'll talk a little bit about that in
a little bit which is the pharmacy
demand indicator which nobody really
cares about the demand nationally they
just want to know about the job that
they're gonna get that one job so let's
kind of go through some things that have
been going on this week and and maybe I
can shed some light on it so the first
thing is if your plan was to get a
residency and you didn't match and now
you're like okay well I'll get a retail
job and that just is not working out
the first thing I would kind of look at
is TLDR pharmacy had a yes you can still
get a residency if you didn't match this
year on May 8th and that's a really good
guide in a really great story about
someone who had you know done what they
thought they needed to do but then had
this kind of really cool you know I'm
really passionate about this got a
special internship ended up getting the
residency the next year so a really
great story there I definitely recommend
you check it out but
that's kind of the first thing is what
what are you really trying to do are you
just saying okay well I just want any
job right now I'm just happy with
anything that I can use my license to
get and you know I think that's the
first misconception or the first wrong
way to think about it is not to think
about what your license can get but
what's your skillset can get
okay so I've talked about it many times
but my job doesn't require a pharmacy
license it just requires that I could
get one well but basically it's that I I
had 18 credits or more in chemistry and
I teach chemistry and pharmacology at a
community college and so I'm gonna talk
about the kind of leaders the the three
big leaders that I've seen that have you
know formal programs or formal training
to kind of help you with this at the end
I'll give you like a free place to go
with my favorite place to go for jobs
like if I were like free to move around
the country or something like that but I
love my job like I'm so happy here I
wouldn't really consider but every once
in a while it's kind of like I wonder if
Harvard's hiring or something like that
but it's a super great website that just
for geeky kind of you know I hate to
call pharmacy people geeky but hey you
know what if you were enjoy organic
maybe that does put you in that group
but let's kind of first talk about the
the big three so Blair Tila Meyer with
farmer prune noir Academy she has a
number of people talking about certain
jobs with in pharmacy and she just had
her Academy recently but I think you can
sign in if you pay for it now but
there's always a free time that you can
go in for a little bit but she has an e
course and then if you want to do a
consulting course she has that as well
and I don't take any advertising or any
money from anybody got no clickfunnels
or anything like that I'm just saying
that I know that she gives some good
Aaron Albert just put out a new course
57 cool jobs for pharmacists what's your
next career move and I think that's like
400 bucks or 399
and that's on teachable and again I
haven't been in and I have no idea what
the course is you know I would I would
reach out to her to see if that's
something that you know you want to do
and I don't know if there's some like
sample ones that you can do but that's
farm LLC teachable calm and then I know
the happy farm D the yeah it's Alex
Barker and I know Jackie's with him too
he's coaching people I think through
transitions so three kind of leaders in
the space that have dedicated a
significant portion of what they're
doing to helping pharmacists get to
where they need to be and in the most
part I thought it was kind of a job
transition group that they they are I
don't know exactly I haven't gone
through any of their training so you
know kind of buyer beware and all that
but I just wanted to make you aware of
who they were the PDI so in the in the
podcast episode he talks about how the
PDI is going down and then in 2008 it
was 4.2 but I gotta tell you I was here
in 2008 in the crash and you know it
that's supposed to say oh there are
plenty of jobs well everybody that's was
in the crash knows that's not exactly
how it worked out
I was driving really far to do floats
and when I did look for a permanent
position I was able to get like a
half-time position like 20 hours a week
which was a about a half hour drive or
40-minute drive from where I lived and
it was a tough time
so the PDI and and they put on their
website don't it's it kind of helps to
know what's going on but also know that
there's a connection to a acp so you
know it's the American colleges of
pharmacy that wants to know okay well
how many you know jobs are there out
there and they're being very transparent
about it you know I laud them for that
if you want to kind of hear people
talking about it I really like Kelsie
Douglas who gives really great advice on
YouTube and then Kevin Yi of course is a
favorite and he he mostly talks about
you know was it worth it to miss
weekends and was it worth it to miss
certain holidays and things like that
and I know he was going through kind of
a dark time then but maybe you want to
just hear like okay well what's going on
with other people have they talked about
it and then there was also a reddit post
if you look up like you know I'm a P to
thinking about quitting pharmacy school
and most of the advice I can tell you
what the reddit said basically but most
of the advice was this look you got to
figure out if this is burnout or if this
is really you know you want to be done
and you know it's a good time to kind of
figure that out between you know the P 1
and P 2 year but if it's after a P 1
year that's a lot different than P 2
because anyone and and I know it's
different for the the 3 year schools but
anyone that's been through P 2 year
that's the worst like really like it
just it just was just a beating and and
it was just like a sad time I don't know
how better to say it and maybe it was
cuz P 1 just was you know it was so new
and and I felt like you know I really
had a grasp on things P 2 I was like I'm
just trying to survive and I remember
that I had don't laugh at this but I had
eleven thousand dollars in loans after
two years of pharmacy school and I was
freaking out and I was like man maybe I
should go finish my chemistry degree at
you know the undergrad school and it was
really because I had my buddies there
that you know I ended up living with the
last couple years that I got through
pharmacy school but that was clear burn
out the the jobs were certainly there
back in you know early 90s or whatever
it's kind of funny in the podcast
episode he's like back in the late 80s
people were getting BMWs and stuff and
and that was the late 90s so but I
understand you know you young guys the
80s the 90s the 70s it's all the same
it's a long time ago but now that was
just kind of funny but but yeah I
remember after you know in the late 90s
I think that that there were certainly
parts of the country where you could get
a car or something like that and you got
a lease it wasn't like somebody gave you
like a $40,000
they give you a two-year lease which was
just kind of a different way of giving a
bonus and people talked about it and
made you want to work for him and things
like that and yeah I guess you'd feel
cool I don't know I think I'd feel cool
somebody gave me a two-year lease on a
car or something
but the the advice that that reddit post
was mostly about saying you got to
figure out what it is that you know
you're it's it's unfair to say you know
you got to figure out what you want to
do with your life and what I think it
really is it's figuring out is this I
have a fear of not getting a job because
my path was towards this group that's 98
percent full or whatever it is with the
big five or is it that I'm just burnt
out and you know I worked a lot or I got
stuff going on and I and I don't know
that's gonna be something individual
there's a great episode when I want to
say it was Alex Barker on Hilary
Blackburn's podcast talk to your
pharmacist podcast where he talked a bit
about that and and how you really when
somebody says you know I want to quit
blank you know the first thing to do is
ask questions the the first thing to do
is not give advice it's just like when
somebody comes up and says hey what's
the best thing you know to clear my nose
up you know I've really stuffed up you
know you don't say sudafed because you
haven't asked well you have any cardiac
conditions and things like that so
asking questions I think is the first
thing they're they mentioned a little
bit about
well aren't pharmacy schools gonna you
know stop or collapse or something like
that and I'm gonna go away geeky on this
one so I I understand what they're
saying so so for of school to go under
it would require they have a 30 percent
default rate on federal student loans
because if that happens then the school
is its ability to get federal financial
to get students federal financial aid
and that's basically a death sentence
for any school
but what you look at is if you look at
the schools and you if you go to the
federal student aid site you can
download and now I'm really geeking out
you can download an Access file with
4712 entries of the colleges across the
country and you can see where your
college sits so for example the Albany
College of Pharmacy because there's only
three that if you pull up pharmacy it'll
pull up pharmacy has one of the lowest
default rates in the country it's like
in that I think it was zero and there's
like a bunch of schools tied for zero so
it's kind of I don't know it's kind of
cool to look up your school but it's not
looking up your School of Pharmacy
necessarily it's looking up your school
school and seeing you know what percent
default but that's maybe something to
look at though I don't know if when I
was twenty I would have the wherewithal
to say well let me make sure I look at
the default rate of the college that I'm
going to to make sure that this is gonna
gonna work out but if you want to it's
it's the Ed Gow site and you can
download it's ed gov default management
and you can just kind of look up your
your school and I don't know what I
thought it was kind of kind of cool but
the important thing to come out of that
is some of you are going to need a
deferment and some of you are going to
need a forbearance and that's repay loans deferment
forbearance what are is is how you find
it and there's differences between what
you have to pay like the interest versus
not paying for the interest and I think
the basic thing is that with deferment
you don't pay the interest but with
forbearance you do and there's some talk
and really geeking out here on the loans
where if you're in forbearance then it
it messes up the equations that show
what the true default rate of a school
is but anyway that's the the answer to
the question of will pharmacy schools
collapse well they're not going to
collapse because of default that you
know all of a sudden all these you know
students aren't going to get jobs
because one they are gonna get jobs it's
just not going to be
you know Walgreens or the CVS or
whatever it is it's they're gonna figure
out oh I've got this skillset and you
know I didn't realize I could do this or
this or this just like I didn't have oh
I'll be a community college professor
because I have 18 credits of biology and
18 credits of chemistry and I knew that
I didn't know that I just happened to
pick up an adjunct position teaching
organic chemistry and I said well I just
assume I can and then you know the
professor explained to me well yeah
because of your transcript and on here
you have this many chemistry credits but
you know I'll talk about that in a
little bit but my chemist my Pharma D is
very different than your farm D so my
farm D is kind of like an old PhD in
pharmacology with a lot of pharmacy but
all the classes were still the old
acronyms or prefixes so bio chem those
types of things and then gradually it's
changed to what is the most worthless
prefix like pH r or PHA are or because
those are so specific that you can't all
you can teach his pharmacy like it
doesn't give you or maybe you would be
able to you know kind of show
transcripts and show that you know you
you had this class or that class but in
terms of getting a professorial job at a
community college you've got to show
that you have X number of biology
credits or X number of chemistry credits
at the Masters level are higher or if
you did the JD or MBA you would be able
to teach the law classes or if the MBA
be able to teach the business and
entrepreneurship classes but when I tell
you about the website that that I love
and that you know I get the job that I
like I'll talk about that in a little
bit but anyway in terms of pharmacy
schools collapsing they they would
collapse because they would hit their
number and so every pharmacy school has
a number of students that if they get
below that number they're no longer
viable so because we've had this huge
shift and there was just in the last ten
years and this is for Iowa State I want
to say Iowa State University up the road
in Ames that it ten years ago I think
70% of the cost of the school or the
student going to school was covered by
the state and 30% by the student and
that switched to 70% student 30% state
so because state schools are now so
dependent on tuition and private schools
have always been so dependent on tuition
that there's a number where if the class
size goes below this number for X number
of years then it's just not going to be
viable the the school can't survive and
do I have a predictor for that no I have
no idea how big that number would have
to be now they could get rid of some
professors but the reality is that
because of the way accreditation is set
up it's not like you can do that and
just say okay well we'll just cut ten
professors because each one is there for
a reason and generally especially at the
big research universities it's the
professor's bringing in the money the
pharmacy school may be taking some of a
loss or something like that but there'll
be a time if if this continues because
now there's this big wave of you know
declining enrollment that it's gonna it
I'm just saying that I don't have a good
predictor for that right now but I don't
think that anyway let's talk about where
you can find jobs you know enough of
that so you would think a good predictor
of how pharmacy schools are doing is the
AAA CP website and to be fair this is
the time of year when there are the
fewest jobs because you've got 15,000
people graduating plus 5,000 residency
graduates we have about 20,000 people
looking for a job in the same year so
there's 30 positions on the AAA CP
website but if you want to get a job
that stimulates you intellectually my
favorite website absolute favorite
website is higher ed jobs com not only
because they have you know jobs in
academia and things like that but they
basically have jobs at you know all the
colleges and you get a really good idea
of what it takes to get that job and
what requirements you have so as you're
saying my pharmacy degree isn't enough
should I go back to school should I do
you know what should I be doing this
answers that question because you can
look at the jobs and say alright well I
would be willing to move to
such-and-such state and so forth and so
on and every once in a while I'll go on
here and like oh my gosh is there a cool
job in Denver or is there a cool job and
like I don't know you know back in Tempe
you know that was a really fun place to
live and maybe some of the coasts and
things like that but I love my job here
I want nothing to do with any new job
but what was cool well cool but but
there's actually a job and I don't know
if this is a pharmacists job but there's
an admissions recruiter job that just
came out Notre Dame of Maryland
that would be recruiting for pharmacy
students so I would think that a
pharmacist would qualify for that job I
don't know what it pays let me see it
just came out today but the reason why I
want to talk about this I don't think it
has pay on there a lot of times you'll
see commensurate with the job which
means nothing it's like I had no idea
but you if you put in pharmacists you'll
be pretty disappointed it's like 60
listings or something like that
nationwide but if you put in pharmacy it
gives you 925 listings but it's really
frustrating because if there's a college
of pharmacy on that campus they're just
talking about a description so for
example there's an assistant director a
finance job but because there's a
pharmacy school at the University of
Colorado Denver then it's gonna pull up
that so it's a little bit frustrating in
that regard but if you want like a job
site to stock like I love higher ed jobs
geeky jobs that I think would be very
very fulfilling
anyway but you know in
terms of you know what can you what kind
of jobs can you get and there are many
places where you can be a chemistry
instructor like me and I I love my
position but you've got to kind of get
that whole pharmacists salary out of the
way if you're you know kind of thinking
about these kinds of jobs but I am like
if I might be the bottom 1% of salary
but I am in the top 99 percentile for
job satisfaction but anyway that was 25
minutes I can't believe it took that
long to do this episode anyway so back
to the original question p1 asked me
should I stay in pharmacy school and the
answer has to be you know I'd have to
ask you a bunch of questions to help you
come to the right answer but I think
what we need to do a much better job of
and I think the pharmacy podcast network
does this I think those thought leaders
out there that are doing blogs and
YouTube videos and all of that are doing
is saying hey there are a lot of things
that someone can do with the pharmacy
skill set because healthcare is huge and
one of the biggest things that every
company needs to do is minimize their
healthcare costs so I think yeah I don't
I don't have a good answer for that for
that question without being able to ask
more questions but anyway I recommend
you also check out the you know the the
podcast episode that started it all
episode 24 market saturation with dr.
Scott Weaver and kind of reach out to
him and get his thoughts but you know
that's what I think I think that you
know just go to higher ed jobs calm and
and start there and you'll see just how
many really cool jobs there are out
there that you know can take advantage
of a skill set of somebody that loves to
learn and somebody that loves to you
know help people so anyway this was the
hundredth episode it wasn't what I was
really thinking about but I hope it was
helpful and as always you can reach out
to me AAK
t-mac tout edu and i will try to answer
your questions
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