What would be good career options if changing from pharmacy?
January 8, 2015 1:48 AM   Subscribe

I would like to know what other careers can a pharmacist adopts fine for a career change. As a skilled pharmacist, I have been working for a decade by now and ,unfortunately, have been unhappy and stressed by this career path. However, I don't really have a passion on any other job even though I am willing to learn and try all different things. Being over 35, I am afraid that I won't get to escape my nightmare....so I am looking for help. Is there any other work that I can apply skills/traits (or knowledge) I have acquired from pharmacy? Please share with me if you have experience or thoughts, I would really appreciate it, thanks! lan
posted by lanhan to Society & Culture (14 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
What kind of pharmacy work are you doing right now -- ie dispensing chemist, pharma sales, etc?
posted by DarlingBri at 1:52 AM on January 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

What is it that stresses you out about your job, and are there other branches of pharmacy that would not involve these stresses? As you no doubt already know, there are lots of branches of pharmaceutical work - would being a hospital ward pharmacist, or a research/drug company pharmacist be less stressful?

Other jobs I have seen pharmacists retrain for: doctor, nurse, lawyer (and then onto medicolegal advisor and coroner), high school chemistry teacher, university pharmacology lecturer, and randomly I know one ex-pharmacist who opened a specialist cheese shop. Most of those jobs would require some retraining, but your previous experience would not be wasted (except in the cheese shop, but hey that person really liked cheese). What kind of things interest you?
posted by tinkletown at 2:22 AM on January 8, 2015

Technical Communicator. Very broad field but medical communication can be well paid and your pharmacy background would be advantageous. Take a look at the American Medical Writers Association site for a start.
posted by jadepearl at 3:15 AM on January 8, 2015

I was just reading this morning about a pharmacist who started her own aesthetics clinic.

"Helping people look younger as an aesthetics practitioner.
Independent prescriber and pharmacist Tejal Sangani opened her own aesthetics clinic, SaRivaa, in 2011. Here, she explains how her pharmacy background comes in handy."

You might want to read about it.

Hope that helps...
posted by kryptos at 3:30 AM on January 8, 2015

I know quite a few pharmacists who retrained as Health Economists.
posted by litereally at 3:39 AM on January 8, 2015

Find a hospital looking for an Epic application coordinator. They will train you.
posted by SyraCarol at 3:54 AM on January 8, 2015

Did you get a bachelor's degree before getting your PharmD? Your options can vary based on that.
posted by hydropsyche at 3:56 AM on January 8, 2015

I work in public health research, and we have a number of pharmacists who work on various projects. We collect and analyze data on drugs people use, we work with hospitals to abstract medical information from charts -- pharmacists are invaluable in this kind of work.
posted by OrangeDisk at 5:24 AM on January 8, 2015 [2 favorites]

Maybe switching the type of pharmacist you are would help - from retail to in hospital, etc.
posted by heathrowga at 5:51 AM on January 8, 2015

You can work for the drug companies. They have training jobs, or even selling pharmaceuticals.

You get a car and a good salary and you go around to professionals discussing drugs. There are it's own stresses, but there is autonomy as well.

Jobs at Johnson & Johnson

So lots of options out there. Good jobs, good money. No shitty hours or screaming people.

Good Luck!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:30 AM on January 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

Curious as to what aspect of pharmacy work has impacted you this way -- while I know a few folks in the medical industry, none are pharmacists, and my son has an interest in the field as a career.

But yes, health research, data analysis and/or communications would be excellent sideways moves to something less stressful that complements your existing skills.
posted by liquado at 8:03 AM on January 8, 2015

I used to be a librarian at a pharmacy school, and they were ALWAYS looking for faculty. Are you at all interested in teaching pharmacy students (have you precepted and enjoyed it?), and is there a pharm school near you?
posted by mskyle at 8:10 AM on January 8, 2015

There are a lot of positions in local health departments for which you would be a perfect fit--especially in terms of policy departments that don't often have someone on staff who knows a lot about pharmacy. Ditto with any number of non-profit organizations in the health sciences world (and beyond). Check some listings on Idealist (although that route will definitely have you taking a pay cut).
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 11:46 AM on January 8, 2015

Thanks for all your suggestions and support, everyone! Really appreciate your help! Thoughts and stress accumulated over time from customer and possibility of hurting someone, all and all just kept me thinking. It's really a great career path but I just don't want to continue being worried and helpless. Thanks again, I wish you all well!

posted by lanhan at 9:01 PM on February 7, 2015

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