So I thought this was what I wanted

I have been here before, but I have another question/problem. Some people may get aggravated with this, but it happens to so many people.

I am currently in my first year of pharmacy school. I was so sure that I wanted to do this ( I have worked in a pharmacy for three years), but as we go on, I find myself enjoying the non-drug part of school more. For instance, we have to take A&P. There is no lab component, so we rely on diagrams. I want to actually see what we are talking about. We don’t discuss disease states in depth, and we rarely look at pathology. This is one of many examples. Pharmacists do not diagnose (which I thought I would not mind), but know I see that as something that I would like to do. Put the pieces of the puzzle together to make sense of what is going wrong.

What is the next step? What would you do? Stay and get a PharmD? I don’t want to wake up and regret the decision, and it is not an easy one.

Difficult to say…however in my limited experience I would say stay and finish your PharmD then apply to medical school. This will show the med school adcoms that you made a decision and stuck to it. I would go so far as to put that in your PS and mention it during your med school interviews.

Just one mans thoughts.

Do this, take 3 minutes and think it thru like this. For 1 minute write down everything that you would consider a plus. For minute 2 write down all the minus. For the last minute write down everything that would be “interesting”. “Interesting” as in “It would be interesting to see if…”. Then make a decision based on these. PMI

I’m sure it sounds simple enough and many people claim or believe they do this instinctively. Unfortunately most people, myself included, formulate an opinion then find experiences or whatever to defend the opinion. Little thinking involved, mostly just opinion making and gut feeling based on nothing more indigestion.

i’ve lately started doing this, and it’s been very helpful. i don’t hold myself to a time limit; i write down all the pros and all the cons. i don’t know if the methodology matters all that much, but i find that once i get it on paper it’s easier to make a decision logically, rather than letting anxiety make the decision for me.

i don’t know if you should finish your PharmD, but one advantage I could see to finishing it would be that you’d have a backup career already. if you didn’t get in to med school right away, or you changed your mind, you wouldn’t be scrambling looking for another career. it’s kind of nice to have that safety net…

good luck with whatever you do.


You are in a tough position that, unfortunately, has no “right” answer. As Croooz wisely points out, not finishing could be viewed as quitting for reason x, y or z, which could cast an unfavorable light on your application. Of course, it could also be viewed as - an epiphony moment - and that you have the wisdom & maturity to know when change is appropriate.

Essentially, what has transpired has transpired & there is nothing you can do to change it. Therefore, the decision becomes how to maximize things from this point forward. That makes your focal question: Am I a stronger applicant for having completed the PharmD or am I sufficiently competitive w/o the degree? If you can answer that you are a sufficiently competitive applicant w/o a PharmD & you are truly that miserable, it seems your course is now chosen. Or, if not, then complete the degree & apply then

It is up to you to clearly & concisely articulate why you have chosen to take the path you have chosen - whichever one that ends up being. Either path - with or without the PharmD - you will have to explain why you have come the route you have come to medicine. So, be prepared to do so with aplomb. And, also accept that some AdCom members will simply ‘decide’ how they see it & their perspective may not be in your favor, no matter what you do.

These are the risks that we have all taken.