why pharmacy part 1: get excited

Confession: when I chose to major in pharmacy I didn’t have a good reason for choosing it.  Sure, I had an answer for everyone who asked why I wanted to spend seven years taking some of the hardest science classes offered.  I told them that it fit with my talents in math and science and my goals for the future.  In reality, though, I picked pharmacy because I couldn’t find anything else that fit better.  It was my Plan B and I didn’t have a Plan A.  I didn’t even come up with it myself–a few other people suggested it and I agreed to look into it.

After I decided that pharmacy was going to be my declared major, I began telling people.  After receiving my rather lackluster answer to their “why did you pick pharmacy?”, their response was almost always, “Well, you’ll be making good money.”  Honestly, at that point, I didn’t care about the money.  I didn’t even realize how nice of a salary pharmacists can get.  I just knew I needed to pick something and that worked.  It was a pretty good Plan B.

As time went on and I worked through my freshman year, I grew unsure of my decision.  Is this really what I want to do?  I’m hating Gen Chem and everyone makes it seem like that’s a pretty important thing for pharmacy.  I considered switching my major–even had a meeting with an advisor in the education department about which classes would transfer over and how far I would be behind.  After a lot of stress I decided to stick it out through the end of the year and shadow some pharmacists.  I figured if I hated that, I could look at switching again.  I didn’t hate it.  I went to Nationwide Children’s Hospital and fell in love with the idea of pediatric pharmacy.  I got excited about my major for the first time.

Then, partway through last semester, I was talking with my friend about what we are going to do when we get out of college.  I told him I think I want to do pediatric pharmacy and maybe own my own pharmacy someday.  His response was a simple question: “And that makes you excited?”  It took me by surprise and I gave a halfhearted “yeah” as I began to think about his question.  In fact, it’s been running around in my head ever since.  Most people give me a skeptical look when I tell them I’m excited to be a pharmacist and in pharmacy school so I’m used to that but, for some reason, his question was different.

I won’t go into what the next several months contributed to my thought process because that’ll make this way too long.  I will say that there were a lot of different factors that went into it.  One of the critical factors is my job as a pharmacy technician.  I figure that, since I love this job, I should love my future job.  One other big factor is my classes.  I made it through the annoying introductory science classes and am in the ones that have something to do with pharmacy.  Turns out Gen Chem isn’t that important.  The fact that my favorite class this semester is Immunology is a confirmation that I’m on the right path.  As I said, a lot of other things have gone into this thought process but now I can confidently say, “Yes, it does make me excited to be a pharmacist.”  Now, when people ask me “why pharmacy?” I have a real answer to give them.

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