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  • UK pharmacist wanting to move to USA

    Hi guys

    i qualified in Aberdeen in 2004 and would love the idea of moving to the USA and working there.

    My question is - how easy is the exam ie is it learning everything from university again and how likely am I to get a job?

    Do the favour american citizinrs?

    thanks!!

  • #2
    Visit the website "studentdoctornetwork" and go to the pharmacy section. However, as a general rule, houses prices are hal and salaries double those in the UK
    johnep

    Comment


    • #3
      As a pharmacist?
      Look at the general working conditions of pharmacists .. and have another think.
      47 BC : Julius Cesar : Veni Vidi Vici : I came, I saw I conquered.
      2018 AD : Modern Man : I shopped, I clicked, I collected.
      How times change.

      If you find you have read something that has upset or offended you an anyway please unread it at once.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Pharmanaut View Post
        As a pharmacist?
        Look at the general working conditions of pharmacists .. and have another think.

        Are they really that bad?

        Comment


        • #5
          No personal experience but google jim plagakis

          And don't forget the employment rules and T&C are very different in the US.

          What happens there usually comes to the UK too...
          47 BC : Julius Cesar : Veni Vidi Vici : I came, I saw I conquered.
          2018 AD : Modern Man : I shopped, I clicked, I collected.
          How times change.

          If you find you have read something that has upset or offended you an anyway please unread it at once.

          Comment


          • Locum X
            Locum X commented
            Editing a comment
            Hat's off, Pharmanaut. I'd forgotten about Jim Plagakis. Used to occasionally read his blog but eventually forgot about it after Drugmonkey left for less litigious pastures (ie deleted). Will have to catch up on the goings on.

            Kevnick80, also worth mentioning is that EACH STATE in the US had different registration requirements for pharmacists so (at least back then) you often had to sit a whole new entrance exam just to practice over the state border. Please check if this still the case as it was a HUGE negative in my decision on my possible US foray all those years ago.

            Regards.

        • #6
          I looked into this a few years ago.
          there is an over supply of pharmacists in the USA. Employers also have to employ USA residents over non-residents. If you were happy to live in a remote part of the USA which had problems finding a pharmacist you may get lucky. You have to pay I think about $800 for the documents to apply to covert your degree (my memory is bad so don't quote me on this exactly).
          So - you have to covert your degree, if you have a BPharm this is trickeier than an MPharm. Pharmacists in America are now PharmDs (doctor of pharmacy) - if you have an mpharm that I think is equivalent to been a Registered pharmacist (RPh) - the level below a pharmD. Not sure what will mean in terms of employability or wages... if you have a diploma/ip that may translate to pharmD at a guess.
          you'll be required to do an internship, but depending on which state you wish to work in, the length can vary. I seem to remember you have to sit an exam (nadex?) and if you do very well in it some states allow a shorter internship.
          the exam is tough and requires a bucket load of study. There are books out there you can buy to help you through and if you google to find the forums that deal with this topic you'll find all you need to know.
          read the cynical pharmacists Facebook page. Retail Pharmacy in the USA sounds like a hell I'd rather not witness. Wages are higher (maybe $120,000 in retail) and someone already mentioned houses are cheaper - this is correct - mortgage rates are better and can be fixed for term of the mortgage. Cost of living is much much cheaper too.
          think carefully...

          Comment


          • #7
            Oh - and don't forget you'll only get 2w annual leave a year

            Comment


            • #8
              Think the exam is NAPLEX.
              johnep

              Comment


              • Braveheart
                Braveheart commented
                Editing a comment
                Ha ha! Can't believe I mixed them up!

            • #9
              There have been a few articles in the PJ about practicing in the USA and other places.
              Might be worth a google to see if they are around the web somewhere.

              The lifestyle might sound good in the USA, but would you ever get to see anything of life outside of the pharmacy?
              Probably about as much as you do here!
              47 BC : Julius Cesar : Veni Vidi Vici : I came, I saw I conquered.
              2018 AD : Modern Man : I shopped, I clicked, I collected.
              How times change.

              If you find you have read something that has upset or offended you an anyway please unread it at once.

              Comment


              • #10
                Hmmm...the USA. Was a toss-up for me to wander over to here or over there from Terra Australis all those years ago. My brother chose there and (not so) proudly has an "Active Shooter" app on his phone that alerts him when to hide. Unfortunately when visiting on a conference last year he forgot to turn on his location settings and was wondering all why the university campus he was visiting was strangely deserted...but I digress. ;-)

                Anyway, a few years ago my advice would be to read a blog called "Your Pharmacist May Hate You" by Drugmonkey.

                Oh, how I miss Drugmonkey's blog, now erased from the internet as much as such things can possibly be. Some snippets remain. It was real time insight into an astute, insightful, caring pharmacist who worked for a chain, blogged about his experiences and those of others in the US, and eventually got screwed by CVS and had to delete his blog under legal threats. A big shame. Still writes occasionally, under the influence of significantly less scotch, for a couple of mainstream publications.

                Instead, I'll give you two posts I tracked down.

                a) "...the answer as to why your prescription takes so damn long to fill…and evidence of how drugstore workday life warps the mind." (a blog quoting his blog post so scroll down)
                https://noprescriptionnecessary.word...ult-after-all/


                b) This one's quite a read, but as the intro states, "The letter's long and maybe not of much interest to people outside the profession, but if you're thinking about your major, or if god forbid you're close to accepting a job with one of the chains, you need to read every word."
                http://drugmonkey-rss.livejournal.com/


                He wrote a book or two. First one is https://www.amazon.co.uk/Your-Prescr...rds=drugmonkey
                Been ages since I read it so may have to go back on it and see if it still holds up.

                Anyway, it was many years ago on his blog that I read about the pharmacists who were requiring to clinically assess scripts on their computer screen remotely for various pharmacies in their cluster and had metrics and enforceable targets for it. Taking longer than 8.3 seconds to clinically assess the average script? First written warning! I've always feared that this is where the UK's remote supervision was heading...although as others have noted, the clinical assessment may just happen at the surgery and bypass this altogether.

                Regards.
                Last edited by Locum X; 17th, October 2017, 12:02 AM. Reason: miskey noted - probably plenty others unnoticed

                Comment


                • #11
                  For anyone too lazy to click the above mentioned link...here you go. (note: acetominophen = paracetamol)

                  Regards.



                  Your Pharmacist May Hate You
                  – the answer as to why your prescription takes so damn long to fill…and evidence of how drugstore workday life warps the mind.

                  You come to the counter. I am on the phone with a drunk dude who wants the phone number to the grocery store next door. After I instruct him on the virtues of 411, you tell me your doctor was to phone your prescription in to me. Your doctor hasn’t, and you’re unwilling to wait until he does. Being in a generous mood, I call your doctor’s office and I am put on hold for five minutes, then informed that your prescription was phoned in to my competitor on the other side of town. Phoning my competitor, I am immediately put on hold for five minutes before speaking to the clerk, who puts me back on hold to wait for the pharmacist. Your prescription is then transferred to me, and now I have to get the two phone calls that have been put on hold while this was being done. Now I return to the counter to ask if we’ve ever filled prescriptions for you before. For some reason you think that “for you” means “for your cousin” and you answer my question with a “yes”, whereupon I go to the computer and see you are not on file.

                  The phone rings.

                  You have left to do something very important, such as browse through the monster truck magazines, and do not hear the three PA announcements requesting that you return to the pharmacy. You return eventually, expecting to pick up the finished prescription…

                  The phone rings.

                  …only to find out that I need to ask your address, phone number, date of birth, if you have any allergies and insurance coverage. You tell me you’re allergic to codeine. Since the prescription is for Vicodin, I ask you what exactly what the codeine did to you when you took it. You say it made your stomach hurt and I roll my eyes and write down “no known allergies”. You tell me…

                  The phone rings.

                  …you have insurance and spend the next five minutes looking for your card. You give up and expect me to be able to file your claim anyway. I call my competitor and am immediately put on hold. Upon reaching a human, I ask what insurance they may have on file for you. I get the information and file the claim, which is rejected because you changed jobs six months ago. An asshole barges his way to the counter to ask where the bread is.

                  The phone rings.

                  I inform you that the insurance the other pharmacy has on file for you isn’t working. You produce a card in under ten seconds that you seemed to be unable to find before. What you were really doing is hoping that your old insurance would still work because it had a lower co-pay. Your new card prominently displays the logo of Nebraska Blue Cross, and although Nebraska Blue Cross does in fact handle millions of prescription claims every day, for the group you belong to, the claim should go to a company called Caremark, whose logo is nowhere on the card.

                  The phone rings.

                  A lady comes to the counter wanting to know why the cherry flavor antacid works better than the lemon cream flavored antacid. What probably happened is that she had a milder case of heartburn when she took the cherry flavored brand, as they both use the exact same ingredient in the same strength. She will not be satisfied though until I have confirmed her belief that the cherry flavored brand is the superior product. I file your claim with Caremark, who rejects it because you had a 30 day prescription for Vicodin filled at another pharmacy 15 days ago. You swear to me on your mother’s…

                  The phone rings.

                  …life that you did not have another Vicodin prescription filled recently. I call Caremark and am immediately placed on hold. The most beautiful woman on the planet walks by and notices not a thing. She has never talked to a pharmacist and never will. Upon reaching a human at Caremark, I am informed that the Vicodin prescription was indeed filled at another of my competitors. When I tell you this you say you got hydrocodone there, not Vicodin. Another little part of me dies.

                  The phone rings.

                  It turns out that a few days after your doctor wrote your last prescription, he told you to take it more frequently, meaning that what Caremark thought was a 30 day supply was indeed a 15 day supply with the new instructions. I call your doctor’s office and am immediately put on hold. I call Caremark to get an override and am immediately placed on hold. My laser printer has a paper jam. It’s time for my pharmacy tech to go to lunch. Caremark issues the override and your claim goes through. Your insurance saves you 85 cents off the regular price of the prescription.

                  The phone rings.

                  At the cash register you sign…

                  The phone rings.

                  …that you received a copy of my HIPAA policy and that I offered the required OBRA counseling for new patients. You remark that you’re glad your last pharmacist told you you should’t take over-the-counter Tylenol along with the Vicodin, and that the acetaminophen you’re taking instead seems to be working pretty well. I break the news to you that Tylenol is simply a brand name for acetaminophen and you don’t believe me. You fumble around for two minutes for your checkbook and spend another two minutes writing out a check for four dollars and sixty-seven cents. You ask why the tablets look different than those you got at the other pharmacy. I explain that they’re from a different manufacturer. Tomorrow you’ll be back to tell me they don’t work as well.

                  Now imagine that this wasn’t you at all, but the person who dropped off their prescription three people ahead of you, and you’ll start to have an idea why….your prescription takes so damn long to fill.

                  Comment


                  • Evelyn87
                    Evelyn87 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    this is genius (and sadly my life)

                • #12
                  Google FPGEE foreign pharmacy graduate exam equivalency. I did it a few years ago and didn’t get a sniff of a job. Working conditions are horrendous. Think of boots or Lloyds and multiply by 10. Oversupply of pharmacists too.

                  Comment


                  • #13
                    Workloads are so heavy and such a risk to patients that in Chicago they are trying to set limits on the amount of work a pharmacist can do. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/w...010-story.html

                    Comment


                    • #14
                      Thanks guys.

                      Sounds like a really good place to work.

                      My friend works in a hospital pharmacy in Florida and she likes her job.

                      So is it just retail that sucks?

                      and is the process of pharmacy vastly different to here, for example, we get a script, label and dispense?

                      Comment


                      • #15
                        Originally posted by kevnick80 View Post
                        Thanks guys.

                        Sounds like a really good place to work.

                        My friend works in a hospital pharmacy in Florida and she likes her job.

                        So is it just retail that sucks?

                        and is the process of pharmacy vastly different to here, for example, we get a script, label and dispense?
                        Probably the retail environment in general, where the customer is always right.
                        And everything needs to be done now.

                        The use of metrics is probably more detailed in the US.
                        Look at the whole thing in terms of T&C, vacation, pension and sickness benefits.

                        47 BC : Julius Cesar : Veni Vidi Vici : I came, I saw I conquered.
                        2018 AD : Modern Man : I shopped, I clicked, I collected.
                        How times change.

                        If you find you have read something that has upset or offended you an anyway please unread it at once.

                        Comment

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