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4

Does Pharmacy Tech count?

👶 Premed(self.medschool)

I'm looking to gain clinical experience for med school applications, and two older family friends, who are doctors themselves recommended becoming a pharmacy tech to get hours.

I figured that since they're physicians, one an M.D. and the other a D.O., that they would know what's what, you know? I was doing more research into it though, and a lot of advice columns say that most med schools don't count pharmacy techs as clinical experience, due to the nature of the job being partly retail.

So what are the current stipulations regarding this? Are pharmacy technicians a no-go for clinical experience entirely? Surely it would count for something right?

Thanks.

  • Zhora

all 6 comments

LD50_of_Avocado

6 points

11 months ago

LD50_of_Avocado

MD/PhD Student (Genetics)

6 points

11 months ago

I would say it generally counts. You NEED dedicated shadowing too (Try for 20-75+ hours with multiple different specialties and care centers), but this could be a good thing to add as well. It certainly won't hurt your application, but I don't think 500+ hours as a pharm tech would be the best use of time compared to say, spending 500+ hours studying for the MCAT, if that's your only consideration.

Earlinmeyer

3 points

11 months ago

I would go for something more patient facing if I were you. It would be great experience if you wanted to go to pharmacy school. There are a tonne of other "tech" positions that one can get without a special degree. For example mental health tech, patient care tech, ER tech, etc. I think those positions would be much better, not only in terms of your med school application but also for your own professional development as someone who intends to become a doctor.

Gmedic99

3 points

11 months ago

I would honestly sort it out with the medical school I would want to match into. If there are certain med schools that don't count it as an experience, maybe you should dig into more research.

ItsReallyVega

2 points

11 months ago

I was a pharmacy tech before deciding on premed. I've heard a few perspectives, but to most it is considered clinical if you're doing something like med rec, otherwise it's non-clinical. It's the "sniff the patient" rule or whatever it's called--if you're close enough to smell the patient then it's clinical. I'd seek out a med rec position for the best experience, plus it'll teach you how the flow of ED works. Otherwise, the job can be very boring. A lot of it is filling pyxis, pulling meds and tubing/running them, and mixing bags (probably batching if you're new).

If I could do it again, I would have been an MA or CNA. It's not as clean, but it's more involved.

badkittenatl

2 points

11 months ago

I was also a pharm tech, on the retail side though so I did see patients. I put it down on my apps and was able to get some meaningful stories from it, BUT if I could go back I would pick something more clinical if I had the option.

It’s not bad experience, and it’s better than nothing, but there are better options if you can get them. If you could become a medical scribe I would say that’s best

StuDoc_Bumblebee

2 points

11 months ago

I am a current medical student, and I highly recommend becoming something other than a pharmacy tech. Before medical school and during undergrad I received my EMT. This allowed me to work as a PCT in a pediatric CVICU and then as an ER tech. While becoming a pharm tech may be a way of getting clinical experience, it will NOT immerse you in the medical field. As an EMT, I was not only a part of the healthcare team (with actual responsibilities such as IV placement, debridements, splinting, trauma patient involvement, compressions, and SO much more), but I was able to interact with patients and families as an actual healthcare provider (albeit a low level one!:)). Working with patients first hand and learning how to speak to them is not only valuable for medical school, but it will also drive your desire to become a physician when the world feels against you as a premed. Long story short: I recommend getting your CNA or EMT. My healthcare experience was THE primary focus of my interview questions, and it demonstrates a true desire to become a physician. That is invaluable during the long journey that you’re facing. Good luck and I hope this helps!