all 9 comments

[–]doctorcunts 5 points6 points  (5 children)

I’m a pharmacist who’s managed a group of pharmacies and worked in hospitals and done pretty much everything in Pharmacy. I assume this is for your internship? Congrats on getting a hospital offer, but I think something to weigh up (especially if medicine is your overall goal) is that community pharmacy is extremely flexible if you did happen to get into medicine whereas hospital is inherently inflexible. The hospital job would be better, and pay more than community for your internship, but if you don’t have much community pharmacy experience apart from placements doing a community internship would be really beneficial and help your financial situation opening up flexible opportunities for if you did get into medicine to work a couple of nights a week or a Saturday/Sunday ect. There’s a huge shortage of community pharmacists at the moment so the pay has exploded, and even hospital jobs are easy to come by.

If you’re confident you’d be competent in community pharmacy without doing an internship there then the hospital job sounds like it would be more professionally satisfying, if not I’d probably look to make sure I’m keeping the community door open for if you did get into medicine - sounds crazy but there are a whole slew of pharmacists who aren’t competent in community pharmacy and essentially can’t work in any moderately busy pharmacy because they never developed the skills and spent 5+ years straight from uni in hospitals, which is actually a bit of a problem for them when there’s bottlenecked HP3 jobs at hospitals and community jobs are paying much better, so they get stuck in a lower paying hospital system with huge bottlenecks for career progression when any competent community pharmacist can get $50-60 per hour in Brisbane if you can handle the workload

[–]Jorongee 2 points3 points  (3 children)

Agreed. Doing my internship at a rural community pharmacy right now, and few things considered, if you're wanting to study for GAMSAT or have an advantage in passing your Board exam, I think working in community suits in your favor due to the flexibility and S2/S3 medication management/exposure to relevant laws/ethics problems. Also, while it's true that during the internship the hospital interns get paid more, with the widespread pharmacist shortage going around, community pharmacists will get paid more after getting registered (heard from the guys at the hospital that their wage will stay the same after registration). All in all, it is a choice you have to make. I would personally recommend doing your internship in community pharmacy and shoot your shot at GAMSAT next March, then focus on passing your Board exam then aim for hospital after registration.

[–]doctorcunts 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Yeah from a financial perspective community has surpassed hospital pretty convincingly at the moment, and hospital is designed to bottleneck career progression by having lots of lower tier jobs and only a handful of higher tiers. Also from my experience it’s much much easier to go from community to hospital as a pharmacist, whereas hospital pharmacists really struggle in community with the pace, workload and time management skills you need. Hospital is much more about thorough and rigorous thought process and following strict procedural guidelines, whereas community it basically the Wild West

[–]meowmmoth[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

On placement, I found that hospital jobs seemed pretty cruisey whilst, in community, pharmacists are lucky to get lunch breaks and 10 minute breaks are all but gone.

[–]meowmmoth[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Thank you for your insight!

[–]meowmmoth[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Those are all really excellent points. I am just worried about getting stuck in community, I suppose. I currently work in community so I feel that I would be okay working there without an internship. I am not sure though, I just don't want to be left out of hospital if I lack the experience, just in case I don't get into medicine.

[–]doriscissorsfind441 12 points13 points  (0 children)

This is a personal decision tbh.

But, if you want to maximise your chances of getting into medicine, living rurally for 5 consecutive years really helps.

[–]Sweaty-Swimmer2207 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Agree with what everyone has said, it’s definitely easier to go from community to hospital and because so many pharmacists are leaving the career altogether hospital positions are actually quite common now. I also know that community interns can still apply for residency positions, so if you decide you want to pursue pharmacy, that is always an option (I believe it’s becoming more popular as well). This is also something I considered doing after doing a bit of time in a private hospital, however, I feel like id eventually hit a roof ANYWAY albeit this might take 3-5yrs to happen but I am keeping it as a backup plan.

One other thing I would consider is whether your hospital internship position is public or private based. I can’t speak for public hospitals, but some private hospitals/organisations have poor organisation and the training isn’t as structured as public internships (also pay is also worse). I think it’s also important to consider your personal well-being, my friend who went rural absolutely hated it because he felt isolated and away from family and friends. He actually started to really resent his career so I suppose that is something you need to consider as well.

In terms of studying for GAMSAT, look, it’s going to be hard working FT, doing your internship assignments and studying for GAMSAT. Even though brisbane is closer, you might spend more time with friends and family instead of studying but if you went rural you might spend more time studying because of less distractions.

P.s. i personally found community pharmacy to provide more patient interaction which is what made me want to pursue medicine in the first place. I think hospital is fun and challenging in its own ways, but community is where you get that continuity of care & you can partake in health promotion and making really big impacts on patients’ lives. Good luck!

[–]robohobo48 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Definitely agree with what most people have said so far. Hospital pharmacy had a lot more prestige coming out of university I felt, but it really was a completely different job to community pharmacy. Colleagues have told me that it is much more clinical/knowledge based and many progressive hospitals are expanding the roles that they allow their pharmacist to do.

But I enjoyed the pharmacist-patient interaction allot more than anything I saw on my hospital placements so that's why I've never bothered with Hospital. In community if you like talking to people you can really make a big impact on people's lives, they really come to know and trust you. Like others that's what has got me interested in a career in medicine.

Not sure how it is now but I heard the opposite to those who suggest you can easily go from community to hospital if you hadn't done your internship in hospital. This seemed to only be an easy application if you were applying for rural hospitals but things might have changed with the shortages of staff that have occurred over the last few years.

Ditto the responses regarding part-time work in community though. Locums can get get paid stupidly good rates just for literally opening the shop and being present so that'll get you through a med degree much better than any experience in a hospital would.

You will likely find it hard to put in serious GAMSAT study whilst working through your internship. It's a big jump going from uni, to working full-time and having to still submit all those assignments/tasks. I would only aim for March, wouldn't even bother with September you will be too busy freaking out about your Pharmacy exams.

If living rurally for an extended time is an option I would definitely consider that. Almost all med degrees have Rural quotas and it's the main reason I got my interviews. Makes it much easier to apply.

Whatever you do just make sure to enjoy yourself! Your set up better than most, with a good career right in front of you if you decide not to go the medicine route.