Friday, June 15, 2012

True Figures - The Cost of Pharmacy School

So, I haven't kept it a secret that I have not felt fulfilled as a pharmacist.  I have posted many rants about my job, and have considered going back to school.  Actually, I recently attended an academic advisement meeting to see what I need to do to go to medical school, and have scheduled other meetings to research various fields that I am interested in.   So far, I believe that medical school is no longer an option for me, as it is to much time for me to invest at 27 years old. Not that it wouldn't be worth it, but I don't want to be 35+ years old before I start practicing on my own. Not to mention the $180,000 of debt the average student graduates with (in my state).

If you want to go to medical school, pursue it first, as it is a huge investment of time, money, and energy.  It takes a bachelors degree, four years of medical school, 2-4 years of residency, and then 2-4 more years of fellowship (depending on your specialty).

That being said, I would like to talk a little more about pharmacy.  Where I live, the job market is getting saturated.  People are graduating without jobs.

Let me rephrase that.  People are graduating with $150,000+ in debt, without a job.... debt that never goes away... ever.

Personally, I graduated with a little over $170,000 of school debt, which is a little funny to me.  It's funny because one of the factors that lead me to choose pharmacy over medical school was the debt factor.  My grandpa did some homework for me just before I graduated high school, and took me around to talk to people regarding a major.  I actually had a physician tell me to stay away from medical school because of the debt, and to go to pharmacy school because it is cheaper and pharmacists make a good living.

Sounded good, but looking at it now, I seemed to have graduated with the same debt as the average physician when they graduate.  Not to mention that fact that I make half to a quarter of their average salaries.


This is absurd.  Not only are we paying more for our education, we are now graduating without the promise of a job near our home.

I will have to admit that I did take the max amount of loans to include cost of living during school, which left me with about $10,000 a semester (during pharmacy school NOT undergrad).  Therefore, if you are going to any kind of grad school, take it from me and BE DILIGENT.  Do not give in to the "American Way" of thinking that you can have it now and pay for it later, because you will become a SLAVE to debt.  Just like our nation has become a slave to our debt and debtors (thanks China!).  Also remember that the Bible says not to go into debt to anyone, but if you do, get out of it as soon as possible (for you will be a slave to your debtor).

My monthly payments for my loans are a little over $1500.  That is on the 10 year plan they put you on when you graduate.  You can extend the loans to the 30 year plan, or apply for some of the special programs that they have to reduce your cost per month, but that is what it costs me to stick with the 10 year plan.

If you have ever crunched the numbers (or have seen them crunched), you will recognize the fact that extending loans to 30 years will basically DOUBLE the amount you pay for the original item purchased.  So I would pay $340,000 for my education (including the cost of living amount) instead of the original $170,000.  Hence the reason I am sticking with the 10 year plan.  Now, add that payment to a $1000 dollar a month mortgage, and you will see that there isn't a lot of room to try to make double payments to get out of debt as soon as possible.

That being said, it seems very compelling for me to stop complaining and just appreciate the fact that I:

1. Have a job close to home
2. Have a good salary
4. I am in a place where I can try to get debt free as soon as possible

In fact I have looked at this, and have decided it isn't all that bad.

However, I have been called by the Good Lord above to do something Radical, and I have decided to answer that call.

Please read my next post to hear an amazing true story that may just inspire you to follow the Lord with all of your heart, mind, and soul.

Until next time,
Peace to you and may the Lord Bless You in all that you do.   - AMEN!