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countrx -- da count wrote:

the shortage of pharmacists is severe, the rewards
are not great, and the satisfaction is not measured
by $$ to the pharmacist.


dear brother, what can we do to grandly capitalize
on this situation? yes the profession is satisfying,
but--- i would like to see more wage $$$ coming my
way. -- without having to put my body on the meat
market for the highest current bidder. 3 to 4% per
annun raises don't quite cut it. particularly in the
light of manufacturer prices increases of 7 to 9%
per year.

now should be the time to reap greater $$ rewards.

flustered & tired after a 12 hour day.
foolvkwi
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Being in the healthcare field myself, I'm wondering what are the average salaries for pharmacists and what are the hours like?
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My understanding is that CVS pharms can purchase stock
in CVS at a 15% discount as part of their compensation.
Im not familiar with their entire package ie do they get employer matching funds but I would not be surprised to find out that a pharm with CVS who takes advantage of this
type of remuneration could become quite wealthy.Would like to hear specifics from those who work at CVS.schulfool
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foolvkwi writes,
dear brother, what can we do to grandly capitalize
on this situation? yes the profession is satisfying,
but--- i would like to see more wage $$$ coming my
way. -- without having to put my body on the meat
market for the highest current bidder. 3 to 4% per
annun raises don't quite cut it. particularly in the
light of manufacturer prices increases of 7 to 9%
per year.


Big (and good) question.
We have done a lot of damage to ourselves as pharmacists. We are hourly when it is convenient and salaried when convenient. As a past supervisor (I was a sup for 2 years and was working the bench about 20 hours a week to keep my stores open. Finally just said - screw it, if I'm gonna fill scripts I'll get the hourly rate) So having a unique perspective on this I can say that in order to maximize our earning potential as RPh's we should work 40 and only 40 hours per week. Can you live on that? Most of us can but we don't. It is too easy to say, hmmm, I'd like to have that new stereo and if I work a couple of 12 hour shifts on my off days its mine - no sweat! Or for the new grad, I'm $50,000 in the hole from my student loans so an extra 8-12 hours a week, 2 weeks, or month makes the loan payment.
Now, if I were working in any other profession that was a salaried position and my earnings potential was just that - a salary - do you think I'd bust my but and do 50-60 hours a week? I might to get a promotion but that would only last for a short period and the promotion had better be in smelling range.
Something has to give here, and my gut feeling tells me it is going to have to come on the customer side. It is unrealistic to think that we can do 12 hour days and not eat. I got a complaint on one of my pharmacists because he was scarfing down a sandwich in tha back of the pharmacy at 4pm one day. The customer thought it was terrible that this person had the audacity to be eating in the pharmacy. She was a little better when I explained to her that it was against the law for this person to leave the pharmacy and the only other alternative would be to close the pharmacy and let the RPh have a break. Who else will sacrifice their health like this. This person had not had anything to eat since 8am. The expectations of the public is outrageous.
If I get a phone call from a person (I'm sure you get the same) and I can't answer because I'm on another line with a Dr. or on the floor explaining the proper way for a person to be using a blood glucose monitor I get my ass reamed.

So, if you want to see how valuable you really are, get every pharmacist you know to only work 40 hours per week (tell them to try it for a month). I don't think you will succeed but we have to start pushing back.

The only way we are going to have our full potential realized as pharmacists is when stores have to be closed because the workforce is not there to meet the hours demanded by the company or the public

When I say the satisfaction is not measured by $$ to the pharmacist what I mean is - there comes a point where it doesn't matter how much you are paying a person, the job expectations exceed anything that we are being paid.

Having said that, I work in a store that does in excess of 3000 scripts per week. This is the highest volume store I have worked in my 20+ years as a pharmacist. It is also the easiest. Why? Because at this level you are working with another pharmacist for a good portion of the day. I have a minimum of 3 techs on at a time with me. CVS has looked into the crystal ball and seen that in order for store to make money they must have volune. In order to do the volume you have to have trained people - hence our new tech training program. This program is so impressive that I know of 2 states already that have asked us if they could model their own tech traing programs after it for tech certification.

I know this was a very long answer to your question but it is a very complicated question. I can tell you that CVS is in the top 3 as far as Total Compensation packages for pharmacists.

How many of your friends with *regular* jobs have to have a person fill in every shift when they go on vacation? How many vacation shifts have you and everyone you know in the profession picked up? I get 3 weeks vacation. That means someone else has to work an extra 120 hours per year just for me. Multiply that by 30-40,000 pharmacists. That's just vacation and not the pharmacists we are actually short. How many stores do you know of that only have one pharmacist? In the district I work in there are 18 stores - half of them have pharmacists with no partners.

Sorry for the long answer, I lost track of how long I was going on for.

Forty or bust!,

Da Count



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The lowest starting salary that I am aware of in Central Ohio is around $60,000 per year. That would be starting straight out of school. Benefits on top of that equate to around 15% tax free.

Hope that helps,

Da Count
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