Pharmacist speaks to Medical Sciences club

Michael Ford

   Daniel Bryant, a pharmacist at Fred’s, spoke to the University of Arkansas – Monticello’s Medical Sciences Club regarding a career in pharmacy on Tuesday, April 5.

   High grades and test scores provide students with the most secure way of being accepted to pharmacy school. This year the average Pharmacy College Admission Test scores of those accepted ranged from the 70s to 80s.

   “I made an 85 on the PCAT and that would be like a 75 now, so it’s a little bit harder,” Bryant said. “I wouldn’t take the test until I’m a junior, because you won’t know most of the material before then.”

   Bryant said being involved with organizations, as well as knowing influential people such as pharmacists who could write a recommendation, increases students’ chances of being accepted.

   “If you’re borderline with your grades, organizations will help you out,” he said.

   Students interested in pharmacy should make A’s in all prerequisites. The average student accepted to pharmacy school this year maintained a 3.4 grade point average, although Bryant said he knew some who got accepted with a 2.7, but nothing lower than that.

   “If your grades are mostly A’s and some B’s, you have a good chance,” he said.

   Being accepted to pharmacy school continues to increase in difficulty, due to surging salaries.

   “It’s harder because salaries have increased quite a bit,” he said. “The salaries just keep on increasing because people are living longer.”

   Professor of Chemistry Morris Bramlett said UAM published a sheet last year indicating the average salary for a pharmacy graduate as $84,000.

   Bryant discussed the following basic categories of pharmacy:

  • Retail
  • Hospital
  • Clinical
  • Compound
  • Nuclear
  • Research and Development

   “In retail you have to be able to deal with people who are always right in their mind,” Bryant said. “If you don’t want to have a 9 to 5 job and then go home and count prescriptions, clinical pharmacy would be the best way to go.”

   Bryant, a graduate of UAM, said the university helped him get into pharmacy school because of the small classes.

   “You’re at a good school and if you work hard, you’ll do good,” he said. “The chemistry teachers here (UAM) are better than the ones there (pharmacy school).”

   Bryant received a warm welcome from the Math and Science department, especially from former professors.   

    “I appreciate Daniel being here,” said Russell Nordeen, professor of biology. “He’s certainly one of the top 10 students I’ve had and has a wonderful personality.”  

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