Economic analysis of obtaining a PharmD degree and career as a pharmacist

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Abstract

Objective. To evaluate the economic value of pharmacy education/career and the effects of the cost of private or public pharmacy school, the length of degree program, residency training, and pharmacy career path on net career earnings. Methods. This study involved an economic analysis using Markov modeling. Estimated costs of education including student loans were considered in calculating net career earnings of 4 career paths following high school graduation: (1) immediate employment; (2) employment with bachelor’s degree in chemistry or biology; (3) employment as a pharmacist with no residency training; and (4) employment as a pharmacist after completing one or two years of residency training. Results. Models indicated that throughout their careers (up to age 67), PharmD graduates may accumulate net career earnings of $5.66 million to $6.29 million, roughly 3.15 times more than high school graduates and 1.57 to 1.73 times more than those with bachelor’s degrees in biology or chemistry. Attending a public pharmacy school after completing 3 years of prepharmacy education generally leads to higher net career earnings. Community pharmacists have the highest net career earnings, and PGY-1 residency-trained hospital pharmacists have greater net career earnings than those who immediately started their careers in a hospital setting. Conclusion. The economic models presented are based on assumptions described herein; as conditions are subject to variability, these models should not be used to predict future earnings. Nevertheless, the findings demonstrate investment in a pharmacy education yields favorable financial return. Application of results to schools of pharmacy, students, and graduates is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number117
JournalAmerican journal of pharmaceutical education
Volume79
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

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pharmacist
Pharmacists
Internship and Residency
Economics
career
Pharmacy Education
Pharmacy Schools
Education
economics
Pharmacy Residencies
Pharmacy Students
Economic Models
Costs and Cost Analysis
Training Support
bachelor
biology
chemistry
graduate
school
career education

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)

Cite this

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abstract = "Objective. To evaluate the economic value of pharmacy education/career and the effects of the cost of private or public pharmacy school, the length of degree program, residency training, and pharmacy career path on net career earnings. Methods. This study involved an economic analysis using Markov modeling. Estimated costs of education including student loans were considered in calculating net career earnings of 4 career paths following high school graduation: (1) immediate employment; (2) employment with bachelor’s degree in chemistry or biology; (3) employment as a pharmacist with no residency training; and (4) employment as a pharmacist after completing one or two years of residency training. Results. Models indicated that throughout their careers (up to age 67), PharmD graduates may accumulate net career earnings of $5.66 million to $6.29 million, roughly 3.15 times more than high school graduates and 1.57 to 1.73 times more than those with bachelor’s degrees in biology or chemistry. Attending a public pharmacy school after completing 3 years of prepharmacy education generally leads to higher net career earnings. Community pharmacists have the highest net career earnings, and PGY-1 residency-trained hospital pharmacists have greater net career earnings than those who immediately started their careers in a hospital setting. Conclusion. The economic models presented are based on assumptions described herein; as conditions are subject to variability, these models should not be used to predict future earnings. Nevertheless, the findings demonstrate investment in a pharmacy education yields favorable financial return. Application of results to schools of pharmacy, students, and graduates is discussed.",
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