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Pharmacy Officer

justmyalias

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justmyalias said:
One would be quick to conclude that you don't care much for pharmacists?

Pretty blunt about it?

I was personally surprised when I first learned this myself.  I certainly would've expected them to be paid according to a similarly *special* pay grade.  After all...as a private sector employee, their salary is SIGNIFICANTLY higher than in the military.

The novelty of 'the thrill of being a military pharmacists' can only tie one over so long no?  Cash is king after all.
I can't believe someone reported this post. :facepalm:

I'm on a dozen-odd forums., post about a thousand times more there than on here, and this is the one I get dinged on, lol.  Go Figure.
 

mariomike

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For reference, if interested.
Public Sector Salary Disclosure for 2010 : Hospitals and Boards of Public Health : pharmacist
http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/publications/salarydisclosure/2011/hospit11.pdf

It only shows those who made the Sunshine List. Your results may vary.
 

justmyalias

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justmyalias said:
I can't believe someone reported this post. :facepalm:

I'm on a dozen-odd forums., post about a thousand times more there than on here, and this is the one I get dinged on, lol.  Go Figure.
According to the links above, the 2007 stats for Ottawa Ontario is 37., but in the para just above it-says the average hourly rate for Feb 2011 was $14???  I don't understand why there's such a difference.  I can't believe that pharmacists work for that little...$30-$40 I can buy...but $14???

The average weekly earnings for the retail trade sector as a whole were $505.92 in February 2011, an increase of 1.9% on the previous year when average weekly earnings were $496.34. Assuming an average working week of 36 hours, hourly average earnings in this sector for February 2011 were $14.05
Unless, some would have worked 10hours only, (making the hourly more on $40/hr), but the stats still divided by 36??  Would that be at all possible?  How incorrect of a manner to represent those stats heh?
 

Rocknroll

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Occam:

It's my understanding that you cannot "just come in off the street" into a ROTP pharmacy program. You must be accepted into a pharmacy school, and those schools require at least one and possibly two or three years of university before you are eligible to apply. At least one drug chain will give you 50,000 dollars in school if you agree to work for them afterward for 4 years. I think the starting wage was around 90,000 per year (on top of the recruitment bonus) for a new grad.

And don't get me wrong...I'm not saying pharmacy students should receive the same pay as medical or dentistry students, but pharmacists make well above what most professions do. I'd put it on a level similar to law, which, coincidentally enough, has its own payscale.

Ballz:

Not ripped off, but pharmacy students have a lot of options. There are hefty offers and signing bonuses from drug chains, they have student lines of credit that are beyond what the average arts or science student can get. And don't forget a licensed pharmacist will make close to or over 100k. It's not an average degree program, and should be compensated in a similar fashion to how law, medicine, and dentistry are. I'm not saying the same as medical students, but if you don't offer at least close to what they can make civie side...well, get used to pharmacist shortages.

Dapaterson:

You are absolutely mistaken on what pharmacists make. Barely above minimum wage? Perhaps you are thinking of pharmacy technicians....although even they make between 20-30 dollars an hour. I don't know any pharmacists that HAVE to work late night shifts. I would guess they either prefer it, don't mind it, or make more because of it. I do know of pharmacies that close early because the pharmacist(s) won't work late nights.

-----

Let me just reiterate my argument again to be clear. I am not saying pharmacists should make as much as medical or dental officers. Legal officers don't make as much either, yet they still have a separate payscale...
You cannot enter a pharmacy program right out of high school (unless you apply and are accepted to a 6 year program). It is like law, medicine and dentistry in the fact that you must complete a number of years of university coursework, as well as certain science prereqs to apply. Further, a pharmacy grad stands to earn MUCH more than your average grad. There is a current and chronic shortage of pharmacists in the CF according to what I've heard.

From all of that, it makes sense to me to offer pharmacists an educational and professional compensation package that is more in line with what they would make civie side. I know there are people who will disagree, and that's fine. To those people I would ask, though...why is it the CF has trouble attracting and retaining pharmacists?
 

Occam

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Rocknroll said:
Occam:

It's my understanding that you cannot "just come in off the street" into a ROTP pharmacy program. You must be accepted into a pharmacy school, and those schools require at least one and possibly two or three years of university before you are eligible to apply. At least one drug chain will give you 50,000 dollars in school if you agree to work for them afterward for 4 years. I think the starting wage was around 90,000 per year (on top of the recruitment bonus) for a new grad.

And don't get me wrong...I'm not saying pharmacy students should receive the same pay as medical or dentistry students, but pharmacists make well above what most professions do. I'd put it on a level similar to law, which, coincidentally enough, has its own payscale.

According to the recruiting website, you're mostly incorrect.  A pharmacy student can be enrolled into ROTP if they have unconditional acceptance into one of the degree-granting Canadian Colleges of Clinical Pharmacy.  See http://www.forces.ca/en/job/pharmacyofficer-48#info-1.

I know the recruiting website can have out of date information, but I believe pharmacy officers were "in-demand" not that long ago, so the information is likely current.
 

Rocknroll

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Occam said:
According to the recruiting website, you're mostly incorrect.  A pharmacy student can be enrolled into ROTP if they have unconditional acceptance into one of the degree-granting Canadian Colleges of Clinical Pharmacy.  See http://www.forces.ca/en/job/pharmacyofficer-48#info-1.

I know the recruiting website can have out of date information, but I believe pharmacy officers were "in-demand" not that long ago, so the information is likely current.

Not incorrect at all, Occam. You cannot be accepted into any Canadian pharmacy program without at least 1 year of university coursework, and often 2 or 3 (depends on the school).
 

Michael OLeary

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Rocknroll said:
From all of that, it makes sense to me to offer pharmacists an educational and professional compensation package that is more in line with what they would make civie side. I know there are people who will disagree, and that's fine. To those people I would ask, though...why is it the CF has trouble attracting and retaining pharmacists?

Unfortunately, there is unlikely to be anyone here that can answer your question except to say that's how it is under the current pay structure.  It would be up to the Pharmacist occupation to make a case that would substantiate and justify a different pay scale for their occupation. One possible factor for that case may well be to improve the ability for the trade to attract and retain people. Until they achieve that, they will remain General Service Officers for the purposes of pay because there's no-one in DND or Treasury Board tracking civilian pay scale and automatically adjusting CF pay rates for individual trades.
 

ballz

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Rocknroll said:
Not incorrect at all, Occam. You cannot be accepted into any Canadian pharmacy program without at least 1 year of university coursework, and often 2 or 3 (depends on the school).

Big friggin' deal. There are tons of programs that require you to have a year of coursework and certain pre-reqs done to get into the programs, not just pharmacy, med, dental, and law. You're grabbing at straws trying to compare it to med and law, because to get into one of those programs (probably dental too) without already having a degree your chances are between slim and none, and slim skipped town. People get into pharmacy after one year ALL THE TIME and I've never heard of a pharmacy program that had a minimum requirement of a degree.

What about Log O's with their CAs, CMAs, etc? I guess professional accountants don't fit in your "elite" class that makes over 100k a year so you just forgot about Log O's? I guess having to have an accounting degree and three years work experience just to start writing the tests to get into the program can't match a pharmacy program's requirement of 1 year of prereqs.

You obviously didn't even read or pay attention to half the stuff that's been said if you're going to use the 100k a year argument.

Rocknroll said:
At least one drug chain will give you 50,000 dollars in school if you agree to work for them afterward for 4 years. I think the starting wage was around 90,000 per year (on top of the recruitment bonus) for a new grad.

I see the university's marketing scheme has worked well. Rather than bitch and complain, go ahead and join the privacy sector, and enjoy your reality check when you get out of university and into the real world.

Rocknroll said:
I'd put it on a level similar to law

I don't know whether to laugh or cry...
 

medicineman

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Rocknroll said:
To those people I would ask, though...why is it the CF has trouble attracting and retaining pharmacists?

I would hazard to guess it's because they often get employed doing non-pharmacist stuff, like medical equipment management at a staff level, which isn't exactly patient care, or even pushing dope - it's dealing with equipment scales (which is a little scary as an aside, since alot of them haven't a schmick what and why we use some things or even need them...makes it easier for them to refuse requests for things I guess) as a medical supply officer.  Some actually like the staff work, but alot don't.  The other issue is that we don't have active hospitals anymore, so there isn't as much clinical pharmacy work being done, which alot of folks like.

:2c:

MM
 

Rocknroll

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Michael O'Leary:

I know, and your points are well taken. My question was just asked with the hope that people might look at it and think: hmm...why is it difficult for the CF to maintain a desired number of pharmacists? What factors are relevant here? And in case my posts have been construed as complaints without offering anything positive, let me say that from what I know, pharmacists in the CF enjoy a scope of professional practice and opportunity that is hard to match in retail. And that is definitely worth something. Pay is always going to be an issue, though. It's something the higher ups need to consider when it comes to recruitment and retention, in my opinion.

ballz:

Tell me where students are getting into pharmacy school with one year of university ALL THE TIME? Certainly not in Ontario. Are you aware that pharmacy will soon become a professional doctorate degree program and already is in Quebec? You seem to have an attitude towards pharmacy for some reason....I have no idea why that is. Log Os do not require a CA designation to be employed as a Log O. Pharmacists are required to have a pharmacy degree and pass licensing requirements to be employed as pharmacy officer. Big difference. Also, I'd like to see the Chartered Accountant that would work for 70k a year. Sorry, but your argument is flawed.

And I don't know if you've been paying attention to what's been said, but I haven't made any sort of 100k a year argument. My argument is simply occupations that require highly skilled individuals who command high salaries need to be compensated in a manner that reflects that in the CF...or you will have recruitment problems. No 100k threshold or any other number is the test. If you are wondering why I kept mentioning 100k, it is because that is what a new pharmacy grad can expect to earn, more or less... significantly more than an OC or young Capt.

Again, you seem to be labouring under the assumption that pharmacy grads compete with art history majors for jobs. They do not. What I have told you is indeed the real world.

And laugh or cry, it makes no difference to me. Although do you know, strictly speaking, you can be a lawyer in less time than it takes to be a pharmacist? Have you looked at what the average salary of lawyers in Canada is? I'm just curious why you seem to put law on pedestal and attempt to discredit pharmacy...

medicineman:

If that is the case, why aren't newer pharmacists coming up to replace those who have moved to other positions...without shortage problems? If the demand has lessened due to hospital closures and the like, why is pharmacy still an in demand trade (with a recruiting bonus for the last 4 years, no less)?


 

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Rocknroll said:
medicineman:
If the demand has lessened due to hospital closures and the like, why is pharmacy still an in demand trade (with a recruiting bonus for the last 4 years, no less)?

medicineman said:
I would hazard to guess it's because they often get employed doing non-pharmacist stuff, like medical equipment management at a staff level, which isn't exactly patient care, or even pushing dope - it's dealing with equipment scales (which is a little scary as an aside, since alot of them haven't a schmick what and why we use some things or even need them...makes it easier for them to refuse requests for things I guess) as a medical supply officer.  Some actually like the staff work, but alot don't.  The other issue is that we don't have active hospitals anymore, so there isn't as much clinical pharmacy work being done, which alot of folks like.

:2c:

MM

Please read people's posts.  This is getting cyclical.
 

Fishbone Jones

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dapaterson said:
Entry-level pharmacy jobs in the private sector are late hours and low pay - you're the one working the desirable midnight to 8am shift for barely above minimum wage.

A military pharmacist at age 40 will likely be a mid-ranking major, pulling in over 100K income, plus pension, plus a benefits package.  On deployments overseas, additional allowances are paid, plus there's the possiblity that your pay (or a portion of it) will be tax free.

The military also pays for your licensing and practice insurance; pays for your ongoing training; offers other professional development opportunities such as paid studies with a masters in health management or an MBA.


You are correct - the pay for a military pharmacist isn't competitive with the private sector.  It's head and shoulders above.

They also don't have to worry about some strung out jerk off, coming in, sticking a gun in their face and making off with all their percs and oxycodone, while they lay there, dying, in a puddle of their own shit, puke and blood.

This self entitled bullshit is getting out of control ::)
 

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Rocknroll said:
Michael O'Leary:

I know, and your points are well taken. My question was just asked with the hope that people might look at it and think: hmm...why is it difficult for the CF to maintain a desired number of pharmacists? What factors are relevant here? And in case my posts have been construed as complaints without offering anything positive, let me say that from what I know, pharmacists in the CF enjoy a scope of professional practice and opportunity that is hard to match in retail. And that is definitely worth something. Pay is always going to be an issue, though. It's something the higher ups need to consider when it comes to recruitment and retention, in my opinion.

So who, exactly are you hoping to convince here? If you think CF Pharmacists are entitled to higher pay, become one and start working from within the system to change it. Simply standing outside and trying to point out what you believe is an inadequate pay and benefits package is not a productive exercise. I can assure you that no-on in the CF medical world is monitoring Milnet.ca for threads like this looking for some sort of "Eureka" inspiration to go off and write proposals for changing pay scales.



 

Rocknroll

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Strike said:
Please read people's posts.  This is getting cyclical.
You edited out the part of my post that led to the second question. IF pharmacists are moving to other positions, thus creating a shortage, why aren't adequate numbers of pharmacists being recruited to replace them? And IF hospital closures have lessened the demand for clinical pharmacy services, why is there still a shortage?

You needed both sides to properly understand what I was asking. You took part of it out of context and the question wasn't even directed to you in the first place.
 

Michael OLeary

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Rocknroll said:
You edited out the part of my post that led to the second question. IF pharmacists are moving to other positions, thus creating a shortage, why aren't adequate numbers of pharmacists being recruited to replace them? And IF hospital closures have lessened the demand for clinical pharmacy services, why is there still a shortage?

You needed both sides to properly understand what I was asking. You took part of it out of context and the question wasn't even directed to you in the first place.

medicineman didn't say they were being moved to other positions, many CF officers have administrative responsibilities that aren't essentially within their technical skillsets or training. Therefore, a pharmacy officer in a CF medical establishment may also be doing those tasks he listed. Others may be promoted or posted out of pharmacy work within the trade to help manage the trade itself, but those will not be a significant proportion of the trade.

There are seldom any simple answers regarding the ebb and flow of attraction and retention in individual trades. Even suggesting that simply throwing more money at those people will not necessarily solve the problem. At its worse, if the imbalance goes the other way, assuming you are correct in some measure, then it may only attract those who seek the pay without the broader motivations for service, and the attrition for other reasons increases among those applicants.



 

Fishbone Jones

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Rocknroll said:
You edited out the part of my post that led to the second question. IF pharmacists are moving to other positions, thus creating a shortage, why aren't adequate numbers of pharmacists being recruited to replace them? And IF hospital closures have lessened the demand for clinical pharmacy services, why is there still a shortage?

You needed both sides to properly understand what I was asking. You took part of it out of context and the question wasn't even directed to you in the first place.

Sorry, maybe you don't understand the internet or this forum. If you ask a question here, even if it's directed at someone in particular, that does not preclude someone else from answering and giving their opinion.

You may not like it, but that's really too bad. It's just something you'll have to learn to live with.

Kinda like the parameters of a specific job for a specific employer. Don't like it? Move on and see if you can find someone else that will hire you and fit your demands.

Contrary to what most of the current generation feel and believe, it's still a buyer's market out there. It's the prospective employer that holds the cards and decides what they want in a new hire, not the job candidate that thinks that employers are beholden to employ them on what they want to give.
 

Rocknroll

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Michael O'Leary said:
So who, exactly are you hoping to convince here? If you think CF Pharmacists are entitled to higher pay, become one and start working from within the system to change it. Simply standing outside and trying to point out what you believe is an inadequate pay and benefits package is not a productive exercise. I can assure you that no-on in the CF medical world is monitoring Milnet.ca for threads like this looking for some sort of "Eureka" inspiration to go off and write proposals for changing pay scales.

I guess the point was just to have a discussion about it, but you're probably right that nothing terribly productive will come from it.
 

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Rocknroll said:
I guess the point was just to have a discussion about it, but you're probably right that nothing terribly productive will come from it.

You can move the world with a lever long enough, but the fulcrum has to be in the right place.
 

dapaterson

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(1) The CF's pharmacist requirement is fairly small - tha means that a small number of people hitting retirement at the same time can have a disporportionate impact.  So saying "short" could mean as few as 3 or 4 vacancies; hardly unmanageable.

(2) For comparability, look at the public service pharmacist pay scales at http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/pubs_pol/hrpubs/coll_agre/sh/sh07-eng.asp#toc235259037 ; a senior pharmacist (classified as PH3) would earn a maximum of $105K.  Note that at that classification they are senior pharmacists with years of experience, not new graduates. A mililtary pharmacist as a GSO would earn more than that as a senior major.

(3) One can also look at salary surveys.  In 2007 (last numbers I could find) pharmacist pay ranged from $25-$55 per hour, or $49K-107K (based on a 37.5 hour work week).  Military pay is definitely competitive there. (http://www.livingin-canada.com/salaries-for-pharmacists.html)


So:  military pay scales are comparable to the private and public sector.  The shortages are relatively mionr and are manageable.  So the CF needs to re-think pay for pharmacists why, exactly?
 

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Michael O'Leary:

Ahh, ok. Thanks for the informative answer. I've found your posts particularly thoughtful and well-written. Milpoints inbound.
 
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