What should I study for pharmacy school?

I’ve had several people ask me this. They are either applying for pharmacy school or have already been accepted to pharmacy school. They are crazy and want to take a non-prerequisite course to help them prepare for pharmacy school. I usually tell them this . . . “Take Spanish.”

Yep. Spanish. If you want to get a big edge over other pharmacists upon graduation, take a useful foreign language. On my list, Spanish is número uno because it is the second most common language in the United States (following English, duh). Many areas of the country have non-English Spanish speakers. By knowing the language, you can communicate with these 28 million people on how to properly take their medicine. You can really make a difference in their health care this way. My professor told me about Spanish patient who took 12 instead of 2 tablets each time. The Spanish word for twelve (doce) sounds a lot like two (dos), especially if you pronounce it wrong.

Other languages I recommend are Chinese and Japanese. I would put Chinese as #2 because of the many pockets of Chinese communities in the US. However, they are not numerous as Spanish speakers. Japanese is a #3 for me because it is a nice skill – just not for pharmacy in the US. Many Japanese businesspeople speak only their native language so you’ll have an advantage if you deal with them. But it is really rare to find a non-English speaking Japanese in the States. Who knows? Maybe you want to become a sales rep in Japan? However, be warned as it is an extremely difficult language.

So yea, do something that will help you not only with pharmacy, but with your life in general. Take a foreign language.


3 Responses to “What should I study for pharmacy school?”

  1. marilyn Says:

    I was on theangrypharmacist.com and stumbled upon your blog. I’m also in pharmacy school (P1 in the fall) and work at a chain pharmacy and get patients who only speak Spanish all the time. Unfortunately my school’s curriculum has no room for a Spanish course..

  2. pharmacykid Says:

    Have you looked into Spanish classes at your local community college? It’ll be a lot cheaper there than at the college your pharm school is at. If that’s not an option, try the Pimsleur Program. I currently used it and it helps a lot. However, DO NOT buy it b/c it’s hideously expensive. They have the CD’s at my library so check your library. Even then, you can download it illegally somewhere.

    Try this site for learning tips.

  3. PharmApplicants.com Says:

    good advice. especially true if you live and work in a pharmacy in the los angeles region

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