Should You Take a Gap Year After Pharmacy School?

Deciding whether to take a gap year after completing pharmacy school is a big step that requires careful thought and evaluation of personal and professional goals. While there are both advantages and disadvantages to taking a gap year, the decision ultimately depends on individual circumstances and priorities.

Professional Development 

One compelling reason to take a gap year is the opportunity for personal and professional development. Pharmacy school is rigorous, and graduates may feel the need to take a break to recharge and pursue other interests. This time off can allow people to explore new hobbies, travel, or engage in volunteer work, contributing to a more well-rounded and fulfilled life.

Work Experience 

Moreover, a gap year can provide valuable work experience. Some graduates may choose to work in a pharmacy setting to gain practical knowledge and skills before diving into a full-time career. This hands-on experience can enhance confidence and competence, making the transition to professional practice smoother. It also may help people to identify specific areas of interest within the field of pharmacy, helping them to determine a career path. 

Skills Lost 

On the other hand, there are potential downsides to taking a gap year. One concern is the risk of losing momentum and the mindset required for academic success. Pharmacy is a rapidly evolving field, and staying up to date with the latest developments is crucial. A gap year may lead to a gap in knowledge, requiring graduates to invest extra effort in catching up when they return to the workforce.


Financial considerations also play a role in the decision-making process. Taking a year off may mean delaying entry into a salaried position, impacting income and financial stability. Graduates should carefully assess their financial situation and determine if they can afford a gap year without significant strain on their resources.

Credentialing Issues 

Some employers or residency programs may prefer candidates who have recently graduated and may view a gap year as a potential hindrance. Credentialing processes and requirements could change during the gap year, making it more challenging to meet specific eligibility criteria.

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