DOI: 10.1177/08971900231198926 ISSN:

A Cross-Sectional Survey Study of Student Pharmacists’ Career Interests

Caitlin Cameron, Kim Carroll, Allison Forbes, Xhovana Luca, Ahmad A. Alamer, Maryam T. Fazel
  • Pharmacology (medical)

Background: Career planning is important to student pharmacists and pharmacy schools due to slower job growth for pharmacists over the last decade. Understanding students’ career interests can help colleges and schools of pharmacy develop targeted career planning, as well as meaningful curricular and co-curricular activities. Objectives: This study aims to describe the career path interests of two doctor of pharmacy cohorts in each professional year (P1 through P4) during the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 academic years. Methods: This was a retrospective cross-sectional survey study conducted at an Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education accredited college of pharmacy in the United States. Students were surveyed regarding their career interests in a mentorship program. Using frequencies and proportions we reported the pattern of students’ career interests. Results: The top careers most frequently selected by students in the 2019-2020 cohort as their first choice were hospital (21.4% of P1s, 17.4% of P3s) and community (24.6% of P2s, 24.3% of P4s). Those career paths for the 2020-2021 cohort were hospital (21.4% of P1s), clinical specialty (19.2% of P2s, 21.9% of P4s), and community (22.9% of P3s). In both cohorts and all professional program years, students selected a broad range of first choice career interests and even broader range when indicating top 3 careers of interest. Conclusion: Overall, the most frequently selected career path interests were hospital, community, clinical specialty, and ambulatory care. However, there was broad variability in the career interests, accounting for a third to half of the students with interests different than the majority.

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