Employers and pharmacy graduates’ perspective towards the professional competency of the Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) graduates in an industrial pharmacy program

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Chonladda Pitchayajittipong
Payom Wongpoowarak
Mayuree Tangkiatkumjai
Teeraporn Supapaan


Educational institution is responsible for producing graduates with competencies that meet the needs of pharmaceutical profession in pharmaceutical industry. However, there are relatively few studies about the views of employers and graduates of 6-year Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) in an industrial pharmacy program. Objectives: To study perspectives of employers and pharmacy graduates on the professional competencies of graduates from the 6-year (PharmD) in an industrial pharmacy program. Materials and methods: In this qualitative research, the perspectives of employers and 6-year pharmacy graduates in the pharmaceutical industry were collected by using semi-structure interview. Data was analyzed using content analysis. Results: Eleven informants were 7 employers (30 to 44 years old) and 4 graduates (25 to 27 years old). The employers satisfied with desired graduate characteristics, for example, information searching and lifelong learning skills, English skills, pharmacy professional pride, and soft skills. Regarding the differences between graduates from 5 and 6-year PharmD program, it was found that the 6-year graduates were promptly ready for work. Both employers and graduates were satisfied with professional competency in the pharmaceutical industry. They agreed that the knowledge gained from the 6-year pharmacy curriculum was sufficient, and the extended 1 year of the curriculum is very worthwhile. However, they suggested that the graduates should practise the skills in real life situation. Pharmacy faculties should prepare preceptors who train pharmacy students in the industrial pharmacy and integrate the pharmaceutical curriculum with other related sciences, such as, business administration or pharmaceutical engineering. Challenges in graduates’ work were work adaptation, leadership, decision making ability, effective communication skills, and management skills. The employers recommended that the graduates should develop systematically critical thinking skills, communication skills, collaboration with colleagues and human management. Conclusion: Employers and graduates satisfied with the professional competencies of the 6-year PharmD graduates in the industrial pharmacy, especially in the readiness to work and professional competency. However, the graduates should improve their communication skills, interpersonal skills at work and systematically critical thinking skills.


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