Desirable characteristics and professional competencies of Doctor of Pharmacy graduates in the pharmaceutical care program

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Teeraporn Supapaan
Payom Wongpoowarak
Mayuree Tangkiatkumjai
Siritree Suttajit
Puckwipa Suwannaprom
Suntara Eakanunkul
Thitima Doungngern
Chuenjid Kongkaew
Claire Anderson
Chonladda Pitchayajittipong

Abstract

Pharmaceutical care includes pharmacists’ roles that provide patient-centered drug therapy. The Pharmacy Council of Thailand has established the professional pharmaceutical standards in pharmaceutical care that pharmacists will deliver to drug and public health systems for health promotion, prevention, treatment and rehabilitation. Objectives: To evaluate employers and pharmacy graduates’ satisfaction with desirable graduate characteristics and professional competencies of graduates from the Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD, 6-year program) in pharmaceutical care. Materials and methods: This qualitative research recruited employers and PharmD graduates from a 6-year program in a pharmaceutical care as informants. The data were collected using semi-structured interviews and were analyzed using content analysis. Results: Twenty-nine informants were comprised of 13 employers (aged 33-50 years) and 16 PharmD graduates (aged 25-27 years). Graduates and employers were satisfied with the desired graduate characteristics in two aspects; application of knowledge and skills in real work situation and pride in pharmacy profession. The employers were also satisfied with skills in communication, cooperation, and coordination with others. The PharmD graduates were satisfied with professional competency in systematic analytical thinking and data connecting, information searching and life-long learning. Regarding differences between graduates from the Bachelor of Pharmacy (5-year program) and PharmD (6-year program), the employers commented that 6-year graduates had more capability in pharmaceutical care and increased readiness to work. Highest satisfaction was in professional competency in aspects of morality and ethics, followed by rational drug use. The employers recommended that the pharmacy program should provide more training in problem solving in real situations, leadership, innovative creation, and recommended developing a database to collect data about graduates’ work in order to monitor and support them in the future. Conclusion: Graduates and employers were satisfied with the desirable graduate characteristics and professional competency in the aspects of morality and ethics, followed by rational drug use. The employers recommended that the PharmD program should provide training in problem solving in real situations, leadership skills and creating innovation in pharmacy practice.

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Pharmaceutical Practice

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