Objectives. The purpose of this study was to determine factors that influence the career aspirations of third-year pharmacy students given the students' educational environment, current work environment, and personal situation. Materialism, career commitment, shared class attitudes, and individual attitudes towards the institution were considered. Methods. A survey was developed using literature sources and results from focus groups of fourth-year pharmacy students. Subsequently, students from 8 pharmacy schools completed the survey and viewed a videotape that visually portrayed and structured 3 broad career scenarios: direct patient care, indirect patient care, and drug distribution management. Results. Survey results from 509 students were evaluated. Sixty-six percent and 71.1% of students chose direct patient care as their immediate and 10-year career aspiration, respectively. Career commitment, educational experience, and shared class attitude towards faculty members were all associated with at least 1 of the 3 career aspirations. Attitude about work experience, materialism, individual attitude towards the institution, and the other shared class attitudes were not associated with any of the career aspirations. Conclusions. Approximately two thirds of the pharmacy students surveyed aspired to a career as a direct patient care pharmacist. Career commitment and educational experience were the main factors influencing these aspirations.
- Career aspirations
- Direct patient care