To evaluate the correlation between specific prepharmacy college variables and academic success in the Texas Tech doctor of pharmacy degree program.
Undergraduate and pharmacy school transcripts for 424 students admitted to the Texas Tech doctor of pharmacy degree program between May 1996 and May 2001 were reviewed in August of 2005. Statistical analyses were performed using SPSS Release 11.5. The undergraduate college variables included prepharmacy grade point-average (GPA), organic chemistry school type (2- or 4-year institution), chemistry, biology, and math courses beyond required prerequisites, and attainment of a bachelor of science (BS), bachelor of arts (BA), or master of science (MS) degree. Measurements of academic success in pharmacy school included cumulative first-professional year (P1) GPA, cumulative GPA (grade point average of all coursework finished to date), and graduation without academic delay or suspension.
Completing advanced biology courses and obtaining a BS degree prior to pharmacy school were each significantly correlated with a higher mean P1 GPA. Furthermore, the mean cumulative GPA of students with a BS degree was 86.4 versus cumulative GPAs of those without a BS degree which were 84.9, respectively (p = 0.039). Matriculates with advanced prerequisite biology coursework or a BS degree prior to pharmacy school were significantly more likely to graduate from the doctor of pharmacy program without academic delay or suspension (p = 0.021 and p = 0.027, respectively). Furthermore, advanced biology coursework was significantly and independently associated with graduating on time (p = 0.044).
Advanced biology coursework and a science baccalaureate degree were significantly associated with academic success in pharmacy school. On multivariate analysis, only advanced biology coursework remained a significant predictor of success.
academic success; pharmacy students; grade point average; graduation; prerequisites; performance
Objective. To evaluate the advanced clinical track, a curricular track designed to prepare doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) students for residency training and institutional practice.
Design. The advanced clinical track required completion of elective coursework, an additional advanced practice experience, 8 clinical experiences, and a skills checklist, and participation in a clinical skills competition.
Assessment. Thirty-two graduates of the advanced clinical track were surveyed. Of the 23 respondents, 95% of those who pursued residency training were successfully matched with a residency program. Ninety-one percent of respondents felt that the advanced clinical track increased their confidence and 74% felt it was definitely an advantage when applying to a residency program. All participants agreed that the advanced clinical track met their expectations or goals and would recommend it to other students.
Conclusion. Completion of an advanced clinical track was viewed by PharmD graduates as valuable preparation for residency training and institutional practice and would be recommended to other students.
students; curricular track; curriculum; residency; training; survey
Evaluate the academic experience and satisfaction of students enrolled in the dual PharmD/MBA degree program between the South Carolina College of Pharmacy and The Citadel's School of Business Administration. Compare grade point averages of students enrolled in the dual degree program with those of traditional student colleagues.
A standardized satisfaction survey instrument was administered to 32 students currently enrolled in the dual PharmD/MBA degree program. Grade point averages (GPAs) in both pharmacy and business coursework were also collected for analysis.
There were slightly higher percentages of both female and minority students in the dual degree program compared to the pharmacy class as a whole. Eighteen (56%) of students completed the survey, and responses were generally positive. The mean GPA of students in the dual degree program was higher than that of both pharmacy (3.37 vs 3.08, p < 0.001) and business (3.72 vs 3.64, not statistically significant) students not enrolled in the dual degree program.
Students enrolled in the dual degree program did better academically than their counterparts and indicated an overall high level of satisfaction with the program.
dual degree; PharmD/MBA; master of business administration; business
Objective. To assess the prevalence and characteristics of curriculum in dual doctor of pharmacy (PharmD)/master of public health (MPH) degree programs offered by US pharmacy programs.
Methods. An 18-item survey instrument was developed and distributed online to faculty members at US colleges and schools of pharmacy.
Results. Of the 110 colleges and schools that responded, 23 (21%) offered a PharmD/MPH degree. Common characteristics of these 23 programs included current PharmD program structure (3 + 1 year), early curricular recruitment, small enrollment, and interdisciplinary coursework occurring online and in the classroom. The impact of the dual degree on the curriculum and longevity of the dual-degree programs varied. About 55% of responding programs without a formal dual-degree program reported that additional public health training was available.
Conclusion. Twenty-one percent of colleges and schools of pharmacy offer a combined PharmD/MPH dual degree. Most programs required an additional 1 or 2 semesters to complete both degrees.
pharmacy education; public health; masters of public health; dual degree
Objectives. To examine changes in preprofessional pharmacy curricular requirements and trends, and determine rationales for and implications of modifications.
Methods. Prerequisite curricular requirements compiled between 2006 and 2011 from all doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) programs approved by the Accreditation Council of Pharmacy Education were reviewed to ascertain trends over the past 5 years. An online survey was conducted of 20 programs that required either 3 years of prerequisite courses or a bachelor’s degree, and a random sample of 20 programs that required 2 years of prerequisites. Standardized telephone interviews were then conducted with representatives of 9 programs.
Results. In 2006, 4 programs required 3 years of prerequisite courses and none required a bachelor’s degree; by 2011, these increased to 18 programs and 7 programs, respectively. Of 40 programs surveyed, responses were received from 28 (70%), 9 (32%) of which reported having increased the number of prerequisite courses since 2006. Reasons given for changes included desire to raise the level of academic achievement of students entering the PharmD program, desire to increase incoming student maturity, and desire to add clinical sciences and experiential coursework to the pharmacy curriculum. Some colleges and schools experienced a temporary decrease in applicants.
Conclusions. The preprofessional curriculum continues to evolve, with many programs increasing the number of course prerequisites. The implications of increasing prerequisites were variable and included a perceived increase in maturity and quality of applicants and, for some schools, a temporary decrease in the number of applicants.
prepharmacy curriculum; prerequisites; admissions
Objective. To characterize and describe admission variables predictive of poor grade attainment by students in 2 pathways to a doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) program.
Methods. A retrospective analysis of course grades of PharmD students admitted from 2000 to 2009 (N= 1,019) in the traditional degree pathway (“1 plus 5” degree program) and the provisional pathway (admitted directly from high school) was performed.
Results. Four hundred three grades of D or less were earned by 183 (18%) students. There were more grades of D or less in the first pharmacy year. Receipt of an unsatisfactory grade was associated with all Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) subcategory scores, PCAT composite score, cumulative prepharmacy coursework hours, prepharmacy grade point average (GPA), prepharmacy science and math GPA, and interview score for accepted students in the traditional pathway. For students in the provisional pathway, PCAT-quantitative analysis, PCAT composite score, prepharmacy cumulative GPA, prepharmacy science and math GPA, English American College Testing (ACT) score, and composite ACT score predicted poor grades.
Conclusion. Admissions committees should heed PCAT scores and GPAs, regardless of program pathway, while progression committees should focus on early program coursework when designing strategies to optimize retention.
admission; pharmacy students; grades; academic performance; retention
To describe the University of Tennessee PharmD/PhD program and assess the prevalence and characteristics of PharmD/PhD programs in the United States.
Survey instruments were mailed in May 2004 to UT dual-degree program participants and deans of US colleges and schools of pharmacy.
University of Tennessee PharmD/PhD students completed more than 30 hours of graduate credit before obtaining their PharmD and 72.2% agreed or strongly agreed that the program met their professional goals. More than 40% of US pharmacy colleges and schools have or plan to have PharmD/PhD programs. A wide variation exists in the level of integration, PhD concentrations offered, entrance requirements, and student benefits. Most schools with PharmD/PhD programs had few students enrolled in the program, but attrition rates were low (<20%) for 69% of the schools.
Dual-degree programs attract and retain pharmacy students in research programs and 47.6% of graduates entered academia and industry.
dual-degree programs; faculty shortage; pharmacy education; PharmD/PhD; graduate education
To characterize pharmacy program standards and trends in drug information education.
A questionnaire containing 34 questions addressing general demographic characteristics, organization, and content of drug information education was distributed to 86 colleges and schools of pharmacy in the United States using a Web-based survey system.
Sixty colleges responded (73% response rate). All colleges offered a campus-based 6-year first-professional degree PharmD program. Didactic drug information was a required course in over 70% of these schools. Only 51 of the 60 colleges offered an advanced pharmacy practice experience (APPE) in drug information, and 62% of these did so only on an elective basis.
Although almost all of the PharmD programs in the US include a required course in drug information, the majority do not have a required APPE in this important area.
drug information; course; curriculum; pharmacy education; experiential training; advanced pharmacy practice experience
To describe current objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) practices in doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) programs in the United States.
Structured interviews were conducted with PharmD faculty members between September 2008 and May 2010 to collect information about awareness of and interest in OSCE, current OSCE practices, and barriers to OSCEs.
Of 108 US colleges and schools of pharmacy identified, interviews were completed for a representative sample of 88 programs (81.5% participation rate). Thirty-two pharmacy programs reported using OSCEs; however, practices within these programs varied. Eleven of the programs consistently administered examinations of 3 or more stations, required all students to complete the same scenario(s), and had processes in place to ensure consistency of standardized patients' role portrayal. Of the 55 programs not using OSCEs, approximately half were interested in using the technique. Common barriers to OSCE implementation or expansion were cost and faculty members' workloads.
There is wide interest in using OSCEs within pharmacy education. However, few colleges and schools of pharmacy conduct OSCEs in an optimal manner, and most do not adhere to best practices in OSCE construction and administration.
objective structured clinical examination (OSCE); assessment; testing; examination
To implement and assess a required public health poster project in a doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) program.
Third-year PharmD students collaborated in pairs to research a public health topic relating to pharmacy practice. Each student group prepared an informational poster, while receiving feedback from a faculty mentor at each stage of the project. The students presented their completed posters at a statewide pharmacy conference.
Faculty members evaluated the posters with a grading rubric, and students completed a survey instrument that assessed the overall experience. In general, faculty members rated the class highly across all domains of the grading rubric. The class generally agreed that the poster project increased their awareness of public health issues related to pharmacy practice, overall knowledge of public health, and presentation skills.
The implementation of a poster project was well received by students and faculty members as an effective method for enhancing public health instruction in the PharmD program at North Dakota State University.
poster presentations; public health; active-learning
No published reports of studies have provided aggregate data on visiting medical student (VMS) programs at allopathic medical schools.
During 2006, a paper survey was mailed to all 129 allopathic medical schools in the United States and Puerto Rico using a list obtained from the Association of American Medical Colleges. Contents of the survey items were based on existing literature and expert opinion and addressed various topics related to VMS programs, including organizational aspects, program objectives, and practical issues. Responses to the survey items were yes-or-no, multiple-choice, fill-in-the-blank, and free-text responses. Data related to the survey responses were summarized using descriptive statistics.
Representatives of 76 schools (59%) responded to the survey. Of these, 73 (96%) reported their schools had VMS programs. The most common reason for having a VMS program was "recruitment for residency programs" (90%). "Desire to do a residency at our institution" was ranked as the leading reason visiting medical students choose to do electives or clerkships. In descending order, the most popular rotations were in internal medicine, orthopedic surgery, emergency medicine, and pediatrics. All VMS programs allowed fourth-year medical students, and approximately half (58%) allowed international medical students. The most common eligibility requirements were documentation of immunizations (92%), previous clinical experience (85%), and successful completion of United States Medical Licensing Examination Step 1 (51%). Of the programs that required clinical experience, 82% required 33 weeks or more. Most institutions (96%) gave priority for electives and clerkships to their own students over visiting students, and a majority (78%) reported that visiting students were evaluated no differently than their own students. During academic year 2006-2007, the number of new resident physicians who were former visiting medical students ranged widely among the responding institutions (range, 0-76).
Medical schools' leading reason for having VMS programs is recruitment into residency programs and the most commonly cited reason students participate in these programs is to secure residency positions. However, further research is needed regarding factors that determine the effectiveness of VMS programs in residency program recruitment and the development of more universal standards for VMS eligibility requirements and assessment.
Objectives. To compare the elective courses offered by US colleges and schools of pharmacy to establish a benchmark for individual colleges and schools to use in assessing whether they offer a sufficient amount and variety of electives.
Methods. Internet Web sites of US doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) programs were reviewed to identify the number of elective lecture-based courses and elective advanced pharmacy practice experiences (APPE) offered and required. Elective courses were grouped into categories to determine the variety of offerings.
Results. Pharmacy students were required to complete a mean of 7 hours of classroom-based elective courses. Thirty-two lecture-based elective courses were offered per college or school, and the mean number of categories of courses offered was 24. An average of 3 required APPEs was offered within 24 categories.
Conclusions. Pharmacy programs varied in the number of and requirements for elective courses. Most elective courses expanded on what was taught in the required curriculum vs informing on unique concepts or skills.
elective course; curriculum; pharmacy practice experiences
Objective. To identify the experiential and demographic factors affecting the self-efficacy and self-esteem of third-year pharmacy (P3) students.
Methods. A 25-item survey that included the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale and the General Self-Efficacy Scale, as well as types and length of pharmacy practice experiences and demographic information was administered to doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) students from 5 schools of pharmacy in New England at the completion of their P3 year.
Results. The survey response rate was approximately 50% of the total target population (399/820). Students with a grade point average (GPA)≥3.0 demonstrated a higher significant effect from unpaid introductory pharmacy practice experiences (IPPEs) on their self-efficacy scores (p<0.05) compared to students with lower GPAs. Students who had completed more than the required amount of pharmacy experiences had higher levels of self-efficacy and self-esteem (p<0.05). Ethnicity also was related to students’ levels of self-efficacy and self-esteem.
Conclusion. Self-efficacy and self-esteem are two important factors in pharmacy practice. Colleges and schools of pharmacy should ensure that students complete enough practice experiences, beyond the minimum of 300 IPPE hours, as one way to improve their self-efficacy and self-esteem.
self-efficacy; self-esteem; experiential learning; introductory pharmacy practice experience
Objective. To identify the manner in which colleges and schools of pharmacy in the United States and Puerto Rico assess full-time faculty preceptors.
Methods. Directors of pharmacy practice (or equivalent title) were invited to complete an online, self-administered questionnaire.
Results. Seventy of the 75 respondents (93.3%) confirmed that their college or school assessed full-time pharmacy faculty members based on activities related to precepting students at a practice site. The most commonly reported assessment components were summative student evaluations (98.5%), type of professional service provided (92.3%), scholarly accomplishments (86.2%), and community service (72.3%). Approximately 42% of respondents indicated that a letter of evaluation provided by a site-based supervisor was included in their assessment process. Some colleges and schools also conducted onsite assessment of faculty members.
Conclusions. Most colleges and schools of pharmacy assess full-time faculty-member preceptors via summative student assessments, although other strategies are used. Given the important role of preceptors in ensuring students are prepared for pharmacy practice, colleges and schools of pharmacy should review their assessment strategies for full-time faculty preceptors, keeping in mind the methodologies used by other institutions.
assessment; faculty; preceptors
Objective. To design and implement a required student-driven research program as a capstone experience in the doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) curriculum.
Design. A research proposal in the form of a competitive grant application was required for each of 65 fourth-year students in an inaugural PharmD class at Touro College of Pharmacy in New York. The focus of the proposals was on hypothesis-driven research in basic science, clinical research, health outcomes, and public health.
Assessment. Students’ research proposals were graded using a standardized grading instrument. On a post-experience survey, most students rated the overall experience positively, indicating increased confidence in their research skills. About two-thirds of faculty members were satisfied with their students’ performance, and the great majority thought the experience would be useful in the students’ careers.
Conclusion. The capstone research project was a positive experience for fourth-year students.
student research; research; curriculum; scholarship
To assess the train-the-trainer component of an initiative (Partners in D) to train pharmacy students to facilitate patient enrollment in the best Medicare Part D prescription drug plan (Part D).
Faculty members from 6 California colleges or schools of pharmacy were taught how to train pharmacy students about Medicare Part D and how to conduct outreach events targeting underserved patient populations. A preintervention and postintervention survey instrument was administered to determine participants' (1) knowledge of the Part D program; (2) skill using the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Finder tool; and (3) confidence in their ability to train pharmacy students. Implementation of the Partners in D curriculum in faculty members' colleges or schools of pharmacy was also determined.
Participants' knowledge of Part D, mastery of the Plan Finder, and confidence in teaching the material to pharmacy students all significantly improved. Within 8 weeks following the program, 5 of 6 colleges or schools of pharmacy adopted Partners in D coursework and initiated teaching the Partners-in-D curriculum. Four months afterwards, 21 outreach events reaching 186 Medicare beneficiaries had been completed.
The train-the-trainer component of the Partners in D program is practical and effective, and merits serious consideration as a national model for educating patients about Medicare Part D.
Medicare Part D; Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Finder; train-the-trainer; faculty development
This is a review of the master's-level curricula of the fifty-eight America Library Association–accredited library and information science programs and iSchools for evidence of coursework and content related to library instruction. Special emphasis is placed on the schools and programs that also offer coursework in medical or health sciences librarianship.
Fifty-eight school and program websites were reviewed. Course titles and course descriptions for seventy-three separate classes were analyzed. Twenty-three syllabi were examined.
All North American library education programs offer at least one course in the general area of library instruction; some programs offer multiple courses. No courses on instruction, however, are focused directly on the specialized area of health sciences librarianship.
Master's degree students can take appropriate classes on library instruction, but the medical library profession needs to offer continuing education opportunities for practitioners who want to have specific instruction for the specialized world of the health sciences.
Objective. To assess the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of student pharmacists and explore factors related to HRQoL outcomes of student pharmacists in a doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) program at a public university.
Methods. A survey instrument was administered to all student pharmacists in a PharmD program at a public university to evaluate differences and factors related to the HRQoL outcomes of first-year (P1), second-year (P2), third-year (P3), and fourth-year (P4) student pharmacists in the college. The survey instrument included attitudes and academic-related self-perception, a 12-item short form health survey, and personal information components.
Results. There were 304 students (68.6%) who completed the survey instrument. The average health state classification measure and mental health component scale (MCS-12) scores were significantly higher for P4 students when compared with the P1through P3 students. There was no difference observed in the physical component scale (PCS-12) scores among each of the 4 class years. Significant negative impact on HRQoL outcomes was observed in students with higher levels of confusion about how they should study (scale lack of regulation) and concern about not being negatively perceived by others (self-defeating ego orientation), while school satisfaction increased HRQoL outcomes (SF-6D, p<0.001; MCS-12, p=0.013). A greater desire to be judged capable (self-enhancing ego-orientation) and career satisfaction were positively associated with the PCS-12 scores (p<0.05).
Conclusion. Factors associated with the HRQoL of student pharmacists were confusion regarding how to study, ego orientation, satisfaction with the chosen college of pharmacy, and career satisfaction. First-year through third-year student pharmacists had lower HRQoL as compared with P4 students and the US general population. Support programs may be helpful for students to maintain or improve their mental and overall health.
health-related quality of life; student pharmacists; perceived self-efficacy; ego-orientation
To evaluate the academic experience and satisfaction of students who completed a dual PharmD/MBA degree program and the program's long-term impact on the students' career choice and earning potential.
GPAs, job placement, and starting job salaries were compared between graduates who completed the dual PharmD/MBA program and those who completed only the PharmD program. A satisfaction survey instrument was administered to 17 students who completed the dual PharmD/MBA degree program in May 2007. Data from a standardized job placement and starting salary survey instrument completed by all PharmD graduates were also obtained, as well as all students' final grade point averages (GPAs). GPAs, job placement, and starting job salaries were compared between graduates who had completed the dual PharmD/MBA program and those who had completed only the PharmD program.
The graduating GPAs of dual-degree students were higher than those of both pharmacy (3.52 vs 3.41, p > 0.10) and business (3.82 vs. 3.68, p = 0.018) students not enrolled in the dual-degree program. Dual-degree students were slightly less likely to enter a residency (17% vs. 27%, p = 0.44) than other pharmacy graduates. Among those who elected not to pursue a residency, both mean starting salaries ($111,090 vs. $101,965) and mean total first-year compensation ($127,290 vs. $110,388) were significantly higher for dual-degree graduates compared to the PharmD graduates.
Students enrolled in the dual-degree program did slightly better academically than students who completed only the MBA or PharmD programs and indicated a high level of satisfaction with the program. Dual-degree graduates reported increased career opportunities and were slated to earn significantly more during their first year in the workforce. These results affirm continuation of our program and make the case for support of similar programs across the nation.
dual degree; master of business administration (MBA) degree; curriculum; grade point average; salary; career opportunities
To describe PharmD students' work experiences and activities; examine their attitudes towards their work; examine perceptions of preceptor pharmacists they worked with; and determine important issues associated with career preference.
A written survey was administered to third-year doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) students at 8 colleges and schools of pharmacy in the Midwest.
Five hundred thirty-three students (response rate = 70.4%) completed the survey instrument. Nearly 100% of PharmD students reported working in a pharmacy by the time their advanced pharmacy practice experiences (APPEs) began. Seventy-eight percent reported working in a community pharmacy, and 67% had worked in a chain community pharmacy. For all practice settings, students reported spending 69% of their time on activities such as compounding, dispensing, and distribution of drug products.
Most students are working in community pharmacy (mainly chain) positions where their primary function is traditional drug product dispensing and distribution. Having a controllable work schedule was the variable most strongly associated with career choice for all students.
pharmacy student; work experience; work activities; attitudes; career choice
To determine which basic and social science courses academic pharmacy administrators believe should be required for entry into the professional pharmacy program and what they believe should be the required length of preprofessional study.
An online survey was sent to deans of all colleges and schools of pharmacy in the United States. Survey respondents were asked to indicate their level of agreement as to whether the basic and social science courses listed in the survey instrument should be required for admission to the professional program. The survey instrument also included queries regarding the optimal length of preprofessional study, whether professional assessment testing should be part of admission requirements, and the respondents' demographic information.
The majority of respondents strongly agreed that the fundamental coursework in the basic sciences (general biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry) and English composition should be required for entrance into the professional program. Most respondents also agreed that public speaking, ethics, and advanced basic science and math courses (physiology, biochemistry, calculus, statistics) should be completed prior to entering the professional program. The preprofessional requirements that respondents suggested were not necessary included many of the social science courses. Respondents were evenly divided over the ideal length for preprofessional pharmacy education programs.
Although requirements for preprofessional admission have been changing, there is no consistent agreement on the content or length of the preprofessional program.
admission; prepharmacy curriculum; prerequisites
To compare didactic migraine education in doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) programs in the United States with the Headache Consortium's evidence-based migraine treatment recommendations.
A self-administered survey instrument was mailed to all 90 Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) approved PharmD programs in the United States.
Seventy-seven programs responded (86%) and 69 useable survey instruments were analyzed. Fifty-five percent of programs discussed the Consortium's guidelines, 49% discussed the selection of nonprescription versus prescription agents, 45% recommended a butalbital-containing product as migraine treatment, and 20% educated students about tools for assessing migraine-related debilitation. At least 50% of programs taught information consistent with the remaining Consortium recommendations.
Approximately half of the PharmD programs teach concepts about migraine headache treatment consistent with the US Headache Consortium's recommendations.
pharmacy education; migraine; evidence-based; headache
Objective. To determine the extent of pharmacoeconomics education in US colleges and schools of pharmacy provided to doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) students in 2011.
Methods. E-mails requesting syllabi and information about courses covering pharmacoeconomic topics were sent to all US colleges and schools of pharmacy from which PharmD students had graduated in 2011 (n=103).
Results. Of 87 responding pharmacy colleges and schools, 85 provided pharmacoeconomics education in 2011. The number of hours dedicated to pharmacoeconomic-related topics varied from 2 to 60 per year (mean=20).
Conclusions. Pharmacoeconomics education is provided at almost all US colleges and schools of pharmacy; however, variation in the number of teaching hours and topics covered demonstrates a lack of standardization in the PharmD curriculum. Pharmacy administrators and educators should invest more resources and tools to standardize training in this area.
pharmacoeconomics; pharmacy education; curriculum
To identify stress and stress-relieving mechanisms among second-year pharmacy students in a 3-year doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) program using a Mastery Learning Educational Model and to compare findings with those from a 4-year program.
Second-year PharmD students in a 3-year program were asked to complete a series of questionnaires including the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) regarding stress and stress-relieving activities.
The average PSS score for the 3-year PharmD cohort was significantly higher than the score of demographically similar students enrolled in a 4-year PharmD program (P = 0.04). There were significant differences between the 2 groups’ scores on 5 items on the PSS including how often they: were upset because something happened unexpectedly, felt unable to control important things, felt nervous and stressed, thought about things that had to be accomplished, and were able to control the way they spent their time. The rate of prescription drug misuse among those in the 3-year PharmD program was 11.6%.
Students in a 3-year PharmD program with a unique educational model experienced more stress than students in a traditional 4-year PharmD program.
doctor of pharmacy students; mental health; stress
Good mentoring is a key variable for determining success in completing a doctoral program. We identified prevailing mentoring practices among doctoral students and their mentors, identified common challenges facing doctoral training, and proposed some solutions to enhance the quality of the doctoral training experience for both candidates and mentors at Makerere University College of Health Sciences (MakCHS).
This cross-sectional qualitative evaluation was part of the monitoring and evaluation program for doctoral training. All doctoral students and their mentors were invited for a half-day workshop through the MakCHS mailing list. Prevailing doctoral supervision and mentoring guidelines were summarised in a one-hour presentation. Participants were split into two homogenous students’ (mentees’) and mentors’ groups to discuss specific issues using a focus group discussion (FGD) guide, that highlighted four main themes in regard to the doctoral training experience; what was going well, what was not going well, proposed solutions to current challenges and perceived high priority areas for improvement. The two groups came together again and the note-takers from each group presented their data and discussions were recorded by a note-taker.
Twelve out of 36 invited mentors (33%) and 22 out of 40 invited mentees (55%) attended the workshop. Mentors and mentees noted increasing numbers of doctoral students and mentors, which provided opportunities for peer mentorship. Delays in procurement and research regulatory processes subsequently delayed students’ projects. Similarly, mentees mentioned challenges of limited; 1) infrastructure and mentors to support basic science research projects, 2) physical office space for doctoral students and their mentors, 3) skills in budgeting and finance management and 4) communication skills including conflict resolution. As solutions, the team proposed skills’ training, induction courses for doctoral students-mentor teams, and a Frequently Asked Questions’ document, to better inform mentors’, mentees’ expectations and experiences.
Systemic and infrastructural limitations affect the quality of the doctoral training experience at MaKCHS. Clinical and biomedical research infrastructure, in addition to training in research regulatory processes, procurement and finance management, communication skills and information technology, were highlighted as high priority areas for strategic interventions to improve mentoring within doctoral training of clinician scientists.
Mentorship; Doctoral training; Supervision; Capacity building; Health care; Low and middle income countries; Uganda