Doctors’ perception and expectations of the role of the pharmacist in Punjab, Pakistan
Purpose: To investigate doctors’ perception and expectations of the role of pharmacists in Pakistan’s healthcare system.
Methods: This was a cross-sectional study and the study population consisted of 462 medical doctors from three Pakistani cities in Punjab State, namely, Islamabad, Faisalabad and Lahore. The doctors were selected from government hospitals in these three cities.
Results: Three hundred and fifty four questionnaires were returned, giving a response rate of 76.6 %. Sixty eight percent of the doctors appeared comfortable with pharmacists playing patient-centred roles. A majority (84.5 %, n=299; p=0.022) expected pharmacists to take personal responsibility for resolving any drug-related problem. Furthermore, 76 % of them considered pharmacists as knowledgeable drug therapy experts. Only 50 % of the doctors thought that pharmacists apply their drug knowledge in practice while 11 % indicated that pharmacists routinely counselled their patients. Conclusion: The doctors considered pharmacists drug information experts but their expectation of pharmacists as providers of quality clinically-focused pharmacy services was low. The doctors were also uncomfortable with pharmacists providing direct patient care.
Keywords: Doctor, Pharmacist, Perception, Expectation, Patient care, Pakistan.