Pharmacy Students’ Attitude and Future Career Choices: A survey of Four Public Schools of Pharmacy in Ethiopia
Pharmacy as a health profession has major responsibilities and contributions in maintaining health of the society. Thus, pharmacists have to maintain professional behaviour and attitude that is worthy of the
respect the public has for the profession. Studies on pharmacy students’ attitude and career choice are important to understand next generation pharmacists’ expectation so that policy makers would act accordingly. The objective of this study is to assess pharmacy students’ attitude and future career choice towards pharmacy profession in Ethiopia. A cross-sectional survey using self-administered questionnaire was conducted among 422 sampled pharmacy students in four public universities of Ethiopia, from April to May 2013. Ethical approval of the study was obtained from all schools included in the study and oral consent was secured from the participants. Data was entered and analyzed using SPSS version 20. Descriptive statistics was generated and possible relationships between variables were tested using a chisquare test. From 415 study participants, 313 (75.4%) of them were males and 37.2% were within the age range of 20-21 years. Slightly more than half (51.1%) of the students claimed that they joined Pharmacy school by choice. The mean attitude score of the students towards pharmacy profession was 3.69±1.28 in a scale of 1-5. Nearly half (44%) of the students had a desire to work in hospital pharmacy, while 35.1% of them had no preference related to specific area of practice. Though pharmacy was not their first choice for significant number of students, at entry, they had positive attitude towards the profession and were optimistic to practice in hospital pharmacy. Hence, mechanisms should be in place to advocate the profession for prospective students so that there would be informed decision to join the profession.
Keywords: pharmacy students, attitude, career choice, Ethiopia, pharmacy school