Background: Pharmacy faculty manpower has been debated within the academic pharmacy community over the last several decades. Previous investigations studied job satisfaction among faculty members, but have not evaluated faculty retention and turnover among academic pharmacy departments.
Objective: To evaluate retention and turnover rates in the departments of Pharmacy Practice and Basic Science (Pharmacology/Toxicology, Pharmaceutics, Medicinal Chemistry) over the last 5 years.
Methods: Individual instructors and assistant, associate, and full professors across 80 colleges of pharmacy in the US were tracked between the years 1996 and 2001 using the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy published rosters. Differences between departments were analyzed by year-stratified cross-tabulation table analysis.
Results: A greater percentage of Pharmacy Practice faculty resigned (10.6%) compared with Basic Science faculty (6.0%; percent ratio 1.76; 95% CI 1.58 to 1.95; p < 0.001), which remained constant across each academic year. Approximately 2.7 faculty members left their academic institutions per year in Pharmacy Practice compared with 1.1 faculty members in the aggregate of Basic Science departments. A higher percentage of women resigned in Pharmacy Practice (13.2%) than did men (8.7%; percent ratio 1.5; 95% CI 1.34 to 1.68; p < 0.001), despite a 1.3-fold male to female ratio. Likewise, regardless of a 4.1-fold male to female ratio in the Basic Science group, a higher percentage of women resigned (8.0%) than men (5.5%; percent ratio 1.45; 95% CI 1.18 to 1.78; p < 0.001).
Conclusions: Over a 5-year period, Pharmacy Practice exhibited a higher turnover compared with Basic Science. Women displayed significantly higher turnover than men across all pharmacy academic departments. New retention approaches, especially for female faculty members, should be explored.