Influences on pharmacy students' decision to pursue a doctor of pharmacy degree

Am J Pharm Educ. 2008 Apr 15;72(2):22. doi: 10.5688/aj720222.


Objectives: To determine what influenced pharmacy students to pursue a career in pharmacy and how those influences varied among different racial groups.

Methods: A 30-question survey instrument was developed and administered to doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) students at the University of Georgia and Florida A&M University. Data were analyzed to identify differences between students at different institutions and of different racial groups.

Results: Most students were encouraged by someone to pursue pharmacy. Students cited encouragement by family members, pharmacists, and students as important influences. Work and volunteer experiences were also important influences. Few students were influenced by "career day" events.

Conclusions: Influences for pursuing a degree in pharmacy were remarkably similar across student groups. Public awareness campaigns that emphasize the benefits of the profession and programs that are designed to bring students into contact with the profession may be effective recruiting methods/strategies.

Keywords: career choice; diversity; student recruitment.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Career Choice*
  • Decision Making
  • Education, Pharmacy*
  • Female
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pharmacists / psychology
  • Racial Groups / psychology
  • Schools, Pharmacy
  • Students, Pharmacy / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires