Objectives: As the practice of pharmacy grows increasingly complex, graduates are expected to possess a comprehensive set of skills enabling them to provide optimal patient care. Thus, research skills are becoming increasingly valuable and a necessary part of pharmacist training globally. However, training opportunities for improving research skills have not been well explored in the literature. This study examines how research skills are currently being offered in various Doctor of Pharmacy curricula in US Schools of Pharmacy.
Methods: A five-question survey was e-mailed to key individuals at 95 Colleges of Pharmacy in the USA and Puerto Rico. Responses were aggregated and then stratified by research project requirements, as well as by school type (public or private; Carnegie Foundation classification).
Key findings: Seventy-nine respondents provided usable surveys for an 83% response rate. Respondents encompassed a representative population of school types. Although most schools do not require completion of a research project (75%), the majority of research skills listed were taught in various forms in over half of the responding institutions. There did not appear to be a significant distinction in research skills training provided based upon school type. However, schools requiring students to complete a research project in order to graduate provided the most comprehensive research skills training.
Conclusions: Research skills training has greatly increased over the past 10 years. However, more study needs to be done in a number of areas, including determining the most effective way to offer research skills training, determining its post-graduate impact and determining its overall effect on the profession of pharmacy.