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Was pharmacy their preferred choice? Assessing pharmacy students’ motivation to study pharmacy, attitudes and future career intentions in Sierra Leone

James, Peter Bai and Batema, Moses Nathanael Pessima and Bah, Abdulai Jawo and Brewah, Tima Sannah and Kella, Alphan Tejan and Lahai, Michael and Jamshed, Shazia Qasim (2018) Was pharmacy their preferred choice? Assessing pharmacy students’ motivation to study pharmacy, attitudes and future career intentions in Sierra Leone. Health Professions Education, 14 (2). pp. 139-148. ISSN 2452-3011

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Abstract

Background There is a dearth of skilled pharmaceutical workforce in the African region, and this is partly due to a limited number of prospective students entering the profession. An understanding of the factors that influence the choice of pharmacy as a career is needed to attract highly motivated and skilled individuals into the profession. Therefore, the objective of this study was to assess pharmacy students’ motivation to study pharmacy, their attitude and future career intentions in Sierra Leone. Methods A cross-sectional questionnaire-based survey of undergraduate pharmacy students enrolled at the College of Medicine, and Allied Health Sciences, University of Sierra Leone (COMAHS – USL) was carried out between May and June 2015. Descriptive statistics, as well as chi-square and Fisher exact two-tailed tests were used to analyze the data. Results Close to a quarter (24.3%) of pharmacy students surveyed chose pharmacy as their preferred major. The choice of pharmacy as a preferred major was common among first-year students, (p=0.001), those who were married (p<0.001) and have had pharmacy practice experience (p<0.001). Motivation for choosing pharmacy was assessed based on three domains (education, personal and career-related factors).Students cited a subject teacher at school ̸ College (66.7%) as the most education-related influence, while friends and family members (61.1%) was the major personal-related factor. Also, students considered the desire for self-employment in a healthcare related job (27.8%), and excellent career opportunities (27.8%) as the major career-related factors that influenced their choice of pharmacy as a preferred major. Medicine was the first choice of study among the majority (95%) of students that chose pharmacy as a second choice when seeking admission into the university. Pharmacy students demonstrated a positive attitude toward the profession, and considered drug manufacturing (47.3%) and hospital pharmacy (43.2%) as the most desirable future career options. Conclusion This study concluded that pharmacy was never the first choice of study for most pharmacy students that participated in this study. Educational authorities and other stakeholders should bear in mind the factors that influenced students’ choices of pharmacy and the public perception of the profession when designing and implementing future recruitment strategies aimed at attracting qualified and highly motivated individuals with a passion for the profession of pharmacy.

Item Type: Article (Journal)
Additional Information: 6803/55483
Uncontrolled Keywords: Motivation to study, Attitude, Career Intentions, Pharmacy students, Sierra Leone
Subjects: R Medicine > RS Pharmacy and materia medica > RS192 Materia Medica-Pharmaceutical Technology
Kulliyyahs/Centres/Divisions/Institutes: Kulliyyah of Pharmacy
Kulliyyah of Pharmacy > Department of Pharmacy Practice
Depositing User: Dr Shazia Jamshed
Date Deposited: 25 Jun 2018 16:01
Last Modified: 25 Jun 2018 16:01
URI: http://irep.iium.edu.my/id/eprint/55483

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