Development of Pharmacy Students\x92 Professionalism (poster 16)
Clark, Bartholomew E.
Siracuse, Mark V.
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Objective: Determine how professionalism dimensions of belief in professional self-regulation and belief in professional autonomy form in pharmacy students.Methods: Pharmacy educators continue to be interested in developing student professionalism. The modified Hall's Professionalism instrument previously implemented by Schack and Hepler (1979) was used to measure the professionalism attributes of belief in professional self-regulation and belief in professional autonomy in first and third year pharmacy students. Two 6-item scales measuring belief in professional self-regulation and belief in professional autonomy were administered to students at the beginning of their first semester and at the end of their sixth semester before beginning rotations. Surveys were administered over five consecutive years to first year students beginning in 2003 and to third year students beginning in 2006.Results: Surveys were completed by 411 students in both their first and sixth semesters for a response rate of 51.2%. Factor analysis revealed that scales did not form as they had in previous studies, so given that the data were normally distributed (Skewness < 1) individual item means were compared across time for first and sixth semester results using Student's t-test. Statistically significant differences in means were seen for 11 of 12 items. Eight out of 12 items increased across time to a more professional attitude when comparing first semester to sixth semester results.Implications/Conclusions: Professionalism attributes appear to be stronger in third year students as compared to first year students. Pharmacy educators need to be aware of the continuing need to inculcate professionalism qualities in students.