Pharmacists Are Moderately Satisfied With Compensation, Job Satisfaction, Survey Shows (Part 3)

February 28, 2021
Caitlin Mollison

Results show respondents' top drivers of happiness in the workplace are colleagues, compensation, and autonomy.

The first part of this series provided an overview of the results from the Pharmacy Times® Salary and Job Satisfaction Survey; notably, when pharmacists were asked to rate their overall job satisfaction on a scale of 1 to 7 (with 1 being “not at all” and 7 being “extremely”), the average score among the 299 respondents was 4.53.

In the second part of this series, which examined pharmacists’ satisfaction with their total compensation, the average rating of the 299 respondents was 4.82.

In the third part of this series, we further explore pharmacists’ satisfaction with their jobs and the factors that contribute to their overall happiness in a position.

Pharmacy Times® asked respondents to determine which 3 of the following factors are driving contributors to job satisfaction: autonomy, being a key opinion leader in the specialty, challenges, colleagues, compensation, dynamic profession, facility where they practice, improving patients’ health, opportunities for advancement, patient interactions, prestige of the pharmacy profession, and pride in what they do.

Of these options, the top 3 factors among 299 pharmacists were colleagues (14.6%), compensation (14.2%), and autonomy (11.8%).

Survey participant Ruchira Kasbekar, PharmD, noted that she is very satisfied with her job.

“I really love the setting I work in because I get to personally know the patients, and they feel comfortable coming to our staff for any concerns they have,” said Kasbekar, the pharmacist in charge at Clover Pharmacy, an independent pharmacy in Hamilton Township, New Jersey. “I have been working here as a pharmacy technician while completing my pharmacy degree, and that has made it even better for me to become accustomed to the system we use and [to get] to know the patients.”

Respondents also were asked to determine which of the following factors are their top driving contributors to job dissatisfaction: colleagues, commute, compensation, facility where they practice, frustration with providers, interactions with health insurance companies, limited scope of practice, management, work hours, work/life balance, and workload.

Of these options, the top 3 answers among 299 respondents were workload (19.7%), management (15.9%), and work/life balance (14.2%).

Pharmacists also rated how motivated they are by the potential for advancement in their organization, using the previously mentioned scale of 1 to 7. Among the 299 respondents, the average score was just 3.72.

When asked, if given the opportunity to start over, how likely they would be to choose a pharmacy career again, respondents were not particularly enthusiastic about following the same path—with an average rating of 3.78 among the 299 respondents.

Survey respondent Kent A. Purdy, RPh—a staff pharmacist at Legacy Silverton Medical Center Pharmacy in Portland, Oregon, who worked in retail pharmacies for 25 years before switching to a hospital pharmacy approximately 15 years ago—described working on the community pharmacy side as grueling.

“What started out as an enjoyable job became, with the advent of third-party billing in the late ’80s, a nightmare,” Purdy said. “By 2000, I was seriously looking for a change in careers or anything to get out of getting beat up physically, mentally, and emotionally every single day. I would like to see third-party billing and the problems involved with it separated from the pharmacist filling the prescription. Pharmacists need to use the knowledge they spent years learning for their patients.”

Click here to see the full survey results.