With Pharmacy School Applications Declining, Resilience Is Pivotal for Profession

Pharmacy CareersSpring 2023
Volume 17
Issue 1

With the rapid increase in the number of pharmacy schools, there has been a struggle to fill all open spots within each school.

With the rapid increase in the number of pharmacy schools, there has been a struggle to fill all open spots within each school. As pharmacy school applications decline, resilience will be key for the profession.

However, the pharmacy profession remains at the forefront of patient access and care. With direct access in the community, pharmacists are the most accessible resource for patients. The industry continues its growth, with more alternative career paths becoming available. Education for students remains critical for furthering the advancement of pharmacy and developing more patient-centered care.

In this issue of Pharmacy Careers, we explore topics linked to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and how students can pave the way for more patient-centered care. Patient-centered care is not limited to an individual’s unique medical profile; it can be how in tune the pharmacist-patient relationship is.

For example, Aaron Johnson, PharmD, discusses how a DEI-based pharmacy school curriculum can help pave the way for more effective patient-centered care. Pharmacy students need to understand the intricacies of culture and health, but they first need to be aware of their own biases and prejudices to deliver the best care for each patient.

Additionally, Suzanne Soliman, PharmD, BCMAS, founder of the Pharmacist Moms Group™, addresses how women in the pharmacy profession can overcome obstacles they face. She details how women in the industry should help one another face these hurdles.

Wellness support groups also show potential for combating pharmacy school burnout. Residency training is associated with burnout and significant reductions in well-being markers. To confront this problem, Sally Jagielski, PharmD, BCPS; Liz Hess, PharmD, MS, FISMP, CPPS; and Blake Robbins, PharmD, MBA, BCCCP, discuss the R UoK? support group. Discussions in the group are led by a variety of experienced preceptors to provide insight, strategies, and resources for pharmacy residents.

Although burnout is still a growing issue, the stigma around mental health continues to grow. Zahra Mehrabi, a student at Nova Southeastern University College of Pharmacy in Davie, Florida, addresses the stigma pharmacy students face when their classes condemn the use of certain mental health medications.

This issue will also address how pharmacy students can identify and work with survivors of trafficking. Shamiron Shahbaz-Arami, a student at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, details her experience with these survivors, stating that pharmacists can be critical allies for these patients. Pharmacists have a unique ability to identify patients who need help due to the one-on-one nature of the job.

Pharmacists serve as advocates to optimize patient pharmaceutical care, advance the profession, and positively influence the community. Although DEI is an essential topic, pharmacy students should strive to enhance their leadership skills. Shirley Lee, a student at Texas A&M Irma Lerma Rangel School of Pharmacy in Kingsville, outlines skills that pharmacy students can apply to become leaders in their practice, regardless of their position in the industry. Small choices in school will greatly influence their growth as pharmacy leaders.

We hope you enjoy reading these and other stories in this issue of Pharmacy Careers and gain insight into how the pharmacy industry continues to evolve and change the health care and societal landscape.

Thank you for reading.

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