RESEARCH ARTICLE: Professional competency and challenges of clinical pharmacists in India: An assessment among the Pharm.D. graduates
Keywords:Clinical pharmacist, Clinical pharmacy practice, Education, India, Pharm.D.
Objectives: To assess the suitability of the existing Pharm.D. programme curriculum in producing professionally competent clinical pharmacists in India.
Methods: A survey was conducted using a structured questionnaire with closed-ended questions, among the Pharm.D. graduates who were working as clinical pharmacists across various hospitals in India. The questionnaire was shared using an online platform (Google Forms) among 138 clinical pharmacists and the responses obtained were assessed and discussed.
Results: The response rate was 25.3% with the majority of participants in the age category below 25 years. 65.7% of participants had not undergone any training programmes to improve their professional skills after the completion of the Pharm.D. programme. 45.7% of the study population had the opinion that the absence of clinical preceptors with clinical knowledge in their pharmacy school was the reason for the weak outcomes of the programme. The weakness of the curriculum was well explained by the participants by the absence of clinical training and specific objectives of the curriculum. The professional difficulties faced by the clinical pharmacists include lack of confidence to interact with other health care professionals (41.9%), poor professional management (32.3%) and difficulty in identifying the appropriate drug and dosage forms (19.4%). 24.2% had the opinion that they may avoid pursuing the Pharm.D. programme in India if they were starting all over again.
Conclusion: The pharmacy schools should not conduct programmes only to make monetary benefits, but the prescribed quality standards shall be met completely without compromise. The assignment of setting up clinical pharmacy expertise in the nation may remain another unfulfilled dream, if screening, tuning in, and updating is not carried out at whatever point essential.
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