Intern pharmacists' perceived preparedness for practice, their extent of involvement in pharmacy related activities and future career choices in Sierra Leone: A baseline descriptive survey


  • Peter Bai James University of Sierra Leone
  • Christine Princess Cole University of Sierra Leone


Pharmacy Practice, Career Choices, Intern Pharmacist, Internship, Sierra Leone


Objective: To assess intern pharmacists’ perceived preparedness for practice, document the extent of their involvement. in selected pharmacy related activities during the internship period, as well as determine their future career path.

Methodology: A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted among intern pharmacists using an eight item questionnaire. Simple descriptive statistics were used to calculate frequency counts and percentages with regard to respondent demographics and Likert scale responses.

Results: Eighty-five percent of the 20 respondents perceived that they are prepared to perform dispensing and retail, and patient care activities with only half of them in multidisciplinary team care but not pharmaceutical business management (13, 65%). Close to two-thirds of respondents were often involved in patient care (13, 65%). Only six (30%) were often part of a multidisciplinary health care team. Nearly all (18, 90%) want to work in an environment with more patient contact.

Conclusion: This study suggests that intern pharmacists in Sierra Leone perceived to a large extent they are prepared for and were involved in most pharmacy related activities considered in this study except for multidisciplinary team care which seems to be limited; although they would prefer to work in a clinical setting in the future. 

Author Biographies

Peter Bai James, University of Sierra Leone

 Peter Bai James.B.Pharm Hons, MSc, MPSSLAssociate Lecturer College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences University of Sierra Leone Freetown


Christine Princess Cole, University of Sierra Leone

B. Pharm Hons, MBBS Associate Lecturer, Department of clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences,  College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences, University of Sierra Leone


Anderson, S. (2002). The state of the world's pharmacy: a portrait of the pharmacy profession. Journal of Interprofessional Care, 16(4), 391-404.

College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences University of Sierra Leone. (2014). Revised Curriculum For The Bachelor Of Pharmacy with Honours Program Freetown: University of Sierra Leone.

Davies, J.G., Bates, I., Healey, R., Webb, D.G. & McRobbie, D. (2004). Fit for purpose? Pharmacy graduates' perceptions of their readiness to undertake clinical pharmacy activities. International Journal of Pharmacy Practice, 12(Suppl 1), R17–R19.

Hritcko, P.M. (2006). A new paradigm for pharmacy practice and education. Harvard Health Policy Review, 7(1), 143-146.

Kairuz, T., Noble, C. & Shaw, J. (2010). Preceptors, interns, and newly registered pharmacists' perceptions of New Zealand pharmacy graduates' preparedness to practice. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 74(6), 108.

Langley, C.A. & Aheer, S. (2010). Do Pharmacy Graduates Possess the Necessary Professional Skills? Pharmacy Education, 10(2), 114-118.

Mak, V.S., March, G., Clark, A. & Gilbert, A.L. (2013). Australian intern pharmacists perceived preparedness for practice, and their expectations and experiences of the internship year and future career intentions. Integrated Pharmacy Research and Practice, 2, 25-34.

Mak, V.S., March, G., Clark, A. & Gilbert, A.L. (2014). Do South Australian pharmacy interns have the educational and behavioural precursors to meet the objectives of Australia's health care reform agenda? Integrated Pharmacy Research and Practice, 22(5), 366-372.

Ministry of Health and Sanitation Sierra Leone. (2012). National Medicine Policy Freetown,Sierra Leone.

Ministry of Health and Sanitation. (2006). Human Resource for Health Policy (online). Available at: http:// forcealliance/countries/SierraLeone_ HRHPlan_ 2006-2010.pdf. Accessed 17th July, 2015.

Noble, C., Coombes, I., Nissen, L., Shaw, P.N. & Clavarino, A. (2015). Making the transition from pharmacy student to pharmacist: Australian interns' perceptions of professional identity formation. International Journal of Pharmacy Practice, 23(4), 292– 304.

Pharmacy Board of Sierra Leone. (2010). Pharmacy Internship Manual. Sierra Leone.

Stergachis, A., Lander, R.D. & Webb, L.E. (2006). Promoting the pharmacist's role in public health. Journal of the American Pharmacists Association, 46(3), 311-319.

Stupans, I. (2012). Qualitative interviews of pharmacy interns: determining curricular preparedness for work life. Pharmacy Practice, 10(1), 52-56.

The Government of Sierra Leone. (2001). The Pharmacy and Drugs Act, 2001.Freetown Sierra Leone.

Watanabe, T., Ohtani, Y., Yamamoto, T., Nemoto, Y., Ida, Y. & Bachynsky, J.A. (2005). The case for shift in pharmacists' activities and pharmacy education. Yakugaku Zasshi, 125(3), 283-292.

Wiedenmayer K, Summers, R.S., Mackie C.A., Gous A.G.S. & Everard, M. (2006). Developing pharmacy practice: A focus on patient care, WHO & FIP (online). Available at: medicines/publications/ WHO_PSM_PAR_2006.5.pdf. Accessed 23rd August 2015.

Willis, S.C., Shann, P. & Hassell, K. (2006). Report 5: Piloting the questionnaire. London (No. 5). Manchester: School of Pharmacy The University of Manchester





Research Article