RESEARCH ARTICLE: Relationships between academic performance of pharmacy students and their postgraduate competence during internship


  • James M Windle University Of Otago, Dunedin
  • Rachel A Spronken-Smith University Of Otago, Dunedin
  • Jeffery K Smith University Of Otago, Dunedin
  • Ian G Tucker University Of Otago, Dunedin


Academic Performance, Competence, New Zealand, Pharmacy Internship, Workplace


Background: The pharmacy internship provides opportunity for first year graduates to demonstrate competence following undergraduate success in a Bachelor of Pharmacy (B.Pharm.) programme of study

Aim: To determine the extent to which undergraduate academic performances, including academic risk, were predictive of postgraduate competence appraised by workplace preceptors.

Method: A longitudinal, multi-cohort study was undertaken of 563 interns who graduated from a pharmacy undergraduate programme in New Zealand (NZ). Demographic variables, undergraduate performances, examination resits and delayed progression, were predictively modelled against intern competence.

Results: Full model predictions for successful intern competence were most influenced by delayed progression as an undergraduate (OR 0.18, CI 0.05 – 0.72, p=0.015) and achievement across combined professional pharmacy courses (OR 1.12, CI 1.01 – 1.24, p=0.037) with 22.4% of variance explained.

Conclusions: Undergraduate assessment measures and academic deficit occurrences show a useful, but limited, contribution to the prediction of gaining competence for a pharmacy intern.

Author Biographies

James M Windle, University Of Otago, Dunedin

School of School Of Pharmacy

Rachel A Spronken-Smith, University Of Otago, Dunedin

Graduate Research School

Jeffery K Smith, University Of Otago, Dunedin

College Of Education

Ian G Tucker, University Of Otago, Dunedin

School of School Of Pharmacy


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Research Article