RESEARCH ARTICLE: ‘Wasting time inside my mind’: Exploring student pharmacists’ perspectives on engaging in mindfulness oriented meditation using concepts from education research


  • Logan T Murry The University of Iowa College of Pharmacy
  • Matthew J Witry The University of Iowa College of Pharmacy



Mindfulness, Mindfulness Oriented Meditation, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), Stress, Resilience, Pharmacy, Education


Background: Pharmacy students are subject to high levels of stress. An emerging way student pharmacists and pharmacists have reported managing stress and developing professional resilience is through mindfulness. Objectives: To 1) describe how student pharmacists appraise the threat of stress; and 2) identify student perceptions of mindfulness-oriented meditation (MOM) as a stress management strategy and how MOM may fit in the pharmacy curriculum.

Methods: A descriptive qualitative research study was conducted using focus groups comprised of first-year, second-year, and third- year pharmacy students at a college of pharmacy within the United States. A facilitation guide based on the study objectives was designed to guide focus group discussion and a basic interpretivist paradigm was used to underpin a phenomenological approach to interpreting the data. Representative quotes were identified by the authors to illustrate the main concepts from the focus groups.

Results: In total, fourteen students participated across the three class-year focus groups. Students expressed a general interest in mindfulness, but their interest conflicted with feelings of business and time-constraints. Offering a certificate or other tangible reward made engaging in mindfulness and MOM more appealing.

Conclusions: The concepts of the student’s academic perspective and learning motivation appear to influence mindfulness interest and reasons for participation. Colleges may need to change their criteria for judgment for wellness initiatives like MOM to be more widely adopted.

Author Biographies

Logan T Murry, The University of Iowa College of Pharmacy

Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science 

Matthew J Witry, The University of Iowa College of Pharmacy

Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science


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Research Article