Pharmacy students and recent graduates are having more difficulty finding a job or residency and are concerned about the job market, according to a recent survey conducted by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). The survey assesses ASHP student and new practitioner members’ attitudes and experiences with the current pharmacist job market. The findings from the survey provide insights that can be used in local, state, and national discussions about the pharmacist workforce.
Key Findings include:
- 2011 pharmacy school graduates started their job searches earlier and applied for more positions and residencies than peers who graduated in previous years.
- Seventy percent of pharmacy students who expect to graduate in 2014 or after are worried about finding jobs or residencies, compared with 81 percent of those graduating in 2012.
- Seventy-seven percent of pharmacy students who expect to graduate in 2014 or after are worried about finding a residency after they graduate, compared with 85 percent of those graduating in 2012.
- Fifty-one percent of pharmacy students who expect to graduate in 2014 or after are worried about finding a job after completing a residency, compared with 68 percent of those graduating in 2012.
- Ninety-five percent of 2010 pharmacy school graduates, and 84 percent of those expecting to graduate in 2014, agreed or strongly agreed with the statement, “I am concerned that the supply of pharmacists is outpacing the demand for pharmacists and will impact my future.”
- More 2011 graduates reported difficulty finding residencies (and finding them in their practice areas and geographic locations) than did previous graduates.
Data from this survey suggest that students and new practitioners are concerned about the current pharmacist job market, which is influenced by a variety of factors, including the current down global economy and their perceptions of the impact of pharmacy school expansion. The survey also shows that opportunities exist for new graduates, including completing residencies and finding positions that offer unique and enriching experiences. Most respondents reported that they are content with where they currently are in their career. The survey also shows that most respondents view their choice of pharmacy as a career in a positive light.
“It will be important for these findings to be used in constructive ways to help the pharmacy profession identify mechanisms to best meet the current and future needs of the U.S. healthcare system through an appropriate supply of pharmacists,” said ASHP President Stanley S. Kent, M.S., FASHP. ASHP will continue to repeat this survey, and will use it to inform efforts such as the Pharmacy Practice Model Initiative, the Pharmacy Workforce Center, developing pharmacy residency capacity, and various other efforts aimed at ensuring that there is an adequate supply of pharmacists to serve on interdisciplinary teams throughout the continuum of care.
The findings of this survey represent students and new practitioners who are members of ASHP and responded to this survey. The results are not necessarily representative of pharmacy students and new practitioners nationwide.
For more than 60 years, ASHP has helped pharmacists who practice in hospitals and health systems improve medication use and enhance patient safety. The Society's 35,000 members include pharmacists and pharmacy technicians who practice in inpatient, outpatient, home-care, and long-term-care settings, as well as pharmacy students. For more information about the wide array of ASHP activities and the many ways in which pharmacists help people make the best use of medicines, visit ASHP's website, www.ashp.org, or its consumer website, www.SafeMedication.com.