Archive \ Volume.5 2014 Issue 3

What practicing pharmacists think about their role in healthcare: Preliminary Findings from Pakistan

Shazia Qasim Jamshed , Muhammad Atif , Mohammad Jamshed Siddiqui , Iqbal Azhar

Objective: This study is aimed to explore the understanding of pharmacists about their perceived role in the health care system of Pakistan. Methods: A15-item questionnaire, which was devised on the basis of literature survey, was self-administered to a convenience sample of practicing pharmacists in Karachi, Pakistan. The questionnaire constituted components regarding their desired practice setting, expectations concerning their professional function and the opinion on the future of profession. Results: The demographic characteristics highlighted male (47.1%) and female (52.9%) to be in equal proportion with more than65% of respondents 􀂔 30 years of age (n = 67; 65.7%). Majority of the respondents hold bachelor degree in pharmacy (n = 82; 80.4%). Majority of the respondents had <5 years experience (n = 70; 68.6%). More than 75% of the respondents worked in hospital settings (n = 80; 78.4%). Majority of the respondents (n = 78; 76.5%) expressed their dissatisfaction towards their role as a pharmacist. Nearly half of the respondents (n = 47; 46.1%) visualized themselves as mere dispensers, while around one-fourth of the respondents (n = 24; 23.5%) perceived themselves as drug information pharmacist. In the context to their education and training as pharmacists, the opinion seems to be divided as half of the respondents expressed satisfaction (n=46; 45.1%), while the other half showed dissatisfaction (n=49; 48.0%). More than 90% of the respondents agreed to learn new skills a key to achieve career satisfaction. Conclusion: The pharmacists expressed dissatisfaction about their perceived status in the healthcare system of Pakistan. In order to intensify the feel of professionalism, reconceptualization of education and training system is advocated.