Qualitative interviews of pharmacy interns: determining curricular preparedness for work life

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Ieva Stupans



One of the key features affecting the transition from university to paid employment is the graduate’s perception of their capability to satisfactorily perform the work of a graduate. In some professions such as in nursing, the concept of “transition shock” is referred to. There is a need to understand how pharmacy students perceive the transition to their first job as intern pharmacists and identify potential curriculum gaps in their pharmacy studies. To date, little evidence around whether university programs are effective in equipping pharmacy graduates in transitioning to the world of work has been published.

Objectives: To explore from the perspective of new pharmacy professionals, graduated from one Australian university areas that need to be addressed in pharmacy programs to prepare graduates for the transition to full-time work as interns in pharmacy.

Methods: Thematic analysis of interviews with interns.

Results: Subthemes were identified within the responses- relationships within the workplace and graduates needing to interest themselves in other people, adjusting to work hours and the differences between university assessments and performing in a workplace. Suggestions were made by graduates that the placement period within the pharmacy program be increased.

Conclusions: Pharmacy graduates appear prepared for the world of pharmacy work. The concept of “transition shock” or “transition stress” described for graduates of other health professions commencing work was not apparent.


Keywords: Clinical Competence. Education, Pharmacy. Internship, Nonmedical. Australia.

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