A review of the career choices of Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University pharmacy graduates from 2015 to 2019 – A pilot study

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Thokozile Mosiane https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5874-7033
Lindi Mabope https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5155-7381
Nontobeko Mncwangi https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8506-1790


pharmacy, career choices, hospital pharmacies, palcements, career path


Introduction: The pharmacy profession is dynamic; continually expanding in new directions, offering interdisciplinary professional education and work- based learning opportunities. Many factors influence individual choices to study pharmacy and progression within the various sectors of pharmacy. Objectives: To review the career paths of Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences pharmacy graduates from the year 2015 to 2019, internship and community service placements and to explore current employment status. Methods: A descriptive and quantitative study design was followed using an online questionnaire that was originally developed using Google Forms®. The study sample included pharmacy graduates from 2015 to 2019. Researchers captured data from the questionnaires on Microsoft Office Excel™ (2016) spreadsheets. Key findings: The majority (78.1%) of the graduates are employed full time with only 5% unemployed. Most of the graduates felt well prepared for hospital pharmacy (64.2%) by the BPharm programmed offered at SMU with only a few graduates (5.3%) who felt that they were prepared for industrial pharmacy. It was also noted that 70.3% of the graduates are still at the operational level and only 4.4% are in executive positions. Recommendations and Conclusions: The response rate can be improved by allowing more time for graduates to respond. Graduates are advised to update their contact details on the SAPC register to facilitate communication with them. The pilot study demonstrated that the SMU School of Pharmacy had several graduates who are employed in the public sector as they felt best prepared for hospital pharmacy practice compared to any other sector.

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