Can professionalism be measured?: evidence from the pharmacy literature

  • Paul M. Rutter
  • Gregory Duncan
Keywords: Education, Professional, Students, Pharmacy


The need to ensure the future pharmacy workforce demonstrates professionalism has become important to both pharmacy educators and professional bodies.

Objective: To determine the extent to which Schools of Pharmacy have taught or measured student professionalism.

Methods: Review of the healthcare literature on teaching of professionalism at an undergraduate level

Results: Two-hundred and thirty one papers were retrieved but only 45 papers related specifically to pharmacy. Of these a further 25 were narrative in nature and did not report any findings. Nineteen papers were reviewed (one was excluded as it reported the same data). Papers could be broadly categorised in to those that have tried to create a tool to measure professionalism, those that are in effect pedagogical evaluations of new initiatives or longitudinal studies on student perceptions toward aspects of professionalism.

Conclusion: A growing body of literature exists on pharmacy and professionalism. However, to date, very few Schools of Pharmacy appear to formally teach it let alone assess students’ acquisition of professionalism.


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Original Research