Rural pharmacy workforce: influence of curriculum and clinical placement on pharmacists' choice of rural practice

Taylor, Selina M., Lindsay, David, and Glass, Beverley D. (2019) Rural pharmacy workforce: influence of curriculum and clinical placement on pharmacists' choice of rural practice. Australian Journal of Rural Health, 27 (2). pp. 132-138.

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Objective: This two-phase study aimed to explore the influence of a university rural curriculum and clinical placements on pharmacists' choice to practise in a rural or remote area.

Design: A sequential mixed-methods approach involved the design of both a questionnaire and semistructured in-depth interviews to collect quantitative and qualitative data.

Setting: Regional, rural and remote practice areas according to the Pharmacy Access/Remoteness Index of Australia classifications.

Participants: Ninety-two pharmacists from varied areas of practice, working in rural and remote locations across Australia, participated in the study.

Main outcome measures: University curriculum and clinical placements during the degree and their influence on the current rural workforce.

Results: In the survey sample, two-thirds of the current rural pharmacy workforce's choice of practice location was significantly influenced by positive rural placement experiences. Rural practice was, however, not included in the curriculum for 50% of the rural workforce in the sample, although graduates from regional universities experienced up to 80% more exposure to rural curricula. In this sample, rural origin was also not found to be a significant determinant of rural practice, while rural lifestyle, family commitments, remuneration, career opportunities and other contractual agreements have had a greater influence than university education.

Conclusion: Although the positive influence of rural placements has been identified, there is still a way to go in terms of the development of a meaningful rural curriculum. This highlights that universities have a role to play in addressing this issue to produce graduates who are better prepared for the opportunities and challenges of rural pharmacy practice.

Item ID: 58418
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1440-1584
Keywords: clinical placement, pharmacists, pharmacy practice, rural and remote pharmacy, university curriculum
Copyright Information: © 2019 National Rural Health Alliance Ltd.
Date Deposited: 29 May 2019 07:40
FoR Codes: 32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3214 Pharmacology and pharmaceutical sciences > 321499 Pharmacology and pharmaceutical sciences not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920499 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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