Faculty Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices toward Community-Based Pharmacy Residencies and Fellowships

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Introduction: Community-based postgraduate programs, including residencies and fellowships, have grown at a slower rate than other postgraduate programs in pharmacy. Faculty influence is cited as a significant reason why students choose to pursue postgraduate training (PGT) and thought to be a reason why students may or may not pursue community pharmacy PGT. Greater faculty encouragement of community PGT may help advance community pharmacy forward. Objective: To determine the knowledge, attitudes, and practices that pharmacy faculty have regarding community-based pharmacy postgraduate training, including community-based pharmacy residencies (CBPRs), community pharmacy fellowships (CPFs), and independent pharmacy ownership residencies (IPORs). Methods: A web-based survey was distributed to faculty members at 50 pharmacy schools, those with the 25 highest and 25 lowest 2019 residency match rates. The data collection tool was a “Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices” (KAP) survey administered through Qualtrics and distributed by email. Descriptive statistics were used to identify gaps in faculty knowledge of PGT and trends in their attitudes and current practices. χ2 tests were used to determine differences between the two cohorts. Results: There were no significant differences between the responses of high and low residency match performers. Overall, faculty are aware of CBPRs (95%), somewhat aware of CPFs (59%), and less aware of IPORs (38%). Among those aware, the majority were unable to accurately identify the program standards of residency or fellowship. Faculty members encourage and help students pursue PGT to various levels and most seek information about PGT from national organizations and colleagues. Conclusion: This study highlights that faculty are aware of PGT opportunities in community pharmacy; however, gaps were identified in knowledge about activities and the value of community PGT. This demonstrates the need to engage faculty about the changing practice landscape of community pharmacy, the impact of faculty mentoring on students pursuing community PGT, and the importance of community PGT to advance the profession.