A compass for care: Evaluating first-year pharmacy students' philosophy of practice

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1 Scopus citations


Introduction: A philosophy of practice serves as the foundation for any patient care practice. Understanding the philosophies of practice held by students entering the profession is important as this presents potential opportunities for educators to help shape students' professional values/beliefs. The objective of this work was to evaluate how first-year pharmacy students (P1s) conceptualize their philosophy of practice as future pharmacists. Methods: P1s at the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy were asked to write their philosophy of practice that best described them as a future practitioner. A sample of 80 student responses were inductively coded to develop an initial coding scheme. These codes were applied and refined to a random sample of 32 responses (20%) where inter-coder reliability (ICR) testing was carried out at three stages. The final codebook was applied to all responses. Results: The exercise was completed by 155 (92%) students, including the 80 student responses used for developing the initial coding scheme and the 32 responses used for ICR. Thirteen unique codes emerged from student responses describing their philosophy of practice that were grouped into four themes: community partner, commitment to the patient, professional responsibilities, and interprofessional team-based care. Conclusions: There was variability in how pharmacy students articulated their philosophy of practice. This presents an opportunity to shape students' philosophy of practice as they progress through pharmacy school so that they graduate with a uniform set of professional values and beliefs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)656-662
Number of pages7
JournalCurrents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2020


  • Education
  • Patient care
  • Pharmacy
  • Philosophy of practice

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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