Students' perceptions of global health competencies in the doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) curriculum

Prosperity Eneh, David R. Steeb, Rebecca Cope, Suzanna Gim, Elise F. Northrop, Ann M. Brearley, Olihe Okoro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Introduction: This study sought to determine pharmacy students' self-assessment of their level of competency in specified global health statements across various schools. It also evaluated attributes associated with competency and perception of importance, as well as explored students' perspectives on how best to incorporate global health content into pharmacy education. Methods: Cross-sectional survey administered online to pharmacy students from three pharmacy schools in the United States. Results: The self-assessed competency of pharmacy students in global health topic areas was low. Current or prior exposures outside of the PharmD curriculum to the global health content presented in the survey were significant indicators of self-assessed competency scores. Within individual participating schools, demographic characteristics such as gender, age category, speaking a non-English language, and progression through the PharmD curriculum were also significantly associated with competency scores reported. Most respondents (96%) agreed that relevant global health education should be incorporated into the pharmacy curriculum. Conclusions: Pharmacy students generally perceive global health competencies to be of great importance in practice, but acknowledge their deficiencies in this area. The current burden of global health education at the schools surveyed relies on individual student experience rather than curricular support. Ensuring that future pharmacists understand their role in global health teams and are able to achieve the necessary level of competency to function in interdisciplinary initiatives will require more strategic incorporation of relevant content into the curriculum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)531-538
Number of pages8
JournalCurrents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Data analysis for this publication was supported by the National Institutes of Health Clinical and Translational Science Award Program, grant number UL1TR002494 . The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Inc.


  • Global health
  • Global health competency
  • PharmD curriculum
  • Pharmacy
  • Public health


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