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Professional Dilemmas Experienced by Pharmacy Graduates in the United Kingdom When Transitioning to Practice

Allinson, Maria; Black, Patricia; White, Simon

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Maria Allinson

Patricia Black


Objective. For many UK pharmacy students there are minimal opportunities to learn, or be exposed to, different ways of dealing with ethical and professional dilemmas in real life practice during undergraduate education. This study aimed to explore the experiences of graduates during their pre-registration year and early practice (up to two years post qualification) on their perceived preparedness to make professional decisions when faced with problems or dilemmas once in practice.Method. Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with pre-registration trainees and early careers pharmacists (up to two years qualified). Interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed thematically using the Framework Approach. Ethical approval was obtained to undertake the study.Results. Eighteen interviews were conducted: nine pre-registration trainees and nine qualified pharmacists. Four key themes emerged: continued learning in practice; exposure to role-modelling; moral courage; and stress and moral distress.Conclusion. This study found that there is a perceived need for further support, challenge and positive role-modelling to help pre-registration trainees and early career pharmacists continue to develop their ethical and professional decision-making skills in the practice setting. The level and quality of support reported was variable, and there was a reliance on informal networks of peer support in many cases. This study suggests a need to raise awareness among pre-registration tutors and line managers to improve and increase support in this area.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 22, 2021
Online Publication Date Jul 24, 2023
Publication Date Jun 1, 2022
Publicly Available Date May 30, 2023
Journal American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education
Print ISSN 0002-9459
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 86
Issue 5
Article Number 8643
Publisher URL


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