Identification of key business and management skills needed for pharmacy graduates

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American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education


Objective. To identify key business, management, and human resources skills needed by pharmacy graduates. Methods. Pharmacy preceptors were recruited for inclusion in one of four focus groups. At each focus group, participants were asked to complete a demographic questionnaire and to identify key skills that new graduates need but do not have. Each focus group was audio-recorded, transcribed, de-identified, and categorized using a data dictionary. Results. Twenty-seven preceptors participated in the focus groups. Fourteen participants had a Doctor of Pharmacy degree. Participants were involved in management positions for a median of 10.5 years (range 5-21 years) and 50% (median) of their time was devoted to management responsibilities (range 20%-80%). Seven themes were identified as being most critical: communication, business skills, de-cision-making and time management, conflict resolution, leadership and professionalism, personnel management, and computer software techniques. Conclusion. Communication was the most prominent skill identified, followed by decision-making and business knowledge. These skills should be addressed in pharmacy curricula. Future research should focus on how to best teach these skills.

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