|Pharmacy education has experienced significant changes in the last 20 years. The Doctor of Pharmacy degree became the sole professional degree requiring the addition of a large number of practice faculty. In addition, the number of pharmacy schools has increased by 66% from 81 to 135 and student enrollment has increased 84% from 34,481 to 63,460. These factors contributed to a growing concern for faculty recruitment and retention.
The purpose of this study was to learn more about early career pharmacy practice faculty and their educational preparation for an academic career, acclimation to academic life, socialization opportunities for faculty members and perceptions of work life balance. An online survey consisting of 47 questions was sent to 138 junior pharmacy practice faculty members and 60 usable responses were returned, yielding a 43% response rate.
Results from the survey showed that only 7% of respondents reported having any formal training in teaching before becoming a faculty member. Seventy-one percent reported being successful in meeting their school or college’s research/scholarship requirements. There were 95% who reported having good working relationships with other faculty members suggesting that collegiality was high. Over half (53%) reported feeling overwhelmed by their work load which led them to consider a non-academic pharmacy position and 25% reported they were likely or very likely going to leave academia within five years.
This study provides current data that academic pharmacy administrators can use to attract future students to academic positions, fill their faculty positions, and provide the necessary faculty development and mentoring that is paramount in faculty retention.