Category: Professional Posters
Purpose: To evaluate the impact of the Medical Information (MI) rotation experience, on pharmacy students’ perception of MI, in the pharmaceutical industry as well as their professional development and career aspirations.
Methods: An 18-question survey, consisting of open- and closed-ended questions, was conducted from October 2016 to March 2019. All students (N=33) responded to the survey upon the completion of their individual Pfizer MI advance pharmacy practice experience rotation. This survey indicated the reflections of their industry experiences and provided insights into the students’ perception of MI in the industry. In addition to the survey, unstructured essays (reflection papers [RPs], n=16) were implemented to allow students to provide a more personalized response at the end of their rotation. The essays were evaluated for themes and insights, topics of interests, and continuous quality improvement.
Results: All 33 student surveys reported an increased understanding of the processes involved in providing medical communication services. All said their respective preceptor’s feedback assisted their drug information skills development. 97% reported improvement in ability to search and evaluate medical literature and 94% reported a change in perception of the pharmaceutical industry at the end of their rotation. 73% said the rotation helped them decide whether to pursue a residency/fellowship, with 18% reporting “maybe”. 94% said they would consider employment within the industry at some point in their career. Majority of surveys (94%) indicated a positive change in their perception of industry, with students noting that patient centricity remains a key driver in this MI setting.
Evaluation of 16 RPs found that 38% mentioned the global aspect of the practice setting and 43% mentioned team work while having a positive attitude when working on assignments. Additionally, 63% said they were interested in pursuing a career in the industry and 25% were interested in pursuing fellowship. 44% stated that the rotation changed their perspective of the industry. Lastly, 69% noted that the rotation clarified the many roles pharmacists could have in the industry and 63% noted the patient-focused aspect of the setting.
Conclusion: The students’ responses to the survey highlighted Pfizer’s reputation as a global innovative company, with a strong emphasis on teamwork and putting the patient first. As this was one of the few industry experiences that many students have had, with some being their first introduction into industry, the rotation clarified the role pharmacists have in industry and solidified this rotation as not only informative but crucial in educating future pharmacists. Overall, students improved their understanding of MI professionals’ core responsibilities ultimately impacting patient care and health outcomes via improving literature searching capabilities and drug information skills including evaluating the literature.