Leadership Development and Practical Application:
A Comparison of Pharmacy Students and Pharmacists
Kevin Chester and Brody Norwood
Having leadership characteristics is important for a pharmacist to be successful throughout their career. The primary objective of this study was to analyze how pharmacists and pharmacy students developed their leadership skills by comparing the two groups to determine major differences in leadership development. The second objective was to determine how ready new pharmacist graduates are to hold a leadership position. Two different surveys were made specifically for pharmacy students and pharmacists. Surveys were delivered via email to pharmacy students and staff at the University of Findlay. Paper copies of surveys were given to retail pharmacists. When asked how likely it is for a new pharmacy graduate to obtain a leadership position within a community pharmacy setting, 50% of pharmacists and 28.6% of students said it is somewhat likely or very likely. Pharmacists most commonly cited working in a pharmacy (100%) as the source of their leadership development, while only 66.7% of students said that working in a pharmacy gave them their leadership traits. The majority of pharmacists agreed that new pharmacy graduates are likely to hold a leadership position within the field of pharmacy. Pharmacy students may be unaware of the potential to be selected for a leadership position upon graduation. The leadership traits that pharmacy students receive from college curriculum and extracurricular activities should be supplemented with experience working in a pharmacy to further improve their leadership.