Methods: A cross-sectional survey study of students graduating from US pharmacy schools was conducted in September 2017. Students received the survey link from the ID faculty at participating schools.
Results: 537 students from 28 pharmacy schools completed surveys. Quality of ID didactic education was rated as Very Good by 220 (41%), Good by 219 (40%), Acceptable by 76 (14%), and Poor by 22 (4%) respondents. The most common career interests were ambulatory care (44%), community practice (38%), and infectious diseases (29%). The most common preferred practice settings for students with an interest in ID (n=157) were inpatient/hospital (86%), inpatient stewardship (70%), and inpatient ID consult service (66%). Differences in responses about didactic ID education between students interested in an ID career and those not interested included: perception of education as Very Good (52% vs. 37%, p=0.005), faculty providing handouts and/or worksheets (89% vs. 82%, p=0.009), and the desire for more time allocated to antibiotic stewardship (47% vs. 31%, p<0.001). Multivariate logistic regression found variables to be predictive of pharmacy student interest in an ID career including: pharmacy school curriculum (OR 2.5, 95% CI 1.5-4.0), perception of a Very Good didactic ID education (OR 1.5, 95% CI 1.0-2.3), and faculty mentor(s) (OR 1.8, 95% CI 1.2-2.7).
Conclusion: Pharmacy students expressing interest in ID as a career had positive views of their didactic ID education, were more likely to report faculty mentorship, and desired more time for antibiotic stewardship in the curriculum. These results can inform efforts to encourage pharmacy students to pursue careers in ID.
C. Macdougall, None