The Australian pharmacist workforce: employment status, practice profile and job satisfaction

Vivienne Mak, Alice Clark, Geoff March, Andrew Gilbert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleOtherpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Objective. The aims were to determine Australian registered pharmacists' current employment status, practice profile and professional satisfaction. 

Method. A questionnaire was mailed to all registered pharmacists (n≤7764) on the Pharmacy Boards of Victoria and South Australia's registers; 19 were returned undeliverable. Quantitative data were entered and analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences Version 17. Qualitative data were subjected to a thematic analysis. 

Results. 1627 (21%) pharmacists responded: 259 (16%) were registered as pharmacists but no longer worked in the pharmacy profession. A total of 1366 respondents reported still working as pharmacists. Of the 1366, 912 (67%) indicated that they spend most of their time in a clinical area; 233 (17%) spend most of their time in 'non-clinical pharmacist work (i.e. dispensing as technical supply)'; 216 (16%) worked in other non-clinical roles and; 1053 (77%) were professionally satisfied. 

Conclusion. Measuring the pharmacist workforce based on registration data significantly overestimates the available clinical pharmacist workforce: 708 (44%) respondents were no longer working in the profession, were not mainly involved in clinical practice or were working in non-clinical roles. A significant re-professionalisation program is needed if pharmacists' unique knowledge and skills are to contribute to better healthcare delivery. 

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-130
Number of pages4
JournalAustralian Health Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

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