Reconsidering Pharmacy: We Need to Turn Career Regret into Career Options

David R. Steeb, Jeff Cain, Stuart T. Haines

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate


Declining interest in pharmacy as a career is a growing concern. This commentary investigates the factors contributing to career regret among pharmacy graduates, based on data from the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy National Graduating Student Survey. We identify 3 key contributing factors: workplace environment, professional identity formation, and marketing of the Doctor of Pharmacy degree. We argue that students observe, in many work environments, a lack of autonomy, repetitive tasks, and unfulfilling work. This leads to diminished job satisfaction and disillusionment. Additionally, marketing tactics and curricular structures can inadvertently contribute to career regret. We propose potential interventions, emphasizing the need for improved working conditions, more versatile roles in pharmacy, and enhanced career development services within colleges/schools of pharmacy. Additional research is needed to fully understand career regret and the steps that academic institutions can proactively take to mitigate career dissatisfaction among their graduates.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100678
JournalAmerican Journal of Pharmaceutical Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy


  • Career choices
  • Career regret
  • Pharmacy recruitment
  • Professional identity formation
  • Working conditions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Pharmacy
  • General Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics


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