Project Profile: Strengths of Pharmacy Students

StrengthsFinder Signature Themes of Talent in Doctor of Pharmacy Students in Five Midwestern Pharmacy Schools

Which of your findings did you find most surprising?
Kristin Janke, Project Lead
Kristin Janke, Project Lead

In pharmacy, we’re admitting folks from 2 or more years of undergraduate education.  There is publically available data on 1.5 million of these students, which we compared to our pool of pharmacy students.  It appears that we disproportionately draw certain Signature Themes into pharmacy, such as more Achiever, Harmony and Learner and less Adaptability and Strategic.  Of course, we don’t know why this is.  For instance, are people with Adaptability and Strategic perceiving that pharmacy isn’t a good fit?  Does our admissions process favor certain talents?

How does this work fit into the broader conversation about Strengths in Pharmacy Students?

Ultimately, we want students aware of and fully utilizing their talents.  Use of talents has been shown to lead to all sorts of positive outcomes, including academic success and workplace advantages, such as reduced errors and increased client satisfaction.  But, strengths development takes a concerted effort.  It’s more than just the administration of the instrument and an “Aha, this is me!” moment, when you get the results.  Students need to embrace those talents, look for places to use them and practice them.  Understanding the talents within the student pharmacist population can help us develop educational initiatives that will exercise and build talents.  Understanding the consistencies and inconsistencies of talents between schools will help us to design initiatives that can benefit more pharmacy programs.

Word Cloud representing Strengths of Pharmacy Students (wordle.com)
Word Cloud representing Strengths of Pharmacy Students (wordle.net)
What are the next steps for this collaboration?

This group has two more projects in the works.  We’re just completing the analysis of the talents of 290 pharmacy residents from four schools.  We’re comparing those against our student pharmacist data to see if certain talents gravitate toward residency.  We’re also planning a paper to discuss methods for supporting students in developing their talents while in school.

The publication related to this work is here.

For even more on StrengthsFinder work at the UM-CoP, visit the W-CISPE website:

Are you interested in other StrengthsFinder resources? Try StrengthsQuest.

For more information:

Project Lead: Kristin Janke, Ph.D. (MN)

Additional Team Members:  Karen Farris, Ph.D. (U MI), Katherine Kelley, Ph.D. (OSU), Vince Marshall, MS (U MI), Kim Plake, Ph.D., RPh (Purdue), Steve Scott, Pharm.D. (Purdue), Todd Sorensen, Pharm.D. (MN) and Gary Yee, Pharm.D (UNMC)