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Am J Health Syst Pharm. 1999 Dec 1;56(23):2458-62.

Transitions in pharmacy practice, part 4: can a leopard change its spots?

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  • 1Educational Resources, American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Bethesda, MD 20814, USA.


The personal and social characteristics of pharmacy practitioners that predispose them to reacting in a certain way to a change in practice are examined. Individuals tend to choose vocations they perceive to be a match with their personality. Studies suggest a dominant personality type among pharmacists characterized by a strong sense of responsibility, conscientiousness, practicality, logic, and, in about 20% of practitioners, fear of interpersonal communication. As the profession seeks to adapt to new practice models, individual practitioners may find a significant mismatch between their personality and aspects of the new models. Pharmacists' professional socialization-the process by which expected roles, behaviors, and attitudes are acquired-is another major contributor to their receptiveness to changes in practice. Managers wanting to promote practice changes face considerable variance in the professional socialization of their individual staff members. Few staff members have been socialized for pharmaceutical care. Some may not have any of the values or attitudes of the idealized professional, and may simply have "a job." Although personality is largely fixed, professional socialization is an ongoing process, so there is potential to resocialize practitioners for new practice models. Pharmacists are shaped by their personalities and professional socialization. Conflict may occur if a pharmacist's personality does not mesh with new professional roles. Most pharmacists will need resocialization to prepare them for changes in practice.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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