Objective: To assess pharmacy student perceptions of the benefits and barriers to global health (GH) opportunities at the University of Utah College of Pharmacy.
Methods: An online survey was administered to 223 pharmacy students assessing their perceived benefits and barriers to GH opportunities during the PharmD curriculum. 5-point scale questions were recorded. Chi-square test was used to compare the four classes and Fisher’s Exact test compared students with prior GH experience to those without.
Results: A total of 118 (52.9%) students completed the survey. Across class years, the highest scoring GH benefit was “increased overall knowledge about GH” (89.8%, [106/118]). No differences in perceptions of benefits were seen across the classes or between the prior/no prior GH groups, however, P1 students ranked benefit statements higher than any other class. The highest ranked barrier for all class years was “cost (financial)” (77.1%, [91/118]) and was also the highest ranked barrier among students with or without prior GH experience.
Conclusion: Most students ranked all GH benefits highly, indicating that benefits alone do not necessarily influence a student’s decision to participate. Programs may want to focus on addressing the highest ranked barrier(s) to participation, such as “cost.” Early and frequent dissemination of available local and international GH opportunities to students may minimize this perceived barrier and others.
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