Desirable Traits of Hospital Pharmacy Preceptors and Residents


  • Zahra Kanji Lion’s Gate Hospital, University of British Columbia
  • Don Hamilton Children’s and Women’s Health Centre of British Columbia, University of British Columbia
  • David Hill University of British Columbia




The British Columbia Hospital Pharmacy Residency Program has been in existence since 1970. It has expanded since its inception and now encompasses 7 hospitals, which offered a total of 17 residency positions during the 1999/2000 residency year. The prgram receives approximately 45 applications annually. The screening process to identify the best candidates includes an evaluation of the applicant’s academic transcripts, résumé, and letter outlining his or her future goals; an evaluation of documentation from references; and a personal interview. Although the hospital residency coordinators may each have their own specific criteria as to the most desirable traits for students accepted as residents at their institutions, the attributes that characterize an “ideal” resident have not been generally agreed upon. We took advantage of an opportunity to receive feedback about the traits of an ideal resident from a group of hospital pharmacy residency preceptors (including coordinators). In the 1997/98 residency year, 4 of the 14 residents in the British Columbia Hospital Pharmacy Residency Program did not complete the program. A task force, consisting of a director of pharmacy, the chair of the British Columbia Hospital Pharmacy Residency Coordinators Committee (BC HPRCC), a member of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of British Columbia, and one additional coordinator, was set up to examine more closely the reasons for this unexpectedly high level of withdrawals and to search for issues or practices that might be corrected. Although each unsuccessful case was unique and preceptorship was not identified as a major reason for failure, the task force felt that preceptors have a significant effect on the motivation and success of a resident while he or she is in the program, and more information on preceptorship was felt to be necessary. A questionnaire for residents was created to determine their opinion about the traits apparent in outstanding hospital pharmacy preceptors. The purpose of conducting the 2 independent questionnaires was to identify desirable traits of hospital pharmacy residents to assist in the resident selection process and to identify desirable traits of hospital pharmacy preceptors to help improve the quality of resident teaching and supervision in each hospital.


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Pharmacy Practice / Pratique pharmaceutique