Professionalism in Pharmacy INTRODUCTION This research examines the q

This research examines the question: "What is professionalism in pharmacy?" Four facets of the issue are addressed, as follows: (1) the attributes of a profession, and pharmacy's conformance with these attributes; (2) predictions clients should be able to make concerning the behavior of pharmacists as professionals; (3) problems for pharmacists associated with the dual role of professional practioner and business manager or owner; and (4) pharmacy's role from a societal perspective.


The number of attributes which define a profession tend to vary according to the writer. Four of these attributes, however, may be expected to be found on any such list. These four attributes are as follows:

1. A profession must possess a specialized knowledge base (Wolfgang, 1989; Evans, 1988; Smith, & Knapp, 1985). The specialized knowledge base of the professional is also one which is considered by society to be of great value. The profession of pharmacy possesses such a knowledge base. "Pharmacists possess the most extensive knowledge about drugs of any occupational group in society" (Evans, 1988, p. 5).

2. A profession must possess and enforce an ethical code (Mrtek, & Catizone, 1989; Wolfgang, 1989; Evans, 1988; Smith, & Knapp, 1985). While pharmacy has an ethical code, Evans (1988) contends that few pharmacists give much thought to it although they practice in a



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