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Keywords

workforce patterns, retirement age pharmacists

Abstract

Introduction: This manuscript describes the unexpected results from a routine state survey of pharmacist workforce patterns. It describes the background characteristics, practice activities, working conditions, compensation, and fringe benefits among registered Illinois pharmacists of typical retirement age (≥ 65 years old) still active in practice.

Methods: A 4-page self-administered questionnaire was mailed to a random sample of 500 registered pharmacists residing in Illinois in early 2013. A reminder postcard was mailed to the whole sample at two weeks from the initial correspondence. Data collection concluded three months after the initial mailing.

Results: Response rate was 44.8%. Half of all respondents reported to be active in practice (n =119, 54.1%); most of these pharmacists reported working part-time (n= 92, 41.8%). Further inspection revealed that all respondents were age 65 or older. The average respondent could be characterized as a married, Caucasian male of typical retirement age. Respondents wanted significantly less time spent in medication dispensing (63.4%) and more time providing patient care services (27.5%). As expected, most work-related characteristics were significantly different between part-time and full-time respondents with one exception: there were no major differences in hourly wages observed.

Conclusion: Based on data from this survey, there is a substantial number of retirement age pharmacists in Illinois who continue to practice past the age of 65. A better understanding of pharmacist retirement trends is of importance to the profession as it has potential implications for pharmacy employers, educational institutions, and other stakeholders.

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