Knowledge and attitudes of doctor of pharmacy students regarding the appropriate use of antimicrobials

Julie Ann Justo, Timothy P. Gauthier, Marc H. Scheetz, Elias B. Chahine, P. Brandon Bookstaver, Jason C. Gallagher, Elizabeth D. Hermsen, Daryl D. DePestel, Erika J. Ernst, David M. Jacobs, John S. Esterly, Katie J. Suda, Keith M. Olsen, Lilian M. Abbo, Conan MacDougall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


Pharmacists are key partners in antimicrobial stewardship efforts, yet their degree of education on and attitudes toward this topic during training are not well documented. An electronic survey measuring knowledge and attitudes regarding antimicrobial use and resistance was administered to graduating pharmacy students at 12 US schools of pharmacy. Of 1445 pharmacy students, 579 (40%) completed the survey. The vast majority (94%) believed that strong knowledge of antimicrobials was important for their pharmacy careers, and 89% desired more education on appropriate antimicrobial use. Most students (84%) considered their pharmacy education regarding antimicrobials useful or very useful, but there was significant variability on perceptions of preparation for most antimicrobial stewardship activities according to the students school. The mean number of correct answers on a section of 11 knowledge questions was 5.8 (standard deviation 2.0; P value for score between schools <.001). On multivariable linear regression analysis, significant predictors of a higher knowledge score were pharmacy school attended, planned postgraduate training, completion of a clinical rotation in infectious diseases, perception of pharmacy school education as useful, use of resources to answer the knowledge questions, and use of Infectious Diseases Society of America guidelines and smartphone applications as frequent resources for learning about antimicrobials. Pharmacy students perceive antimicrobial stewardship to be an important healthcare issue and desire more education on the subject. Student perceptions of antimicrobial coursework and actual antimicrobial knowledge scores significantly varied by the school of pharmacy attended. Sharing of best practices among institutions may enhance the preparation of future pharmacists to contribute to effective antimicrobial stewardship.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S162-S169
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
StatePublished - 2014


  • Antimicrobial stewardship
  • Education
  • Pharmacist
  • Pharmacy student
  • Survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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