MEMBERSHIP RATE, PERCEPTION AND AWARENESS OF THEIR PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATION AMONG NEWLY LICENSED PHARMACISTS
Objectives: The Malaysian Pharmaceutical Society (MPS) is the professional association for pharmacists in Malaysia. It plays a significant role in the continuous education of pharmacists by serving as a platform to inform members of the latest developments in pharmacy, to further stimulate interest and collaboration in research and also to uphold and enhance the standards and ethics of the profession. Unfortunately, like many professional associations, the goals of the MPS are hindered by its low membership rate. The objective of this study was to determine the membership rate, perception and knowledge of the MPS among recently licensed pharmacists.
Methods: A voluntary survey was conducted, using a questionnaire, among pharmacists who were recently licensed and in the process of completing their compulsory service. The total number of respondents was 175.
Results: Ninety-five percent of those surveyed felt that a professional association was important for the future of pharmacists, yet only 50% were MPS members. More than 85% of respondents were women and most of them (54.3%) were graduates from private universities. The majority of those who were not members of MPS indicated that they did not join MPS because they were unaware of the benefits of membership or lacked time for MPS activities. This is likely a contributing factor to low rates of membership observed among professional pharmaceutical associations worldwide.
Conclusion: Accordingly, we believe that greater effort by MPS, and similar professional bodies, to improve awareness of the association and benefits of membership would increase membership and the long-term will benefit the pharmacy profession.
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