Document Type


Date of Original Version



Pharmacy Practice


Background: The American Association for College of Pharmacy Argus Commission recommends increased collaboration with student pharmacy leaders to examine curricular, co-curricular and extra-curricular strategies to develop student leadership for the health care system. At the start of each academic year, first year professional (P1) students are required to attend Professionalism Day, an event in which faculty and third year professional (P3) peer mentors present topics on professional dress, correspondence, social media presence, and etiquette. Peer mentors also moderated small and large group discussions, providing input from their own personal experiences.

Objective: The aim of this research is to assess the impact of peer mentor involvement in Professionalism Day on P1 students’ understanding of professionalism as student pharmacists.

Methods: P1 students were asked to voluntarily fill out a before and after Professionalism Day, assessing the students’ confidence on understanding of the values of professional dress, behavior, social media etiquette, and correspondence. At the end of the event, P1 students also answered five additional questions to assess any increase in agreement from initial opinion of "strongly agree". Any P1 student enrolled at the University of Rhode Island who attends Professionalism Day was eligible to participate.

Results: Eighty surveys were completed (response rate = 77%). The percentage of P1 students that agreed with statements on their confidence in knowing how to dress and correspond professionally, act professionally in the classroom, and how to respond to an unprofessional situation, increased after Professionalism Day. After the event, there was a decrease in the number of students that would feel comfortable with a professor or employer looking at their social media. The majority of P1 students agreed that the program increased their knowledge about dressing professionally for lab or rotation and their knowledge about classroom etiquette (89% and 90%, respectively). On average, 71% of P1 students strongly agreed the program increased their knowledge of professional dress, correspondence, classroom etiquette, and professionalism presence on social media overall on the post-survey.

Conclusion: After a Professionalism Day with peer mentor involvement, P1 students agreed that their confidence and knowledge in dressing, corresponding, and acting professionally increased as well as their confidence in how to respond to an unprofessional situation. Using information provided by the survey results, peer mentors and Colleges of Pharmacy will be able to improve future Professionalism Days and create specific programs and activities to help their mentees achieve and maintain academic, social, and professional success as pharmacy students.