UT faculty member and graduate student awarded grant for burnout research among pharmacists

Hope Unger, Senior News Reporter

Editor’s note: This article first appeared in the Jan. 21, 2022 flipbook.

A professor and a graduate student in the College of Pharmacy received an external grant of $34,181 in January to fund their research on burnout and mental well-being among pharmacists. 

The grant was awarded by the Arlyn Kloesel Endowment for Excellence in Pharmacy Practice, and recipients were chosen based on their work’s methodology and innovation, according to a press release from the College of Pharmacy.

Leticia Moczygemba, the faculty principal investigator on the project, said COVID-19 has helped to cast a spotlight on burnout not only in pharmaceuticals, but in the general healthcare field. 

“This is a critical time to really look at well-being and burnout and community pharmacies,” Moczygemba said. “The root of the findings will lay a really good foundation for a roadmap for where to go next with regards to how do we improve well-being and burnout in community pharmacies.”

Andrew Wash, the student principal investigator on the project, said this research is important to him because of his first-hand experience with burnout during the six years he has worked as a pharmacist. 

“I felt this stuff every day — the feelings of burnout (and) wanting to do the best you can for your patients, but at the same time being stretched so thin that you just can’t provide the kind of care that you necessarily want to,” Wash said. 

The research team plans on creating focus groups to talk to pharmacists about their feelings around well-being, burnout and motivation within the field, Moczygemba said.

“The idea of this project is really to focus on how we facilitate the conditions where pharmacists can thrive and be engaged in their work and really provide the level of care that we want pharmacists to provide to patients,” Wash said.

Angelina Tucker, managing network facilitator of Community Pharmacy Enhanced Services Network of Texas, has worked with the College of Pharmacy since fall 2019. Tucker said CPESN will aid the project by connecting the researchers with pharmacies to participate in the research project through conducted surveys. 

“I know our pharmacists experience burnout many different ways, in many different situations, depending on what’s going on in their personal life,” Tucker said. “I think it’s very applicable and it’s very timely … This pandemic has put a kink in a lot of cycles that have been turning into pharmacy growth.”