A Qualitative Study of Underrepresented Minority (URM) Student Pharmacists' Intersectionality and Professional Identity Formation. Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVE: To determine how underrepresented minority (URM) student pharmacists' intersectionality affects professional identity formation early in their academic career. METHODS: A qualitative study was undertaken. All students from Classes 2022 through 2025 at Texas A&M University School of Pharmacy were required to engage in reflection on a personal statement of philosophy of practice early in their first year of pharmacy as part of the structured longitudinal co-curricular course requirement. Statements of the URM students who referenced their intersecting identities were selected for deductive analysis per Bingham and Witkowsky and inductive analysis using Lincoln and Guba's approach to content analysis. RESULTS: Of the 221 URM student pharmacists within the 4 cohorts who submitted a statement, 38 statements (92% Hispanic students) met the inclusion criteria. Student hometowns and the identity domains of the individual, relational, and collective were selected a priori for the deductive analysis. Students most often referenced individual identity characteristics that fit under the Principles I, IV, V, and VII of the Code of Ethics for Pharmacists. Three themes emerged from the inductive analysis: (1) defining experiences and resulting realizations, (2) motivating forces, and (3) aspirations as a pharmacist. A working hypothesis was developed. CONCLUSION: The URM students' intersecting identities (race, ethnicity, socioeconomic class, and belonging to an underserved community) influenced their early professional identity formation. The desire to bring about racial uplift was observed among the Hispanic students as early in their P1 year through the School's required co-curricular reflection. Such reflective practice serves as an effective vehicle for the students to recognize their intersecting identities that impact their professional identity.

published proceedings

  • Am J Pharm Educ

author list (cited authors)

  • Gunaseelan, S., Demps, E., Galvan, A. M., Abu-Baker, A., Tanzer, K., & Reddy, I. K.

citation count

  • 2

complete list of authors

  • Gunaseelan, Simi||Demps, Elaine||Galvan, Amanda M||Abu-Baker, Asim||Tanzer, Kim||Reddy, Indra K

publication date

  • November 2023