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Differences in self-reported academically dishonest and nondishonest pharmacy students when rating professional dishonesty scenarios

Elsevier Inc.
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.cptl.2010.01.004
  • Dishonesty
  • Academic
  • Professional
  • Pharmacy
  • Pharmacology
  • Philosophy


Abstract Objectives To determine whether academically dishonest student pharmacists are less likely to recognize the dishonest nature of academic activities and workplace scenarios compared with nondishonest students. Methods Students were surveyed to assess factors associated with academic dishonesty and the relation of these variables to ethical ratings of professional scenarios. Results Thirty-one percent admitted cheating in pharmacy school. Most students did so by cheating on lab assignments (80%) or presenting group work as an individual effort (84%). Only 16% admitted to cheating on exams and 7% to plagiarizing. Self-reported academic dishonest students were statistically ( p < 0.05) less likely to consider certain workplace scenarios (e.g., taking over-the-counter analgesics without paying, self-treating with an antibiotic, making personal long-distance calls from the company phone) as dishonest. Conclusions The absolute level of and factors associated with cheating among student pharmacists is similar to that among other professional students. Dishonesty appears to be restricted to (what students believe to be) minor transgressions. In regard to professional dishonesty, differences exist between those that self-reported dishonest academic activities.

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