What is a pharmacy residency?
Pharmacy residency is the additional training received after completion of a Doctor of Pharmacy degree. This training allows graduates to develop and apply clinical skills in areas of specialty. Residency training has become increasingly important in the profession of pharmacy due to the growing roles of pharmacists. The American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP) envisions the future of pharmacy profession to include a mandatory and formal, postgraduate residency training before pharmacy graduates can practice.
Residency training is divided into two postgraduate years, postgraduate year one (PGY1) and two (PGY2). Training during the first year is generalized while second year training is focused in an area of practice. PGY1 is defined by ACCP as “an organized, directed, accredited program that builds upon knowledge, skills, attitudes, and abilities gained from an accredited professional pharmacy degree program.” The average reported number of PGY1 positions available per institution was 4.5 (range, 1-15). The average number of applications received per institution was 61.9 or about 14 applications for each position offered.
PGY2 is defined by ACCP as a program that “increases the resident’s depth of knowledge, skills, attitudes and abilities to raise the resident’s level of expertise in medication therapy management and clinical leadership in the area of focus”. Completion of PGY1 is required before PGY2
PGY-2 specialties offered are ambulatory care, cardiology, critical care, geriatric, pediatric, oncology, psychiatric and many more.
In 2013, 1465 residency programs participated in the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) Matching Program.
Pharmacy Residency Excellence Awards
ASHP Foundation recognizes excellence and leadership in the training and mentoring of pharmacy residents. Goals are to recognize the achievements of residency programs and practitioners and foster innovations in residency training. In 2012, the following awards were given:
Why should you opt for a pharmacy residency
Examples of jobs for pharmacists who have completed residencies include infectious disease pharmacists, critical care pharmacists, and ambulatory care pharmacists.
What will you do during a pharmacy residency?
Preparing for a residency application
Important factors used by pharmacy residency programs to evaluate residency applicants include:
Prepare for a residency throughout pharmacy school training:
During the last year of school, follow the application timeline prepared by ACCP detailing the steps to take for the application process from May to February
Network and learn from practicing pharmacists. If you join a social network, maintain professional profiles.
Attend the ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting (MCM)
Occurs in the beginning of December every year
Information about available residencies are available at the Residency Showcase and the CareerPharm’s Personnel Placement Service (PPS).
Residency Showcase is an informal meeting with residents and preceptors of programs. Dress professionally and bring resumes to programs of interest.
PPS is a national pharmacy recruiting event that enables job seekers and employers to conduct job searches at the CareerPharm website and interviews.
Choosing the residency program that is right for you
Apply early using the PhORCAS and Match programs
Pharmacy Online Residency Centralized Application Service (PhORCAS) is a centralized application service that distributes application information to residency programs.
Tips for writing your CV:
Identify what information belongs on your CV
Use past tense and third person
Do not use abbreviations
Ask preceptors to review your CV
Add your accomplishments
Transcripts: request them early to avoid delays in application
ASHP Resident Matching Program (the “Match”) is used by applicants to determine the final placement into residency positions after the application and evaluation process is completed.
In 2013, a total of 5637 applicants to PGY1 and PGY2 positions enrolled in the Match. 1157 of the 5637 enrolled applicants withdrew or did not return any rankings to the Match. The remainder 4,480 applicants resulted in 2866 applicants matched and 1614 not matched. Approximately 36% (1614 of 4,480) of applicants were not matched.
Tips for the residency interview process
Plan travels and time off from rotation to attend interviews
Be punctual and dress professionally
Prepare your questions and answers for one-on-one interviews and meetings with faculty and staff members by practicing mock interviews
In a survey by Mancuso and Paloucek, the common criteria for inviting a residency candidate for an interview were identified and includes these top five:
Grade point average and grades, letters of recommendation, completed application, curriculum vitae, and letter of intent
Anticipate and practice answering questions typically asked during the interview. Mancuso and Paloucek’s survey found the most commonly asked questions include:
Prepare and practice case presentations.
After the interview, acknowledge and thank the program for the interview.
Hopefully, you found this summary helpful and you are planning to apply to a residency program. Good luck with your residency "Match" and your pharmacy career.
Find Pharmacy Jobs At The Healthcare Career Center
Cain J, Scott D, and Smith K. Use of Social Media by Residency Program Directors for Resident Selection. American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy 2010, 67:1635-9.
Jellinek-Cohen SP, Cohen V, Bucher K, Likourezos A. Factors used by pharmacy residency programs to select residents. American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy 2012, 69:1105-8
Mancuso, Carissa E and Frank P Paloucek. Understanding and preparing for pharmacy practice residency interviews. American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy 2004, 61:1686-9
Murphy JE, Nappi JM, Bosso JA et al. American College of Clinical Pharmacy’s vision of the future: postgraduate pharmacy residency training as a prerequisite for direct patient care practice. Pharmacotherapy 2006, 26:722-33.
Kliethermes, Mary Ann, and Tim R. Brown. American Society of Health System Pharmacists. American Society of Health System Pharmacists. Web. 6 June 2013.