_Have you thought about what you might do with your pharmacy degree after graduation? Are you unsure or wanting more experience in the profession? A pharmacy residency program might be just what you are looking for!
The first pharmacy residency program was started by Harvey A.K. Whitney at the University of Michigan Hospital in 1927. Over the last eighty years, pharmacy residencies have evolved rapidly into what we know today as pharmacy practice residencies and specialty residencies. A pharmacy practice residency is usually completed before an advanced residency or a specialty residency. These are referred to as PGY1 (Post-Graduate Year 1) and PGY-2 (Post-Graduate Year 2) residencies. For information on residency training programs, please see the ASHP Resident Information webpage. To search for ASHP Accredited PGY-1 or PGY-2 Residency programs, see the ASHP Online Residency Directory.
The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) defines a pharmacy residency as 'an organized, directed, postgraduate training in a defined area of pharmacy practice, typically lasting one year. It provides the knowledge and experience that pharmacy practitioners need to face challenges in today's complex health-care systems, while also providing essential skills to meet the practice demands of the future.'
Every residency program is also defined by its status. There are three types: an ASHP accredited residency, pending accreditation, or non-accredited. ASHP is the only body that grants accreditation to pharmacy residencies. A residency must meet current standards to become ASHP accredited and is periodically monitored. Currently, there are more than 400 ASHP-accredited residencies available. Theses programs are located all over the United States. The time commitment of a residency is usually a year; however, it may be longer for programs with combined residencies. All ASHP-accredited residency programs do provide the resident with a stipend, but each program varies in the amount.
ASHP defines a pharmacy practice residency as 'a program that focuses on the development of competence, skills, and application of drug therapy knowledge in providing the broad scope of pharmaceutical services to patients.' The areas of drug information and drug-use policy development, ambulatory care, practice management, and acute care are emphasized in the pharmacy practice residencies.
A specialty residency provides training in a focused area of pharmacy. Currently, there are fifteen areas of specialized residencies: pediatrics, geriatrics, drug information, critical care, clinical pharmacokinetics, infectious disease, internal medicine, psychiatric, primary care, managed care pharmacy systems, nutritional support, nuclear medicine, pharmacy practice management, primary care, and oncology. This residency program should build on knowledge and skills acquired in the general residency. Visit the Clinical Specialties page to learn more.
Pharmacy practice residencies have the choice to participate in the Resident Matching Program, also called 'the match.' This is a yearly, formal process conducted by the National Matching Services (NMS), which matches pharmacist applicants with residency programs. All ASHP-accredited and accreditation-pending pharmacy practice programs are required to participate in the match. However, the military and Public Health Service sponsored programs are not held to this requirement.
The match is conducted with the applicants applying directly to the residency programs of their choice. Programs vary by their application process, but usually an on-site interview is conducted. After the applicant has all interviews, he or she ranks, in order of preference, the programs. There is no limit to the number of programs you may list; however, you must be willing to accept any listed. During the same time, the residency programs are ranking, in order of preference, the applicants whom they interviewed. This process is done confidentially and is submitted to the NMS by the deadline. The Rank Order Lists are compared by a computerized system and NMS again confidentially, informs the applicant and program of the final results. The applicant is to reply in a specifically given amount of time to the program that resulted in the best match. Information about other rankings is not provided. There is a binding commitment of the match between an applicant and program, unless there is mutual written agreement for withdraw.
After the match results are compiled, an unmatched list of residency programs is made available to the unmatched applicants. An unmatched applicant may accept an unmatched program, and any unmatched program can offer the position to an unmatched applicant.
The time frame for the matching process is:
ASHP. OPPORTUNITIES: The Source for Pharmacy Residency Information
ASHP Pharmacy Student Forum. Studentline 'Pharmacy Residencies: All the Information You Need.' Summer 1999.
For information on the ASHP Residencies, see the ASHP Web Site.