HSC College of Pharmacy has historical residency match rate

Dr. Annesha White
Dr. Annesha White, interim dean of the HSC College of Pharmacy

The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth’s College of Pharmacy is celebrating a remarkable achievement in its short, 11-year history: The program has secured a record-breaking 95% residency match rate for its students who graduated in May with a Doctor of Pharmacy.

Twenty of the 21 HSC Doctor of Pharmacy students participating in what is known as The Match were matched to a residency program. This surpassed both the national average of 81% and was the highest rate among Texas pharmacy schools.

“This is an exceptional and exemplary accomplishment,” said Dr. Annesha White, interim dean of the HSC College of Pharmacy. “There are pharmacy schools much older than us that haven’t seen such a high match rate. I am just so proud of our faculty, staff and students.”

This year’s 95% rate is a significant jump from last year’s 79%. White, who joined the College in 2015 as an associate professor and became interim dean in September, attributes the progress to the exceptional teamwork of the faculty and staff. This number only reflects students in HSC’s Doctor of Pharmacy program who participated in The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists Resident Matching Program. Others opted for fellowships and other promising job opportunities.

The Match provides students with an orderly process to help find the residency programs of their choice and to help programs attain the applicants they want. The pharmacy residency matching program is similar to many other health professions, including medicine, dentistry, psychology, podiatry and optometry.

Students rank the residency programs with which they have interviewed, and The Match program places them. Students must be prepared to go to any of the locations they rank because they might not get their first choice, White said. If the students don’t match on the first try, there is a second-phase match process and finally a scramble where they can choose from open residency programs.

White also emphasized three HSC programs that played a crucial role in this year’s residency match success: the P4 Postgraduate Mentorship Program, the Postgraduate Training Elective and the Office of Pharmacy Student Success. Those initiatives, run by Drs. Taylor Benavides, Karlyn Nieto, Abby Hulsizer and Brittany Torres, help students prepare for interviews and future careers beyond the classroom.

“Doctors Brittany Torres, Adenike Atanda and Tina Machu, alongside the team at the Office of Pharmacy Student Success, work tirelessly to ensure our students have the necessary resources throughout their pharmacy school journey,” White said. “Receiving such support makes a significant difference in their ability to secure residency placements.”

The Office of Pharmacy Student Success offers financial aid help, tutoring, health/wellness resources, elective course registration and career development. The Site Oriented Advanced Readiness program, known as SOAR, provides students with experience working with a professional pharmacy team – while they’re still in school.

Dr. Charles Taylor, HSC executive vice president for academic affairs, provost and professor of pharmacotherapy, has had a front row seat to the growth and success of the program. He previously served as dean of the HSC College of Pharmacy from 2017 to 2019 before stepping into the role of provost.

“Seeing this program flourish in such a short amount of time gives me such a sense of pride,” Taylor said. “Our faculty, staff and students work so hard each day to live out our mission to create solutions for a healthier community. That mission starts with how we train our students to be the best pharmacists possible. I can’t wait to see what they accomplish in the years to come.

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