Residencies offer specialized training for future pharmacists
By Jan Jarvis
“I woke up at 7 and it came right after that,” she said. “It was such a relief to finally know what I’ll be doing for the next year.”
Cox and 13 fourth-year UNT System College of Pharmacy students recently learned via email which residency program they had matched through Phase 1 of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. Phone calls from the residency program where they would spend at least the next year soon followed. Another 12 fourth-year College of Pharmacy students are attempting to match in Phase II.
For Cox, learning she matched with her top choice – Baylor Scott & White All Saints Medical Center – was reason to celebrate.
“I had been there for my rotation and I just loved their program,” she said. “I was really sold on them.”
Although pharmacy students are not required to do a residency, a growing number are opting to pursue additional training and becoming certified in specialized fields. Pharmacy graduates may complete one or two years of residency, depending on their career path.
In a world where the pharmacist’s role is expanding, particularly in hospitals and medical practices, doing a residency is more important than ever, said Randy Martin, PharmD, Interim Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs.
A residency is critical for those who want to go into a specialized area such as critical care, oncology or infectious diseases, he said.
“It’s not like the old days when pharmacists just stood behind a counter filling prescriptions,” Dr. Martin said. “Today pharmacists, whether in a community, pharmacy or academic institution like ours, are helping make decisions in health care, and in some settings they’re completely managing medication therapy.”
Cox liked Baylor All Saints because it offered her the chance to work in three areas: emergency medicine, critical care and transplant services.
“I’d like to work directly with patients and these specialty areas offer that,” she said. “I also like being the expert in something and focusing on that one area.”
The residency match is a first step in getting extra training that will help graduates achieve their career goals.
Like Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine students, fourth-year College of Pharmacy students submit a ranked list of their top residency programs. At the same time hospitals, academic institutions and pharmacies rank applicants for a possible match. Those students who don’t match get another opportunity in the second and third cycles.
Pharmacy residency programs are extremely competitive. Last year, 67 percent of students seeking a residency matched, which is above the national average, Dr. Martin said.
There’s a growing need for more residency programs for pharmacy graduates. To meet the need for more residencies, the UNT System College of Pharmacy is expanding its own program.
The residency programs are designed to equip graduates with the skills to manage all aspects of medication therapy in inpatient and ambulatory care settings. The College of Pharmacy, in conjunction with UNT Health, is starting a new specialty residency in ambulatory care that has accepted two second-year residents starting in July.
“There just aren’t enough programs in the U.S. to meet the number of students interested in pursuing a residency,” Dr. Martin said. “We’re growing out post-graduate programs and giving students more opportunities to match here.”
By Sally Crocker College student Tassanee Harris isn’t planning to start a family anytime soon, but she’s taking steps now to help ensure that when she’s ready, she can be at her healthiest and give her future children the best start possible. Harris, a junior at Paul Quinn Col...Read more
May 18, 2018
By Alex Branch Four students earned $1,000 awards for outstanding ethics essays at the Nicholas and Anna Ricco Awards Presentation. The winners were all first-year-students: Prachi Thapar, Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine Katherine Mankus, School of Health Professions ...Read more
May 17, 2018
By Jan Jarvis Rosie Ruiz’s parents had a middle school education and an unstoppable drive to give their children a better life than the one they had growing up in Mexico. “My parents worked so hard in low-income jobs just to provide for us,” Ruiz said. “They’re the reason I...Read more
May 17, 2018
By Jan Jarvis Compounds that could make it easier for sleep-deprived pilots to stay alert during long missions are being studied by researchers at UNT Health Science Center and Savannah State University. Researchers are also looking at how the same compound could also be used to reli...Read more
May 16, 2018