Securing and matching a pharmacy residency is increasingly difficult these days. To help student pharmacists prepare for the challenge, Pacific’s California Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists (CSHP) hosted their annual CSHP Residency Showcase on Thursday, June 21, 2012.
“We hope this event will assist members and non-members to learn about the process of applying, the different rotations each program offers, and most importantly, the many doors a residency will open to a recent pharmacy graduate if they were to take an opportunity in exploring this path,” said Kim-Anh Vo ’14, CSHP Professional Affairs Chair.
Nearly 80 student pharmacists attended the event to hear Dr. Andrea Hinton, Clinical Pharmacist, San Joaquin General Hospital, speak and attended a residency showcase following the lecture. Dr. Hinton, who has 12 years of clerkship preceptor experience, spoke about the benefits of a residency, how to apply for a program, and how the matching selection works.
Some professional benefits she spoke of included development of professional skills, gaining insights on pharmacy practice in multiple settings, gaining a competitive edge in the field, and building a network with other professionals. To help students prepare for the application process, Dr. Hinton said “the interview is one of the most important steps in the process. It can make or break you. Be prepared by proofreading and updating your resumes and ask questions. Make sure the program is also a fit for you.” She encouraged them to think about special populations that interest them, the type of working environment, program size, relocation, and more. After all, matching a student to a program is a two-way street.
Dr. Hinton also provided information about the new application process called the Pharmacy Online Residency Centralized Application Service (PhORCAS) which will be in effect in the Fall. PhORCASE can be found on the American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists (ASHP) website and will allow for an easier application process of submitting documents such as transcripts. In addition, she covered the basic information about the National Matching Service (NMS).
In the last three years the number of programs and positions have increased as well as the number of applicants. Pacific graduates maintain a competitive edge at a 62% match rate compared to the national rank at 61% for 2011.
“With residencies as competitive as they are now, students must start planning early to be successful in the application process. Events like the Residency Showcase are great tools for students to learn about what the programs are looking for in potential candidates,” commented Daniel DaCosta ’14, CSHP President.
The CSHP Residency Showcase included representatives from programs such as the California Pacific Medical Center, Children’s Hospital of Central Valley, Kaiser Foundation Hospital, VA Northern California Health Care System, and more.
By Dua Her '09