5 Tips for Securing a Residency

DECEMBER 01, 2017
With the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists' Midyear Clinical Meeting and Exhibition approaching, your thoughts may be turning to residency and dreams of that perfect program. Although December is a busy month for many of us, now is the time to start evaluating the pros and cons of prospective programs and get a game plan ready. Do not worry; this can be done in manageable chunks.

Here are the 5 tips to success in this application maze:

1. Organize the application information, and check the requirements for that perfect residency program. Do they need specific letters of reference or supplemental application materials? Make sure the application is complete and meets specifications.

2. Prepare a curriculum vitae (CV): Sell yourself, and have a trusted preceptor, professor, and/or outside source review this to align your strengths with your highest matching program.

3. Get letters of reference. Select preceptors and professors who know you are special. Start asking by mid-November. You want to be considerate of their time, and you want the best letter possible. Send the preceptor your CV, and make sure they know what makes you stand out.

4. Attend Midyear. This provides an opportunity to ask the director and current residents questions about the program, the hospital, and the location in general. There are other opportunities as well, such as local or state residency showcases, residency program open houses, and reaching out to shadow somewhere you are thinking of applying. All these opportunities can help you get in contact with programs before applying.

5. Write a letter of intent: This is an important component of the application. Take into consideration career goals and how a residency program can help you achieve them. Make sure your goals match what the program has to offer.
Family, friends, professors, and mentors are good sources, so use them. They may offer a different perspective on your choices. At the end of the day, know you have worked hard through pharmacy school to get to this point. You got this!

This article was co-written by Emily Bilas, PharmD, and Kristen Woodberry, PharmD, who are PGY-1 residents and clinical pharmacists at HCA West Florida Hospital in Pensacola, Florida.

Jerry A. Barbee Jr., PharmD, BCPS, CPh
Jerry A. Barbee Jr., PharmD, BCPS, CPh
Jerry Barbee Jr., PharmD, BCPS, CPh, is a clinical hospital pharmacist in Pensacola, Florida. He is board-certified in Pharmacotherapy, a consultant pharmacist, ASHP immunizer and MAD-ID pharmacist. He has utilized these clinical pharmacist skills in both the community and institutional settings. Dr. Barbee is a residency preceptor and mentor to many students from multiple schools across the United States. He is honored to precept residents, introductory pharmacy practice students, and advanced pharmacy practice experience students. His primary area of interests are adult internal medicine and infectious disease, but his passion is for mentoring residents and students.