5 Ways to Make the Most of Your Pharmacy Residency


Pharmacy residencies can be very demanding, but they can also help you stand out in this competitive pharmacy job market.

Pharmacy residencies can be very demanding, but they can also help you stand out in this competitive pharmacy job market.

Most residency programs start in July, which is just around the corner. After you’ve taken some time for yourself after graduation, consider these tips to help you make the most of your residency experience.

1. Get licensed early.

Getting your licensure exams out of the way by July or August is a great way to jumpstart on your residency. Most residency programs would like you to be licensed by August or September.

Take some time to review your notes for the NAPLEX and MPJE and then schedule your exams. Check the laws of the state where you’re completing your residency, and be sure to review the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy registration bulletin, as there have been recent changes to the MPJE exam.

Here are some of the major changes:

  • The test length has increased from 2 to 2.5 hours.
  • The number of questions has increased from 90 to 120.
  • The test cost has increased from $210 to $250.
  • The test content was revised to reflect the application of pharmacy law in practice.

2. Maintain professional social media pages.

Social media pages like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are great ways to connect with other residents. However, it’s important to make sure all content posted is professional, as potential employers may search your sites when you apply for a position.

Keep these pages updated with all of your clinical skills and ongoing research.

3. Look for teaching opportunities.

Residencies are great teaching opportunities, especially if you’re interested in pursuing a career in academia. Check with your residency director about opportunities with your local pharmacy school.

You can also assist with precepting student pharmacists on their clinical rotations. In-services for pharmacists and other health care professionals in the hospital or community setting are also excellent opportunities to enhance your teaching skills. Make sure to add all of your lectures to your CV.

4. Seek out leadership opportunities.

Leadership opportunities are great ways to showcase your talent. If your residency is affiliated with a pharmacy school, try to serve on a committee such as admissions or research. In the hospital setting, the pharmacy and therapeutics committee can help enhance your clinical knowledge.

5. Publish your research.

Most residencies require you to develop a research project. I recommend selecting a topic you’re passionate about.

Generally, you’ll present your research at a pharmacy conference such as the ASHP Midyear meeting. After spending almost 1 year on a research project, you should be very proud! But it’s important to publish your findings in a peer-reviewed journal so your colleagues can review your work. This will be especially beneficial if you’re considering a career in academia.

Enjoy your residency experience, and continue to advance the profession!

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