PGY1 Pharmacy Residency Prep Schedule


Use this month-by-month guide to plan out your last year as a pharmacy student.

Preparing for a pharmacy residency is a student's greatest (and hopefully last) time of anxiety.

The years of grueling academia all lead to the defining moment of becoming a PGY1 pharmacy resident. It's impossible to think about it without a tinge of nervousness. Feelings of anxiety rush back as I reflect on those months of turmoil.

It reminds me of a trip I took with my wife that went all kinds of wrong. First, our phone batteries died and we realized forgot our car chargers. We knew it would take another 20 minutes to arrive at our destination, but we didn’t know the path.

I hate not knowing where I am going, so this mishap put me on edge emotionally. My wife offered suggestions to get our journey back on track, but in a frustrated rage, I shot down her attempts and started arguing.

Without a clear plan of how to get where you’re going, you will become frustrated, scared, and even lost.

In my last session of the Pharmacy Residency Bootcamp, I discussed what pharmacy students should do to prep for residency application. Once you have a map, you will understand what you should do throughout your journey.

Use this month-by-month guide to plan out your last year as a pharmacy student:


  • Update your CV (Suggested: Ask for CV reviews and use ASHP's free program. Applications due September 9)
  • Research residency programs and create a list of favorites
  • Reach out to 5 to 10 pharmacists for reference letters and/or CV review
  • Draft your cover letter


  • Narrow down your residency program choices
  • Register for pharmacy conferences (ASHP or APhA) and arrange travel plans
  • Finalize your cover letter and ask for a review
  • Ask 5 to 10 pharmacists for references, recommendations, and advice
  • ASHP poster presentations due October 1

Suggested: Use ASHP Personal Placement Services to interview with programs at ASHP Midyear


  • Finalize your CV
  • Individualize your cover letter to each residency program
  • Give reference providers a friendly reminder when reference letters are due
  • Register for the Pharmacy Online Residency Centralized Application (PHORCAS)


  • Attend ASHP Midyear
  • Complete PHORCAS applications and register for the Match
  • Schedule on-site interviews


  • Practice interview skills


  • Complete scheduled interviews
  • Rank residency programs


  • March 4 — Final date for Phase I ranking submission
  • March 18 — Phase I results released
  • March 23 — Phase II Match submission


  • April 1 — Final date for Phase II submission
  • April 8 — Phase II results released

Thanks to Tim O'Shea for offering feedback on this schedule. You can read more from his blog here.

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