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Pharmacy Residency Programs


The purpose of Post-Graduate Year 1 (PGY1) residency programs is to provide the opportunity to accelerate the individual’s growth beyond entry-level professional competence in patient-centered care and in pharmacy operational services and to further the development of leadership skills that can be applied in any practice setting.



These programs are available to the College of Pharmacy students at Ohio Northern University

  • PGY1 Pharmacy Practice Residency at ONU HealthWise
  • Blanchard Valley Health Systems
  • Grandview Hospital
  • Firelands


General Information about Residencies
The Advantage Residencies Provide for Obtaining a Job or Specific Position
How Residencies Further Develop your Skills

General Information

  • Bridge between completing school and entering the profession
  • 1-2 year postgraduate training program
  • Include focused mentoring from a preceptor
  • 800+ residency programs, approximately 2,000 residency positions
    • Numbers are increasing yearly
  • Wide variety of practice areas
    • Hospital, community, long term, ambulatory care, home care, managed care, etc
  • PGY1
    • 1st year after graduation
    • Students develop general pharmacy and patient care skills in a variety of areas
    • Further enhances the skills you learn in school/on rotations
  • PGY2
    • 2nd year after graduation
    • Must complete PGY1 first
    • Students develop skills in a focused area of pharmacy practice
  • Students can complete a PGY1 then enter the profession or go on to complete a PGY2
  • Some PGY1 programs are connected to a PGY2 program
    • Can apply for an early commitment during the beginning of your PGY1
    • If accepted, you do not need to enter the draft to match with the PGY2 position
  • Residencies are a paid position with a salary and often healthcare as well as other benefits
    • Salaries vary, the majority are between $40,000 and $45,000; however some are more and others are less   

The Advantage Residencies Provide for Obtaining a Job or Specific Position

  • Increase options for the future employment
  • Allow you to specialize in a specific area of practice/patient care
  • Help you end up where you would like to be in the profession
  • Prepare you for the continual changes in the profession, i.e. the more clinical and complex roles
  • Differentiate you from other applicants due to more competitive job market
    • Increasing number of pharmacy schools, poor economy, etc
  • Create a network with pharmacists and other HCPs, which is beneficial for your future
  • Help you obtain a position you want and enjoy, which leads to job satisfaction
  • Essentially, they are an investment for your future 

How Residencies Further Develop your Skills

  • There are frequent interactions with your patients
  • There is more time/experiences for you to further develop your skills
  • The confidence you have in your skills increases significantly
  • On your APPEs someone is always backing you up; here, you are the decision maker
  • You feel like an individual practitioner
  • Most programs have components that challenge, improve, and/or help you develop teaching, precepting, leadership, and research skills
  • Every resident completes a major project, which is usually a research project, that spans the length of their residency 

Residency Timeline

  • Start Thinking Now!
    • Do you sincerely want to do a residency?
      • If not, you are doing yourself and the site a disservice
    • What is your ideal job? Where do you want to end up?
    • What do you need to do to get where you would like to be?
    • Will a residency aid you in this process?
    • What type of residency should you do?
      • It is not beneficial to do just “any” residency
      • Would community, inpatient, outpatient, research, or another type be best?
      • Depending on what you would like to do, a more focused PGY1 or a general PGY1 followed by a PGY2 may be appropriate
    • Do you want to stay local? Where are the reputable programs?
    • Do you want to be in a smaller or larger setting?
    • Would you rather gain experience by working your way up at an institution instead of completing a residency?
    • You have time to decide whether or not you are going to apply for a residency.  Although it is not recommended or ideal, even if you decided late December/early January you can still apply for a residency.  The entire process will just be rushed and stressful.
  • Update your CV
    • Information on how to prepare a CV
      • ACCP website
        • ACCP offers a service to its members where you can submit your CV online and it will be reviewed and returned back to you within 14 business days
      • Faculty are often willing to help with your CV
      • Ohio Northern University's Office of Career Services informational PowerPoint (The Pharmacy Curriculum Vitae)
    • Keeping your CV up-to-date eliminates a lot of work in the future
      • Awards, scholarships, rotations, etc
  • P5 year
    • Consider attending the OSHP and/or ASHP Residency Showcases
      • The benefit of attending the residency showcases as a P5 is to become exposed and familiar with the environment.  Due to the large amount of people and numerous programs, the entire experience can be overwhelming.  Hence, some people might find it useful to be exposed to the atmosphere before they attend as a P6, which is when they will actually be meeting and interacting with the residency programs’ directors and residents.  As a P5, the time allotted to speaking with the programs is very limited since the main purpose of the event is to assist the P6 residency candidates.  However, being at the event may help develop better questions to ask the program directors and residents the following year.  As a result, it is not discouraged, but it is not necessary to attend the showcases as a P5.  It depends on whether or not you think it would be beneficial for you.
    • Use the rotation selection process to your advantage
      • Gain experience in areas you are considering practicing in the future
      • Do a rotation at a site(s) you are considering for your residency
      • Become exposed to different areas of pharmacy practice
      • Have “strong” rotations to list on your CV
      • Schedule a critical care rotation
        • It exposes you to a lot, and many residency programs like to see you have completed one
      • Consider a block rotation
      • Challenge yourself!
    • Consider requesting a specific month off to help with the residency process
      • December to attend the Residency Showcase at ASHP Midyear
      • January or February (better choice) to interview with residency programs
  • P6 year
    • Make connections with HCPs while you are on your rotations
    • Ask your preceptors for help/advice regarding the residency application process. They may:
      • Be familiar with the programs to which you are applying
      • Have an idea of an area of pharmacy in to which you should look
      • Review your CV
      • Write your letters of recommendation
    • September
      • Submit the resident matching program application agreement form
        • The deadline for registering for the Match is not until the middle of January (specific date changes yearly).  However, many programs require that you register for the Match before you submit your residency application.  Hence, it is easiest and best to submit your resident matching program application as soon as possible so it is completed and out of the way.  Beware though that there is a $116 non-refundable fee (may change) associated with the application.  Therefore, even though it is best to submit your application early, do not do so until you are sure you want to complete a residency.
      • Consider attending ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting
        • Whether or not it is worthwhile to attend Midyear depends on your own opinion and situation.  It is an excellent opportunity to learn about a lot of programs from all over the country at one time.  Hence, if you are interested in interviewing across the country, it is probably a good idea to attend Midyear.  If you want to stay in Ohio (or your home state) for your residency, you may want to consider attending the OSHP Residency Showcase (or a different, local showcase) instead of Midyear.  Almost all of the residency programs in Ohio are at OSHP and the traveling expenses are less since you only have to travel to Columbus.  In addition, you should consider if you have an idea/list of residency programs in which you are already interested as well as how beneficial you think it would be to meet the program directors before you apply.  If you are interested in applying to larger, more competitive programs it may be worthwhile to attend Midyear in order to demonstrate your interest in the programs.  Due to the increasing number of applicants and competitiveness for obtaining a residency position, the more you interact with the program directors and the more they get to know you, the more beneficial it may be.  However, at the same time in the eyes of some programs, it does not matter if you attend Midyear.  They may remember you or get to know you a little better, but they do not give an advantage to candidates who are at the showcase. Furthermore, you may also discover that you are no longer interested in a program via what you learn about it at Midyear.
      • Sign up to attend ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting
        • Choose programs to visit at the Showcase
          • ASHP Clinical Meeting is the largest gathering of pharmacists in the world.  It is a five day affair, with numerous CE sessions and other events, held each year in the beginning of December.  The main reason for attending Midyear as a P6 is the Residency Showcase.  It is a large venue with most residency programs nationwide.  The showcase provides you with an opportunity to meet the residency programs’ residents and preceptors.  This interaction allows you to introduce yourself to the program directors, gain information about the residency, and “get a feel” for the program as well as the people involved in it.  It is essentially a “recruiting” process for both you and the residency programs. Event specifics, which change yearly, such as the residency programs attending, a floor plan of the event, etc. as well as tips on how to make the most of the event can be found on the ASHP website as well as the Midyear website under the Residency Showcase tab.
    • October
      • Look into the available residency programs
        1. ASHP Online Residency Directory
      • Obtain information and applications from programs of choice
      • Attend OSHP Residency Showcase or other “local”  residency showcases
        • The OSHP Residency Showcase is held in October or November in Columbus each year.  If you are interested in staying in Ohio for your residency it is a good opportunity to learn about the different programs in Ohio.  More information including the specific date can be found on the
          OSHP website.
    • November
      • An official list of available residency positions is released
        • Click “List of Participating Programs” on the left
      • Ask for Recommendation
        • Chose people you have worked with recently and who know you well
        • Think of people who can describe your patient care interactions as well as your interactions with other HCPs (ex. module professors, rotation preceptors, internship preceptor, etc)
        • Be sure to provide recommenders with a copy of your CV, the contact name and date due, a description of the program, and why you want to attend that program.
      • Make a cover letter for your CV
        • You need to create a cover letter, also known as a letter of intent, to attach to the front of your CV.  It should include the program to which you are applying (ex. PGY1 pharmacy residency), why you are interested in the specific program, as well as your interests and skills that make you the right person for the residency position.  Be sure to make your letter specific to the program to which you are applying.  Explain why each particular program would be a good fit for you, help you reach your goals, etc.  Also, address the letter to the program director by name, not to “To whom it may concern.”
        • Below are several resources to review as you write your letters of intent
    • December
      • Attend ASHP Midyear
      • Complete applications
        • How many programs should you apply for?  Here are some things to think about.  Obviously, the more programs you apply to, the more likely you are to get interview(s).  However, if everyone applies to numerous programs, especially if they are not truly interested, applicants are essentially taking each other’s interview spots.  Program directors also talk to each other and have an idea how many interviews you have, which may cause them to question your sincere interest in their program.  Furthermore, if you are offered a number of interviews and chose to turn them down, this information reflects poorly on you and may be passed on to other programs.  (Although it may not be correct, it does happen).  Hence, it is recommended that you apply to the programs that interest you instead of trying to play a numbers game.  For your information, it is a “general rule” that 5-10 students are usually interviewed for each available spot.
      • Schedule Interviews
    • January
      • Interview
        • The interviews usually last several hours and take up most of the day
        • Relax and be yourself
        • Have dialog and converse with the interviewers
        • The interview is a two way process!
          • Use this opportunity to learn about the program just as they are learning about you
          • Get a feel for the institution and the people involved with the program
          • Have questions to ask them to express your interest in the program
          • Remember you have to prioritize the programs on your rank list
        • Not always, but be aware that there may be other students, up to 7 or 8, interviewing with you! Some programs interview individually while others do it in groups
        • Some interviews will include a DI question that you have to research and answer!
        • Considering having three points about yourself that you want to convey
          • Helps you to make the impression you want
          • If the interview is not going well or you are uncomfortable, it gives you something to “fall back on”
        • CareerPharm has an Interviewing Skills webpage for your reference
        • After your interview, send a thank you note.  Doing so is not required, but almost everyone sends one.  Therefore, from the interviewer’s prospective it is more significant if you do not send one (maybe you are not interested) than if you do
      • Make sure you understand the match process
        • Places pharmacy students into PGY1 and PGY2 pharmacy residencies
        • Students apply to the residency programs directly, the students and programs interview, and then the two parties evaluate each other individually
        • The residency programs indicate how many spots they have available
        • After all of the interviews are complete, the students submit a Rank Order List of their preferred programs (1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.) and the programs do the same with their applicants
        • The Rank Order Lists from both the students and programs are not shared between parties
        • The pharmacy students’ residency choices as well as the residency programs’ preferred applicants are looked at and the two are paired according to the highest rankings on each list until all of the available residency positions have been filled
        • It is best to rank your programs according to your preference and not the perceived likelihood of obtaining a position
        • Once this is complete, it is possible that there are both students and programs that have not been matched
        • At this point, information regarding the positions still available is given to the unmatched students and vis versa
        • The unmatched programs and students can then contact each other directly and negotiate to fill the positions independent of the Match. This process is called “The Scramble”
    • February
      • Finish Interviews
      • Beginning-end of month: instructions for submitting a Rank Order List and obtaining Match results are available
      • Narrow your residency choices and create your own rank list
        • Rank your most preferred program first, your next second, and so on
        • Make the list based on your true preferences, not how you think the programs will rank you
        • Consider each program’s salary, benefits, location, flexibility, etc.
        • Does the program allow you to work moonlight and get paid as a pharmacist?
        • What kind of on call (if any) is expected?
        • Think about how each program will provide you with the skills and experiences you need to progress toward your desired pharmacy position
        • Where have the previous residents ended up? Is that where you would like to be?
        • What rotations do they offer/require?
        • Do any of the programs have a PGY2 in your area of interest?
        • Rank as many programs as you would like to decrease the chance that you do not match
        • Do not rank any programs you do not wish to attend.
    • March
      • Submit your rank list by the required date (changes yearly)
        • The specific date changes yearly, but is in the beginning of March
        • The date to begin submitting is in the end of February
        • For the specific dates, go to the National Match website, click “Submit Rank Order List or Withdrawal” on the left hand side, and the Rank Order List Deadline will be listed
        • Instructions for submitting your rank list is available on the National Match website by clicking “Submit Rank Order List or Withdrawal” on the left hand side, then “Applicants” in the middle of the page, the “System User Guide for Applicants” in the right column
        • Be sure your rank list is certified or it will not be used in the Match!
        • You can change your list as often as you would like, even if it has already been certified
        • Re-certify your list after each time changes are made so you do not forget to do so later
        • Submit your rank list BEFORE the deadline to be sure you do not run into any technical problems
      • Receive your “Match” (date changes yearly)
      • If you did not match, resubmit your application to programs with available positions and negotiate for a spot
        • Once “The Match” is complete, it is possible that there are both students and programs that have not been matched
        • At this point, information regarding the positions still available is given to the unmatched students and vis versa
        • The unmatched programs and students can then contact each other directly and negotiate to fill the positions independent of the Match 
      • Programs send to students Match confirmation letters, which must be signed and returned
    • July
      • Residency begins 

Other Residency Options

So far, the entire process discussed is run through ASHP.  All of the programs that participate in “The Match” are ASHP accredited and therefore have the ASHP seal of approval. This means that the programs have been reviewed by experts in their areas of pharmacy practice, are committed to continual improvement in the training and services they offer, and are quality programs whose outcomes meet the required standards.  The majority of residency programs fall into this category.  However, there are some programs that are not ASHP accredited and as a result, do not participate in “The Match.”  These programs may be newly created or have less patient care time and therefore do not meet the accreditation criteria. These programs and information regarding them can be found on the ACCP directory of residencies webpage. Be aware that ACCP lists all (including the ASHP accredited) residency positions on its website and specifies which are ASHP accredited. 

Useful Websites

  1. ASHP Website
  2. National Match Website
  3. ACCP Website
    1. For information on residencies, click the “Careers” tab at the top and then “Directory of Residencies, Fellowships, and Graduate Programs” on the left


American College of Clinical Pharmacy [homepage on the Internet]. Lenexa (KS): American

            College of Clinical Pharmacy; c2012 [updated 2012 Mar 3, cited 2012 Mar 3]. Available


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            American Society of Health Systems Pharmacists; c1997-2012 [updated 2012 Mar 3;

            cited 2012 Mar 3]. Available from

ASHP Resident Matching Program [homepage on the Internet]. Bethesda (MD): American 

            Society of Health Systems Pharmacists; c2011 [updated 2012 Mar 3; cited 2012 Mar 3].

            Available from

CareerPharm [homepage on the Internet]. Bethesda (MD): American Society of Health Systems

            Pharmacists; c2012 [updated 2012 Mar 3; cited 2012 3 Mar]. Available from

Hoffine, Dr. Ericka.  Personal Interview. 20 Mar. 2012.

Ohio Society of Health-System Pharmacists [homepage on the Internet]. Zanesville (OH): Ohio

            Society of Health Systems Pharmacists; c2012 [updated 2012 Mar 3; cited 2012 3 Mar].

Available from

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Shigle, Terri Lynn. Personal Interview. 5 Mar. 2012. 

Cevasco, Dr. Megan. Personal Interview. 28 Jan. 2012.

Markle, Dr. Jenny. Personal Interview. 28 Jan. 2012.


Created by: Heather Armbruster, 2013 Pharm D. Candidate
Updated: April 2012
Office presentation icon The Pharmacy Curriculum Vitae1.1 MB