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Pharmacy Residency (Hershey, Pa.)

Pharmacy Residency (Hershey, Pa.)

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The Pharmacy Residency at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center is a one-year, ASHP-accredited program that admits six residents per year.

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Program Details

In 1985, Penn State Health established a one-year Pharmacy Residency — a challenging program. With an emphasis on evidence-based pharmacotherapy recommendations, it extends a pharmacist’s training to all aspects of health-system pharmacy practice. It has also been designed to offer flexibility to meet the needs of the individual resident. We encourage you to develop areas of interest and expertise in pharmacy practice.

In 2017, the program expanded to include a PGY-2 critical care residency, which hosts two residents per year.

Today, the Pharmacy Department is proud of each program’s success and of the accomplishments of its residents. The entire department participates in training, enabling the program to achieve a high level of recognition for excellence.

Pharmacy residents in both the postgraduate year one (PGY-1) program and postgraduate year two (PGY-2) program are immersed in patient care pharmacotherapy opportunities consisting of several different practice areas.

Pharmacy residents are supported in an educationally stimulating academic medical center environment in which 1,700 multidisciplinary trainees are dedicated to extensive learning. The pharmacy department focuses on the comprehensive medication-related needs of its patients, with 200 dedicated team members. Pharmacists precept approximately 100 pharmacy students each year.

In addition to a state-of-the-art automated drug distribution and medication management program, pharmacy preceptors practice as essential members of interdisciplinary patient care teams and clinics. Pharmacists are present in unit-based patient care settings for a variety of areas including medicine, cardiology, surgery and pediatrics, constantly interacting with physicians and other health care providers.

The pharmacy offers decentralized pediatric and adult satellites, outpatient clinics, outpatient pharmacies, an emergency department with 24/7 pharmacist presence, investigational drug services and more. Along with medication order verification, disease state medication dosing, clinical monitoring and pharmacy consults, pharmacy team members focus on bedside patient interactions such as medication reconciliation, medication-focused teaching and discharge counseling. These pharmacy services are supported by more than two dozen clinical specialists and clinical pharmacists practicing side-by-side with physicians and nurses.

Learn More about the Residency

Virtual Open House Expand answer

A virtual open house is planned for 6 to 7 p.m. EST on Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2023.

The program will be recruiting for both the PGY-1 Pharmacy Practice Residency and the PGY-2 Critical Care Residency.

We hope to see you there!

Join Online

To Apply Expand answer

General Application Information

Interested applicants must register with the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) Residency Matching Program and apply through the Pharmacy Online Residency Centralized Application Service (PhORCAS).

To be considered for the Pharmacy Residency, a PhORCAS application and online application must be complete by early January. Exact deadline each year can be found on the ASHP Residency Directory.

Applicants must submit all of the following:

  • A PhORCAS application, including a letter of intent that addresses the following points:
    • PGY-1 candidates:
      • Interests and reason for pursuing a residency
      • Strengths and weaknesses
      • Leadership experience
      • Extracurricular activities
      • Career goals for the next five years
    • PGY-2 candidates:
      • Interests and reason for pursuing a critical care residency (example: why critical care)
    • Curriculum vitae
    • Official college transcript
    • Three letters of recommendation using the standard PhORCAS reference form, including:
      • One reference from a current or former pharmacy employer
      • Two from a professional colleague such as an advanced pharmacy practice experiences (APPE) preceptor and/or college faculty

    An online application will be required from candidates offered a formal interview. One may be accessed via Penn State Health Careers by searching the job category of “Pharmacy Resident” and the location “Hershey.”

    Selection Process

    The program will consider all complete applications received by the deadline, with additional potential benefit of an early offer to interview if all materials are received prior to the deadline for qualified candidates. Candidates chosen for interviews will be contacted as soon as possible to arrange an interview date and time.


    Interviews are in person by invitation only, typically conducted mid-January through February. Those invited for an interview will be notified by email and are asked to respond promptly.

    The program prefers to interview up to four candidates at a time to create a more personalized experience, yet formal interview times are individualized to create a more personalized experience. Only a small part of the day is done in a joint interview format, during the program overview, presentation and lunch with current residents.

    Interview days generally begin between 8 and 9 a.m. and conclude by 3 p.m. The day includes program director and multiple preceptor interviews, lunch with current residents, a tour and a written pharmacotherapy competency assessment. Those invited to interview will be asked to prepare a short “About Me” slide presentation.

    With questions, contact the program director, Cory Hale, at or 717-531-5885.

Preceptors Expand answer
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About Penn State Health Expand answer

A screenshot shows the 2020 virtual tour of Penn State Health and Penn State College of Medicine.

Virtual Tour

A recently developed virtual tour showcases locations across Penn State Health and Penn State College of Medicine in Hershey, Pa.

Explore the virtual tour

Penn State Health

Penn State Health is a multi-hospital health system serving patients and communities across 29 counties of Pennsylvania. Its mission is to improve health through patient care, research, education and community outreach.

In December 2017, the system partnered with Highmark Health to facilitate creation of a value-based, community care network in the region. The shared goal of Highmark and Penn State Health is to ensure patients in the community are within:

  • 10 minutes of a Penn State Health primary care provider
  • 20 minutes of Penn State Health specialty care
  • 30 minutes of a Penn State Health acute care facility

Learn more about Penn State Health

Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and Penn State College of Medicine campus is seen in an aerial photo on a sunny day.

Penn State Health Children’s Hospital (left), Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center (center) and Penn State Cancer Institute (right)

Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center

500 University Dr., Hershey, Pa., 17033 (Derry Township, Dauphin County)

  • The health system’s 628-bed flagship teaching and research hospital
  • The only medical facility in Pennsylvania accredited as both an adult and a pediatric Level I (highest-level) trauma center
  • Dedicated surgical, neuroscience, cardiovascular, trauma and medical intensive care units
  • Accredited Life Lion critical-care transport providing more than 1,100 helicopter and approximately 750 ground ambulance transports per year
  • More than 1,300 faculty members and more than 650 residents and fellows
  • Approximately 28,500 admissions, 75,000 emergency department visits, 1.1 million outpatient visits and 32,000 surgical procedures annually
  • Designated as a Magnet hospital four consecutive times, one of 116 hospitals to do so

Learn more about Milton S. Hershey Medical Center

Penn State Health Children’s Hospital

600 University Dr., Hershey, Pa. 17033 (Derry Township, Dauphin County)

  • An eight-story, 263,000-square-foot-facility built in 2013 and expanded in 2020
  • 146 licensed pediatric beds, 18 acute care beds and a 56-bed neonatal intensive care unit
  • Level IV (highest-level) neonatal intensive care unit
  • Level I quaternary (highest-level) pediatric intensive care unit
  • Level I (highest-level) pediatric trauma center designation
  • Intermediate care unit
  • Dedicated pediatric operating rooms
  • More than 150,000 pediatric outpatient visits and approximately 5,000 pediatric patient discharges annually

Learn more about Penn State Health Children’s Hospital

About Hershey Expand answer

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Welcome to Hershey

Our new guide to the Hershey, Pa., area showcases the highlights of life in central Pennsylvania.

Learn more about the Hershey area

More About Hershey

Interested in learning more about living and working in Hershey, Pa.? See details here:

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Institutional Resources

Penn State Health and Penn State College of Medicine celebrate, embrace and support the diversity of all patients, faculty, staff, students and trainees.

Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

In keeping with this, Penn State Health has an active Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion with various programs, networks and resource groups, including:

  • Talks and lectures on diversity, equity and inclusion through the Inclusion Academy
  • Regular events on topics such as eradicating racism and creating a culture of inclusiveness
  • Many Business Employee Resource Groups (BERGs), including:
    • Disability Business Employee Resource Group
    • Interfaith Business Employee Resource Group
    • LGBTQ+ Business Employee Resource Group
    • Military and Veterans Business Employee Resource Group
    • Multicultural Business Employee Resource Group
    • NextGen Business Employee Resource Group

Learn more about the Penn State Health Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Learn more about the College of Medicine’s Office for Diversity, Equity and Belonging

Office for Culturally Responsive Health Care Education

The vision at Penn State College of Medicine and Penn State Health is to equip learners with the knowledge, skills and attitudes they will need to provide culturally excellent health care and research for an increasingly diverse U.S. population. The Office for Culturally Responsive Health Care Education was formed to help meet that goal.

Learn more about the Office for Culturally Responsive Health Care Education

Office for a Respectful Learning Environment

In addition, the institution does not tolerate discrimination, biases, microaggression, harassment or learner mistreatment of any kind, and any concerns are immediately addressed by the Office for a Respectful Learning Environment.

Learn more about the Office for a Respectful Learning Environment

Network of Under-represented Residents and Fellows
The Network of Under-represented Residents and Fellows (NURF) is a group of diverse residents and fellows representing all specialties. NURF’s goal is to promote cultural diversity in the residency programs through community involvement, mentorship with diverse faculty, professional networking and support for the recruitment of diverse medical students into the residency programs.

NURF is sponsored by the Penn State College of Medicine Graduate Medical Education Office and the Penn State Health Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

Learn more information about NURF

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Curriculum Details

Curriculum Overview Expand answer

The activities in the Pharmacy Residency include the following:

  • Patient care team-based rounding
  • Patient case presentations and topic discussions
  • 24/7 clinical on-call, including ACLS response
    • Providers formally consult pharmacy for pharmacokinetic dosing and a wide variety of drug information inquiries. After orientation, each resident serves as “first call” for approximately one day each week in-house, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. (on-call is from home during off-hours overnight) with a clinical preceptor assigned as second call available at all times. We require formal documentation in the electronic medical record for each consult patient.
  • Hospital pharmacy staffing
    • Residents are required to staff every third weekend in eight-hour shifts Saturday and Sunday and one evening every three weeks. This requirement is typically in the central pharmacy with several technicians and additional pharmacists present.
  • Longitudinal clinics
    • Residents spend an assigned afternoon each week for two-thirds of the year in the anticoagulation clinic, located less than a mile from the medical center. The majority of time is spent in point-of-care direct patient clinic appointments. A specific afternoon of the week is assigned for the year.
    • Residents spend an assigned afternoon each week for one-third of the year in either the HIV ambulatory or solid organ transplant ambulatory clinic located at Hershey Medical Center.
  • Major research project
    • With research project preceptor mentorship, residents complete an original institutional review board (IRB) protocol submission by the end of summer, create an electronic data collection tool and analyze data. Research is presented at the annual Eastern States Residency Conference. The regional conference is typically held each spring in Hershey, and includes residency programs from more than 10 states.
  • Medication use evaluation
    • Residents will conduct a selected drug use evaluation during the first six months of the program. Results will be presented in poster format at a national residency session immediately prior to the ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting.
  • Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee
    • Residents will serve as secretary assistant to the Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee for one to two months during the program year. Each resident also will complete at least one drug monograph for a medication being considered for formulary addition.
  • Accredited Continuing Pharmacy Education (ACPE) presentation
    • Residents prepare and deliver a continuing education program to the pharmacy department, typically in January, February or March of the program year. Additional teaching opportunities also exist as optional activities.
  • Student preceptorship
  • Journal club facilitation
  • Transition of care
Required Rotations Expand answer

Each of the following services have a minimum of one rotation each.

  • Adult critical care
  • Adult internal medicine
  • Advanced internal medicine
  • General pediatrics (if the resident is a previous pediatric APPE, the possibility exists to substitute NICU, PICU or pediatric hematology/oncology)
  • Infectious diseases
  • Practice management
Required Longitudinal Experiences Expand answer

Each of the following required experiences or training areas continues throughout the program.

  • Ambulatory HIV clinic or solid organ transplant clinic (one-third of the year)
  • Anticoagulation clinic (two-thirds of the year)
  • Drug use policy
  • Hospital pharmacy practice
Electives Expand answer

A number of electives are available in the Pharmacy Residency, including:

  • Adult bone marrow transplant
  • Adult hematology
  • Adult oncology
  • Advanced internal medicine
  • Ambulatory care clinic
  • Antimicrobial stewardship
  • Cardiology
  • Emergency medicine
  • Family and community medicine inpatient
  • General pediatrics
  • Heart and vascular intensive care
  • HIV ambulatory
  • Immunocompromised infectious diseases
  • Medical intensive care
  • Medication safety
  • Neonatal intensive care
  • Neuroscience intensive care
  • Pediatric hematology/oncology
  • Pediatric intensive care
  • Solid organ transplant – ambulatory
  • Solid organ transplant – inpatient
  • Surgical trauma intensive care

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Penn State is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, and is committed to providing employment opportunities to all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or protected veteran status.