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Pharmacy Residency (Reading, Pa.)

Pharmacy Residency (Reading, Pa.)

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The Pharmacy Residency at Penn State Health St. Joseph Medical Center in Reading, Pa., is a one-year, ASHP-accredited program that admits two residents per year.

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Program Details

Trainees in Penn State Health St. Joseph’s accredited PGY-1 Pharmacy Residency will develop a foundation of critical thinking skills and will display leadership and professionalism in all aspects of their practice and function as effective communicators and educators.

According to the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), the purpose of a PGY-1 pharmacy residency is to provide a pharmacy school graduate the opportunity to accelerate their 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 position and in any practice setting.

Residents acquire substantial knowledge required for skillful problem solving, refine their problem-solving strategies, strengthen their professional values and attitudes and advance the growth of their clinical judgment.

The instructional emphasis is on the progressive development of clinical judgment, a process begun in the advanced pharmacy practice experiences (APPE or clerkships) of the professional school years, but requiring further extensive practice, self-reflection and shaping of decision-making skills fostered by feedback on performance.

Pharmacists completing this residency will function as independent patient-focused practitioners in an integrated practice model who are able to provide pharmaceutical care in both clinical and distributive practice aspects.

As integral members of the health care team, they will actively use integrated pharmacotherapeutic skills to achieve optimal drug therapy outcomes for their patients. They will develop a foundation of critical thinking skills that will enable the continuous learning, professional self-development, and innovation needed in an ever-changing health care environment. They will display leadership and professionalism in all aspects of their practice and function as effective communicators and educators.

The educational program will be adapted to the unique goals, objectives and career plans of the resident so far as the requirements of certification and the residency will permit. In turn, the resident should be familiar with the accreditation and other requirements that apply to residents in training. If required, residency program requirements may be altered once they have been implemented due to changes as required by ASHP.

In addition to their training, residents will conduct a research project to present at ASHP midyear and at the Eastern States Conference.

The Penn State Health St. Joseph pharmacy is a patient-focused institution guided by the integrated pharmacy practice model, offering 24-hour service. The pharmacy has a USP-797-compliant clean room and utilizes Pyxis automated dispensing cabinets. Other technologies include smart pump and barcode labeling.

Learn More about the Residency

Program Director's Welcome Expand answer

Welcome to the Penn State Health St. Joseph Pharmacy Residency Program. We are delighted that you are considering us for your pharmacy residency education. We are committed to providing you an outstanding post-graduate residency training experience.

The program is designed to produce a pharmacist who will function as an independent patient-focused practitioner in an integrated practice model, who is able to provide pharmaceutical care in both clinical and operational practice aspects. The program will also develop teamwork and critical thinking skills to enable the continuous learning, professional self-development and innovation needed in an ever-changing health care environment.

You will receive an excellent education while completing hospital rotations at St. Joseph Regional Health Network. Your clinical skills and responsibilities will be developed and enhanced under the mentorship of your preceptors. You will engage in teaching experiences allowing you to develop and refine your communication skills and abilities as a teacher, as St. Joseph Regional Health Network has regular student assignments from both Temple University and the University of the Sciences for hospital and clinical outpatient rotations. You will participate in ongoing scholarly activities to further develop your problem solving skills and ability to interpret, generate and disseminate knowledge.

The program has established minimum expectations for trainee performance during the residency program; however, trainees will be strongly encouraged to surpass these minimum expectations. Each trainee is delegated responsibilities that will allow them to grow both professionally and personally as a community-based pharmacist.

On a national level, it is evident that the outstanding practitioners of the future will have completed postgraduate training in pharmacy. You can only benefit from the completion of a residency program. I look forward to working with you and watching you as you begin to develop into an outstanding pharmacy practitioner.

Christopher Walsh, PharmD, RPH, FISMP
Program Director, Pharmacy Residency (Reading, Pa.)
Medication Safety Pharmacist

To Apply Expand answer

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:

  • Be U.S. citizens
  • Have graduated from an ACPE-accredited college of pharmacy
  • Be eligible for Pennsylvania licensure (must be licensed by Sept. 30 of the training year)
Preceptors Expand answer
Current Residents Expand answer
Past Residents Expand answer

This table shows where trainees in the Pharmacy Residency have gone immediately after completing the program.

About Penn State Health Expand answer

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

A statue of Penn State's Nittany Lion mascot is seen in the front yard of Penn State Health St. Joseph Medical Center

Penn State Health St. Joseph Medical Center

Penn State Health St. Joseph

2500 Bernville Road, Reading, Pa. 19605 (Bern Township, Berks County)

  • A two-campus community medical center in Berks County (southeastern Pennsylvania), with an acute care hospital in Bern Township and a downtown Reading campus
  • Approximately 1,800 employees, including 400 board-certified and fellowship-trained physicians in all specialties
  • Nationally accredited centers for chest pain, stroke, heart failure and cancer care
  • Roughly 47,000 emergency department visits and 7,500 inpatient admissions annually

Learn more about St. Joseph

Contact Us Expand answer

General Contact Information

Fax: 610-378-2609

Curriculum Details

Outcome Competencies Expand answer

The residency year provides a fertile environment for accelerating growth beyond entry-level professional competence through supervised practice under the guidance of model practitioners.

Specifically, residents will be held responsible and accountable for acquiring these outcome competencies:

  • In collaboration with the health care team, provide safe and effective patient care to a diverse range of patients, including those with multiple co-morbidities, high-risk medication regimens and multiple medications following a consistent patient care process.
  • Ensure continuity of care during patient transitions between care settings.
  • Prepare, dispense and manage medications to support safe and effective drug therapy for patients.
  • Demonstrate ability to manage formulary and medication-use processes, as applicable to the organization.
  • Demonstrate ability to evaluate and investigate practice, review data and assimilate scientific evidence to improve patient care and/or the medication-use system.
  • Demonstrate leadership skills.
  • Demonstrate management skills.
  • Provide effective medication and practice-related education to patients, caregivers, health care professionals, students and the public (individuals and groups).
  • Effectively employ appropriate preceptor roles when engaged in teaching students, pharmacy technicians or fellow health care professionals.
Orientation Expand answer

Before beginning clinical rotations for the pharmacy residency, there is an orientation period during July each year. This time is devoted to familiarizing the resident to the operations of Penn State Health St. Joseph and also with the intricacies of the residency program.

The residency program director, the director of pharmacy, the operations manager and the clinical coordinator work together to determine the orientation schedule for the resident.

The resident will be specifically oriented to the following during the orientation learning experience by the residency program director:

  • The residency’s purpose and practice environment
  • ASHP PGY-1 accreditation standards, competencies, goals and objectives
  • Design of the residency program, including all program requirements
  • Description of required and elective learning experiences
  • Evaluation strategy
  • Residency manual
  • All residency policies, terms and conditions

Also during the orientation learning experience, the resident will complete an initial self-evaluation as well as any employee training requirements for Penn State Health St. Joseph and will meet with the appropriate staff and administrators in reference to human resources issues.

Rotations Expand answer

During the program year, the resident will complete a set of required clinical rotations ranging from four to six weeks long, as well as multiple longitudinal experiences.

The majority of inpatient clinical rotations will take place in the main campus in Bernville, Pa. Depending on the resident’s interests, learning experiences can be arranged at the Downtown Campus in Reading, Pa., which includes outpatient clinics.

Required rotations

  • Orientation (four weeks)
  • Internal medicine (two rotations of four weeks each)
  • Cardiology (five weeks)
  • Emergency department (six weeks)
  • Critical care (six weeks)
  • Infectious disease (six weeks)
  • Pharmacy administration (four weeks)
  • Medication safety (four weeks)
  • Sterile products preparation (four weeks)

Longitudinal experiences

  • Pharmacy operations
  • Pharmacist-managed ambulatory care clinic
  • Drug information
  • Research project
  • Transitions of care

Elective rotations

  • Advanced medication safety (four weeks)
  • Oncology (four weeks)
Staffing Requirements Expand answer

The PGY-1 resident is required to staff the inpatient pharmacy two weekends a month and three holidays per year. These requirements are subject to change in order to customize the service learning experience to meet the needs of the resident as determined by the Residency Advisory Committee.

The service rotation and clinical rotations are not to interfere with each other; it is the responsibility of the resident to make arrangements with the appropriate preceptor(s) when a change in the schedule is needed.

Research Project Expand answer

The resident will design and complete a research project under the guidance of a project adviser. The project results are to be presented at the Eastern States Residency Conference held in the spring.

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.