Pharmacy Residency

Program Overview

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

Program Details

In 1985, Penn State Health established a one-year Pharmacy Practice 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.

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

Pharmacy residents in our post-graduate year one (PGY-1) 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 our patients, with 200 dedicated team members. Our 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.

We offer decentralized pediatric and adult pharmacy satellites, outpatient clinics, outpatient pharmacies, an emergency department with 24/7 pharmacist presence, investigational drug services and much more. Along with medication order verification, disease state medication dosing, clinical monitoring and pharmacy consults, we 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 our physicians and nurses.

Program Leadership

Curriculum

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
    • 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 week per month (on-call is from home during off-hours) 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 weekend staffing
    • Residents are required to staff every other weekend in eight-hour shifts Saturday and Sunday. This requirement is typically in the central pharmacy with several technicians and additional pharmacists present. We do not require any weekday evening staffing to ensure maximum rotation-based learning opportunities.
  • Anticoagulation Clinic
    • Residents spend an afternoon each week starting in August 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 with a specific afternoon of the week assigned for the year.
  • 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.
  • Drug 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 two to three 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 or February of the program year. Additional teaching opportunities also exist as optional activities.
  • Student preceptorship
  • Journal club facilitation
  • Transition of care

Learning Experiences

Required (Minimum One Rotation Each)

  • Adult Internal Medicine
  • Adult Critical Care
  • Infectious Diseases
  • General Pediatrics
  • Practice Management

Required (Longitudinal)

  • Anticoagulation Clinic
  • Drug Use Policy
  • Hospital Pharmacy Practice

Electives

  • Adult Bone Marrow Transplant
  • Adult Hematology
  • Adult Internal Medicine
  • Adult Oncology
  • Ambulatory Care Clinic
  • Cardiology
  • Emergency Medicine
  • General Pediatrics
  • Heart and Vascular Intensive Care
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Medical Intensive Care
  • Medication Safety
  • Neonatal Intensive Care
  • Neuroscience Intensive Care
  • Nutrition Support
  • Pediatric Hematology/Oncology
  • Pediatric Intensive Care
  • Pharmacy Informatics
  • Solid Organ Transplant
  • Surgical Intensive Care

To Apply

You 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, your PhORCAS application and online application must be complete by early January of each year for consideration. Exact deadline each year can be found on the ASHP Residency Directory.

You must submit all of the following:

  • A PhORCAS application, including a letter of intent that addresses the following points:
    • Your interests and reason for pursuing a residency
    • Your strengths and weaknesses
    • Your leadership experience
    • Extracurricular activities
    • Your career goals for the next five years
  • A copy of your curriculum vitae
  • An official copy of your 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 if offered a formal interview. One may be accessed via Penn State Health Careers by searching for the job requisition under the job category of “Pharmacy Resident” and the location “Hershey.”

Selection Process

We 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

Interviews are in person by invitation only, typically conducted mid-January through February. If you are invited for an interview, you will be notified by email, and we will ask that you respond promptly.

We prefer to interview two candidates at a time to create a more personalized experience, with only a small part of your day as a joint interview format during the program overview and lunch with current residents portions of the day. 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 our residents, a tour and a written pharmacotherapy competency assessment.

If you have any questions, please contact the residency program director at jrebuck1@pennstatehealth.psu.edu or 717-531-5885.

Preceptors

Current Residents

Past Residents

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