More Pharmacy Students Looking to Residencies After Graduation
An increasing number of pharmacy students are opting to enter post-graduate residency training programs, according to the results of the 2004 American Society of Health-System Pharmacists’ (ASHP) Resident Match Program, which saw a 10 percent increase in the number of applicants since last year.
Fourteen percent of pharmacy students enter residencies after graduation. This year 1,079 pharmacy students applied for 1,041 positions in the 416 accredited pharmacy practice residency programs throughout the country. A record number of applicants—74 percent–“matched” with a residency program.
“Pharmacy residencies provide new practitioners with the knowledge and experience they need to face the challenges of today’s complex health care systems,” said ASHP President Daniel M. Ashby, M.S., FASHP. “We are encouraged that these programs are attracting so many students.”
The match process is administered by National Matching Services, Inc., the same organization that conducts the match service for medical and dental residencies. The Match facilitates the pairing of residency applicants and positions by linking the highest preference of both the applicant and training site. For a match to occur, both parties must have listed each other.
After the match, applicants are considered free agents and may contact a residency program directly to obtain a position. A 2003 ASHP study 2003 found that more than 70 percent of unmatched candidates found a residency after the Match. Eighteen percent decided to pursue a permanent position and not a residency.
The number of residency programs has grown steadily since ASHP began accrediting these programs in 1962 and has doubled since 1994. A majority of pharmacy residencies are categorized as pharmacy practice or first-year residencies. These programs develop the competence, skills, and applied drug therapy knowledge needed to provide a broad scope of pharmaceutical services. After completing a pharmacy practice residency, a resident may choose to continue his or her training in a specialized residency that focuses on a distinct area of practice such as pediatrics, critical care, infectious diseases, or oncology. The training programs are based in a variety of practice settings, including hospitals, community pharmacies, home care and long-term care facilities, ambulatory care settings, and managed care facilities.
ASHP is the 30,000-member national professional association that represents pharmacists who practice in hospitals, health maintenance organizations, ambulatory care clinics, long-term care facilities, home care, and other components of health care systems. ASHP, which has a long history of medication error prevention efforts, believes that the mission of pharmacists is to help people make the best use of medicines. Assisting pharmacists in fulfilling this mission is ASHP's primary objective. The Society has extensive publishing and educational programs designed to help members improve their professional practice, and it is the national accrediting organization for pharmacy residency and pharmacy technician training programs. For more information, visit ASHP’s Web site, www.ashp.org or www.safemedication.com.