While pharmacy students at USciences’ Philadelphia College of Pharmacy (PCP) graduate well prepared for careers with their professional degrees after six years of intense schooling, some are looking for a bit more training and specialization. A post graduate residency is just the ticket for more exposure to patient care and pharmacy practice management.
Recently, PCP received word from the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) that its post graduate year one (PGY1) program has achieved accreditation.
“The accreditation is very unusual as we are an institution without a medical center,” said Dr. Lisa Lawson, PCP dean. “It took a lot of effort to accomplish this, and we are very proud of the achievement.”
Approximately 15-18 percent of USciences students partake in some sort of residency program. Open to pharmacy students from around the country, the PGY1 program here has been in place for five years and admits one PharmD graduate per year into the program. Interested residents in PCP’s program have a desire to teach as well as hone their clinical skills.
“A PGY 1 residency opens up a lot of opportunities for advancement and developing patient care skills that PharmD graduates didn’t have before,” said Dr. Sarah Spinler, who oversees PCP’s PGY1, PGY2, and industry residency programs. “The PGY 1 residency provides a lot of confidence for the residents to work independently as pharmacy practitioners with direct patient care responsibilities.”
PGY1 residents get direct mentorship from USciences faculty and hands-on experience at the clinical practice site at Cooper University Hospital. The PGY1 residency is a requirement if a student wants to continue to specialize and proceed to a PGY2 residency such as the cardiology or critical care residencies offered through PCP.
Another advantage unique to the PGY1 programs at PCP is that all of the residents in the program complete a teaching certificate program coordinated by Dr. Spinler but taught by many dedicated USciences Department of Pharmacy Practice and Pharmacy Administration faculty, as well as Dr. Phyllis Blumberg, director of USciences’ Teaching and Learning Center. This extra level provides formalized training in both classroom and experiential practice teaching.
“It is truly one of the residents’ favorite experiences during their training,” said Dr. Spinler. “They have an appreciation for and necessary skills to teach future generations of pharmacy students long after they have left our program.”..
“We are the only local program that offers that to residents,” Dr. Spinler continued.