Tuesday, May 18, 2021

A pharmacy residency is advanced training that a pharmacist can pursue beyond the Doctor of Pharmacy degree.  It allows for specialization and on-the-job experiences in their chosen career path.  Most residencies are one year in duration, though they may continue with an additional year of even more specialized training (e.g., Oncology, Critical Care, or Pediatrics, etc.).

You can find residents working to improve patient care at community pharmacies, in a clinic-based setting, as a vital member of a hospital health care team, or even on Capitol Hill bringing grassroots pharmacists’ messages to lawmakers. Residents gain the equivalent of 3-5 years of job experience per residency year.

This year, 43 UI Doctor of Pharmacy graduates—representing 39% of the Class of 2021— pursued post-graduate pharmacy residency programs. Our match rate exceeded the national match rate by nearly 10%.  We reached out to a few graduates whose plans include a residency position in 2021-2022 to ask them why they chose this path and what makes them excited about next year.  Below are their responses.

Andy Jatis

The Mayo Clinic is world-renowned for its high level of patient care, with 11 of its medical residencies ranking in the top 10 of their specialty areas. PharmD student Andrew Jatis will be joining the staff of the elite medical institution as part of his PGY1 residency in Acute Care, and he couldn’t be more excited.

The diverse rotations in critical care, robust research curriculum, and interdisciplinary teaching opportunities will prepare me as a clinician, but also as an educator and researcher,” Jatis says.

Opportunities will include didactic lecturing in partnership with the Mayo Clinic Health Science School Physician Assistant Program and involvement in Grand Rounds, a weekly podcast covering clinical pharmacology topics.

Jatis looks forward to building strong relationships with instructors and fellow residents while increasing his critical care, cardiology, and infectious disease knowledge. He is also looking forward to working in an environment that encourages innovative advancements in patient care.

“This residency will allow me to build an evidence-based practice style I can leverage to improve care and will build my confidence as both an independent clinician and a leader in the pharmacy profession.”

Andy Jatis

Kaitlyn Pegump

UI College of Pharmacy faculty mentor Dr. Stevie Veach helped Kaitlyn Pegump determine the best fit for her residency. Pegump will soon be a PGY1 resident at Greenwood Pharmacy in Waterloo, Iowa, where she’ll assist pharmacists who work closely with local providers to provide optimal patient care.

Having worked in a community pharmacy setting for the past six years as a technician and intern, Pegump found the opportunity of an extra year of training intriguing. “I knew this residency would allow me to build my knowledge and skills while still interacting with patients,” says Pegump.

In addition to managing the day-to-day operations of a retail pharmacy, Greenwood Pharmacy participates in the Community Pharmacy Enhanced Services Network (CPESN), a pharmacy network that provides enhanced patient services. The network also engages in the Flip the Pharmacy program, which aims to transform how community pharmacies offer clinical services.

“I look forward to learning from the pharmacists at Greenwood and continuing to hone my skills, which will aid in my long-term goal of becoming Clinical Services Director at an independent community pharmacy.”

Kaitlyn Pegump

Amber Williams

The UI College of Pharmacy laid a solid foundation for Amber Williams to take the next step in her career. Thanks to professional internships, work experience at a community pharmacy, and participation in a Master of Public Health (MPH) dual degree program, she is ready to begin a PG1&2 residency in Health System Administration and Leadership at Ascension in Austin, Texas.

Becoming a competent clinical leader is one of Williams’ top priorities. At Ascension, she’ll cultivate her skills in an environment where the initiatives and progressive culture align with her vision of community outreach.

Because the PGY2 portion of the program is conducted on a corporate level, Williams will have unique access to healthcare leaders worldwide. “Every interaction I’ve had with an Ascension team member has been interesting and helpful,” says Williams. “I’m excited to learn new skills with a brand-new scope of projects.”

Williams is excited to learn the ropes at the nation’s second-largest non-profit health system and gain expertise in public health, pharmacy education, and administration.


Crystal McElhose

Crystal McElhose will soon join the pharmacy team at Allen Hospital in Waterloo, Iowa, for a PGY1 residency with Unity Point Health. The hospital’s culture of excellence with a commitment to compassionate care was attractive to McElhose, and her interactions with staff solidified her decision to accept the position.

McElhose is looking forward to working with preceptors during her residency because she hopes to be one herself someday. “I look forward to being out of my comfort zone while applying new skills and seeing myself grow personally and professionally,” she says.

McElhose views the residency as a precious opportunity to build leadership skills, improve problem-solving strategies, and grow in her clinical knowledge and judgment. She is confident these skills will help her become a successful clinical pharmacist, providing exceptional patient care.


Nathan Karlan

Nathan Karlan will further his experience in pharmacotherapy in Bozeman, Montana while participating in a PGY1 residency at Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital. This program will allow Karlan the freedom to perform a wide variety of roles and help him decide on his next steps. The residency will afford him opportunities to teach and precept pharmacy students, too.

“This residency offers a great overall experience in the clinical pharmacy field and will put me in a great position to enter into any avenue of clinical pharmacy after my PGY1 year,” says Karlan.

Karlan looks forward to expanding his clinical knowledge and increasing his confidence as a pharmacist. The move to Bozeman offers a new geographic location (and many outdoor activities), but most importantly, for Karlan, the continuation of the excellent education he has received in the Midwest.

Nathan Karlan