Thursday, May 5, 2022

According to the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), a pharmacy residency is an organized, directed, postgraduate training program in a defined area of pharmacy practice. It provides the knowledge and experience that pharmacy practitioners need to face challenges in today’s complex healthcare environment. There are Post-Graduate Year 1 (PGY1) opportunities and Post-Graduate Year 2 (PGY2) programs, providing a more specialized career training program. ASHP is the accrediting body for all pharmacy residency programs. 

Residency positions are offered to applicants through a match program, often referred to as the “Match.” The program provides an orderly process to assist graduates (pharmacists) in finding a residency program in their career focus (ambulatory care, community-based, etc.) and match with programs looking for applicants of their choice.

Typically, students apply for a residency program in their final year of pharmacy school. The UI College of Pharmacy Class of 2022 had 46 individuals participate in the PGY1 match program. Thirty-eight of those submitting applications matched a residency program or 82.6%. The 2022 national match rate was 77.7%. 

Graduates whose plans include a residency position in 2022-2023 discuss their future residency plans below.  

Sara El-Hattab

Sara El-Hattab

PGY1 in Ambulatory Care
University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City, Iowa

I applied for a residency to gain ample confidence in my practice as a pharmacist. Refining my clinical skills in the setting of a residency I believe expedites learning and helps me gain the optimal training for a pharmacist. I owe it to my patients to achieve the best training I possibly can in order to effectively participate in their care. Additionally, I know during a residency I will establish significant relationships with my mentors and preceptors that I know I will take with me throughout my career.  

I have been greatly influenced by healthcare professionals in my life. I have seen firsthand the impact that pharmacists have had on the community and on my family. In an ambulatory setting, you develop strong relationships with your patients and continually participate in their care. I have witnessed patients relying on their pharmacists more than their primary physician. That is something that I really wanted to be a part of under the guidance of a residency program. 

I am excited to meet my co-residents and preceptors as well as discover my interests as a pharmacist and what I would like to pursue after residency. 


Riley Mohr

Riley Mohr

PGY1 in General Pharmacy
The Billings Clinic, Billings, Montana

I chose to pursue a residency to challenge myself through diverse rotations, extensive research, and opportunities for precepting students. The Billings Clinic in Billings, Montana, also provides its residents with unique collaboration efforts within the Mayo Clinic Health Network, as well as the established relationship with the Rocky Mountain College Master of Physician Assistant Studies program. Pursuing a residency is the next best step toward achieving my goal of pursuing a PGY2 in Oncology.

I would like to thank the entire palliative care pharmacy staff for their support throughout these last four years. Through their efforts in changing the scope of practice and providing essential patient-centered care, I will become a more well-rounded pharmacist as I embark on this new journey in Montana.

I am most excited to continue sharing my passion for the provision of exceptional patient care and to help serve those in Montana and the surrounding states. What drew me to Billings Clinic was the family-like atmosphere in which its residents can practice.

Emma Piehl

Emma Piehl

PGY1 in Community-based Pharmacy
UI College of Pharmacy with MercyOne Pharmacy, Dubuque, Iowa

I chose to apply for a residency position to help me achieve the goals I have set for myself. My current goal is to be an ambulatory care pharmacist. I have so many interests in so many areas that I have not yet found something (in the ambulatory care realm) that I don’t like. I know that a community-based residency will help me to narrow down my interests in this area, as well as possibly open my mind to something new that I hadn’t thought of before.

I decided to apply for the UI College of Pharmacy Community-based Residency Program because I knew staying involved with Iowa would allow me to gain teaching experience, as well as maintain the connections I’ve made during pharmacy school. I also know that though these are community-based residencies, they have the advantage of having an ambulatory care-like environment. 

I have always imagined this step on the path to my career as a pharmacist. Obtaining a residency was the most important first step on my career path after graduation, but after a PGY1 my options are endless! I would love the opportunity to obtain a PGY2, but I also haven’t discounted a fellowship or a Fulbright scholarship or returning to school and getting a master’s degree in public health.

I have so many amazing pharmacists and colleagues I have worked with over the years, but two of my most influential mentors are Hannah Smith (Hemry) and Samantha Alukas. Hannah has been by my side since before pharmacy school while working together at HyVee. Samantha helped me to see my passion for ambulatory care and solidified my desire to pursue a residency while working at the Iowa City VA. I would not be where I am without both helping me along the way.

I’m excited about this residency for so many reasons, but mainly because of the direct patient care experiences I will have. Two areas I am extremely passionate about are medication reconciliations and transitions of care, and together they are two sides of the same coin. MercyOne Pharmacy works closely with MercyOne Dubuque Medical Center and other community clinics in the area to ensure patients have a smooth transition between any care setting.

Katie Quinn

Katie Quinn

PGY1 in Ambulatory Care
Charles George VA Medical Center, Asheville, North Carolina

I chose to apply for residency as I felt that it would best prepare me to succeed in my desired career. I believe that residency will allow me to grow confident in my clinical knowledge and further enhance my patient care skills. I greatly enjoy being a learner and look forward to continuing my education during residency.

I will be completing a PGY1 residency program at the Charles George VA Medical Center in Asheville, North Carolina, with an emphasis on ambulatory care. As an Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPE) student, I found my ambulatory care rotations to be incredibly rewarding as they allowed me to work closely with patients and follow their progress over time. I also enjoyed collaborating with other healthcare professionals and getting more involved with chronic disease state management. Following residency, I hope to work as an ambulatory care pharmacist.

I am excited about this residency because it will allow me to gain plenty of experience working in diverse clinical settings. I especially look forward to endocrinology and mental health rotations! Additionally, the curriculum is longitudinal in nature, which will allow me to get to know patients over the course of the year. 

Tyler Wempen

Tyler Wempen

PGY1-PGY2 in Health-System Pharmacy Administration and Leadership
Froedtert Hospital, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin

I chose to apply for a residency position to gain the skills and experience needed for the position I desire after graduating pharmacy school. I knew I wanted to work as a pharmacy manager in a large hospital. Therefore, completing a combined 2-year Health System Pharmacy Administration and Leadership (HSPAL) with a master's seemed like the perfect opportunity to help me achieve this goal. My rotations this year showed me just how complex hospital pharmacy is from the clinical, operational, and overall system-level aspects. Completing a residency would provide me the extra exposure, resources, and training to be a successful leader in this setting. 

My motivation for pursuing health system pharmacy administration and leadership is that I really enjoy the aspect of implementing changes that can have an impact on a greater number of patients. I ultimately ended up in this position because I had great experiences working at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. I worked as an inpatient technician throughout pharmacy school and was able to learn many different aspects of hospital pharmacy. I had great mentors along the way who introduced me to pharmacy leadership and provided me with the hands-on experience that helped solidify my decision to pursue this area of pharmacy. 

From the moment I met the people at Froedtert (Froedtert Hospital in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin), I knew that this was going to be a welcoming and supportive environment for my learning. Although I am pursuing administration, I still wanted a residency with a strong clinical first year to strengthen my clinical skills, which this program provides. One of my passions is mentorship and precepting future pharmacists. Froedtert is an academic medical center that offers opportunities to precept and teach students from 3 different colleges of pharmacy in Wisconsin. This residency program also sponsors a master’s degree in healthcare administration through the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and board certification which I value. I am ecstatic to start my next chapter here in June!