With the first round of the matching period for pharmacy residency and fellowship programs across the country on March 16, thousands of fourth-year student pharmacists learned the next stop in their career path when the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) announced its Residency Match Day results.
There were 5,128 students and graduates from across the country competing for 3,688 postgraduate year 1 (PGY1) positions, for a national match rate of 72 percent. Forty students from the Class of 2022 at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy (UMSOP) — 83 percent of those who applied — were matched to residency positions in 14 states at institutions such as CVS Health, Johns Hopkins Hospital, the Cleveland Clinic, the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC), and Kaiser Permanente.
Students from UMSOP matched to programs in community pharmacy, managed care pharmacy, and pharmacotherapy.
“Pharmacy residencies offer students a wonderful opportunity to continue developing their knowledge and skills in a variety of environments where they can be mentored by experienced pharmacists,” said Cherokee Layson-Wolf, PharmD, BCACP, FAPhA, associate professor, the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science (PPS), and associate dean for student affairs, UMSOP. “The number of employers that require applicants to have one or two years of advanced training beyond the completion of their Doctor of Pharmacy [PharmD] degree continues to increase. To stay competitive in the ever-changing job market, many students now actively pursue opportunities that allow them to gain this specialized training.”
UMSOP’s match rate of 83 percent is well above the 72 percent national average.
Residency training plays a critical role in helping pharmacists obtain more specialized roles within the health system setting, and current students understand the value that this additional training can add to their careers.
One fourth-year UMSOP student pharmacist who matched for a PGY1 residency was Rachel Shelton, who will be training with CVS Health Specialty Division in Rhode Island.
“The School of Pharmacy prepares students for residency interviews from the first day of the Professionalism in Pharmacy course during the first year,” Shelton said. “I also completed the elective course Post-Graduate Training Prep, which provided opportunities to practice answering interview questions and presenting during an interview. Outside of this elective, I took every opportunity I could to participate in mock interviews arranged through the school’s Career Navigation Program and our Student Government Association organizations. I felt very confident going into all of my residency interviews.
“The field of pharmacy that I am pursuing — managed care — does not require a residency for entry-level positions, but I wanted to complete one to ensure that I am a well-rounded clinical pharmacist entering this arena,” Shelton said. “The knowledge I will gain in one year of residency will equate to three years’ worth of work experience.”
UMSOP’s joint residency program with UMMC also had a successful match. Twenty-six residents and fellows will join or continue in the program in July to advance their knowledge and skills in a number of specialty areas including cardiology, oncology, pediatrics, and psychiatry.
“Our residency and fellowship programs offer a wide range of innovative educational, research, and practice settings in which our trainees gain the knowledge and skills necessary to become successful practicing pharmacists and obtain competitive positions in their respective specialties,” said Sandeep Devabhakthuni, PharmD, associate professor, PPS, and director of postgraduate training for the University of Maryland Residency and Fellowship Programs. “We are tremendously proud of this year’s successful match and look forward to welcoming all of our new residents and fellows this summer.”