University of Arizona PharmD Students Prepare to Launch into Residencies Following Match Day

Chyi-Jade Fann, Pharm.D., is preparing to enter her postgraduate year two residency in cardiology at the Florida Hospital Orlando in Orlando, Florida.

Students in the University of Arizona Doctor of Pharmacy program participated in Match Day on Friday, exceeding national rates of placement for pharmacy residencies.

Of the UA students who are set to earn their pharmacy doctorates this spring and who applied for postgraduate year one pharmacy residency training, 80 percent were successfully matched. Of those who were seeking year two residencies, 75 percent were matched. Nationally, the rates are 66 percent and 68 percent, respectively.

Match Day, the culmination of a complex yearlong process that matches the nation’s graduating Doctor of Pharmacy students with residency programs, happens each year on the third Friday in March. The College of Pharmacy has sponsored pharmacy residency programs since 1975 and collaborates with affiliated health care institutions. With more than 40 years of training pharmacy residents, the program has evolved into one of the largest and most prestigious in the nation. A variety of postgraduate year one and postgraduate year two programs, including an international program, account for an average of 30 graduates every year.

“The process of applying for a residency and being matched is competitive and rigorous,” said Michael Katz, Pharm.D., director of residency programs. “We are extremely proud of our students, especially as they exceeded the national placement rates."

The UA's pharmacy doctoral program follows a four-year curriculum. During the first half of their fourth year in the program, students can apply for positions at residency programs, and then interview in January and February with program directors, faculty and residents. By the early March deadline, students submit their list of choices in order of preference – and concurrently residency program directors submit their rank-ordered lists of preferred candidates – to National Matching Services. A computer algorithm then uses those preferences to match students with residency programs.

“In my residency, I am looking forward to expanding my knowledge and becoming a more proficient pharmacist,” said Sara Weinstein, a Pharm.D. candidate who will begin a residency at the University Pittsburgh Medical Center at St. Margaret in Pittsburgh. “Residency training will provide a vast array of direct patient interactions, allowing me to hone my skills while working as part of an interdisciplinary team.”  Chyi-Jade Fann, Pharm.D., is preparing to enter a year two residency in cardiology at Florida Hospital Orlando in Orlando, Florida.  “The postgraduate year one at Tucson Medical Center trained me to be a well-rounded pharmacist with a certain level of experience in a wide variety of different areas. A postgraduate year two will provide me with the experience, clinical knowledge, and foundation needed to ultimately become a quality cardiology specialty pharmacist, an area of pharmacy that I’ve held the most interest and passion in since my undergraduate degree in physiology.”

Since it was launched in 2011, the residency-fellowship preparation program at the College of Pharmacy has helped students prepare for the postgraduate training application process. The program was created by Hanna Phan, Pharm.D., associate professor, in an effort to provide support, guidance and mentorship to fourth-year pharmacy students planning to apply for postgraduate residency or fellowship programs. 

As part of this program, students attend sessions led by faculty, preceptors, and former and current residents to discuss topics pertaining to the residency/fellowship application process, including program selection, application and document preparation, and interview skills. Students are paired with designated faculty or preceptor mentors regarding the application process, candidacy, strategies in application and interviewing and program selection. To date, nearly 200 students have participated in the program.   

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