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Postgrad Residencies Help Put Pharm Grads on the Fast Track

Postgrad Residencies Help Put Pharm Grads on the Fast Track

By Cindy Mehallow | Monster Contributing Writer

Max Out Your Residency

Follow these tips to get the most out of your residency:

More on Pharmacists


Salary: $67,860 - $119,480
Min. Education: Doctorate
Related Careers: Physician, Dentist

Set Goals: All accredited residency programs ask residents to set goals at the beginning of the year. Be realistic, and reevaluate your goals as the year progresses.

Plan Carefully: When considering a specialized residency, schedule related experiences early in your first year. That way, you’ll know if the specialty is right for you before the midyear application deadlines for PGY2 residencies, says Susan Staggs, PharmD, a pediatric pharmacist at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital in Nashville. For example, Staggs completed a pharmacy practice residency at the Methodist Healthcare-University Hospital in Memphis and then a specialized residency in pediatrics at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston.

Ask for What You Want: If there’s a skill you want to learn or a practice area you’re interested in, speak up. When Staggs asked for some pharmaceutical industry experience, her residency director at Methodist Healthcare-University Hospital arranged for a paid, two-week stint at a major pharmaceutical company’s corporate headquarters.

Publish: Choose a research project that has publication potential — employers look for publishing credits.

Get Involved: Join committees at your institution or in local, state or national professional organizations. Such involvement shows prospective employers you’re interested in advancing the pharmacy profession. During her residency, Staggs joined the Pediatric Pharmacy Advocacy Group, which impressed an interviewer who was active in the group.

Model Your Mentor: Carefully study and emulate the preceptor’s communication style and interactions with healthcare peers. “In our business, the ‘how we do it’ is at least as important as what we do,” Goldman says. “Relationship building is extremely important.”

Attitude Makes the Difference: “Students need to go into a residency thinking not in terms of how many hours a week they’re working, but in trying to maximize every available opportunity,” Burns says. Staggs agrees, adding, “Maintaining a positive attitude can help you get through the hardest of learning experiences.”

This article originally appeared on Monster Career Advice.

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