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Pharmacy PGY2 Program

Birmingham VA Pharmacy Residency Program


PGY2 Program Overview

The PGY2 Pharmacy Pain Management and Palliative Care Residency is a second-year specialty residency directed to develop knowledge, attitude and skills needed to become a clinical pharmacist practitioner with expertise in complex pain management treatments. The residency program includes advanced training in a variety of pain-related interprofessional areas within two different VA hospitals: Birmingham VA Healthcare System and Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center. The resident will be accountable for achieving optimal drug therapy outcomes through monitoring, evaluating, and refining patient drug therapy both independently and as part of an interprofessional team. By completing this comprehensive advanced training program, the resident is equipped with excellent leadership and clinical skills to practice as a proficient, well-rounded independent clinical pharmacy practitioner in a pain management, substance abuse and mental health/pain setting.

Purpose Statement

PGY2 Pharmacy Residency programs build on Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) education and PGY1 pharmacy residency programs to contribute to the development of clinical pharmacist in specialized areas of practice. PGY2 residencies provide residents with the opportunities to function independently as practitioners by conceptualizing and integrating accumulated experience and knowledge and incorporating both into the provision of patient care or other advanced practice settings. Residents who successfully complete an accredited PGY2 pharmacy residency are prepared for advanced patient care, academic or other specialized positions, along with board certification, if available.

Program Goals and Objectives

Provide comprehensive medication management to patients requiring pain management in a team-based setting

  • Interact effectively with health care teams to manage medication therapy for patients requiring pain management and palliative care.
  • Interact effectively with patients requiring pain management, their family members, and caregivers.
  • Collect and analyze information on which to base safe and effective medication therapy for patients requiring pain management.
  • Develop, implement, and document safe, effective pain therapeutic medication management plans patients requiring pain management.

Provide whole health approach to patients requiring pain management in a team-based setting

  • Utilize motivational interviewing to elicit patient behavioral change and shared decision making around pain management.
  • Recognize and address co-morbid mental health conditions that may be impacting pain management by providing comprehensive medication management for low complexity MH disorders or referring to specialized MH care.
  • Understand Complimentary and Integrative Health (CIH) Options available at facilities and provide patient education and referrals.
  • Identify co-morbid substance use disorders in patients with pain and provide appropriate management.

Provides pain management services to patients at high risk of opioid overdose or suicide

  • Understand and utilize population management tools to identify patients at high risk for opioid overdose or suicide.
  • Provide both medication management services and medication management recommendations to interdisciplinary teams managing high risk patients.
  • Understand and implement risk mitigation strategies to minimize risk of adverse outcomes in patients on opioids or with history of OUD.
  • Work collaboratively within interdisciplinary teams and other healthcare teams to provide high risk patients with seamless transitions between practice settings.

Provide effective education on pain management issues to patients, clinicians, trainees, and the public in both individual and group settings

  • Develop effective pain educational activities and materials.
  • Use effective presentation and teaching skills to deliver education related to pain management in group settings.
  • Understand how to identify priority providers.
  • Conduct effective academic detailing outreach visits on pain related campaigns and assess impact of visits.
  • Effectively employ appropriate preceptor roles when engaged in teaching students, pharmacy technicians, or fellow health care professionals in pain management.

Demonstrate leadership and management skills

  • Demonstrate personal, interpersonal, and teamwork skills critical for effective leadership in pain management.
  • Apply a process of ongoing self-evaluation and personal performance improvement in the provision of care for pain management patients.

Demonstrate ability to conduct a quality improvement or research project

  • Assess gaps in pain management care at both VA practice sites utilizing data resources to identify opportunities to improve or initiate a new pharmacy service.
  • Develop, present, implement, and evaluate a proposal for an improved or new pain management pharmacy service.

Program Structure

This program is a twelve-month postgraduate training program that begins after successful completion of a PGY1 Pharmacy Residency. The Resident will rotate through the Birmingham VA Medical Center and the Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center Central Alabama Healthcare System (54 miles away). Resident is expected to travel within facilities at least 12 weeks of the residency year. Lodging accommodations can be discussed.

Annual Core Longitudinal Rotations

  • Pain Stewardship
  • Research

Required Core Learning Experiences

  • Orientation
  • Interdisciplinary Pain Rehabilitation Program I
  • Interdisciplinary Pain Rehabilitation Program II
  • Behavioral Pain Management and Outpatient Mental Health Clinic
  • Outpatient Pain Management
  • Acute Psychiatry and Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Program
  • Palliative Care and Acute Pain Management
  • Primary Care Pain Management, Opioid Safety and Whole Health
  • Addiction Medicine and Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT)

Elective Learning Experiences (1 elective)

  • Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (PM&R)
  • Academic Detailing


  • Estimated stipend for PGY2: $ 50,946 per year
  • Attendance at professional meetings:
  • Eleven (11) paid federal holidays per year
  • Thirteen (13) days of paid annual leave
  • Thirteen (13) days of paid sick leave
  • Health/Life insurance (optional)
  • BLS and ACLS certification