PGY-1 Pharmacy Residency Program
The Columbus VA PGY1 pharmacy residency programs build on Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) education and outcomes and contribute to development of clinical pharmacy practitioners who are responsible for medication-related care of patients with a wide range of conditions and who are eligible for board certification and for postgraduate year two (PGY2) pharmacy residency training. Pharmacists completing a PGY1 pharmacy residency at the Columbus VA will be competent, effective, and confident practitioners who provide expert pharmaceutical care to adult Veteran patients.
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About our Program
The Chalmers P. Wylie VA Ambulatory Care Center is part of the VA Central Ohio Healthcare System (VACOHCS) and provides primary and specialty outpatient care to veterans in Central Ohio. Clinical pharmacy is highly respected and an integral part of patient care activities. Additionally, the clinic operates four community-based outpatient clinics in Grove City, Marion, Newark, and Zanesville. The Ambulatory Care Center is located 10 minutes from The Ohio State University and serves as a PharmD training site for PharmD candidates from various accredited colleges of pharmacy.
The VACOHCS offers an ASHP-accredited PGY1 pharmacy residency program. Residents receive training in various clinics and perform disease state management including Anticoagulation, Pharmacy Comprehensive Medication Management (CMM), Home Based Primary Care, and Pharmacogenomics. Residents also can spend time with the mental health pharmacist who helps manage outpatient mental health conditions. The residents will also spend time in the counseling and dispensing area of the main outpatient pharmacy. Residents participate in many aspects of pharmacy practice including pharmaceutical care, drug information, staff education, research, quality improvement, and/or systems process redesign projects, pharmacy and therapeutics committee meetings, medication use evaluations, pharmacy practice management, and pharmacy informatics. Residents will gain teaching experience by serving as co-preceptors for PharmD students from various accredited colleges of pharmacy.
Program Structure: Core Activities
Orientation and Development
The resident will work with the RPD and/or designee(s) in the month of July to review orientation materials for the residency program. Activities include orientation to the staff and work site, residency year schedule, electronic health record, VA Pharmacy Benefits Management (PBM) introduction, Lean Six-Sigma training, Institutional Review Board and Research and Development if appropriate, PharmAcademic, Initial Skills Assessments/Reviews, Learning Experience Descriptions for core rotations, and VA policy and procedures. The resident will complete entering interest forms and provide self-assessments of their learning needs. The Resident Development Plan will be finalized by the end of July. The Resident Development Plan will be adjusted quarterly to fit the resident’s learning needs and to choose electives. The Residency Advisory Committee will review quarterly summative evaluations for overall resident progress and improvement to the program. The rotation will continue through quarter 2 to ensure the resident has transitioned into residency expectations successfully.
Pharmacy Comprehensive Medication Management (CMM) Block & Longitudinal Rotations
The resident will work daily for 4-6 weeks in the CMM clinic for a block rotation providing patient care in clinic or through virtual care appointments. The rotation will focus on the chronic disease state management of common chronic disease states including hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, tobacco cessation, hypothyroidism, COPD, and vitamin D deficiency. CMM occurs in Patient Aligned Care Teams (PACT) where clinical pharmacist providers (CPP) have a global scope of practice, meaning that they are constantly learning and growing to find ways to help their primary care teams manage new disease states and meet Veteran care needs. CPPs function as licensed independent practitioners with their scopes of practice with prescriptive authority giving them the ability to initiate, adjust, discontinue and monitor medications as appropriate. The resident may have exposure to other services offered by the Pharmacy CMM Clinic including medication reconciliation, polypharmacy review, and epoetin monitoring. After the block rotation, the longitudinal rotation begins and continues for 1-2 days per week through the remainder of the year. During the second half of the year, the goal is for the resident to function more independently taking on more patients, and precept APPE student(s).
Anticoagulation Clinic Block and Longitudinal Rotations
The resident will work daily for 4-6 weeks in the Anticoagulation Clinic for the initial block rotation. VA providers refer anticoagulated patients to the Anticoagulation Clinic where CPPs perform anticoagulation initiation and monitoring. Point of care machines are used for warfarin therapy and pharmacists make dose changes with patients during appointments. The rotation will focus on the management of warfarin, direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) and proper use of outpatient Low Molecular Weight Heparin. The block rotation will focus on warfarin clinic and consult management. The longitudinal rotation will begin during quarter two for 1-2 days/week and continue to develop the resident’s clinical knowledge with anticoagulant dosing and monitoring, perioperative management, and DOAC dashboard management.
Home-based Primary Care (HBPC)
HBPC serves patients with complex chronic disabling medical conditions. The resident will spend 2 days per week for 2 months working with the HBPC pharmacist performing chart reviews, participating in weekly interdisciplinary team meetings (if schedule permits), completing CMM, and going on home visits as allowed and appropriate. The resident will make recommendations to optimize patient’s medication regimen based on disease state specific therapeutic goals and minimize polypharmacy. The resident will participate in bi-weekly case discussions and article reviews during this rotation. Additionally, the resident will serve as a resource to the HBPC team for drug information and patient/provider education.
Patient Counseling and Dispensing
The resident will spend 4 weeks in the first quarter training in the areas of prescription processing and dispensing medications. During this time, the resident will increase their efficiency in prescription processing and providing counseling to patients. The goal is for the resident to be independent early on and thus able to function independently as a clinical pharmacist in this setting. The rotation preceptors will provide feedback and regularly assess progress towards the rotation goals so that the resident is prepared for the staffing requirements.
The resident will spend 0.5 days/week for 8-10 weeks on this required rotation. The VACOHCS is participating in the Pharmacogenomics Testing for Veterans (PHASER) Program. This test can help to individualize prescriptions for medicines used to treat several common health concerns, including pain, depression, anxiety and blood clotting. Pharmacists are key members of this team and complete e-consults to interpret and help providers understand results once completed. Pharmacists also can be consulted to review results with patients.
The resident will spend time working with the Associate Chief of Clinical Services longitudinal throughout the residency year. This rotation will take no more than ½ day per week and may have time separately assigned or may be combined with assigned project time. Pharmacists at the VA Ambulatory Care Center participate in activities to improve the quality of pharmaceutical care including adverse drug event reporting, medication error prevention, medication error reporting, and medication use evaluations. The Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee is responsible for local management of the VA national formulary, medication performance measures, and medication use evaluations.
The residency program is designed to provide one on one experience with the Chief of Pharmacy monthly throughout the residency year to learn about management-related activities vital to the smooth operation of a pharmacy department. The resident will spend 1 day per month with the chief and may have additional discussion sessions assigned.
The education learning experience is a required, longitudinal rotation. This rotation provides the PGY1 resident with opportunities to develop skills for the provision of effective medication-related training. Examples of projects include drug information questions, journal clubs, continuing education (CE) presentations, and education/precepting of pharmacy students. The experience will be longitudinal and incorporated into the weekly schedule during project time along with the resident preparing projects after hours as appropriate to facilitate completion.
The research project will give the resident experience to design, execute, and report results of investigations of pharmacy-related issues. Pharmacy projects may go through a formalized IRB and Research and Development Committee approval process. An alternative to this is to have the resident participate in a LEAN yellow belt training course and work on systems redesign yellow belt project to identify issues, and work towards creating, implementing, and sustaining a solution during the residency year. This is a yearlong, required, longitudinal rotation. Residency projects may be worked on during assigned project time but do not always have time assigned and may require residents to work outside of business hours to ensure progress and completion.
The required yearlong longitudinal leadership rotation is in collaboration with other VISN 10 VA PGY1 pharmacy residency programs. There are TED talks or articles assigned based on monthly topics which the residents are required to review. After review and self-reflection, the residents post discussion as well as comment on other residents’ posts. Monthly discussions build on the self-reflections and posts through discussion with PGY2 residents as available. While there is no formal time assigned for this rotation, residents find it beneficial to discuss some important topics such as giving and receiving feedback, work life balance, time management, and storytelling/speaking skills amongst others.
Burnout Management/Duty Hours
Residents are required to complete a monthly assessment where they reflect on important topics like emotional, mental, and physical health as well as sleep. They are also require to confirm they are in compliance with the ASHP Moonlighting hours policy and report any Moonlighting hours within this document. This assessment is discussed with the RPD monthly to identify any issues which have come up although the resident is always encouraged to discuss any concerns with the RPD at the soon as possible. There is no time assigned for the completion of this monthly self-assessment and residents are required to find time to compete the same. The resident and RPD will find time monthly to discuss the resident’s response on the survey and identify if there are any areas of concern.
Diversity and Inclusion Commitment
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) upholds a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion, with core values “I CARE” (Integrity, Commitment, Advocacy, Respect and Excellence) reflecting that commitment. The VA “Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan” for 2021-2022 outlines goals such as supporting a diverse workforce, creating an inclusive and engaged organization and delivering outstanding public service.1 Aligning with these goals and mission of the VA, the VA Central Ohio Healthcare System’s PGY1 Pharmacy Practice Residency Program is dedicated to ensuring these values are upheld within the program, with the goal of building a team and fostering an environment that reflects the diversity of the Nation’s Veterans that we serve.
The program aims to immerse pharmacy residents in caring for a diverse veteran population to help cultivate the resident’s own experience. The Office of Health Equity estimates that from 2019 to 2045, the racial and ethnic composition of veterans will change, with the majority of numbers of other races and ethnic minority groups increasing.2 Veterans may also face other disparities such as differences in socioeconomic status, education, social context and support, life experience, and perceived discrimination. Additionally, the Office of Research and Development suggests that veterans within these groups tend have higher rates of chronic illness.
By embracing diversity and welcoming those of all backgrounds and perspectives, irrespective of race, gender identity, gender expression, ethnicity, age, religion, orientation, culture or life experience, the program hopes to celebrate each person’s uniqueness and drive the profession of pharmacy forward. The program is committed to promoting inclusion and ensuring individuals are valued and empowered to reach his/her/their full potential.
In addition to celebrating diversity and embracing inclusion, the residency program aims to select candidates who are professional, compassionate, highly motivated and whose ideals align with the VA mission of “I CARE.” Our program will support and encourage clinical growth, so the resident develops into an independent pharmacy practitioner who is committed to providing optimal care to a diverse patient population
Appointment, Benefits and Leave
- Appointment: July 1 to June 30 (one calendar year)
- Stipend: $49,228 with health insurance available
- Annual Leave: Four hours of annual leave earned per pay period
- Sick Leave: Four hours of sick leave earned per pay period
- Administrative Leave: Available for meetings and symposia. This is approved on a case-by-case basis and any days would count towards the 37 days away from residency.
- Federal Holidays: Eleven federal holidays
- Liability Insurance: Residents will not need any additional practice liability insurance during residency
- Travel to Conferences: Payment for travel to conferences in not guaranteed. The RPD will work to gain approval for funding to travel to the ASHP Midyear Clinical Meting or other required conference. If the facility does not approve funding, the resident may need to pay for travel and registration. The use of dual appointment position is intended to assist residents in picking up hours to help pay towards their travel to this meeting.
Requirements for Acceptance
- Have a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from a fully accredited ACPE school of pharmacy within the United States or equivalent experience
- Have a license in good-standing to practice Pharmacy from a recognized State Board of Pharmacy or in pursuit of and eligible for licensure
- Be a United States citizen
- Participation in the ASHP Match Process
- Submit application through PhORCAS (see below)
Supplemental Requirements for PhORCAS
- Submission via PhORCAS by JANUARY 2, 2024
- Letter of intent, including career goals and objectives for seeking a residency
- Official College of Pharmacy transcripts
- GPA ≥3.2 from pharmacy school as demonstrated on official school transcript
- For schools which use Pass/No Pass grading, require letter of standing from school indicating student is in top 25% of graduating class.
- ASHP standardized recommendation form from 3 references
- A minimum of 2 references must be from preceptors from your work or experiential practice sites.
- Ensure to include in application package all information that demonstrates involvement in projects, presentations that you find valuable for our reviewing committee.