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 Columbus VA offers an ASHP-accredited PGY1 pharmacy residency program. Residents can receive training in varied clinics for direct patient care and disease state management including Anti-coagulation, Pharmacy Comprehensive Medication Management (CMM), also known as our Patient Aligned Care Team (PACT) clinics, and Home-Based Primary Care.
Specialty rotations including Hematology/Oncology and Behavioral Health give residents a unique opportunity to work in a focused, pharmacist-run clinic managing oral chemotherapies or prescribing mental health medications to patients enrolled in the mental health pharmacy clinic.
Residents will also spend time in the counseling and dispensing area of the main outpatient pharmacy. In addition to providing pharmaceutical care, residents will participate in answering drug information questions, providing staff education, and completing research, quality improvements and/or a system redesign project.
Residents are involved in P&T meetings, medication use evaluations, and pharmacy informatics through the drug policy rotation and additionally complete an administration rotation with the Chief of Pharmacy.
Residents will gain teaching experience by serving as co-preceptors for Pharm.D. students from various accredited colleges of pharmacy.
Program Structure: Core Activities
Orientation and development
Residents will work with the RPD and 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), IRB and R&D if appropriate, PharmAcademic, Initial Skills Assessments/Reviews, Learning Experience Descriptions for Core Activities, and VA policy and procedures. Residents 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 residents learning needs and to choose electives. The Residency Advisory Committee will review quarterly summative evaluations for overall resident progress and improvement to the program.
PACT clinics / Pharmacy comprehensive medication management (CMM)
Residents will work daily for one month in the CMM clinic 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 one month, the rotation is continued longitudinally for up to one day 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 and start precepting students in this clinic.
Residents will work daily for one month in the Anticoagulation Clinic. Time for this rotation will be split between seeing patients in clinic and other responsibilities such as reviewing incoming consults and developing perioperative anticoagulation plans. VA providers refer all anticoagulated patients to the Anticoagulation Clinic where pharmacists 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 enoxaparin. After one month, the rotation is continued longitudinally for 1-2 days per week through the remainder of the year and includes exposure to the DOAC Dashboard which is used for monitoring.
Home-based primary care (HBPC)
HBPC serves patients with complex chronic disabling medical conditions. The resident will spend two days per week for two 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
Residents will spend four 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 additional time and training can be provided if needed. The resident will be required to work one weekend day per month as a staffing component for this residency throughout the residency year. The goal is to have dual appointment set up which would allow the resident to be paid for this time at a GS-12 pharmacist hourly salary but is not guaranteed.
Residents 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 VA uses computerized patient records and has a host of contemporary computer software including programs designed to perform statistical analyses and data mining for medication evaluations.
Administration / Education
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 at the Columbus VA. 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 a systems redesign yellow belt project as a way to identify issues, and work towards creating, implementing, and sustaining a solution during the residency year. This is a yearlong, 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 year-long 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. 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.
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.
Appointment, Benefits and Leave
- Appointment: July 1 to June 30 (one calendar year)
- Stipend: $43,448 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; approved on a case by case basis
- Federal Holidays: Eleven federal holidays
- Liability Insurance: Residents will not need any additional practice liability insurance during residency
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 1, 2023
- 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.