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PGY1 Pharmacy Residency

The Ralph H. Johnson (RHJ) Veterans Affairs Health Care System (VAHSC) offers a 12-month, PGY1 pharmacy residency. The goal of the residency is to develop the resident's skills and competency in providing patient-centered care as part of multi-disciplinary teams. We develop pharmacist clinicians for patient care positions, adjunct faculty or faculty positions, or PGY2 training. Education and training will involve patients in the ambulatory care and acute care settings. Research and continuing educational activities are encouraged and are made available to the resident.

Residency Program Specifics

  • Duration: 52 weeks
    • Maximum of 37 days away from the training program (including attendance at conferences, use of annual or sick leave, etc.); if this is exceeded, resident may be required to extend duration of the program in order to meet training requirements (in which case, pay is not guaranteed)
  • Number of Positions: 4
  • Application Deadline: January 2nd
  • Starting Date: July 1 (varies each year slightly)
  • Estimated Stipend: 47,397 (varies each year slightly)

Recruitment Information

  • Annual participation in ASHP Residency Showcase at Midyear Clinical Meeting ASHP and VA Pharmacy Residency Showcase VA Pharmacy Residency Program - Pharmacy Benefits Management Services
  • Interview offers are typically extended to applicants by mid-January each year
  • Interviews typically one-half day in January and February
    • Virtual interviews with option for on-site interview if desired
  • RHJ VAHCS makes every effort to recruit a diverse residency class that is reflective of all segments of society and provides an environment that promotes inclusion, diversity, equity and access (I-DEA). Our program is dedicated to the idea that increased self-awareness and appreciation for other worldviews and cultures makes pharmacists more effective clinicians, consultants, researchers, educators, and advocates.

Basic Requirements

  • Doctor of Pharmacy Degree (Pharm.D.) from an ACPE-Accredited College of Pharmacy
  • Licensure  through any U.S. State Board of Pharmacy within 120 days of the start of the training program through PhORCAS application system
  • Application, Curriculum Vitae, Academic Transcripts, Letter of Intent, and Three Letters of Reference
    • Recommended content in letter of intent:
      • Why do you want to do a residency at our program?
      • What are your clinical areas of interest?
      • What are your five-year career goals?
      • Describe how your APPE and work experience make you qualified for this program
      • Include information about other experiences that demonstrate maturity, leadership and/or responsibility
  • U.S. citizenship
  • Interview (typically virtual, in-person available by request)

Resident must clear onboarding process through Human Resources which may include background check, physical, drug test, fingerprints, references, required vaccinations, etc. Specific details to be provided to applicants.

Core Experiences: nine months

  • Orientation: July
  • Primary Care-PACT Clinic (6 week rotation)
  • Primary Care 2- additional PACT, Home Based Primary Care, Pharmacy Impact Clinic
  • Anticoagulation
  • Inpatient Adult Medicine (6 week rotation)
  • Critical Care
  • Administration
  • Project Month: December

Longitudinal Experiences

  • Adverse Drug Event Reporting
  • Drug Information/Formulary Management
  • Pharmacy Management
  • Yearlong Clinical Project
  • Pharmacy & Therapeutics Committee/Patient Safety
  • Pharmacy Education/Presentations
  • Student Precepting (presentations and APPE rotations)
  • Staffing (22-30 hrs/month, paid) 
  • Elective: Teaching Certificate through Medical University of South Carolina or VA Residency Certificate

Elective Experiences: three months

Inpatient-based electives:

  • Inpatient Adult Medicine II
  • Critical Care II
  • Medication Reconciliation
  • Mental Health
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Geriatrics Inpatient Medicine
  • Inpatient Staffing

Ambulatory Care-based electives:

  • Primary Care Clinic
  • Specialty Clinics*
    • Geriatrics Clinic
    • Anemia Clinic
    • Infectious Diseases/HIV Clinic
    • Endocrinology Clinic & DM Teaching Class
    • Rheumatology Clinic
    • Neurology Clinic
    • Pain Clinic
    • Mental Health
    • Hematology/Oncology
    • Cardiology/Pulmonary
    • Transplant Clinic
  • Home-based primary care
  • Pharmacy Informatics

*Specialty clinics generally meet on certain days of the week, therefore, 2-3 specialty clinics are often combined into a month-long rotation.

Requirements to receive Residency Certificate

  • Meet all ASHP PGY1 residency requirements
  • Satisfactory completion of all learning experiences
    • Achieve 100% of goals and objectives for R2.2 (clinical project) by June 1st (including formal presentation and manuscript suitable for publication)
    • Achieve for at least 80% of all other objectives
    • No objectives listed as “needs improvement” by the end of the year
  • Be licensed for at least 2/3 of the program (35 weeks), see resident licensure and leave policy for facility
  • Completion of a formulary monograph, drug class review, therapeutic guideline or protocol
  • Completion of at least one medication use evaluation (MUE)
  • Completion of 100% of VA ADERs reports assigned
  • Presentations: at least one topic discussion, one journal club, one CE presentation
  • Completion of yearlong clinical project, presentation to regional residency conference (or other venue if appropriate) and submission of completed manuscript acceptable for publication by June 1st
  • Completion of at least 80% of weekend staffing shifts (inpatient and/or outpatient) initially assigned at schedule publication (typically end of orientation period) and one holiday
  • All evaluations in Pharmacademic are completed
  • Compliance with all institutional, departmental and residency policies
  • If there are assignments/projects that are not completed at the scheduled completion of the residency, the resident may be given an extension up to 30 days to complete these assignments and will submit them to the RPD. An extension to complete unfinished work will be unpaid.  


  • Four hours vacation and sick leave earned per pay period (every two weeks)
  • Paid administrative leave for educational meetings
  • Pharmacist salary for staffing hours (separate from residency stipend)
  • Health and Life insurance available
  • Free parking

Chief of Pharmacy


Sharon Castle, Acting Assistant Director

Sharon Castle Pharm D., BCPS

Acting, Assistant Director

VA Charleston health care

Phone: 843-789-6190

Program Director


Cristina Elgin Plemmons Pharm.D., BCPS

Supervisor, ACC Pharmacy Service

VA Charleston health care

Phone: 843-818-5100 ext 404334