Skip to Content

Pharmacy Residencies

PGY1 pharmacy residents, PGY2 pharmacy residents, and clinical pharmacist practitioners with a scope of practice have a unique role within VA’s patient-centered care model due to their extensive experience in managing complex medication regimens to treat the most common chronic disease states.

VA resident

As a member of one of the world's largest integrated health systems, VA Houston Healthcare System serves as the primary health care provider for almost 130,000 Veterans in southeast Texas. This facility includes outpatient clinics in Beaumont, Conroe, Galveston, Humble, Katy, Lake Jackson, Lufkin, Richmond, Sugar Land, Texas City, and Tomball. VA Houston outpatient clinics log over one million outpatient visits annually.

For more than 50 years, VA Houston has provided clinical training for healthcare professionals through affiliations with the Baylor College of Medicine and four colleges of pharmacy. VA Houston operates one of the largest VA residency programs with over 270 slots in forty sub-specialties. Over 2,000 pharmacy, nursing, dietetics, social work, physical therapy, and medical students receive training at VA Houston each year.

Located on a 119-acre campus, VA Houston Healthcare System is a state-of-the-art facility with 349 acute care hospital beds, a 40-bed Spinal Cord Injury Center, and a 111-bed Community Living Center for long-term care. The MEDVAMC uses robotic computer-controlled helpmates to transport medications, food, and supplies to patient care areas. Additionally, the outpatient pharmacy uses a robotics system to fill more than 1,000 prescriptions daily.

The pharmacy service is progressive and growing. Over 65 clinical pharmacist practitioners and 100 clinical pharmacists provide patient care services in a variety of specialties. Clinical pharmacist practitioners and PGY2 pharmacy residents with a scope of practice have a unique role within VA’s patient-centered care model due to their extensive experience in managing complex medication regimens to treat the most common chronic disease states. This scope of practice includes collaborative medication management, which entails collaborative agreements with physicians or other independent practitioners wherein clinical pharmacists may perform some or all facets of comprehensive medication management. This may include the authority to prescribe medication regimens, order related laboratory tests, and perform physical measurement and objective assessments to facilitate patient care. There are many opportunities to develop innovative and advanced patient care practices at this facility.

Pharmacy Residencies

PGY1 Pharmacy Residency

The PGY1 Pharmacy Residency builds on the Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) education. The goal is to prepare residents for board certification and develop future clinical pharmacist practitioners responsible for medication-related care of patients with a wide range of conditions.

Learn more about the PGY1 Pharmacy Residency.

PGY2 Ambulatory Care Pharmacy Residency

The purpose of the Michael E. DeBakey Veteran Affairs Medical Center PGY2 Ambulatory Care Residency Program is to build upon Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) education and PGY1 pharmacy residency training to develop pharmacist practitioners with knowledge, skills, and abilities as defined in the educational competency areas, goals, and objectives for advanced practice areas. Residents who successfully complete PGY2 residency programs are prepared for advanced patient care or other specialized positions, and board certification in the advanced practice area, if available.

Learn more about the PGY2 Ambulatory Care Pharmacy Residency.

PGY2 Infectious Diseases Pharmacy Residency

The purpose of the PGY2 Infectious Diseases Pharmacy Residency is to prepare pharmacists to become independent clinical practitioners of direct patient care in infectious diseases, with the skills necessary for attainment of a clinical pharmacy specialist position, adjunct faculty position at college of pharmacy, and/or further training through a fellowship or other post-graduate program in infectious diseases pharmacotherapy.

Learn more about the PGY2 Infectious Diseases Residency.

PGY2 Psychiatric Pharmacy Residency

PGY2 Psychiatric pharmacy residency  will build on your Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) education and PGY1 pharmacy residency program to contribute to the development of clinical pharmacists in specialized areas of practice. 

Learn more about the PGY2 Psychiatric Pharmacy Residency.

About the Program

See our Pharmacy Residencies:

Pharmacy Residencies Frequently Asked Questions

Does your program participate in the ASHP Personnel Placement Services (PPS)?

No, the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) does not participate in PPS.

How many residency positions are available?

For the next residency year, MEDVAMC will accept five PGY1 Pharmacy residents, one PGY2 Infectious Diseases resident, one PGY2 Psychiatric resident, and one PGY2 Ambulatory Care resident.

How are residents selected?

Candidates who complete all application requirements by the deadline are reviewed by Residency Program Directors, Coordinators, and Preceptors. Interviews are awarded in the early winter and all candidates are selected through the ASHP resident match process.

How long has the residency programs been in existence?

The MEDVAMC PGY1 Pharmacy residency program was started in 2005. The PGY2 programs in Ambulatory Care and Infectious Diseases accepted their first class of residents in 2013. The PGY2 Psychiatric program accepted its first resident in 2016.

Is the program flexible if my interests change throughout the residency?

The Residency Program Directors, Coordinators, and Preceptors will collaborate with you if your interests change. Everyone involved in the program is focused on ensuring the residents get the most out of their respective programs.

Which off-site rotations are available to residents?

Off-site rotations are available at University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and Houston Methodist Hospital. All off-site rotations require Texas licensure. The Psychiatric Pharmacy resident has the opportunity to complete a pain rotation at MD Anderson Cancer Center and an adolescent psychiatry rotation at Menninger.

What teaching opportunities are available to residents?

Residents can earn a teaching certificate through the University of Houston College of Pharmacy. Residents also co-precept pharmacy students from four colleges (Texas Southern University, University of Houston, The University of Texas, Texas A&M).

How do residents select research projects?

Residents are presented with a list of potential research projects from preceptors and former residents. Current resident project ideas are encouraged, but decisions will be contingent upon preceptor availability and the time limitations for a one-year residency.

What projects and presentations are required by the residents?

In addition to presentations and projects required on specific rotations, residents are expected to present two journal clubs, two patient case presentations, and one grand rounds presentation to the pharmacy staff and pharmacy students. Each resident will also serve as editor for one edition of the VA newsletter and complete a medication use evaluation (MUE) project. Additionally, residents will present their research project at the ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting and a platform presentation at the Texas Society of Health-System Pharmacists (TSHP) Alcalde: Southwest Leadership Conference.

What positions will I be prepared to accept after completion of this residency?

Residents who complete the PGY1 Pharmacy residency will be prepared for a PGY2 residency in their preferred area or accept a Clinical Pharmacist Practitioner position. PGY2 pharmacy residency graduates will be equipped to seek a Clinical Pharmacist Practitioner position in their specialized field(s). 

What are the staffing responsibilities for residents?

PGY1 Pharmacy residents are required to staff approximately 232 hours throughout the year which averages out to less than 20 hours per month. The staffing schedule is variable throughout the year, but this can look like 1-2 evening shifts per month and once every 3rd-4th weekend including the Saturday/Sunday of 2 minor holidays and 1 major holiday – residents will be off on federally-observed holidays. Inpatient staffing includes medication order verification.

Outpatient staffing involves discharge medication order verification and patient counseling. Residents will also complete clinical staffing which involves medication reconciliation, anticoagulation review, prior authorization drug requests, pharmacotherapy drug monitoring, and antimicrobial stewardship.

Where do the residents park at VA Houston?

Free onsite parking is available for all residents!