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Pharmacy Residencies

The VA St. Louis Health Care System Pharmacy Residency Program, through a diverse set of professional, clinical, and academic experiences, builds on Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) education and outcomes to develop clinical pharmacists for entry level clinical pharmacy positions in a variety of settings, including acute care, ambulatory care, advanced residency training, and academia.

VHA STL Facilities


Pharmacy Residency Training at the St. Louis VA 

VA St. Louis Health Care System

The VA St. Louis Health Care System is a two-division tertiary care facility providing inpatient and ambulatory care in medicine, surgery, psychiatry, neurology, spinal cord Injury, and rehabilitation, as well as 65 subspecialty areas.  There are 218 hospital operating beds, a 71 bed Community Living Center, a 50 bed Rehabilitation Domiciliary for Homeless Veterans and a 25 bed Substance Abuse Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Program.  It serves veterans and their families in east central Missouri and southwestern Illinois.

John Cochran Division

The John Cochran Division is located in midtown St. Louis and is in close proximity to its affiliated medical schools, Saint Louis University and Washington University.  It houses the medical center's operative surgical capabilities, acute care medicine and spinal cord, the ambulatory care unit, intensive care units, outpatient psychiatry clinics, and expanded laboratory.

Jefferson Barracks Division

The Jefferson Barracks Division is a multi-building complex overlooking the Mississippi River in south St. Louis County.  It provides psychiatric treatment, spinal cord injury treatment, a nursing home care unit, geriatric health care, outpatient clinic, rehabilitation services, and a rehabilitation domiciliary program for homeless veterans and the Fisher House.  This medical center also maintains Community Based Outpatient Clinics in St. Charles, Washington, North St. Louis County in Missouri and Bellville in Illinois as well as the Missouri Vet Home in St. Louis, MO.  



St. Louis VA Pharmacy Residencies FAQ's


How many positions are available?

-PGY1: 4
-PGY2 Internal Medicine: 1
-PGY2 Infectious Diseases: 1
-PGY2 Pain Management and Palliative Care: 1

How long has the VA St. Louis HCS Residency been in existence?

Our residency program has a long history. The VA St. Louis has had a residency program in place for over 20 years.

When is the application deadline?

Please refer to PhORCAS for the application deadline. For more specific information regarding the application process please reference the Application Instructions.

How are residents selected?

Residents are selected based on weighted criteria including on-site interview, GPA, letters of recommendation, letter of intent , CV and overall application.

Is there a preference for In-State or Out-of-State Pharmacy school graduates?

There is no preference for in-state or out-of-state graduates. Each applicant is treated equally and is reviewed using the same criteria.

Does your residency program participate in PPS?

The PGY1 pharmacy residency does not participate in PPS.

The PGY2 program participation in PPS will vary each year for both Infectious Diseases, Internal Medicine, and Pain Management and Palliative Care programs. To determine if the program you are interested in is participating in PPS, please contact the individual program director for the program you are interested in.  Please see the application instructions for contact information.

All programs will be available at Midyear Residency Showcase.

Is the PGY1 program flexible if interests throughout my residency change?

The PGY1 program is flexible if interests change.   Based on experiences throughout the year, residents can work with their program director to change experience to best meet the goals and interests of each resident while still meeting the requirement of a general practice first year residency.

What PGY2 residencies are offered at the VA St Louis Health Care System and will they participate in early commitment?

PGY2 residencies currently offered are Infectious Diseases, Internal Medicine, and Pain Management and Palliative Care.  Each of these programs can elect to participate in early commitment, although there is no universal policy for early commitment.

What staffing responsibilities and opportunities are available to the residents?

Residents rotate through clinical weekends and outpatient weekends . For more information see the Residency Manual. "Staffing Requirements: VA St Louis Health Care System".

What are the requirements for pharmacist licensure during the residency year?

The VA St. Louis Health Care System, as a federal medical facility, requires an active pharmacist license from a recognized State Board of Pharmacy be obtained prior to or as soon as possible following the July 1 start date of all pharmacy residents. PGY1 Pharmacy Residents are encouraged to take the North American Pharmacy Licensure Examination (NAPLEX®) and appropriate Law exam prior to residency start date.. Failure to obtain a Pharmacist License to practice pharmacy within 90 days from the start of the residency is considered reasonable grounds for dismissal from the program. Exceptions to this policy may be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

A copy of this license should be provided to the Residency Program Director and the Pharmacy Operations Manager and will be filed with the VA St. Louis Health Care System for documentation purposes. The original license should be made available upon request.

  For more information, please see the Residency Manual "Licensure Policy"
        -If you choose to complete an elective rotation at a non-VA facility and do not hold an active Missouri License, temporary licensure in Missouri is required. 

      - Instructions for temporary Missouri licensure
         Please note this application takes 3 weeks for processing.

Can we speak to or contact the current residents?

Please feel free to contact our current residents.  Please see the current resident page for contact information.  Our residents will also be available to talk with during the Midyear Residency Showcase. 

What are the resident’s duty hours?

VA St. Louis Health Care System and St. Louis College of Pharmacy follow the duty hours set forth by ASHP Residency Standards.
For more information, please see the Residency Manual section "Duty Hours Policy".

What is the dress code?

Residents will dress in a professional fashion whenever they are within the medical center, on the St. Louis College of Pharmacy campus, or attending any function as a representative of VA St. Louis Health Care System.  White lab coats will be worn at all times in patient care areas.  

More specifics on the pharmacy dress code is provided in the link below.

How is the performance of pharmacy resident evaluated?

Residents are evaluated by preceptors on every learning experience, including longitudinal experiences. The evaluations are based on the ASHP Residency Learning System. Specific goals and objectives must be met for each of the learning experiences. The residents also have the opportunity to meet one on one with the residency program director on at least a quarterly basis to discuss their experiences and work to further tailor the residency to meet each resident’s needs, skills, interests, and goals.

If specific issues arise, efforts will be made to assist and facilitate necessary improvement with residents on an individual basis. To review the grievance, disciplinary and dismissal policy, please see the Residency Manual "Dismissal policy".

Where do your residents go after Residency?

Approximately 55% of our residents continue their residency training or accept a position within the VA system. 

Upon completion of a PGY1 residency at the VA St. Louis approximately 52% of residents continue their training with a PGY2 specialty residency program. Please find the link below for more information on where past residents have gone after completion of their residency at the St. Louis VA.

What is the Scope of Practice or Collaborative Practice Agreement?

The scope of practice, as part of the collaborative medication management, allows the clinical pharmacist to function with a high level of autonomy and independent clinical decision making for activities included in the scope of practice and collaboratively with the health care team for the overall care of the Veteran. The Clinical Pharmacist is responsible and accountable for the disease states and conditions managed under the Clinical Pharmacist's Scope of Practice.
Prescribing, administering or dispensing controlled substances may be included in the scope of daily practice only if the clinical pharmacist is authorized by their state license to do so and complies with the limitations and restrictions on that authority.
Prescriptive authority and responsibility defined in the scope of practice is limited to practice areas for which the clinical pharmacist has experience and expertise. 

Is there available parking?

VA Medical Center: Parking is available in designated lots near the John Cochran and Jefferson Barracks VA Medical Centers.  Please display the parking tag provided from your rear view mirror so that it is easily visible.  Periodically, selected lots close to the John Cochran VA Medical Center may be closed.  Notice of lot closures and alternate parking options are usually provided via the VISTA email system. 

St. Louis College of Pharmacy: The resident will be provided access to the parking garage/lot at the St. Louis College of Pharmacy.  A separate St. Louis College of Pharmacy parking tag will be provided and should be displayed from the rear view mirror when parking in that area.

What is there to do in St Louis?

St. Louis hosts multiple attractions, sports, science, and restaurants.  Sports fanatics will love St. Louis as we are a sports town.  Home teams including the St. Louis Cardinals Baseball and St. Louis Blues Hockey. We have great entertainment for a night out on the town at Ballpark Village St. Louis, Laclede’s Landing, Central West End, Soulard, and Westport Plaza.  St. Louis is also home to Anheuser-Busch with factory tour and tasting available as well as many microbreweries.  Our animal lovers can visit the St. Louis Zoo, Grant’s Farm and Purina Farms.  St. Louis also have several great attractions including the Gateway Arch, Forest Park, Laumeier Sculpture Park, Science Center, St. Louis Art Museum, and the Kemp Auto Museum.  Learn more about exploring what St. Louis has to offer!