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How Do You Avoid Sucky Pharmacy Residency Programs? - #TheLab

In this blog, we delve into the multifaceted journey of students and professionals, exploring strategies and insights to foster development and success in academic and professional settings.


@earringenthusiast, Reddit: Post Link

I know the program at my local hospital is bad because I'm familiar with it, but on the surface it looks fine, good even! I wouldn't know if I didn't know the current residents, like really know them. How am I supposed to know this kind of information about programs all across the country? It seems like it's impossible to know whether a program will be good or not until you are already in it, and by that point it's too late!

APhA 2017 Annual Meeting in San Francisco, CA with the Region 9 gang.
APhA 2017 Annual Meeting in San Francisco, CA with the Region 9 gang.


How Do You Avoid Sucky Pharmacy Residency Programs?

The best way to avoid matching with a "sucky" program are to know exactly what you want in a program beforehand AND what learning experiences are offered to help you achieve those career goals. Sure, current residents may have bad experiences but its also important to understand that not all residents have the same career interests. The feedback I'd hold most value to would be a past or current resident who has experience in those specific areas. Several things to consider: specialty, location, class size, health-system, personal accommodations, etc. Once you've narrowed down what you want, this should give you a reference of what programs make sense. Personally, I wanted a small class size, prior residents who matched to a PGY2, city with flights less than $100 back home to Los Angeles, and flexibility in scheduling to prioritize emergency medicine and critical care rotations. I'd focus on what are the most important things you need to achieve career success. Afterwards, I'd consider the ancillary things like things to do in the city, social life of resident cohort, stipends, etc. I really believe investing a year in yourself with components of a program TAILORED and NEEDED toward your career goals is the most important thing to consider. Good luck!

Mark Nguyen, PharmD, BCEMP

Emergency Medicine Pharmacist | @pharmwyze


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