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When Should I Start Thinking About Residency? - #TheLab

Updated: Jul 1

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.


@BagelBitch267, Reddit: Post Link

Hi everyone! I’m a rising p3 student and I’m planning to do a residency. I was wondering when is a good time to start looking at programs and researching where I might want to apply? Is this something I need to be keeping in mind when I do my Appe site preferences? If anyone has any advice on what I should be considering as I start p3 that would be super helpful!! I’m also interested in pgy2 if that makes a difference when thinking about pgy1
Photo with my APhA-ASP Chapter President Elect Yongmin
Photo with my APhA-ASP Chapter President Elect Yongmin at WSU Reception (2018)


When Should I Start Thinking About Residency?

If there is a quote that I've come to live by over time, it would be from Mark Twain, "The secret of getting ahead is getting started". Personally, I believe it is always a good time to start looking into programs and researching where you'd apply. I would view this as an investment in yourself to pursue being the kick-ass pharmacist you want to be.

However, you would be better positioned to match with the right program tailored toward your personal interests starting as soon as you can. I would recommend to begin researching and looking into specialties/programs during your PY1. Even if you weren't interested in doing a residency or fellowship, I am a firm believer in getting your money's worth. Why would you do yourself a disservice by NOT expanding your horizon beyond the community setting spending six figures in loans? What if there is something you actually would've been interested in? No regrets on your student pharmacist journey since you can only be a student pharmacist once.

By identifying possible interests early, you can create a plan for yourself to succeed. Having a general sense of what you want to do after graduation enables you to create an APPE schedule to gain more experience/exposure. I knew I wanted to do a PGY2 in EM late as a PY1. When it came around to selecting rotations during PY4, I prioritized having an intensive care unit and emergency medicine rotation before ASHP Midyear. There are two ways to think of rotations (applicable to everything placed on a CV). Selecting a rotation to show you completed one in the area. Investing in yourself to expand your clinical knowledge and CREATE PERSONAL STORIES. Those personal stories is what wins you an interview, not just completing the rotation. Utilizing this approach is applicable to pursuing a PGY2.

Mark Nguyen, PharmD, BCEMP



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