AUSTIN, Texas - (March 13, 2012) - Many of us are familiar with residency training for physicians, but pharmacy residencies have actually been around since the early 1930s, with the American Society of Health System Pharmacists (ASHP) developing and implementing the first set of accreditation standards in the early 1960s.
At Seton, the pharmacy resident programs date back more than 28 years-and two of the programs are among the first established in the U.S. in their specialty areas.
Pharmacy residencies initially focused on preparing pharmacists for careers in hospital pharmacy management, but the focus shifted in the 1970s to direct patient care. Since 2005, ASHP residency accreditation standards have included both postgraduate year one (PGY1) and postgraduate year two (PGY2) residencies.
The PGY1 programs provide training for clinical pharmacy "generalists"; the PGY2 residencies provide focused training in a specialized area. Today, ASHP recognizes 19 PGY2 specialty areas, including Critical Care, Internal Medicine, Infectious Diseases, Oncology, Pediatrics, Psychiatry and Transplant.
Seton Healthcare Family sponsors two pharmacy residency programs, a PGY1 program and a PGY2 Internal Medicine program, both based at University Medical Center Brackenridge. Additionally, in conjunction with the University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy, a PGY2 Psychiatric pharmacy program is based at Seton Shoal Creek Hospital.
The PGY1 internal medicine and the PGY2 Psychiatric pharmacy programs are directed by Dr. Tawny Smith, clinical pharmacy specialist in psychiatry. The PGY2 Internal Medicine program is directed by Dr. Stephanie Garrett, clinical pharmacy specialist in internal medicine.
The psychiatry and internal medicine programs have trained more than 90 specialists since their inception nearly three decades ago. The PGY1 program was established in 2003 and accredited by ASHP in 2004. It has produced seven graduating classes, and the graduates have gone on to pursue PGY2 residency training and careers in hospital pharmacy. PGY2 residents have gone on to pursue clinical pharmacy positions and faculty positions across the country.
Currently, there are two PGY1, one PGY2 Internal Medicine and one PGY2 Psychiatric pharmacy residents, all in 12-month programs.
"The residency is designed to develop the skills required to solve the complex, medication-related problems presented in health care today. Rotations enhance the expertise of the resident in the management of drug therapy, drug information services, management of pharmacy services, and drug policy," said Dr. Jodi Klocek, Clinical Pharmacy Services director.
Residents conduct research, work on quality improvement initiatives, make regular contributions to the pharmacy and therapeutics committee and work collaboratively with health care providers to provide direct patient care.
They also facilitate small group case discussions at The University of Texas College of Pharmacy and provide lectures and in-services to pharmacy, nursing and medical students and residents. Residents complete rotations in a variety of practice areas, including critical care, infectious diseases, internal medicine and oncology, with PGY2 residents focusing more exclusively on a specialty area.
ASHP is the only accrediting body for pharmacy residencies, but not all programs elect to be accredited.
"Obtaining ASHP accreditation is important because it requires that programs continually improve their training and services in order to meet ever-evolving standards. It also provides assurance to prospective residency candidates that they will be exposed to quality experiences to help them advance their career goals," Smith said. Both the PGY1 and PGY2 Internal Medicine programs went through accreditation successfully in 2010.
Now that Doctorate in Pharmacy is the entry-level degree, many pharmacy school graduates elect to do residencies to distinguish themselves amongst their peers. Most pharmacists in clinical faculty positions, management or clinical roles have completed residencies. Currently, more than 1,500 pharmacists complete a residency each year in the U.S. - and this number continues to increase. There are approximately 800 residency programs nationwide.
While pharmacy residency training is not currently required to practice pharmacy, the American College of Clinical Pharmacy and ASHP have each concluded that PGY1 pharmacy residency training should be a standard expectation for all pharmacists who will serve in direct patient care roles by the year 2020. Seton's Department of Pharmacy shares this vision and is working to establish and implement a new career ladder within the department that incorporates many of the accreditation training standards.
Pictured atop this story are three 2011-12 Seton pharmacy residents (left to right): Derek Templet, Pharm.D., PGY1 Resident (graduate of the University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy); Anne Elise Rider, Pharm.D., PGY1 Resident (graduate of the University of Montana); and Megan Anderson, Pharm.D., PGY2 Internal Medicine Resident (graduate of Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine and PGY1 residency training at Saint Vincent Health Center in Erie, Pennsylvania). Not pictured: Morgan Snyder, Pharm.D., PGY2 Psychiatry Resident (graduate of the University of Kentucky and PGY1 residency training at Seton).