At this point, it is probably clear to you that competition for pharmacy residencies is at an all time high. Although there is no way of calculating the exact number of residency program applications submitted to programs last year, the National Match Service reported that almost 12,000 rankings of Postgraduate Year One (PGY-1) Pharmacy Residencies were submitted to the 2011 Match.1 By extrapolation, we know that there were at the very least 12,000 applications submitted to the 880 PGY-1 Pharmacy Residency programs that participated in the 2011 Match. A recent survey of deans of colleges of pharmacy in the United States projects a 58% increase in the number of residents/fellows by 2015.2 It appears that an already competitive market for residency programs will only get more competitive in the near future. This competition is all the more reason for your application to be your “best foot forward” attempt at securing an on-site interview and eventually a position with your preferred residency program.
The temptation to relax after coming back from a busy American Society of Health-System Pharmacists Midyear Clinical Meeting (ASHP MCM) or other meeting will be strong. Instead, fight the temptation and transition immediately into residency application mode!
“There is not much time in between Midyear, application submissions, and interviews. Everything will happen fast, so stay organized, motivated, and keep your eye on the prize!”
Vi D. – Pharmacy Student, Texas
If you haven't already, now is the time to seriously reflect on the pros and cons of potential residency program options (see Chapter 5) and make any final additions or adjustment to your curriculum vitae (CV) since it will be an integral part of any residency application (see Chapter 7). Now, before you begin your residency applications with writing your letters of intent and requesting letters of recommendation and college transcripts, you will need to get organized and make a final decision about the residency programs to which you will apply.
Organization is imperative to be successful in the residency application process.
“The residency application process is daunting, but when you feel overwhelmed, remember to focus on your personal and professional goals and the characteristics that are most important to you in a residency.”
Christina T. – Pharmacy Student Texas
Common questions you should answer for yourself when starting the application process are as follows:
- To which programs will I be submitting an application packet?
- Do I have any questions about any programs that I need to have answered before making a final decision? If so, who do I contact for these answers?
- What does each program require in their application packet? Typical components of an application packet are described below; however, some programs may require additional forms, essays, examples of projects, etc.
- What are the deadlines for ...