With the continuing development of pharmacy as a clinical profession, the need to prepare well-trained clinicians beyond the knowledge gained from a doctor of pharmacy degree program has become more important than ever. Such training can be provided by pharmacy residency programs, which have expanded from hospital sites to practice settings including managed care organizations. To ensure that such residency programs meet predetermined quality standards set forth by the profession, a peer review process by an international or nationally recognized body is crucial. The American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists (ASHP) is the professional membership organization that is responsible for accrediting residency program in the US.
Recently, the ASHP granted accreditation to King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center pharmacy residency program in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia making it the first international postgraduate year one (PGY1) residency program to be accredited outside the US. This residency program was first established in 1997 and is currently a 24-month postgraduate training with structured rotations in clinical and operational aspects of pharmacy practice, education, research, and administration. Its goal is to prepare candidates to be independent pharmacy practitioners with a higher level of skills and knowledge to assume advanced practice roles.
Given that the American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP) asserts that formal postgraduate pharmacy residency training should be required for a pharmacist to enter direct patient care practice by 2020 and the fact that ASHP has also described a vision in which 90% of new pharmacists entering hospital and health system practice will have completed an ASHP-accredited residency by 2015, institutions and pharmacy directors worldwide should assist in increasing the profession’s capacity to prepare pharmacists through residency training to achieve this vision.