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Congratulations! You have made the decision to be a pharmacy resident. Residency is a time filled with learning and transitions—continuing as a trainee but beginning your professional career as a pharmacist. You will still receive formal evaluations based on the accreditation standards of your program, but also start to rely on self-evaluation and making corrections based on your own internal criteria. You will be taking greater responsibility for patients, and be making the decisions related to their best care. The day-to-day schedule is your path forward, a main determinant in how you advance toward the desired outcomes of your program. Knowing what to expect and understanding the rhythm of your residency are important first steps in preparing yourself for the adventure. This chapter gives you a glimpse of a resident's “day in the life” duties and responsibilities.

“This chapter is very informative to pharmacy students interested in obtaining a residency and indicates the commitment that it takes to complete a residency successfully.”

Adebayo O. – Pharmacy Student, Kentucky

Postgraduate Year One (PGY-1) pharmacy residency programs place priority on direct patient care across broad populations, and experience in pharmacy operations to accelerate development of a high-level and engaged pharmacy workforce.1 Postgraduate Year Two (PGY-2) programs build upon the competencies of PGY-1 graduates in specialized areas, particularly in complex patient management and clinical leadership.2 In both years, a majority of your time and attention is focused on direct patient care. Services are provided in a variety of healthcare settings, including inpatient, ambulatory care, managed care, and community care arenas; your ideal program may have a particular focus on one or another. Though the specifics of the day undoubtedly differ between inpatient and outpatient rotations, the general roles of the pharmacy resident are similar and can be captured in the descriptions below.


In inpatient residencies, “rounding” has very little to do with bumping numbers up or down to make them easier to work with. As you know from IPPE/APPE rotations, medical rounds are clinical meetings. The cases of patients assigned to a hospital service or unit are reviewed and discussed by the healthcare team. They are often inter- or multidisciplinary, and can be used for both patient care and teaching purposes. In fact, bedside rounds are considered the prototypic teaching method in medical education.3 Rounds can take several forms—for example “working rounds,” “attending rounds,” and “grand rounds” as described in Table 4-1. Patient care rounds require you to evaluate for new and ongoing health problems, medication adjustments or selection, laboratory monitoring, and overall update on the patient's clinical condition. Discharge and follow-up planning are also discussed, and often are coordinated by a patient case manager. The team pharmacist should have input on medication changes needed during the transition of care, and should assist in discharge counseling.

Table 4-1 Types ...

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