The remaining chapters in Section III focus on pharmacy postgraduate training beyond the Postgraduate Year One (PGY-1) year. Chapters 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, and 23 specifically highlight Postgraduate Year Two (PGY-2) opportunities describing the patient care activities, residency expectations, and future career options available upon completion of this specialized training. Although the process for pursuing and obtaining a second year residency or fellowship is similar, the training and experience obtained in the daily activities and career opportunities are quite different.
Why would one want to pursue a PGY-2 residency?
There are various reasons one chooses to pursue a second year of specialty residency training. As educators and residency directors, students and pharmacy residents frequently ask us why they should pursue a second year residency. Often the individual has expressed a desire to practice or has an interest in a particular area such as infectious diseases, cardiology, or oncology. On the other hand, many students cannot fathom doing more than 1 year of residency training as “an additional year after 4 years of pharmacy school is just too much.” Yet some of these individuals ultimately end up pursuing specialty training. So what is it that leads a person to pursue a PGY-2 residency?
The desire to practice or work in a particular specialty of pharmacy is usually the attraction for doing a PGY-2 residency. Many individuals have known since they started pharmacy school or even before that they had an interest in a particular area of practice. Others develop an interest in a specialized area during their schooling or PGY-1 residency. Many pharmacists do specialty training in order to become more marketable or to make sure they have the credentials to practice in a certain area. For instance, with regard to infectious diseases pharmacists, according to the Society of Infectious Diseases Pharmacists (SIDP) and ID Practice and Research Network (PRN) of the ACCP Joint Opinion paper written in 2009, pharmacists wishing to obtain a clinical position as an infectious diseases trained pharmacist should complete a PGY-1 and an infectious diseases PGY-2 residency (reference 1, Chapter 20). Other individuals may pursue PGY-2 training to prepare them for their ultimate goal of going into academia to teach, practice, and conduct scholarship/research in their specialty area. Whatever the reason for pursuing specialty training, second year residencies provide a year of focused training in a concentrated area. You will find first-hand information from RPDs, preceptors, and current residents in the proceeding chapters to help direct your course in choosing postgraduate training beyond a PGY-1. Additional information on fellowships and advanced degrees will conclude the section in Chapters 24 and 25.