Did you know there is an American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP)-accredited residency program in Saudi Arabia? And, did you know that program is accredited under a different residency standard? Although international pharmacy residency training is not a common consideration for US pharmacists, knowing how the rest of the world approaches residency training, and how you may fit into that international perspective, may be helpful. Consider this chapter to be a journey down the residency road less traveled.
Before you examine international residency training, you first must understand global approaches to professional pharmacy education. There is no internationally uniform professional degree or curriculum for the profession of pharmacy. As an early proponent of the clinical pharmacy practice model, the United States has long-established training programs to support that goal. Since the 1970s, that goal has attracted international students and practicing pharmacists to the United States to pursue PharmD degrees. As clinical pharmacy has taken hold in many other global regions, many countries have developed corollary formal educational programs. The master's degree in clinical pharmacy is offered in some countries, while others now offer a PharmD degree. Those with emerging clinical degree offerings may send their pharmacy faculty to the United States to grow their clinical skills and learn how pharmacy students are educated and trained, so that they may return to their home country to implement these newly learned skills and educational approaches. You may be on one of these educational paths, or you may have classmates who bring these professional motivations to your pharmacy classroom.
Because there is no uniform international model for pharmacy education, there is no global accreditation process for specific degree programs. However, non-US-based programs can ascribe to the American accreditation model, as evidenced by Lebanese American University, the first and currently only non-US pharmacy school with ACPE accreditation. This could open the door for additional ACPE-accredited PharmD programs across the globe.
Formal pharmacy residency training programs are conducted in many countries around the globe. Most pharmacy residency training programs in the international setting are designed to prepare pharmacists for a career in that specific country. As in the United States, these programs are also individually linked with unique license or examination requirements for entering residents.
As with pharmacy degree training, there is no singular international vision for the nature, operations, or accreditation of pharmacy residency programs. However, in 2009, ASHP's COC approved its first international pharmacy residency accreditation standard (see Chapters 1 and 3).1 That accreditation standard is much the same as the Postgraduate Year One (PGY-1) standard used in US institutions, with modifications to entering resident qualifications and specific elements of the recruitment process. A hospital residency program in Saudi Arabia is the first and only to have been accredited under the ASHP International Standard, with the emergence of others likely in the future.
In order to best understand specific residency opportunities in any ...