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Frequently Asked Questions

COVID-RELATED

How has COVID impacted the residency learning experiences?
The patient care experiences have not been drastically altered by COVID. However, the pandemic did affect some precepting opportunities early on, as there was a period of time that students were not allowed on campus. In addition, most meetings have been moved to virtual platforms. The formal presentations the residents provide will be adapted to virtual format as needed, depending on community spread and Incident Command guidance.

Will you be completing on site or virtual interviews this year?
Based on ASHP recommendations and current hospital policies, we will be scheduling virtual interviews this year.

Is there an opportunity to tour the facility if an interview is offered?
Residency candidates will enjoy a virtual tour as part of the interview process. The tour focuses on the hospital lobby, resident office space, decentralized pharmacy practice sites, the main pharmacy/compounding area, the pharmacy conference room, and the hospital café. 

 

APPLICATIONS

Do you prefer candidates from Arizona?
It is common for residency programs to have more local candidates. However we appreciate diversity in the prior training programs of our residents and encourage out of state candidates. 

How are candidates evaluated?
Candidates are initially evaluated on their completed PhORCAS packets. Candidates should possess the following: good academic performance, strong interpersonal skills, a history of work experience, the ability to adapt to new situations and learn from them, and strong performances on completed inpatient clinical APPE rotations. Candidates are encouraged to have references speak to these attributes in their letters of recommendations with specific examples whenever possible. Additional attributes that are preferred but not required include demonstration of personal or group leadership and scholarly activity in the form of completed and presented research. Candidates will be ranked sequentially based on the above characteristics, with the top candidates being asked to come for an on-site interview. Upon completion of all of the interviews, candidates will be re-ranked and the rank list submitted into the PhORCAS system as part of the Match process.

For students who come from a pass-fail grading system, are there any additional application requirements to apply for your program? 
No.  It is not uncommon for these students to apply and they would follow the typical application process.  Your school Registrar's Office will send your class rank when you request transcripts if you provide the appropriate contact information. Our evaluation rubric does accommodate pass/fail programs. 

 

ONBOARDING

When does the residency start?
Residents will start around one week prior to July 1st (dependent upon hospital orientation availability) 

Do I need an Arizona pharmacist license?
It is the responsibility for the resident to look into requirements for licensure in the state of Arizona immediately after matching with SJHMC. The resident must be licensed as a pharmacist intern in the state of Arizona by the beginning of the residency year and maintain an active intern license until becoming a licensed pharmacist. The resident has 90 days to become a licensed pharmacist. If the resident is not licensed within 90 days of the residency year, the program director has the authority to dismiss the resident from the program. If necessary, this will be evaluated on a case by case basis. Note: when scheduling the NAPLEX and AZ MPJE, please keep in mind that it takes the Arizona Board of Pharmacy 7-14 days after successful completion of the last exam to process a pharmacist license.  

 

RESEARCH

Do residents have the opportunity to publish research?
Yes. A number of our preceptors have extensive experience with publishing and are dedicated to helping motivated residents achieve this goal. Refer to the “Research at SJHMC” page for more information.

How do residents go about selecting a research project? 
Preceptors typically meet several months prior to the incoming residents starting to prepare a list of projects in specific areas (ICU, ID, IM, Oncology, etc). The preceptors then refine these projects to include primary objectives, secondary objectives, and data collection points. By the preceptors meeting in advance, it helps us run reports to get estimates on sample size and availability of data. Within the first few weeks of residency, preceptors meeting with residents to review the list of vetted projects. In addition, the resident is welcome to bring their own research project ideas for refinement as well. Ultimately, the residents always choose which project they will complete their research on and it is not assigned. 

What kind of support or mentorship is offered for the residents while they complete their research project? 
The preceptor overseeing the project will assist with any project review and data analysis resources. Additionally, there are four research update meetings scheduled throughout the residency year for additional preceptor feedback and support.

STAFFING

Do residents have to work holidays?
Residents are expected to work one of the major holidays. This is arranged with the Program Director and Operations Manager with input from the resident. The major holidays to choose from include: Memorial Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.  

Are there any on-call hours? 
There are no additional hours that residents are expected to be on call outside of normal rotation hours. 

TEACHING/PRECEPTING

Does the residency program offer a teaching certificate program?
Yes, residents are required to complete a teaching certificate program from a local ACPE-accredited College of Pharmacy.  

How is the teaching certification program incorporated into the resident schedule? 
The residents are provided the necessary time away from rotation activities if the teaching program commitment falls within rotation hours. The schedule for the teaching certificate curriculum is specified by the local pharmacy school. 

What precepting and teaching opportunities are available?
SJHMC takes APPE students from The University of Arizona, Midwestern University, and Creighton University. Student rotations are scheduled throughout the year. All preceptors who take students and residents allow for co-precepting opportunities if a student and resident are scheduled at the same time. The degree of autonomy to precept is based on the resident’s abilities. 

How frequently are residents evaluated and provided feedback? 
There is a combination of both informal and formal feedback provided throughout the year. The residents receive formal rotation feedback at the midpoint and final evaluations completed in PharmAcademic. The preceptors also typically provide daily and weekly feedback focused on patient work ups and topic discussions. All presentations are formally evaluated by preceptors and this is reviewed with the residents. At the end of each month, feedback is provided in a rotation hand off (residents meet with current rotation preceptor and next rotation preceptor to discuss strengths, areas of improvement, and targeted goals).  Formal quarterly evaluations are completed with the RPD. 

What type of mentorship is provided to residents? 
Residents will have numerous opportunities to work with preceptors on various projects throughout the year. Preceptors will serve as project mentors and provide valuable guidance and feedback. Additionally, we offer a mentorship program throughout the year that matches residents with either a clinical or staff pharmacist after orientation month. Mentors serve as an additional level of support and at the very least a new Starbucks coffee buddy for the year!

 

COLLABORATION

There is another residency program affiliated with Dignity near the Phoenix area. Is there any relationship between the sites? Or between the residents at each site? 
Chandler regional medical center also offers a PGY1 program. We work in collaboration with this program to expand potential rotation opportunities; and residents from their site have rotated at SJHMC and vice versa for specified electives. 

Can you provide insight on the interprofessional culture at your hospital? Is pharmacy received well by the other professions, such as nursing or medicine? Are recommendations from pharmacy residents generally well received? 
As a large academic teaching facility, the physicians and residents are very open to pharmacy feedback and learning. It is a well reciprocated culture throughout the hospital, as we our focused on collaborative patient care. The pharmacist are well respected and heavily utilized by both physicians and nurses. 

Do medical residents and pharmacy residents ever work together on projects and/or research? 
There are a variety of settings in which pharmacy collaborates with medical staff. For your incoming orientation month, you will take ACLS with the medical residents. You will also present your seminar topics to the internal medicine residents.  Additionally, there are times that preceptors will collaborate with medical residents and pharmacy residents on the longitudinal research project. 

 

GENERAL

Do the residents have a place to call “home”?
Yes, our residents have designated work spaces and access to resources.  Residents share an office with a number of the clinical specialists and have their own desks.

Do residents have access to parking and other services in the hospital?
Yes, residents enjoy free parking in the primary hospital parking garage. Residents also have access to the scrub laundry service at the hospital.

What hospital system electronic health record is utilized? 
St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center utilizes Cerner Millennium as the EHR. 

What type of service event or community outreach is required? 
As part of our Humankindness mission and values, residents are required to complete a community outreach event of their choice. The event they choose does not have to be a hospital sponsored event, and should be focused in something they are passionate about. Examples of prior events include a medical mission trip to Mexico and volunteering at an animal shelter. 

Can I adjust my scheduled to take more than 1 elective in my area of interest? 
Yes! We are very flexible in scheduling your rotations and electives. We are committed to helping you succeed and achieve your goals, whether that is a PGY2 or job placement in a specified area of interest. 

Are there any significant changes in the residency program this year? Are there any major changes planned for the next year? 
At this time, we have no major changes anticipated to our PGY1 program in this year or the upcoming year. Any changes would be a result of resident and preceptor feedback at the annual program review in June, and are anticipated to be minor. 

What qualities make for a successful PGY1 resident? 
Residents that succeed typically are organized with efficient time management skills. In addition, they are open to feedback and new experiences. Collaboration and effective social skills are also important attributes.