Appendix B Factors to Consider When Evaluating Individual Programs

in Get the Residency
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■ Type of training experience (postgraduate year-1 [PGY-1], postgraduate year-2 [PGY-2], fellowship)

■ Institution characteristics

  • Geographical location
  • Perceived reputation
  • Type of institution (teaching, community, etc.)
  • Size of institution
  • Variety of sites (acute care, ambulatory care, etc.)
  • Patient populations/services provided (geriatrics, pediatrics, transplant, etc.)
  • Relocation/commute
  • Diversity of the patient population
  • Wellness or support programs available

■ Stipend/funding

  • Cost of living
  • Benefits (insurance, retirement savings fund, etc.)
  • Public transportation
  • Financial/resource support to travel to conferences to present

■ Staffing or service requirement

  • Location of staffing
  • Type of staffing (order entry, clinical services, on-call, etc.)
  • Frequency of staffing
  • Coworkers when staffing

■ Number of resident/fellow positions

  • PGY-1
  • PGY-2 (which specialties)
  • Fellows (which specialties)

If the program has a postgraduate year-2 that is of strong interest to you, you may want to ask if they participate in the early commit process.

■ Residency program director (RPD) and preceptors

  • Credentials and years of experience
  • Qualifications and training of the preceptors
  • Additional certifications (BCPS, AAHIVE, etc.)
  • Accessibility and mentorship availability for residents
  • Diversity of preceptors (age, gender, ethnicity, etc.)

If you can’t tell the difference with pharmacy credentials between CDE and CIA, you probably want to review this resource on the topic:

■ Rotations offered

  • Schedule format and flexibility
  • Basic/required rotations
  • Elective/optional rotations
  • Unique possibilities for new rotations
  • Offsite or collaborative experiences with other institutions
  • Experiences in your particular area(s) of interest
  • Flexibility in changing rotations if your area of interest changes
  • Opportunities to collaborate with a local pharmacy program (if interested in academia)

If toward the end of your residency you have secured a future position (e.g., clinical job, postgraduate year-2, fellowship), you may want to ask if you can change your rotation to one that will better prepare you for the next phase of your career.

■ Current residents

  • Behaviors and attitudes
  • Opinions and experiences regarding preceptors, rotations, and program as a whole
  • Reported pros and cons
  • Suggestions for improvements
  • Would they choose this residency if they were given the choice to do it all over again
  • Future plans (what do they plan to do after they finish, did their residency experience play a role in that decision)
  • Diversity of current or past residents

■ History of the program

  • How many years since inception/number of previous graduates
  • Where do their residents typically come from (e.g., specific pharmacy program, area of the country)
  • Where did previous graduates obtain employment/how many residents have been retained
  • Major changes to requirements, directorship, or program’s structure recently implemented or planned

■ Professional opportunities

  • Networking
  • Collaboration
  • Involvement in professional organizations/committees
  • Teaching certificate and/or academic experiences
  • Publication and other scholarship opportunities
  • Community service opportunities