Resilience, drive, determination.
Those qualities were needed more than ever to land a pharmacy residency this year, due to an increased demand and a shortage of residency spots.
The placement rate for new pharmacy graduates in the U.S. seeking residencies is currently just 65%. Students from the 2021 graduating class at the College of Pharmacy beat that number, with a success rate of 67%.
On Tuesday, April 27, students, alumni, family and friends gathered virtually with President John Langell, M.D., Ph.D.; College of Pharmacy Dean Richard Kasmer, Pharm.D., J.D.; and pharmacy faculty and staff to celebrate the 20 graduating students in the Class of 2021 who placed in a postgraduate year 1 (PGY1) residency and another 9 alumni from the Class of 2020 who had placed for a postgraduate year 2 (PGY2) residency.
Many students took the opportunity to speak via the online platform to thank the people who have supported them through their professional training.
Leetsa Lambis (Class of 2021) was especially grateful to faculty members who had helped her even before she began the pharmacy program. She thanked those who guided her through the eight- or nine-month process of seeking a residency.
Connor VanFleet (Class of 2021) said he had appreciated all the help that the College of Pharmacy had provided with CVs, letters of intent and mock interviews.
Zachary Herrington (Class of 2021) gave a shout-out to Kristen Longstreth, Pharm.D., who recently joined NEOMED as the director of workforce development in the College of Pharmacy’s Office of Student Success. He thanked Dr. Longstreth for helping students navigate the complexities of the online process.
And there were many this year. In her remarks, Dr. Longstreth noted that students had to seek out residencies virtually, because the COVID-19 pandemic kept them from visiting sites in person. The level of competitiveness went up this year, she said. Many applicants chose to apply to more programs than usual, making it even more difficult to obtain interviews.
Pharmacists are not required to complete a residency, but doing so allows them to practice at the top of their license—something that the College of Pharmacy encourages. This year, more than half of the class of 2021 applied for a residency.
And although not all of them were matched, the College of Pharmacy believes in each of them and knows they will do great things: “In fact, we expect it!” said Seth Brownlee, Pharm.D., senior associate dean of program quality and student success, in his closing remarks.
About the Match
The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) Resident Matching Program (the “Match”) places applicants into pharmacy residency training positions in the United States. The Match includes both postgraduate year one (PGY1) and postgraduate year two (PGY2) pharmacy residencies.
The Match is sponsored and supervised by ASHP. The Match is administered on behalf of ASHP by National Matching Services Inc.