NEOMED Pharmacy students at Match Celebration

NEOMED Pharmacy Students Take Next Step to Practice

Residency match rate is 12 percentage points higher than national average

While College of Pharmacy students at Northeast Ohio Medical University announced where they would begin their professional careers as resident pharmacists, their family and friends, and University faculty and staff joined them in celebration at an event held in the NEW Center’s Grand Ballroom, Wednesday, April 18. The residency match event recognized the largest group of NEOMED fourth-year pharmacy students to ever match for residency.

Of the 31 College of Pharmacy students who applied for a residency position, 77 percent (24) were successful, well beyond that of the national placement rate. Twenty-one of those students will complete their residency training at a pharmacy practice setting in Northeast Ohio. While the larger health systems―Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals―were well-represented, student matches were widespread and included Alliance Community Hospital, Aultman Hospital, Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center, Mercy Medical Center, Southwest General Health Center, St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital, Summa Health System and UT Medical Center, among others.

The pharmacy residency match isn’t a mandatory process – all students graduating in May will receive Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degrees – but many of the new pharmacists consider residencies to be a great way to begin a career in pharmacy.

“I could have begun my career (upon graduation), but a residency provides me with the opportunity to work with mentors … and gain clinical experience,” said Rebecca Berg, who matched for a postgraduate year one (PGY-1) community residency with NEOMED/AxessPointe. “With my residency, I’ll get to experience the clinical and academic side. I’m excited to teach students and give back, the same way my mentors did for me.”

NEOMED’s College of Pharmacy students have embraced residencies since its first class graduated in 2011. With the transformation of the pharmacy profession and the surging advocacy to obtain provider status for pharmacists, many students see the direct benefits of a postgraduate residency experience as they become increasingly involved in direct patient care. The residency trend is a national one, where 5,560 students participated in the match and 65 percent were successful in obtaining a position.

“We are proud of this group of students who have made a commitment to additional training that prepares them to practice in an ever-changing and complex health care system,” said Timothy Ulbrich, Pharm.D., R.Ph., director of pharmacy resident education and associate dean of student success at NEOMED. “With the vast majority of these individuals matching with a program in Northeast Ohio, we will all benefit from the care these graduates provide as part of an interprofessional team.”

Residency training can last up to two years after graduation. Postgraduate year one (PGY-1) offers more generalized training, providing residents exposure to a broad range of clinical scenarios. Postgraduate year two (PGY-2) emphasizes a specific area of interest and leads to specialization in that field.

Five graduates from the Class of 2017 were also successful in obtaining residencies, receiving PGY-2 positions in various specialty areas including oncology, ambulatory care, and pain management & palliative care.

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