by Stephen Vodhanel, PhD
The Class of 2013 saw a large increase in the number of LLUSP students obtaining pharmacy residencies throughout the nation.
From the results of a student survey, of the 29 students that applied for residencies from the class of 2013, 79% matched. This exceeds the national match rate of 63.4% for resident positions beginning in 2013 provided by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP).
The School of Pharmacy Division of Experiential Education, under the leadership of Dr. Naomi Florea, has dramatically increased the student professional development program. The student professional development program can and does lead to pharmacy residency positions, as well as other professional opportunities for PharmD students.
In September, the Division of Experiential Education hosted a networking reception at the Mission Inn, Riverside, for the class of 2014 with a specific focus on residencies. A Residency Showcase for LLU students will also be held in November at the Redlands Country Club. To date, over 17 programs are registered in the showcase. Alumni are invited and often attend these events.
“The networking events are intended to expose our students and alumni with representatives of residency programs and other thought leaders in the pharmacy profession from all over California, as well as the nation. These networking events provide students with much needed insight into the expectations, requirements, and advantages of various pharmacy opportunities,” said Dr. Florea.
Shady Mansy, PharmD, class of 2013, agrees. “Through these interactions, I was able to figure out which programs I wanted to apply to, and I was able to meet ahead of time people that I would later be interviewing with. These networking events that Dr. Florea led helped me obtain a residency that is highly sought after at the Veterans Affairs in Las Vegas, Nevada,” said Dr. Mansy.
Cathy Thach, PharmD, class of 2013, had a similar experience. “One of the networking events assembled by Dr. Florea’s team enabled me to meet with a residency director who was from an institution that I was interested in pursuing. I had a one-on-one conversation with the director, had enough time to introduce myself, and was able to ask many questions comfortably. This was very helpful as I am currently very happy that this residency program,” said Dr. Thach.
For PharmD students not considering a residency, it is of great value to be exposed to the professionals behind residency programs and learn how a residency program can enhance their career opportunities.
According to Ryan Koca, PharmD, clinical informatics pharmacist at Tenet Healthcare states, “Residency was undoubtedly the best decision I could have made after completion of my PharmD program. There is a whole world of opportunities out there in the profession of pharmacy and a residency program is the key to unlocking many doors.”
The emphasis behind the hard work and efforts for student professional development by the Division of Experiential Education is to provide professional opportunities where student pharmacists can network with pharmacy professionals.
Photo: Left to right, Giang Nguyen, PharmD, Resident Program Director Fountain Valley Regional Hospital