Come mid-March each year, student pharmacists around the country anxiously await that all-important email from the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, letting them know if they will transition to a postgraduate year one residency (PGY1) and for those already in residency, if they will continue to a postgraduate year two residency (PGY2).
The University of South Carolina College of Pharmacy has a rich history of students matching to postgraduate residencies, representing that big next step in their pharmacy careers. The process is extremely competitive, with approximately 7,500 graduates pursuing a first-year residency with only 4,000 positions available.
This year’s match took place on March 16 and saw 30 student pharmacists receive match positions for a 78% match rate, while 20 alumni received PGY2 positions ranging from pediatrics, internal medicine, critical care, emergency medicine, solid organ transplant, infectious diseases, cardiology, ambulatory care, psychiatry, oncology and geriatrics. The college will be represented across 12 states from South Carolina to New York to Colorado.
“I believe the Pharm.D. is the most versatile degree in health care,” says Brandon Bookstaver, director of Residency and Fellowship Training. “If your desire is to work in direct patient care I do feel residency training should be an initial goal following graduation.”
Students who did not match in the first round will have another opportunity when results from the second round will be announced.
Bailey Smith hopes to pursue a career as a critical care pharmacist. She matched with Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, New York.
“I am super excited to learn from and learn about different disease states and different patient populations as NYC is one of the most diverse places in the country,” she says. “Lenox Hill also has every ICU I can think of, and I will get to expand my passion and knowledge for critical care.”
Kinsey McClure matched at Moses Cone Hospital in Greensboro, North Carolina. It is a moment that she will never forget, realizing that the past four years of hard work have paid off.
“The strong PGY-2 programs in oncology and infectious diseases, abundance of pharmacy-driven protocols, and strong transitions of care culture are some of the things that led me to pursue a residency at Moses Cone,” says McClure. “While interviewing, I knew it was a good fit for me because of the welcoming culture and how passionate the current residents were about the program.”
Katie Petscavage committed to her first year of a postgraduate position in regulatory affairs strategy with Novartis in conjunction with Rutgers Pharmaceutical Industry Fellowship.
“I have been working with Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corporation in their regulatory department and was interested in training in regulatory strategies concerning new drug applications,” she says.
Lauren Walters is headed to Washington, D.C. for an executive residency in publications with the American Pharmacists Association, where she will work with the publishing team to develop innovative training materials. Lauren is enrolled in the dual Pharm.D./Master of Health Administration program.
“I’ve always known I wanted to help people, then when I began my administration classes, I wanted to incorporate what I learned with my pharmacy education,” she says. “This is a unique opportunity to do that.”
Erik Preheim took a different path to his career in pharmacy, moving to South Carolina after graduating from the University of North Texas in 2012. Preheim worked at Walgreens and eventually applied to pharmacy school at UofSC. He matched with Prisma Health Richland for PGY1 training.
“I really appreciate the mentors and preceptors at Prisma Health Richland. While on P4 rotations this past year, they have all been so kind and helpful in providing guidance in my future endeavors and assisting in the development of my clinical skills and knowledge,” Preheim says.
“A lot of energy, preparation and sacrifice has gone into preparing for and pursuing residency training,” says Bookstaver, “so naturally there is great meaning to that. Learning where you will spend at least the next year is possibly even more exciting.”