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Residency Training

General Information

A hospital pharmacy residency program is a 12-month directed postgraduate learning experience. Through structured rotations in pharmacy practice, education, research, and administration, residency programs aim to prepare pharmacists for challenging and innovative pharmacy practice. Graduate residents are an important source of highly qualified pharmacists trained in institutional practice.

The objective of residency programs is to provide an experiential learning environment using practitioner role models. The necessary skills, knowledge, and values required to be a hospital pharmacist can be acquired and applied by the resident in the promotion of exemplary patient care.

Areas of training include: drug distribution systems; hospital pharmacy administration; clinical Pharmacy (with an emphasis on patient monitoring); and a residency project.

Who Benefits?

The Student:

Specialized training in hospital pharmacy practice provides a graduate student with practical training in a variety of roles in the pharmacy. Skilled preceptorship provides students with role models to follow in the pursuit of their career objectives.

Residencies teach students to regard the long-term goals and objectives of their careers and offer a network of experts, teachers, and support. Most provinces offer a pharmacy stipend equal to 50% of a starting pharmacist's salary, and most graduate residents' starting salaries are comparable to practitioners with two to three years working experience.

The Pharmacy:

Pharmacy residencies can assist departments develop contemporary skills and pharmacy services. Residencies offer opportunities in staff training and development, in project and research proposals, and in gaining recognition as leaders in institutional pharmacy practice.

The Hospital:

In serving the health care field, progressive institutions participate in the training and development of various health care professionals. This enables the institution to attract dynamic, dedicated people and offers added job satisfaction to those interested in education and research activities. Certification of a pharmacy residency program is considered a source of pride in many hospitals.

How Do I Apply?

Students should contact CPRB Regional Co-ordinator in their area for further details on the application process and deadlines. A list of the Regional Co-ordinators can be obtained from the national office of the Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists. Also available is a complete directory of the accredited programs, directors, residency co-ordinators, and current residents.

Currently there are over 40 accredited general hospital pharmacy residency programs representing more than 90 graduates per year. Several specialty residency programs are offered or under development.

Consider a residency program accredited by the Canadian Pharmacy Residency Board!

The Canadian Pharmacy Residency Board acts on behalf of the Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists to oversee the national standards associated with the hospital pharmacy residency programs. The primary responsibility of the Board is to establish and validate standards for hospital pharmacy residency programs and to accredit those programs.

The Board promotes excellence in residency programs and hospital pharmacy practice. The Board facilitates the training of preceptors and residency directors, identifies trends and needs for training service, and encourages the development of programs.

The ultimate aim of the Board is the provision of exemplary patient care.

What is Accreditation?

The purpose of accreditation is to establish a recognized level of training for residency programs. Accreditation establishes national standards for residency training and serves as an external audit for residency programs.

The CHPRB Accreditation Standards define educational requirements of residency training and the resources and services based on the Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists Standards of Practice.

How to Get Started Guide

This guide will describe several factors to consider and act upon in starting a residency program.  Each aspect of program development will be reviewed and specific, practical steps will be given to enable the reader to implement a new residency program.  Starting a residency program is a multi-year endeavor that requires both program organization and cultivation of widespread support from various groups within the specific institution.  Therefore, this guide is organized around these two major activities.

  • Section I describes program organization from inception through recruiting.
  • Section II addresses the target groups needed for support and strategies to use for each one.

This guide is provided to assist you in the overall residency program development. Starting a residency program is a significant undertaking requiring a lot of hard work.  However, the end result will be one of the most professionally rewarding experiences achievable.