How to get Started Guide

Acknowledgment: The Canadian Pharmacy Residency Board (CPRB) Residency Program “How to Get Started” Guide was adapted from the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists’ (ASHP) publication, “How to Start a Residency Program – What you really need to know”. The CPRB wishes to recognize the continuous support of Donald E. Letendre, PharmD, Director, Accreditation Services Division, ASHP and extends sincere appreciation for the permission to adapt the above noted publication.

Overview

This 2014 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 provided 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. It cannot address all the nuances that may arise during program development. If something comes up that this guide does not cover, we recommend you refer to the CHPRB Accreditation Standards, or direct questions to the Canadian Pharmacy Residency Board (CPRB) at the CSHP. CPRB members are available to answer questions and assist you in your residency program development. Once you have committed to starting a residency program, CPRB will appoint a board buddy to answer questions and identify resources.

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.

Section I: Starting a Residency Program

This section is divided into five areas, each following chronologically, for initiating a residency program. There is significant overlap between the topics, which are:

A. Initial Assessment

B. Early Decisions

C. Resources

D. Program Design

E. Recruitment

These topics vary greatly in the time and effort required for completion.

A. Initial Assessment

When assessing whether to initiate a residency program, the fundamental requirement is if the necessary elements are present at the practice site(s) for training practitioners. The current CHPRB Accreditation Standards offer the best information to start this assessment. It is best to read the standards through a few times and contemplate the requirements indicated and whether you do/ can meet them.

One of the most important concepts presented by the CHPRB standards is that pharmacists must be trained by other pharmacists. This is not to understate the importance of physicians, nurses, and other healthcare practitioners who contribute to a complete training experience, but the core training and preceptorship for the resident needs to come from pharmacist practitioners. Therefore, when assessing the available training experiences that would make up the majority of the residency program, it is helpful to ask if these will be predominantly in a practice environment where pharmacists are actively participating in patient care.

The initial assessment of the readiness of the program is an excellent opportunity to bring together key pharmacists who will be major contributors to the residency program. The assessment is more meaningful if done as a group effort. The goal is to honestly identify deficiencies that need to be addressed. Do not let this exercise become discouraging. Remember that, at this point, it will probably be two or three years before a resident is actually present “in the flesh,” expecting to enter into any particular experience. There will be ample time to address any deficiencies that are identified.

B. Early Decisions

As part of the initial assessment, some specific questions should be answered:

  • How many resident positions should there be initially? Although most programs have started out with one resident, it may be best to start with at least two. This is a very manageable size, but it makes the program more diverse. Also, it can be difficult for a resident to go through a residency alone. Having at least one peer can be extremely helpful in the learning experience.
  • Should the program be university affiliated? Wherever a residency program is developed, there is most likely a college of faculty of pharmacy that would be interested in some degree of affiliation. The pros and cons of such an affiliation must be weighed by the program director in light of the accreditation standards and the unique set of circumstances surrounding the residency program. However, this decision is often overlooked in the initial planning stages. There are substantial benefits to university affiliation for any residency program, and it is important that these potential benefits be duly considered.
What is the primary purpose of the residency program?

Residency programs vary greatly. Each program should have a purpose statement to communicate its desired outcomes. The purpose statement of the program should be general to allow for the development of individual goals for each participating resident. Picturing the desired outcomes as a result of the residency experience will help in writing the overall purpose. For example, will most graduates of the program be practitioners in institutional settings, pursue specialty residency training, seek advanced degree education (e.g., Pharm. D, MSc.), seek academic appointments, or pursue a career in research. Program goals should support the purpose and emphasize the unique strengths of the pharmacy program. For example, it would not be prudent to establish a purpose statement about developing strong research skills in the residency if the institution does not engage in clinical research. Program goals should be reviewed yearly, but are usually not changed significantly over time.

Is there administrative and pharmacy support to maintain a residency program?

This includes not only support of the concept, but availability of budget, work space, preceptors, and time commitments of the residency director, coordinator and preceptors. Are there supportive medical and nursing staff who will contribute to the learning experience of the resident? Does the organization support student training and will it be receptive to student learners?

Is the structure and practice setting sufficient to support the residency?

Is the pharmacy providing distribution and other services according to CSHP Standards of Practice? Are there practice settings where pharmacists are consistently working as part of the interprofessional team?

Is there a Residency Director and Residency Coordinator appointed who have the time and expertise to plan and initiate the program?

The time commitment and effort for getting started is extensive. The earlier planning is started the better.

C. Resources

CPRB Members

As mentioned earlier the CPRB members are the most valuable resource available for developing a residency program. As you begin your planning, you should contact one of the CPRB members to discuss requirements of the accreditation standards and the development of your program. CPRB How to Get Started Guide 2014 6

Consultants

A variety of other resources are available to new programs. For example, other program directors of active residency programs are often very willing to share information and documents that will be helpful in this effort. The program’s own pharmacists, who have completed a residency or have practiced in a setting where residency training was conducted, will have insights and suggestions applicable to the planning process. Consultants are another available resource. Individuals who have participated in the start-up of residency programs and have served on the CPRB are uniquely suited for this role. Consultants should be paid a fee for their services, including travel expenses if necessary.

The use of resources such as those described above are essential for developing a new program. It is very difficult to achieve success without the use of some, if not all, of these resources.

Regional Residency Coordinators

There are appointed Regional Coordinators that correspond with CPRB, and are often involved in recruitment or faculty affiliations. These individuals represent regions of the country. The current Regional Coordinators are listed on the CPRB website. The Regional Coordinator will also assist you in contacting other programs in your area. Some provinces or regions have regular meetings of all residency directors or coordinators that would be a good resource.

D. Program Design

The educational program of a residency should allow the resident to develop and demonstrate the competencies important to pharmacy practice (see CHPRB accreditation standards). The achievement of each competency is through guided experience in a practice setting.

Types of Experiences

Program design will consume the most effort in developing a new residency program. Historically, the resident’s learning experiences have been almost exclusively formatted into monthly rotations. Although this modality is still used extensively, there are currently a number of learning experiences woven into a residency program that can be completed using other formats. Since the majority of programs are one year in length, the opportunity for participating in different types of experiences is extensive.

Rotational experiences are typically 4 weeks in length and are associated with a particular specialty or primary aspect of pharmacy practice. These experiences may be either required or elective rotations. The number of required versus elective rotations varies widely from program to program and depends on the program setting and preceptor resources. A limitation of rotational experiences is that many learning opportunities do not fit neatly into 4 weeks.

Some learning experiences are better suited to longitudinal rotations that take place throughout the year. They are ongoing and not associated with one particular service or patient care area. Examples of subjects addressed in these types of learning experiences are presentation skills, drug use evaluations, quality improvement techniques, practice management, management of one’s own practice, writing, and effective patient communication. Some experiences can occur once in the program and are completed in discreet periods of time and not revisited during the rest of the residency. Budget preparation, specific continuing education experiences, interdepartmental visits, and community service projects are examples of these.

Two vitally important items establish these modalities of training as true learning experiences: learning objectives and evaluations.

Competencies and Learning Objectives

Every learning experience should be associated with at least one competency and a set of learning objectives. Developing learning objectives may sound like an overwhelming task. This is an area where consultants may help. Also, other residency programs may share their objectives with new programs to use wherever applicable. It is best to avoid getting bogged down trying to write the perfect objectives in all areas. Objectives are dynamic to start with and therefore will be changed as time goes on. Start with a functional set and then refine the objectives over time with input from preceptors and residents. Careful consideration should be given to assigning the anticipated level of expectation for each major competency. Various taxonomies are available to assist you with this (e.g., Bloom’s taxonomy, SOLO taxonomy).

Evaluation

Frequent, ongoing evaluation is the hallmark of a good residency program. Residents should be evaluated in all their learning experiences. Residents should also be expected to evaluate themselves, their preceptors, all rotations and experiences, the Director and Coordinator, and the strengths and weaknesses of each aspect of the program. Preceptors should also self-assess. Evaluation should be about measurement of the outcomes (competencies), and have clear explanation of the level of expected skill, behavior or knowledge.

Staffing

One often-questioned aspect of program design is staffing and how it relates to the residency experience. Staffing should be viewed as pharmacists and, in some cases, pharmacy technicians, providing essential services to patients. These could range from drug distribution activities to participation in interprofessional patient care teams and patient consulting activities. Staffing also includes the appointment of the Residency Director and Coordinator who have sufficient time to plan and administer the program.

Residency Manual

The “road map” of the residency program is the manual you develop for your residents. It is helpful to obtain manuals from other programs and use their best features in creating one customized for your program. Many of the program design particulars should be included in the training manual. Some of these particulars include:

  • Policies describing options for leaves, requests for rotation changes, key departmental standards, etc.; · A departmental overview describing the general services of the pharmacy and how residents fit into them;
  • Residency organization describing to whom the residents report for activities in which they are involved;
  • Schedules showing how a typical resident’s year is laid out; · Benefits provided to the resident, e.g., sick leave, annual leave, holidays;
  • Travel requirements of the program and expenses that will be covered by the institution;
  • Rotation and practice experience descriptions for both required and electives, including learning objectives for each;
  • Guidelines for maintenance of a learning portfolio.

Many other items can, and should, be included in the training manual. Anything that is pertinent to the program is appropriate. During the first day of a new resident’s orientation, this manual will be used for the initial walk through of the overall program.

Project

One last, often challenging aspect of program design is the requirement that the resident complete a project. The most difficult part of planning for a project is determining and describing the appropriate size and scope. Draw from the experiences of other programs in determining how to proceed. A true clinical research project is beyond the scope of a one-year residency. There are, however, many types of meaningful projects (or portions of a clinical research project) that will contribute significantly to the resident’s skill as a practitioner.

E. Recruitment

Finding Candidates

To apply for accreditation, a program must have a resident. Preparing for recruitment of new residents should begin early in the planning process. It would be discouraging to go this far and not have anyone enter the program. CPRB has a description about each program in Canada that has been submitted by the program. The Resident Matching Service (RMS) is used to provide application information and to complete a computerized Canada-wide matching service. All accredited and accreditation-pending programs must use this service. The Faculties of Pharmacy can also play a key role in the residency application process and help to notify all students of the positions/sites available.

For the first year, it is often effective to look for candidates close to home. Eliminating major relocation issues faced by the candidate reduces the complexity of making a final choice. Many faculties have a Career Day or better yet, a Residency Showcase Day. These are events not to be missed when on the recruiting trail!

What are some selling points of a new residency program to a potential candidate?

First, it is important to inform candidates that formal accreditation proceedings are under way with CPRB. This will convey a strong sense of the commitment the institution has to the new program. To the same end, it is valuable to describe efforts that have been put forth in bringing the program to its current status. Describing how the program is laid out and the various experiences planned will give candidates an idea of how effectively it is organized and whether it will provide a meaningful training experience. This information will allay concerns the resident candidate may have about graduating from an unaccredited program. Be sure the candidate understands that, once accreditation is gained, it becomes retroactive to the date the application was filed with CPRB.

One of the most outstanding and unique opportunities associated with a new program is the chance for the residents to actively develop many aspects of the residency program. This learning experience, so valuable to their careers, only comes along once in a lifetime of any residency program. Be sure to point out this rare opportunity.

Section II: Developing Support

Target Groups

This section will provide specific strategies for developing widespread support for the residency program from key areas within the institution. These efforts occur simultaneously with the activities described in Section I. The roles of the pharmacy staff, medical staff, nursing staff, and administrators will be discussed. Each plays a significant role in the success of the program. The pharmacy staff will support the residents through their training. The medical staff will facilitate the resident’s welcome and participation on the clinical team. The nursing staff will provide the residents with accessibility to the patient care areas. Administration will provide the ongoing financial means to fund the residency program. Obtaining a strong commitment from all parties is a long-term endeavor that requires continued effort, but provides lasting results.

A. Pharmacy Staff

Pharmacists, et al. The support of this group is paramount to the success of the residency program. Everyone should be part of the process and aware of the program’s goals from the earliest planning stages. Do not assume that everyone is familiar with residencies and what they are all about. There needs to be a planned, widespread education process to bring all pharmacy staff up to date on the value of offering a residency program and the unique status of residents who function both as licensed pharmacists and postgraduate students.

The residents will learn from everyone in every aspect of the pharmacy operation. Pharmacists will guide them in the practice of pharmacy, technicians may teach them in the drug distribution area, secretaries will help them get presentations and papers prepared, and on and on. With residency training, there truly is something for everyone in the department to get involved in. The residency is most productive when the departmental attitude toward the residency program is one of ownership. It is important to keep everyone updated regularly on the progress of program design, recruiting, discussions with CPRB, etc. One way to assist this process is to establish a residency program committee.

This committee of individuals from the pharmacy practice area and other disciplines involved in the education of health care professionals, can develop, review, and monitor activities throughout the course of the program. In addition, they can serve as the core group to inform others of progress in the program. Keeping everyone completely informed about the program will increase the likelihood of a successful accreditation site survey. This group may continue as the Residency Advisory Committee as you progress.

B. Medical Staff

The opportunity to work with pharmacy residents will have an innate appeal to most physicians. Although all physicians may not want to be academic faculty, almost all genuinely enjoy the opportunity to teach now and then. This is a great opportunity for collaboration with the medical staff in planning and implementing the learning experiences, particularly those in the clinical areas. Take advantage of every opportunity to share with medical staff members the process that is being followed to start the program and get it accredited. Be prepared for some physicians to ask what a pharmacy residency is all about. A short, meaningful answer is best. Relating it to medical residency training can provide a common reference point. It is easy to underestimate how well physicians will identify with the accreditation process. Most of them are aware of the accreditation status of the residencies they completed and how important this is to the quality of training. If the pharmacy residency is being developed in an institution where medical residencies are also offered, the medical staff’s understanding will be even more extensive. Be sure to follow up with the medical staff on successes, such as securing the first candidates for the program and the outcome of the accreditation process. It is a good idea to specifically thank the physicians who work directly with the residents in the first year for giving their time and taking interest in the training experience.

C. Nursing Staff

Nursing staff readily recognize many positive aspects of a pharmacy residency. Like physicians, most nurses enjoy the opportunity to teach. Residents learn a great deal from nurses about such topics as drug administration, patient/family issues, and general patient monitoring. Residents bring direct value to both the nursing staff and to patient care (which nurses will also see as positive). Residents will be available to provide nursing education and in-service training on drug therapy topics.

They will also be available to provide a considerable amount of drug information and patient-specific drug therapy consultation to enhance patient care and support the practicing nurse. Residents will collaborate with nurses in areas of quality improvement, patient education, and drug use control. In some of these areas, the residents will be able to participate where pharmacists have not done so before. Often, previously closed doors are opened in the name of education. As with the medical staff, it is important to keep nursing staff updated on the status and progress of the program’s development. Nurses will also participate in the accreditation process. Notes of appreciation for their support in the first year of training are appropriate and effective.

D. Administration
Executives

Administrative leadership should be involved from initial concept through residency program development. The commitment of the administration is paramount. In fact, CPRB accredits the health-system (not only the pharmacy) that offers a residency in pharmacy and therefore corresponds directly with the institution’s chief executive officer (CEO) regarding all issues of accreditation. One of the early concepts to establish with the administration is that this is a long-term endeavor. Trying a residency as a pilot program is not practical. Residencies improve and gain momentum year after year, and it is unrealistic to just “stick your toe in the water”.

Pharmacy residencies add a genuine value to the institution. Among benefits are the following:

  • An institution offering a pharmacy residency program is part of an elite group. Only around 30 Canadian residency programs exist in the country and only those with excellent health care services are accredited;
  • Physicians on the medical staff will view the program in a positive manner;
  • The pharmacy staff will be gratified to be a part of such a program. Research projects often demonstrate new or evaluate current services, and are often published.
Funding

One of the primary concerns of any administrator is how the program is going to be funded. A variety of strategies can be used for funding resident positions, including:

  1. Cost-impact analysis of a residency program can offset the program’s expenses. If the institution is facing inevitable expenses for meeting Accreditation Canada standards or providing patient education, a pharmacy residency program may meet the needs at less expense than other alternatives.
  2. External funding, either total or partial, may be available from a variety of sources, such as, Departments of Health, colleges of pharmacy, the pharmaceutical industry, a foundation, and others.

It is important to share with the administration the other direct costs associated with a residency program in addition to salaries. Monies should be budgeted for residents’ travel (national clinical meeting(s), the provincial society meeting(s), the regional residents/preceptors conference, etc.), books/periodicals, recruiting expenses, and CPRB fees (application fee, accreditation annual fee, etc). It is also important to share the indirect costs such as the time of the Residency Coordinator.

Once approved, it is vital to keep administration abreast of the progress of the program. After the program is operational, take opportunities to share anecdotes about successful resident activities. After the first year of the program, include a special addendum to the pharmacy’s annual report entitled “The Value of the Residency” that recaps the financial, operational, and patient care impact of the program. It is wise to include something positive and tangible regarding the residency in every annual report.

Section III: Accreditation

A. Accreditation Process

Purpose

CPRB has served as an accrediting body for pharmacy residency programs since 1987. Accreditation provides a measure of quality for current residents and prospective candidates seeking a residency program. Employers who hire residents from accredited programs are assured that the residents have received training in progressive practice environments. The accreditation process ensures that the resident has received an experience consistent with the Standards of Practice. The residency site must have at least one resident in training to apply for accreditation.

Residency accreditation focuses on the residents, their training program and the training environment. To maintain quality, a formal mechanism should be in place to evaluate resident applicants. The evaluation should examine the individual’s credentials, qualifications, and fit with the organization. This activity should be documented. It is important to ensure that the resident candidate has sufficient formal education and clinical background, and will be able to apply them during the residency.

Application

Applying for accreditation primarily involves 3 steps. While still in the planning stages of the residency, a notification of intent to apply for accreditation should be submitted to CPRB. The CPRB will decide an appropriate time for your first accreditation onsite visit. The second step is to complete the application for accreditation. This includes a pre-survey questionnaire and request for information about the institution, pharmacy department and the residency program. Be sure to start early because completing this request is time consuming. The pre-survey questionnaire is an excellent tool to prepare for the survey since it will alert you to any areas of noncompliance prior to the site visit. It will also serve as an ideal framework for the annual evaluation process. Take time during this portion of the process to ensure that you are meeting the intent of the standards and to make the necessary changes.

Seek recommendations from others who have recently been through the survey process. By getting multiple people involved in the process, you should be able to identify areas of weakness and discuss possible solutions with residents, preceptors, and other colleagues.

Site Survey

The onsite survey visit is the third step in the accreditation process. A survey team consists of at least two members of the CPRB, who are competent pharmacists/leaders in the field. The survey team is on a fact-finding mission. Throughout the visit, the team poses questions, listens to those involved, and reviews documents. The resident should participate in aspects of the accreditation process. This is a learning experience for the resident (as well as for the first-time residency director) and should provide good insight into the role and purpose of accreditation.

The survey occurs over 2 days. The survey team will visit areas of the health-system including patient care areas, and the pharmacy department. Interviews will be scheduled with groups and individuals that manage and support the program. The process is intended to be thorough, consultative, and educational. The team looks for common threads to demonstrate that the resident is being taught an integrated approach to patient care.

Upon completion, the survey team will conduct a closing discussion with the residency program director, coordinator and other invited participants. The purpose of this meeting is to outline strengths of the program and suggest areas for continuing development. The surveyors’ findings and recommendations are presented to the CPRB for approval and decision of the accreditation award.

All official correspondence is communicated through the CEO of the institution. A written report will be forwarded within 4 weeks following the survey and the program director is encouraged to respond to the survey report to clarify and to comment on work planned to address the recommendations. Since the CPRB only meets bi-annually, it may take up to 6 months before an accreditation award is determined.

Annual Program Assessment

Just as the accreditation process is cyclical; it is recommended that an ongoing annual assessment take place. As a result of this assessment, the program not only prepares for the imminent accreditation visit but also brings change, growth, and development. The annual assessment should include a variety of formal and informal mechanisms throughout the resident’s year. The primary goal of an annual assessment is to actively improve the program and seek out ways to respond to the residents’ needs.

The best opportunity for assessment comes through the residents’ feedback. Preceptors should encourage residents to regularly discuss the program and make suggestions. Program changes and ideas for growth can also be solicited informally through preceptors, physicians, nurses, administrators, and pharmacy managers.

The resident’s written evaluations provide a regular and formal program assessment tool. The information gathered through these evaluations about preceptors and training experiences should be continuously used to improve the program format and content. An evaluation completed by the resident(s) before leaving the program provides another opportunity for assessment. New information that is provided in this process might mean additional program evaluation mechanisms are needed.

Another source of information for the annual assessment can occur through regularly scheduled preceptor meetings, which provide an opportunity for preceptors to communicate, make mid-course corrections or simply compare experiences.

Program Growth and Development

A second goal accomplished through an annual assessment is program growth and development. Each comment that surfaces as a result of a completed program assessment should identify opportunities for program change. An example of program growth is the development of new residency experiences, perhaps as a result of collaborative relationships with universities, other health-systems, and other healthcare entities (such as community pharmacies and home health agencies). Assessments may also identify the need for increased numbers of residents or preceptors. Additionally, opportunities for growth in preceptors’ personal teaching styles and methods can be identified.

B. Accreditation Standards

Standards

Let us review for a moment the CPRB Residency Accreditation Standards. It is possible that an existing accredited residency program will not meet the newer standards. Program adjustments may be needed to meet the full interpretation of the standards. The standards are complex and will require detailed study. Take the time to read them several times.

Integrated Experiences

There are competencies that each resident must demonstrate at the level defined by the program. These competencies can be achieved using a combination of experiences, as previously described. The residency program may choose to integrate experiences in these areas over the year or separate the experiences into individual training blocks to meet both the program’s and the resident’s objectives. Integrating program experiences requires careful planning.

Most residency programs integrate some experiences throughout the training year while separating others into definite time periods. The system used to provide experiences to meet the competencies should meet the resident’s needs and previous experience.

C. Residency Experience

Experience

The best residency experience is one that is planned, organized, and systematic. The residency experience needs to be mapped out using real activities and problems (e.g., a curriculum map). Preceptors walk a fine line in leading a new resident through real practice problems until they have become an experienced resident.

The residency curriculum map is developed by deciding on the desired outcome; developing a purpose statement; using program goals and learning objectives specific to the institution and the resident to demonstrate competency; and, using predetermined, competency-based evaluation instruments. All of this needs to be in place not only before the accreditation visit, but before the resident begins.

Purpose Statement

The systematic process described above should begin with a purpose statement: a philosophical statement of the residency outcome. The program goals provide general statements about the skills and abilities you expect the resident to develop. In developing these goals, ask what the resident will actually do in each core area to be prepared in the job setting, not what he/she will do in the residency.

Learning Objectives

From the program goals, you can develop learning objectives, which are measurable, describe competencies, and the level of competency expected. Remember that the foundation of the residency is an established set of goals and objectives that is adapted to each resident. Without this foundation, you cannot adequately design a program for the resident.

Objectives can be divided into areas that coincide with the training activities or can be lumped into the core competencies outlined in the standards. Objectives divided into areas might include one set for an acute care-training block in internal medicine and a separate set for drug usage evaluation. In this example, objectives written for each activity might be repetitious. Objectives lumped into core areas could be attained through multiple experiences but would not be repeated on paper. The success of the mechanism used to communicate the objectives will be determined by how well the resident’s activities are integrated into the program and the site’s ability to keep track of the resident’s progress. The resident, with the assistance of the residency coordinator, director and preceptors, will use the goals and learning objectives to individualize his/her objectives. Previous experience, weaknesses, and opportunities at the training site influence these objectives.

Evaluation Instruments

The Accreditation standards do not recommend a cookie cutter approach to building the resident’s skills. Each resident comes with unique needs and experiences on which the residency should be built. The program’s goals and objectives should be compared with the needs of the resident. The initial program plan should be designed after assessing the resident’s needs, and then should be reassessed and updated regularly to ensure individualized training. Program assessment and changes can be done quarterly or through ongoing mechanisms. The initial program plan and its changes should be documented with references to the reason for the program change.

The resident needs to be evaluated in relation to his/ her goals and objectives. The standards provide guidance for the evaluation process.

Written documentation of the evaluations should become a permanent part of the resident’s file. This information should be available to all preceptors and to the accreditation team during the site survey. Several methods to ensure that the evaluations provide continuity to the resident’s learning include:

  • A mechanism to foster the communication of unmet objectives to subsequent preceptors. In this way, the preceptors work collectively to assist the resident in attaining goals and objectives.
  • Ongoing evaluations through a computerized database. Continuously updating the evaluation using a shared database allows the residency director and preceptors to see progress and ensure that all objectives are met. An ongoing commitment to meet with the resident to complete evaluations and program plan updates in a timely manner. If these processes are postponed, the resident loses valuable time and feedback.

Conclusion

Starting a residency program is a demanding undertaking. There are many willing and able colleagues available to assist in the effort. The CPRB sincerely wants to see residency programs succeed and grow in number. They will support the development and continuation of a new residency program in every way possible.

The impact of a residency program on a pharmacy department is profound. Once the residency is implemented, the staff will find that the quality of, and the pride associated with, the services they provide are irreversibly enhanced. The pharmacy program will be viewed in a broader context throughout the institution and the sense of accomplishment upon successful accreditation is great.

However, the most compelling experience of being associated with a residency program will be the chance to contribute to the growth and development of young and eager pharmacists. Watching newly graduated students enter the program and exit one year later as confident and competent practitioners makes all the effort truly worthwhile.

The direction you offer through the residency program will prepare tomorrow’s leaders. These individuals will be future clinical pharmacy specialists, pharmacoeconomists, administrators, and patient care managers.