So you graduated school with a PharmD degree. Now what? If you've started your job hunt, you may have found the term residency being thrown around. A pharmacy residency is a full-time, postgraduate training in a pharmacy setting. People pursuing a residency are granted a stipend to gain real hands on experience in an immersion training program. The residency program of your choice must be accredited by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Residency programs come in two types: first year residencies, and second year residencies. Both types will take a year or more to complete.

First Year Pharmacy Residency

The first year residency is a general training that allows you to put the knowledge you learned in school to the test. There are three kinds of first year residencies: pharmacy practice, community pharmacy, and managed care pharmacy. These names are pretty self-explanatory; a pharmacy practice residency would be located in a hospital, a community residency would be located in a community pharmacy, and a managed care residency would be based in a managed care organization.

Second Year Pharmacy Residency

A second year residency can only be applied for if the applicant has at least three years of experience or has already completed a first year residency. Second year residencies provide more specific training in different areas of the pharmacy world. Some second year residencies focus on how to manage a pharmacy, which one would take if that were their ultimate goal. One might also consider a specialized residency in pediatrics, oncology, primary care, or other specialty practices.

To obtain a residency, you must register in the ASHP Resident Matching Program. Then, you must browse residency programs in the ASHP Residency Directory. After you have looked through the directory, you must apply with the Resident Matching Program as well as with the specific residency you wish to apply to. Good luck and happy learning!