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What are the strengths of your program?

Our biggest strength is the people we work with. The pharmacy department is highly respected and appreciated by other disciplines, including nurses and physicians. Clinical pharmacists have dedicated time and workspace on inpatient units. Most of our preceptors are board certified in their clinical specialty areas. They are well recognized, sought out by staff and are integrated into unit activities. Preceptors are excellent clinicians and have a passion for teaching.

The residency director and preceptors have a high level of commitment to the residents. Pharmacy residents spend most of their learning experiences with well-established clinical pharmacists who have close working relationships with the medical staff and a wealth of experience to share. Residents leave the program with the skills to be excellent practitioners. We have traditionally hired many of our residents after completion of the program.

How customizable is your program?

Each resident must complete orientation and the following required learning experiences: Pediatrics, Medicine/Surgery, Family Practice, Adult Critical Care, Progressive Care, Infectious Disease, Emergency Department, Pharmacy Practice Management, Medication Related Education and Teaching and Operational and Clinical Staffing. Residents also work on administrative projects, such as P&T presentations, residency projects and quality improvement initiatives.

Two elective learning experiences are chosen by the resident from the following: Neonatal Intensive Care, Oncology, Clinical or Operational Management, Advanced Ambulatory Care, Advanced Infectious Diseases, Advanced Emergency Medicine, Advanced Pediatrics, Neurology, and Psychiatry. Other electives may be created depending on resident interest and availability of preceptors. All learning experiences are precepted by a clinical pharmacist.

The resident has some flexibility as to when a final decision is made on electives. We know that as you experience the different areas of clinical pharmacy your interests may change along the way. Our program is designed to give you a good foundation in major areas of clinical pharmacy and the resources for you to explore your interests.

If you are interested in doing a PGY2 specialty residency, we attempt to schedule a related learning experience prior to the ASHP Midyear meeting, if possible. The annual resident project may be done in that area of interest if there is an organizational need. The PGY2 Oncology Residency Program accepts early commitment applications.

What are the licensure requirements?

An Alaska intern license is required by the first day of orientation (this means the process must be started early after receiving your acceptance letter) if you do not already have an AK pharmacist license by then. You may not start without it. Delays sometimes occur in the process for the intern license and the pharmacist license, so start ASAP! The State Board recommends that applications be submitted a minimum three months in advance of the need for licensure. The resident must become licensed as a pharmacist in the state of Alaska by August 31 of the residency year and for a minimum of 2/3 of the residency one-year program. The Board requires 1500 intern hours for licensure. Questions regarding licensing should be directed to

What is a typical day like during your residency?

Residents act as decentralized clinical pharmacists on most days. They are responsible for complete patient profile reviews, managing consults, transition of care services and managing clinical issues that arise. Most learning experiences also have interdisciplinary rounds attended by pharmacy. Residents meet with their preceptor on a daily basis to discuss patients and pertinent drug or disease state topics. Time during the week is also spent educating patients and students, attending departmental and interdisciplinary meetings, completing journal clubs, case presentations, departmental projects and a residency project.

What are the staffing requirements of the residency program?

Residents currently staff approximately every other weekend - a mix of clinical and operational, and must independently staff the respective service at the end of required learning experiences.

Are there opportunities to teach and precept students?

Our department hosts many pharmacy students on learning experiences and high school students interested in the profession. Residents are expected to act as preceptors for any type of student while on learning experience together.

There are also opportunities throughout the year to provide education to pharmacy, nursing, medical and other hospital staff. The University of Alaska Anchorage campus located adjacent to the hospital has a large nursing program, and a Pharmacy School jointly with Idaho State University, offering the potential for teaching. At times, there may be an opportunity to lecture to larger groups depending on community requests. Residents have given lectures at the annual Alaska Heart Institute Update and the Alaska Nurse Practitioner Association annual meeting. Presentation at the Alaska Pharmacists Association/ASHP Academy annual meeting is an option. Presentation at the AKPhA Annual Meeting is required. Residents are required to teach pharmacist staff via case presentations and journal club. Residents also teach outpatient Pulmonary and Cardiac Rehab classes. Completion of a Teaching Certificate program is required.

What are you looking for in a resident?

The resident should expect a very demanding program with multiple simultaneous responsibilities. We seek candidates with a burning desire for learning, a willingness to put in many hours outside a normal work week and good stress/ time management skills. An ability to communicate openly with maturity and emotional intelligence is very important.

We seek candidates who demonstrate an interest in improving the plight of the patient by promoting the profession, the role of pharmacy, and effectiveness of our services. Previous involvement in clinical projects and extracurricular activities demonstrate that desire.

Our residents are expected to become competent in the central pharmacy and clinical areas quickly, so an excellent clinical foundation (some acute care learning experiences completed) and previous work in a hospital pharmacy are advantageous. A Pharmacy School GPA cut-off of 3.0 is used in our initial screening of applicants.

During the presentation done at the interview we look for the applicant’s ability to create good visual aids and to present clinical information articulately, including analysis of pertinent literature.

And finally, we are looking for residents who will work in partnership with our staff, find humor in their day and love what they are doing.