Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions


How competitive is your program?**
We received about 300 applications for our PGY1 class of 2016-2017.   We have funding for 10 PGY1 residents at UWMC/HMC and 2 PGY1 residents at Northwest Hospital.

How are residents selected for your program?
All applications are reviewed by the selection committee, which includes the RPD, residency coordinators, preceptors and current residents.  We review and score the letter of intent, curriculum vitae (CV), letters of recommendation, and pharmacy school grades (if SOP has traditional grading system). WE DO NOT REQUIRE FALL GRADES FOR THE APPLICATION – SEND OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPTS BEFORE FALL GRADES ARE POSTED.  Applicants from a SOP which does not use a traditional grading system should make sure at least one of the three letters of recommendation can comment on their academic achievement. Also, if your school provides class ranking, please provide this information with your transcripts.  The application and review process are the same for UWMC/HMC and NWH but interview invitations are individual to each site.

Following the review of all applications, we select applicants for a phone interview or an abbreviated on-site interview. The phone interview allows applicants and representatives from the selection committee to determine if an on-site interview is warranted. Phone interviews will be scheduled for 1 hour blocks with 2 members of the selection committee during the time period of January 11th-18th,

Following the phone interview, UWMC/HMC applicants will be selected for a full day (8:30am-4:30 pm) on-site interview and Northwest applicants will be invited to a half-day (9:00am – 1:00pm) on-site interview. These interviews will be scheduled for Feb 7th, 8th, 13th, 14th, 15th 16th and 17th.   

The abbreviated on-site interviews are reserved for local applicants familiar with UWMC and HMC clinical practice models, and who have completed APPE rotations at UWMC and HMC.  The abbreviated on-site interview will be 4 hours in duration and scheduled Jan 30th and 31st at UWMC/HMC and during the week of Jan 23rd – 27th at Northwest Hospital.

What does the on-site interview include?
Applicants will have interviews at each site and an opportunity to meet with current residents. A tour will be given to candidates not familiar with our institution. Typically interviews are with the director, coordinator/s, clinical pharmacists and current residents. Applicants meet with multiple people so they can determine if the residency and the medical centers are a good fit for them as well. A brief case presentation is included in the full-day interview schedule. Applicants will be given a brief patient case to review and then verbally present a treatment and monitoring plan for that patient case.  The goal of the interview is for the applicant and the program to assess fit and determine if it is a good match.

I am not a U.S. citizen. Are you able to sponsor my visa?
We welcome applications from non-U.S. citizens who have a "green card" (permanent resident) or a current visa valid through the entire duration of the residency program. The University of Washington is NOT able to sponsor visas for pharmacy residents (PGY1 or PGY2).


How many required/elective rotations does a resident do in a year?**
Residents complete 12 monthly  rotations. The 1st rotation in July is orientation and training for the integrated service component (staffing). Rotations include: orientation and training, 3 acute care (cardiology and 2 general medicine) , 1 administration, 1 project, 1 ambulatory care, and 5 electives. The electives can be selected from a wide range of specialty areas. 

Can I do rotations at any of the 4 sites (UWMC, SCCA, HMC, Northwest)?
Yes. Residents that match with the UWMC/HMC will do required rotations at both UWMC and HMC, and can do electives at any of the sites. Residents who match at Northwest Hospital will complete required rotations EXCEPT ambulatory care at NWH, but ambulatory care and electives can be completed at any of the sites.

Can I change my rotations over the course of the year?**
Yes. We anticipate that many residents’ interests will change or become more focused over the course of the year, and thus, we encourage a flexible rotation schedule to optimize that growth.  . One of the benefits of UW Medicine is that we have multiple sites with a wide variety of rotation opportunities.   

What are the staffing responsibilities?**
All residents have an integrated service commitment of 32 hours per month. Each resident will be assigned a location for that service (UWMC or HMC). Residents matched at Northwest Hospital will fulfill their integrated service commitment at Northwest. The integrated service responsibilities include a combination of distribution shifts in central pharmacy and evening/weekend clinical shifts. 



What sorts of patient populations do you treat? How are they different between the 4 sites?

·         HMC – tertiary referral center for trauma/burns (level I trauma center) and provides both acute and primary care for a large indigent population.

·         UWMC – tertiary referral center specializing in oncology, solid organ transplant, and cardiac care.

·         Northwest – non-profit community hospital serving the north Seattle area with comprehensive medical and surgical services

·         SCCA – ambulatory oncology referral center for the region. An alliance between Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, UWMC, and Seattle Children’s Hospital. Adult patients requiring hospitalization are admitted to UWMC.

What is pharmacy’s role within the medical center?
Pharmacy is very well respected within the medical centers. The atmosphere is very collegial and pharmacists are a valued member of the healthcare team. Pharmacists round with most of the medical teams in the hospital and are often leaders of major committees within the medical centers. In Washington state, pharmacists can prescribe medications under a collaborative practice agreement. Most of our clinic pharmacists have prescriptive authority.


What sort of teaching opportunities do your residents have?
We are affiliated with the University of Washington School of Pharmacy, and all residents receive an affiliate faculty appointment with the School of Pharmacy. Residents are expected to precept 4th year pharmacy students on APPE rotations in conjunction with the clinical pharmacist on the service. In addition, each program has additional didactic teaching responsibilities. PGY1 residents are required to participate in either a small group course (e.g. Therapeutics lab) or provide a formal lecture in one of the various pharmacy courses. The UW also has other health professional schools such as nursing, medicine, dentistry, and residents may choose to teach in these programs as well.


Do you offer a teaching certificate?
The UW School of Pharmacy offers a workshop-based Teaching Certificate in Pharmacy Education. The certificate runs from September through May and involves 2 in-person workshops at the beginning of the year and several online assignments, self-reflection, and mentorship sessions throughout the year to create a teaching philosophy, teaching portfolio, and developing a variety of teaching skills.


What sorts of projects do residents do during their residency? Is additional time provided to complete these projects?*
The goal of the resident project is to expose residents to study design, IRB applications, data analysis and interpretation. The majority of the residents choose a project addressing a clinical question, but some choose projects evaluating a pharmacy service (e.g. critical care satellite) or teaching tools. To help residents select a project, a list of possible project ideas and preceptors is provided to the residents during orientation. This is not an all-inclusive list and residents can select other topics as well. To keep residents on target with the project, there are several intermediate deadlines where they check-in with their project preceptors.

Residents are also responsible for developing a project idea for the incoming residency class (known as the “Flip Project”). We feel this is an essential skill to be able to identify a question or problem within the medical system during the residency year, and develope a project that can answer a research question.

Other projects:

·         MUE (small in scope, provides useful experience for the main residency project), Presented at clinical conference and P&T.  Each resident is paired with a 4th year pharmacy student from UW school of pharmacy to complete this project.  This serves as another precepting opportunity for the residents.

·         P&T monographs/class reviews (typically 2-3 over the course of the year)

·         1 hour formal continuing education oral presentation on a clinical topic presented to pharmacists

Residents are allotted a project month in December (15 project days) and 10 additional project days that can be taken throughout the year (total of 25 project days).

Do residents publish their projects?
We strongly encourage our residents to publish their residency projects, but we understand that it is difficult to take a project from beginning to publication in a single year. Prior to the completion of the residency, each resident submits a final manuscript in publication format to their project preceptor and Residency Director, and is given feedback and suggestions for submitting it for publication. Since requiring residents to submit a final manuscript, we have had several residents go on to publish their projects.


What sorts of positions do your residents take after completion of your program?
Some residents continue their training with a PGY2 residency or fellowship. Many of our residents go on to pursue clinical specialist positions. The actual titles vary by geographic location, but the responsibilities are similar with direct patient care as the primary focus and teaching/research as secondary responsibilities. We have had some residents take tenure track faculty positions in pharmacy schools as well.

Do you hire many of your residents after completion of your program?
We love to hire our own residents! If you look at our current staff, you will see that we have been fortunate to retain a large number of former residents. Bottom line is if you’re a great resident, we know you’ll be a great pharmacist here!

**These answers primarily pertain to the PGY1 program. For PGY2 candidates, please contact the PGY2 program director for specifics that may differ.