Survey of ASHP-Accredited Pharmacy Residency Programs
The results of a survey of the requirements and features of pharmacy residency programs are reported.
The survey was mailed on March 5, 1999, to the directors of 414 pharmacy practice and specialty residency programs with ASHP accreditation as of March 1, 1999. Included were questions on stipends, staffing requirements, and benefits. Information not typically included in the ASHP residency directories was also sought.
Three hundred surveys were returned, for a 72% response rate. Of the responding programs, 174 (58%) were pharmacy practice programs and the rest specialty programs. The specialties with the largest number of respondents were primary care (30 of 126, or 24%) and drug information (23, or 18%). The practice setting varied widely, but a university-based practice site was most frequent (122 of 300 programs, or 41%). The overall median stipend range was $28,000-$28,999; stipends varied relatively little by geographic region but were highest in New York and New Jersey. Most residency programs had a staffing requirement, which averaged eight hours per week. A substantial part of residents' time was spent on drug distribution and patient care activities, such as medical rounds and patient counseling. The most common benefits reported were paid time off, health and medical coverage, and reimbursement for specific professional expenses. Ultimately, the creation of an Internet-accessible electronic database will maximize the availability and timeliness of such information and minimize the cost and labor involved in updating currently available resources.
A survey of ASHP-accredited residency programs yielded data that provide a valuable supplement to the information in ASHP residency directories.
Each year, applicants and program directors make evaluative comparisons of available pharmacy residency programs. Applicants interested in pursuing residency training must review several hundred programs to select the one that best supports their interests and long-term goals and provides the opportunities and benefits they desire. Residency program directors frequently ponder similar issues as they attempt to recruit quality applicants and to benchmark their programs against comparable ones.
Several resources exist to assist with the evaluation of residency programs. Typically, the best way to collect information about residencies is to contact programs directly. However, this method is often inconvenient for applicants who are interested in a variety of programs and are attempting to minimize the number they must contact. Nor is this approach feasible for many residency program directors, who may not be privy to the specifics of other programs because of limited networks among institutions. Alternatively, available printed references, such as the primary pharmacy literature and the residency directories of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), have been used to obtain important background information about ASHP-accredited residency programs. However, these sources also have limitations.
The ASHP residency directories provide concise summaries of all accredited programs and allow easy comparison of their basic features, opportunities, and benefits. However, space and monetary constraints limit their overall comprehensiveness. The primary literature is often a useful supplemental source of information about residency issues and often provides insight into topics not included in the ASHP residency directories, but the timeliness of these resources is limited. An electronic database that supplemented the available printed resources by updating the primary literature and incorporating information from the residency directories would be useful to both program applicants and directors.
We conducted a survey of all pharmacy residency programs with ASHP accreditation as of March 1, 1999, and used this material to create a preliminary electronic database.