ucsf banner
Left Navigation Pane Image
Department of Clinical Pharmacy

Most Frequently Asked Pharmacy Practice Residency Questions

How many applications does the UCSF PGY1 Program receive every year? What is assessed after the application is received? How many candidates are asked to schedule an interview?

Each year UCSF receives approximately 80-90 applications for its 12 residency PGY1 spots. Once your application is received, it is reviewed for completeness. If it is complete, areas that are assessed include letters of recommendation, personal statements, academic performance, performance in a clinical setting (APPEs, work experience), leadership skills or prior experience, interest in teaching or prior experience, interest in research or prior experience, community involvement, school involvement and professional association involvement. Approximately 55 applicants will be asked to schedule an interview.

What rotations are available and how are they assigned?

Each resident will complete eight different learning experiences that are approximately 6 weeks in length. A “Customized Plan” for the year is developed based on your individual entering interests, rotation preferences, areas of prior experience, and areas of strength or weakness. Residents typically have at least one surgical rotation (orthopedic surgery/pain consult service, neurosurgery or general surgery), a rotation in drug policy, 12 weeks of ambulatory care and four elective rotations (e.g. infectious disease, transplant (liver, kidney, heart/lung), critical care, pediatrics, oncology, general medicine, cardiology, psychiatry, managed care). There are multiple ambulatory care learning experiences available.

How frequently do I have to staff the inpatient pharmacy and carry the code blue pager?

All residents will gain experience in order entry, centralized and satellite unit dose administration and IV additives preparation. Residents staff one eight hour shift per week (Monday thru Friday), eight weekends per year (Saturday and Sunday) and two holidays per year. Residents are assigned to cover the code blue service in teams of two (primary responder and back-up responder). Each resident carries the pager from 7:00AM to 4:00PM approximately eight weeks during the year (Monday thru Friday) and during weekend staffing.

What sort of teaching experience will I gain? Does your program offer a teaching certificate?

Teaching is a primary focus of the residency at UCSF and residents receive a teaching certificate upon program completion. The certificate recognizes the significant contributions and skills that are attained during the residency year. Residents receive training in teaching methodology, preceptor development and small group conference facilitation through a variety of educational seminars that are planned during the year. Teaching opportunities include precepting pharmacy students on clinical rotations, providing inservice education to clinical staff and students, providing a formal lecture to pharmacy students in one of the Clinical Therapeutics courses, and serving as a conference facilitator in one of the Clinical Therapeutics courses. As a conference facilitator, residents meet with 12-16 students once/week for ten weeks to review patient vignettes that demonstrate clinical approaches to patient care. Additional teaching opportunities include administration of oral exams, grading a portion of the Midterm and Final exams during the conference facilitation block and development of one or two patient vignettes for the small group conferences. Residents, who desire to do so, may also write exam questions specific to their lecture material. Residents receive feedback on their teaching from both students and faculty.

What sort of research experience will I gain?

At the beginning of the year, residents decide on a primary research project. A list of potential projects is distributed at orientation, and residents can choose a project from this list or propose something else. Projects should center on an area of research interest. A primary faculty preceptor works with each resident to: design a timeline for completion, create an appropriate study design and methodology, complete data collection and analysis and summarize research findings. Research topics can span many different areas (e.g. administrative, quality improvement, clinical, pharmacoeconomic, descriptive, educational, or epidemiological). All projects should be of a scope suitable for publication. Projects are presented as posters at the UCSF Department of Clinical Pharmacy Spring Research Poster Session. They are also presented as platform presentations at the Western States Research Conference in Asilomar, California.

What sort of guidance/mentorship will I receive?

Each resident is matched with one of our outgoing residents, who will be able to answer any immediate questions before the program starts. Residents are also assigned a faculty mentor, who serves as an additional go-to person for questions and support, besides the Program Director. While on service, residents are mentored by our inpatient clinical pharmacists and faculty. Service preceptors orient the resident to their service and discuss the resident’s expectations. Preceptors meet regularly with the resident to discuss patient cases, therapeutic issues and clinical pearls. Preceptors also provide guidance on the resident’s approach to student precepting.

Once I match, how do I go about finding housing in the San Francisco Bay Area? How much does it cost for a studio or one bedroom apartment? Should I bring a car with me?

  1. UCSF has a housing office. You can check availability online at http://www.campuslifeservices.ucsf.edu/housing. It is recommended that you live close to UCSF for convenience.
  2. The SF Chronicle at www.sfgate.com also has listings of local housing, as well as Craig's List at www.craigslist.org.
  3. The cost of an apartment is dependent on its size, location and amenities. You can get a better idea of cost while looking at the above websites.
  4. Since parking around the University is extremely difficult, it is suggested that you bring a car only if your housing unit supplies a parking space or if street parking is available in your living area. Local transportation is extremely good and the taxi service is reasonably priced. There is one parking pass shared among the 12 PP residents for the year, which allows you to park on campus.

How can I get a complete application packet?

UCSF participates in the CSHP Seminar and ASHP Midyear residency showcases. Applications will be available at these showcases. The showcases are also a good time to ask faculty and residents questions about the program. All application materials are downloadable from our website http://clinicalpharmacy.ucsf.edu/residencies/ or can be mailed to you by contacting either Cathi Dennehy at dennehyc@pharmacy.ucsf.edu or Joyce August at augustj@pharmacy.ucsf.edu.


This site will look much better in a browser that supports web standards, but it is accessible to any browser or Internet device. Please upgrade your browser.