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PGY1 Pharmacy Residency

The PGY1 Pharmacy Residency is an American Society of Health System Pharmacists (ASHP) accredited twelve-month program designed and structured to provide the organized health care practice community and the pharmacy profession with knowledgeable, creative, and resourceful practitioners who can provide direct patient care services in an institutional practice environment. The program supplements an academic pharmacy education and provides the opportunity and necessary stimulus for Doctor of Pharmacy degree graduates to develop their knowledge and expertise in the provision of pharmacy practice.


Applicants must be Doctor of Pharmacy graduates from an ACPE-accredited school or college of pharmacy; be licensed or eligible for pharmacist licensure in Virginia; and possess requisite patient care training or experience. Pharmacy residents must acquire and maintain a valid license to practice pharmacy in Virginia. The successful applicant must possess exceptional knowledge, communication skills, and leadership qualities.

Purpose Statement

The purpose of the PGY1 Pharmacy Residency is to build on Pharm.D. education and outcomes, and contribute to the development of a clinical pharmacist responsible for medication-related care of patients with a wide range of conditions within an academic medical center.

Residency Goals

  • To develop skills and competency in the pharmacy practice areas of acute patient care, drug information and drug use policy development, ambulatory patient care, and health-system pharmacy management.
  • To provide a flexible program, developed from required, selective and elective rotations, and designed to enhance the resident's proficiency in providing pharmacy practice.
  • To develop teaching skills in didactic and experiential training of Doctor of Pharmacy students.
  • To provide a foundation for additional training in a PGY2 residency.


Current pharmacy residents and preceptors from VCUHS will be at the ASHP Midyear Residency Showcase on Monday, December 4, 2017 from 1PM to 4PM. Candidates do not have to attend the ASHP Midyear Showcase to apply for the program. On site interviews are by invitation only.

Program Structure

The program is comprised of required, selective and elective rotations. The rotations are generally five weeks in duration; however, the primary care and staffing/operation rotations are longitudinal over the course of the year The selective rotation is based on the resident's prior APPE experiences, and is reviewed with the resident prior to the beginning of the program. The elective rotations are based on the resident's professional interests.

Required Rotations (6)

Adult Internal Medicine
Critical Care
Departmental Administration and Leadership
Drug Information and Drug Policy Development
Primary Care Clinic (longitudinal)
Staffing/Operations (longitudinal, every other weekend)

Selective Rotations (1 - dependent on previous APPE rotation experience)

Pediatrics (Pediatric ICU, Pediatric Oncology, or Neonatal ICU)
Psychiatry (adult or adolescent)

Elective Rotations (4)

Bone Marrow Transplant (inpatient or clinic)
Cardiac Surgery ICU
Coronary Care ICU
Clinical Toxicology
Digestive Health
Emergency Medicine
Infectious Diseases Consult Service
Medical Respiratory ICU
Neuroscience ICU
Oncology, Adult (inpatient)
Solid Organ Transplant
Surgery/Trauma ICU
[and Required and Selective Patient Care Rotations listed above]


PGY1 Pharmacy Residents are given an academic faculty appointment as a Clinical Instructor in the VCU School of Pharmacy and have opportunities to provide didactic instruction (e.g., lectures, team-based learning sessions, case conferences) and experiential training (e.g., APPEs) for Doctor of Pharmacy students from the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Pharmacy. Residents may participate in an elective teaching and learning certificate program.


Each resident is responsible for initiating and successfully completing a research project, with presentation at a regional residency conference. An advisor and additional support guides the resident through the process. Potential research projects are presented to the residents at the start of the residency program. Residents will rank their project preference, and projects will be assigned.

PGY2 Training

A PGY1 Pharmacy resident who desires to pursue a PGY2 specialized residency at VCU Health Systems has two options. The resident may express his or her interest in the Fall of the PGY1 residency and initiate the process for securing a PGY2 residency position through early commitment. If the applicant is an acceptable candidate, the pharmacy resident will generally be offered the PGY2 residency position in November with several days to accept or decline the offer, prior to the ASHP/NMS PGY2 early commitment deadline. If a Pharmacy resident indicates an interest in a PGY2 residency position after the early commitment deadline, she or he may apply through the usual PGY2 residency application process by following the pertinent deadlines and participating in PhORCAS and the respective PGY2 match.


The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists first accredited the PGY1 Pharmacy Residency as the hospital pharmacy residency in 1972; then as the clinical pharmacy residency in 1983; and as the pharmacy practice residency in 1992. This residency participates in the ASHP/NMS PGY1 Matching Program and PhORCAS.

Program Leadership

Program Director, Pharmacy Residency Programs

Denise Kockler Lowe, PharmD, BCPS
Director, Drug Information Service
Clinical Professor of Pharmacy
     BS, University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy
     PharmD, Creighton University School of Pharmacy
     Residency in Drug Information Practice, University of Virginia Health System

Coordinator, Pharmacy Residency Programs

Craig Kirkwood, PharmD
Assistant Director, Pharmacotherapy Services
Associate Professor of Pharmacy
     BS, University of Buffalo
     PharmD, University of Buffalo
     Residency in Hospital Pharmacy, Buffalo General Hospital
     Residency in Drug Information, North Carolina Memorial Hospital at University of North Carolina

Director, Department of Pharmacy Services

Rodney L. Stiltner, PharmD, MS
Director, Department of Pharmacy Services
Clinical Associate Professor of Pharmacy
     PharmD, Mercer University
     MS, University of Wisconsin
     Residency in Pharmacy Practice, Charleston Area Medical Center, West Virginia
     Residency in Management Pharmacy Practice, University of Wisconsin Medical Center Hospitals and Clinics

Application Process

Application is made through the PhORCAS process.

The application deadline is January 2, 2018.

For application instructions, please visit the Application Process section of this website.

Required Characteristics to be Evaluated by Your Reference Writers:

1. Clinical problem solving skills

2. Ability to work with peers and communicate

3. Emotional stability and maturity

4. Willingness to accept constructive criticism

5. Dependability


Number of Positions


Salary and Benefits

The salary for PGY1 pharmacy residents at VCU Health System is $47,476.

Duration of Appointment

The pharmacy resident's contract at VCU Health System will begin on July 1 of the program year. The pharmacy residency will be completed on June 30 of the subsequent year.

Vacation and Holiday Leave

Two weeks (10 days) are granted for paid vacation or personal leave. This may be taken during rotations throughout the year. At least 10 days of paid holiday leave are provided during the year. Discretionary leave (personal or vacation leave) is pre-approved by the resident's rotation preceptor, the residency program director, and the residency programs coordinator. In general, the resident will be absent no more than five days during any rotation.

Sick and Family Leave

Two weeks (10 days) of paid sick leave and one week (5 days) of family leave are provided as baseline leave. When either sick or family baseline leave is exhausted, extended sick/family leave is available for an additional 17 days. After complete use of extended sick/family leave, unpaid leave is utilized and the need to extend the residency is considered.

Educational and Professional Leave

Educational leave is provided for attendance at a national professional meeting (up to 5 days) and the regional residency conference (up to 3 days). For the national professional meeting, PGY1 pharmacy residents will attend the ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting. Professional leave (up to 5 days) is granted for interviews without the use of vacation days. Professional leave may be used for attendance at a professional meeting, in lieu of interviews, upon the permission of the program director.

Health Benefits

The VCU Health System provides a health insurance policy, to each pharmacy resident. Coverage includes outpatient physician visits and laboratory tests. Prescription, dental, vision, and family coverage are available through payroll deduction with the respective co-pay and vary with the level of coverage desired.

Liability Insurance

VCU Health System is self-insured and provides professional liability (malpractice) insurance, subject to policy limits, for each pharmacy resident. Insurance covers professional service when on-duty within the institution. It does not cover professional services (e.g., moonlighting or consulting activities) provided at other facilities or institutions. This malpractice insurance will cover all acts of alleged medical negligence while a resident is at VCU Health System. Residents may choose to enhance the professional liability insurance with a personal liability policy.

Moonlighting and Optional Staffing

Residents are permitted to seek additional, paid staffing as a pharmacist upon approval of their program director. Moonlighting, in general, will not extend to greater than eight hours weekly. Additional staffing, which conflicts with residency requirements, is not permitted.

Office Space and Resources

The Department of Pharmacy Services provides office space for all residents in the Main Hospital. Residents access patient information and drug information throughout VCU Health System and at home via the VCU Health System Cerner Information System.

Health and Recreation Facilities

Residents have access to VCU recreational facilities, including exercise equipment, weight rooms, aerobic activities, basketball courts and swimming pools, at a reduced membership fee.


Parking is provided on the VCU Medical Center campus through payroll deduction at the reduced, housestaff rate.