White Coat Ceremony
During this prestigious occasion, students receive their pharmacy coats, signifying the beginning of the professional program and their first steps toward their careers in pharmacy.
Although not required, many former STLCOP students participate in residencies after completing their sixth and final year of college on rotations and receiving their Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree. Sister Mary Louise Degenhart, special assistant to the president at the College and expert on all things residency-related, said the motivation to do a residency is obvious. More often than not, employers are going to hire a pharmacist with residency experience over a pharmacist without the experience. There are two kinds of residencies: PGY1 residencies are for recent graduates and feature a variety of aspects of pharmacy practice; PGY2 residencies follow PGY1 pharmacies, and focus on specific areas of practice, such as oncology or ambulatory care. PGY2’s are more in-depth, according to Degenhart. She said more and more pharmacy students are electing to do at least one residency after graduating, adding that there’s a lot of competition. Most practitioners agree that a good residency program is equivalent to two to three years of practice experience, she said. Residents receive a stipend, which equals about half of what a pharmacist in the same position would make, according to Degenhart.
Residencies: Preparing for Community Leadership
Students who are graduating with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree often consider continuing their training with a pharmacy residency. Residencies provide the additional experience and specialization that today’s patient-centered health care teams require. They deliver real-world training needed to effectively manage increasingly complex drug therapies for patients and serve as a medical advisor. Hospitals and health systems prefer pharmacy applicants with residencies under their belts, and national pharmacy organizations recommend the post-graduate training.
St. Louis College of Pharmacy sponsors a residency preparation series that covers topics needed to apply for residencies that will sharpen knowledge and skills. Faculty will review students’ curriculum vitae (CV) and give information on how to get the most out of the annual American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) Midyear Clinical Meeting and its Residency Showcase. We’ll explain the ASHP “match” program that places pharmacy students in residencies, and help through the subsequent “scramble” for an open position if necessary. Here are some topics that help students prepare:
- General Information on Post-Graduate Opportunities
- Midyear Meeting
- CV Writing Workshop
- Midyear Send-Off
- Post-Midyear Follow Up
- Match Process
- Scramble Support
- Student Reception
Closer to home, we sponsor our own residency programs. We sponsor both post-graduate year-one (PGY-1) positions at St. Louis County Department of Health, the VA St. Louis Healthcare System, Mercy Hospital St. Louis and community pharmacies, including Health Priorities, Schnuck's Pharmacy, and Walgreen's Pharmacy. We also sponsor post-graduate year-two (PGY-2) positions in ambulatory care at both St. Louis County Department of Health and SSM St. Mary's Outpatient Clinic, and internal medicine and infectious disease at the VA St. Louis Healthcare System. As a STLCOP-sponsored resident, you’ll join our faculty, as well as complete a teaching workshop series while enjoying access to extensive library services and full benefits throughout your residency.