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Residency Regrets?

Discussion in 'Pharmacy' started by pharmleague, 12.22.11.

  1. pharmleague

    pharmleague

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    Long-time lurker, first-time poster.

    I am currently doing a PGY-1, and I am completely miserable. I can't go into all the details here. I have met with my program director several times, but the issues I'm having are not going to be resolved. This program has had residents quit in the past, and the ones that do stay have not been happy either.

    I have a job offer that I'm interested in, and I'm not sure if I should take it or try to stick it out. I have thought about the consequences of both scenarios and still can't come to a conclusion. I have listed pros and cons of each, and I still can't decide. I know it hinges on my future career plans, but I'm just so unsure about everything now, that I don't know what direction I want my career to go in.

    Has anyone on here ever left a residency program? Has anyone ever regretted doing a residency.........or not doing one?

    Mods, feel free to move if you think this should be in the residency forum. Thanks.
  2. npage148

    npage148 Senior Member

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    It probably sucks but stick it out. It's only a year and you are probably already done with a good chunk of it. Most pharmacists know that residencies are a year so if they see you were only at it for 5 months or so it'll raise some flag to your dedication. Plus you will never be knocked for having a PGY-1 done
  3. spacecowgirl

    spacecowgirl brr

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    This issue has come up elsewhere in this forum. Stick it out. This is a horrible time of year in residency, IME and it's hard to see past that. You're halfway done. Finish it.
  4. pharmleague

    pharmleague

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    Yes it's horrible. But is it miserable, emotional breakdown almost everyday, no support, getting talked to like a dog, horrible?
  5. pharm B

    pharm B Phar Noir Moderator Emeritus Gold Donor

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    I know I'm just a P2, but based on my time in the Navy and in other endeavors, I would say: stick it out. You're just about halfway, so just finish up and look forward to greener pastures on the horizon.
  6. npage148

    npage148 Senior Member

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    It's a difference when there is an absolute end date. This isn't an open ended job were you are going to suffer for years. It's 6 months and you're a lot more resilient than you think
  7. PumpkinSmasher

    PumpkinSmasher Pharmacist

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    Stick it out...6 months then you are free. Having the PGY-1 will never hurt you. Quitting in the middle has the potential to hurt your career.
  8. IndustryPharmD

    IndustryPharmD Here to Help SDN Advisor

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    Well... I suppose, I would look at two things::
    1) What is it that makes you so miserable in the residency. I would look at it from two perspectives: how would I explain it to potential employers, as well as how much in terms of lost nerve tissue it is going to cost me.
    2) How would not completing this residency affect your long-term career goals.

    My approach is, that in order to do something (such as stick with the program) benefits of doing so should clearly outweigh the emotional and/or physical toll it is going to take on you.

    Importantly, remember to consider whether this other employment opportunity you are offered will make you miserable as well. I have a friend who keeps accepting offers I don't think she should, and then complains about how miserable this job is making her, switches - and then complains that the new job is even worse than the previous one.
  9. taken2

    taken2 Senior Member

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    I will also say to stick it out. I know it's easier said than done. I have a friend who quit residency to go work for wal mart. I don't think he has any regrets now, but he also questioned the benefit of residency before going in for it. I think he was pressured into it for being really smart and having everyone tell him that the best thing for him is to do a residency.
    There is a Nigeria girl that committed suicide two weeks ago and she was doing a PGY 1 too. No one knows at this point if the stress from the program contributed or not .
  10. Trent Steele

    Trent Steele benadryl brownies

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    I'd def take the job offer. A residency is great and everything but is in no way a guarantee of employment after you complete it. If the job offer is in the field you want, take it, it likely will not be there 6 months from now. I don't see how leaving a residency because you had a job offer from your desired field could hurt you... You should always be on the look out for a better gig, as the only person that's going to look out for you is yourself. Especially considering the over saturated job market now and in the future, you had best take the job and run.
    Last edited: 12.22.11
  11. Sparda29

    Sparda29 En Taro Adun Gold Donor

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    Where is your residency?
  12. farmadiazepine

    farmadiazepine

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    take the job. leave the residency that is making you miserable.

    i quit one of my rotations when i was in pharmacy school because it was making me miserable. i said to them i'm not coming in anymore and want to stop. the school didn't like my decision, but it was for the best for my sanity. best decision i ever made. i wound up making up the rotation somewhere else, doing something i loved.

    take the job. in this economy, its awesome to get a job as an rph. residency honestly blows in my opinion (no offense to anybody doing one).

    if you were a doctor in a residency, then its a different story. your an rph in residency.. leave and get a job and make money. thats the goal
  13. mustang sally

    mustang sally

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    I always heard leaving a residency was one of the worst things you could do for your career. Now I doubt that you would be unemployed forever if you left a residency, but it is probably going to close a lot of doors.

    It is hard to say without knowing what kind of hell the OP is going through, though. Career isn't always worth your physical and mental health; on the other hand, there is a known end date to residency.
  14. Its Z

    Its Z Retired

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    Stick it out. The last thing you want on your resume is "residency" quitter. And what kind of employer offers a job to a resident who's not done with the residency? Obviously they don't give a damn about you and your career so they will fire you just as fast as they hire you. And if you ever decide to f in nd a new job, "residency quitter" label will haunt you forever.
  15. pharmleague

    pharmleague

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    Thank you everyone for your input. I have definitely thought about everything that has been brought up in this thread.

    As far as explaining to future employers why I left my residency, I wouldn't think it would be a major issue because 1) this program is becoming known for being a harsh environment, and 2) I don't have a history of job hopping or quitting or anything like that. Then again, it might be a bigger issue than I think it would be. I just don't know.

    If I knew for certain that finishing this residency would lead to something better, then I would be a lot more willing to stick it out. But I don't know. No one knows. Most of the clinical jobs in my area are few and far between. My classmates had problems getting jobs -- I'm still not sure if they are all employed -- and I fear that by the time I finish this residency, even all the non-residency jobs will be taken by the class of 2012.

    Yes, this job offer could end up being crappy. I've tried to do my research and ask around. I've heard good things about the work environment and the company. Then again, you never know until you are in the situation.

    I don't consider myself thin-skinned or overly sensitive. I was in another profession for many years prior to going into pharmacy, and I experienced verbal assaults quite frequently and was able to handle it. I've also worked retail for 5 years and never had a problem dealing with the crazies. I guess it just depends on what you are willing to put with, and I'm not sure if this residency is worth putting up with. I wish I could go into more detail about what I have to deal with, but I don't feel comfortable giving out that much information.

    Anyway, thanks again everyone for your thoughts. I appreciate it.
  16. taken2

    taken2 Senior Member

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    You are the only one who can make this decision for yourself. we don't know what exactly you are going through. I agree with the poster that said that career isn't always worth your physical and mental health. If you feel like you can't go on, I say quit. Read the story of the girl that jumped off the bridge :
    http://www.atoast2wealth.com/2011/12/22/missing-tosin-oyelowo-remains-not-found/
  17. KARM12

    KARM12 Super Member

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    I feel like nothing is ever as bad as it seems when you are going through it. That being said, I don't know your specific situation.

    Having gone through a program that practices "tough love," I know it can be frustrating. You need to have a thick-skin and let some of it slide. If they are verbally abusive, then maybe that is an issue for the Director of Pharm or HR.

    Most residents have a tough time because they aren't ready for the constant feedback, of which some isn't always pleasent...but there is usually a reason for it. I have residents now that anytime you give them feedback (things to improve on in a constructive way) they get all upset because they are used to getting the top scores for everything. The whole point of residency is to improve you clinical skills and if you came in perfect then there is no need to do one.

    Do you have support from your co-residents? How are they making out? In my experiences, the resident that always has a hard time is the one that hasn't bonded with their co-residents.

    There are times that I thought about quitting (so did all my co-residents at some point or another) but we all stuck it out and are much better off professionally for it. We had one PGY1 resident quit when I was a PGY2 and she had trouble finding a job. The only work she could get was temporary placements through a staffing agency...still the same 2 yrs later. If you don't think explaining why you quit is going to be tough, I think you are mistaken. In an employer's eyes, I would be worried you would quit on me if something got difficult.
  18. PharmDstudent

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  19. pharmleague

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    Yeah, I know I have to be the one to decide. I'm just having a really tough time deciding. I guess my main reason for posting was to see if anyone on here has ever quit a residency (or know anyone who has), and if it just totally messed up their career to do so.
  20. KARM12

    KARM12 Super Member

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    All this being said, if it is either quit or jump off a bridge...please quit. Completing a residency is not worth your life.
  21. awval999

    awval999 New Member

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    This x1000.

    Is the job with a health-system/hospital or is it retail? I will tell you this, if it is a hospital job take it. But don't quit the residency if it's for a retail gig, unless it's quit or jump. If it's that, then quit.
  22. All4MyDaughter

    All4MyDaughter SDN Mommystrator Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor Partner Organization

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    I know of someone who quit a PGY2 to go to Rite Aid. The feedback I've heard about this decision has been very negative. I would guess that this individual will probably be fine if he remains at Rite Aid or sticks to retail pharmacy, but don't know about future hospital job prospects. My guess would be that it would be difficult to overcome. Pharmacy is a small profession.

    I'm frustrated and tired of my residency at this point too. But it's half over. If I were you, I'd try to stick it out. Good luck.
  23. pharmleague

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    Thank you, KARM, for your response.

    I have had several meetings with my program director. There is no one really "above" my program director, although I have sought advice from others who could have some influence on my program director. This has not been successful, and the issues have not been resolved.

    As far as feedback, one of the problems is that I'm supposed to get formally evaluated monthly, but I haven't been evaluated since the end of July. When I do get the occasional, informal feedback, it is always about what I'm doing wrong -- never about anything positive I've done, and never in a constructive way.

    I have one co-resident, and we have a great relationship. In fact, my co-resident is one of the main reasons I haven't already quit. My co-resident is also miserable but has had different experiences than I have had because we have different rotations. My co-resident agrees that I have gotten the short end of the stick in the way I've been treated.

    I guess I'm going to try to stick it out because I definitely don't want to be labeled as a quitter.
  24. spacecowgirl

    spacecowgirl brr

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    That's very sad, but where does it say that she jumped off a bridge because of her residency? I was in a pretty dark place during pharmacy school but it had nothing to do with pharmacy school, in fact the rigors of school probably helped distract me.

    I'm curious to know what type of job offer you've received, OP.
  25. spacecowgirl

    spacecowgirl brr

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    Here's where your expectations are off. I don't recall my director ever telling me I did anything well.

    Have you asked for more formal feedback? Some of this needs to be on you, not just your supervisor. In a perfect world, it wouldn't be that way but that's how life is.

    go read some of the med residency threads and feel better.
  26. Quiksilver

    Quiksilver Secundum Artem PharmD

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    what type of job is the offer? and you gotta ask yourself if you will regret not finishing in 10-12 years
  27. pharmleague

    pharmleague

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    Hmmm.....that's interesting. Maybe I do need to change my expectations......

    Yes, I have asked for more feedback. This is one of the issues that has not been resolved.

    The only thing I can say about my job offer is that it is NOT retail.
  28. KARM12

    KARM12 Super Member

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    There should be a formal eval process for each rotation, project, staffing, etc. That is part of the ASHP accredidation standards. Do they not use Resitrak or something similar? Is this a new or unaccredidated program?

    I will also say that most of my feedback during my residency was about things I needed to do better and very little of the things I was doing right. Some of it was tough to swallow, but looking back, most of it was true. I used it to be a better pharmacist. You will not be told how wonderful you are as a resident...it isn't like being a student. I think most people start residency thinking they are going to be amazing and rock every rotation/project...but then they get a reality check that it is much harder and requires a lot of effort. This is why I tell students to make sure they are choosing residency because they really want to do it and not because they think they have to.

    I also agree with spacecow girl...we should not assume the girl jumped off the bridge because of residency. We don't know that has anything to do with her decision and according to the report they aren't 100% sure it was her that jumped (although evidence points to that it was her) since the body has not been recovered. MUSC is a great program and has won awards for ASHP...so they are doing many things right. Prayers to her family in this difficult time.
  29. Ackj

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    That's kind of odd that you'd go through a PGY1 and half of PGY2 just to end up in a position that you could've had right after graduating. Of course I don't know his whole situation, but even if he does look for a hospital position in the future, he at least has a PGY1 completed.
  30. pharmleague

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    It is not a new program, and it's not accredited. They have tried for a few years to get accredited but haven't been able to.
  31. taken2

    taken2 Senior Member

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    They have recovered and identified her body. Her family closed down all the blogs people created while she was still missing and there were alot of speculations on the blogs that stress from residency might have contributed. They are still investigating though so who knows, they might discover something other than stress from residency.

    http://mtpleasant.live5news.com/news/news/65023-coroner-identifies-body-washed-sullivans-island
  32. PharmaTope

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    were you terminated from your last job? NOPE

    why did you leave your last job? it was not a good fit, i had a family crisis, i wanted to be closer to my loved ones, etc . not very hard to say why you left. people leave jobs all the time. i left because my interest in this area of pharmacy had greatly changed. TADA!!!! nobody thinks if it gets tough will you quit? they think, if i abuse this person, will they quit/leave? lol.

    also, HR and others do not care about abuse. they can treat you like **** all they want. unless an actual law is broken, nothing will be done. if the residency sucks and you get real fulltime work, i say leave it and take the real job. no point in staying miserable in a temporary underpaid position that is not going to guarantee you a job after.
  33. pharmleague

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    Thanks, PharmaTope. As I mentioned earlier, I do not have a history of quitting or job hopping. When I interviewed for the position that I got an offer for, they were very understanding as to why I wanted to leave the residency because they are familiar with the reputation that this program has.
  34. Its Z

    Its Z Retired

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    To recommend leaving the residency is saying go ahead and burn bridges. Background check is getting more and more intense today and once you are ineligible for rehire by one employer it will shut doors for many employers in the future. I certainly wouldn't hire a residency dropout no matter how bad the "reputation."

    I'd take a new grad over a residency dropout.

    Careful with advice from jaded pharmacists on this board.
    Last edited: 12.24.11
  35. All4MyDaughter

    All4MyDaughter SDN Mommystrator Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor Partner Organization

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    He obviously wanted out of residency. No idea why. I doubt he was really excited about going to Rite Aid, but quitting residency doesn't leave you a lot of options. People DO talk about it and it is looked upon VERY negatively. The kid who I know that quit has no hope of a hospital job anywhere near the city he did his residencies and currently lives. By quitting his residency, it's likely that he majorly pissed off his PD, who is a very well connected, well known practitioner. He'll probably never be able to list her as a reference, and "No you can't contact my previous employer" is a big red flag on an application. Retail might not care, but others will.

    I agree with this. Quitting a residency is NOT just like quitting any other job. Residents make a one year committment, and not being able to honor that is probably going to be seen as a big red flag. Not only that, but residency drop outs really leave their programs in the lurch. It's not like you can hire another resident in the middle of the year. I've got projects that I'm implementing and students I'm mentoring and classes I'm teaching. If I quit, it would be a challenge for my sites to redistribute my workload. It could be done, but it would be a PITA. I think it's probably the same for other programs.
  36. spacecowgirl

    spacecowgirl brr

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    This. And be careful taking anti-residency advice from people who never completed a residency.

    That's exactly it. You made a commitment for a year. It's not like leaving a job. Someone didn't get a spot because you did and your employment is counted upon by your site. I'm not saying anyone should tolerate harassment or abuse, but if you're getting too much criticism, that's not reason to quit.

    It seems like so many pharmacy people on here and IRL are expecting the ass powdering they received as high-achieving undergrads to continue. Guess what? Almost all of your fellow students are as smart and as talented as you. It's a hard pill to swallow. Take on some responsibility to have the experience you want. People are expecting the preceptors to know what you need, but that is not realistic. There is no formal training about how to be a preceptor and not everyone is equally good at it. I personally would admire a student or resident who had the drive to ask for what they need in a diplomatic and productive manner. Have you only passively asked for feedback? How about setting up a meeting saying that you need to understand how to do XYZ better to be a better resident and practitioner and to represent the program well?

    Bottom line: Buck up, buttercup.
  37. pharmleague

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    Believe me, I did not take anyone's spot. Everyone who interviewed turned the program down and they were scrambling to find anyone who would take a spot.

    I have had several meetings with my PD to specifically say what the issues are and that I need feedback, and the issues are still not resolved.

    As far as getting the experience I want, that is part of the problem. When I accepted the position, I was told that we would have electives. But when I started the program, the program director decided to make changes where we no longer have electives. And we have to repeat the same rotation 5 times. I was hoping to get a little more variety than that. Again, this is an issue that I have brought up in meetings, but the PD refuses to make changes. That's fine, as long as the PD would have told us that up front.
  38. Its Z

    Its Z Retired

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    Yup, go ahead quit.

    And for the rest of your life you'll live with an experience that when going gets tough you can quit.
  39. R xxx

    R xxx

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    Never make a decision in haste or out of fear. Sleep on it for at least a week. Sometimes the solution will present itself. Just try not to hate it so much. When you've made up your mind that you hate something, you will only see the negative aspect of it. At least you know it's not forever.

    -Advice is what we ask when we already know the answer but wish we didn't.

    Good luck with the next 6 months.
  40. PumpkinSmasher

    PumpkinSmasher Pharmacist

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    Is this residency a small stand alone hospital, private hospital, or large health system?
  41. Pharmacy Kid

    Pharmacy Kid LT Smash

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    I think the question everyone wants to ask is, "Can you stand 6 more months?". Six more months and you can apply anywhere you want to.
  42. pharmleague

    pharmleague

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    I have slept on it for over a month. Lol.


    Large health system


    Good question. Is it going to kill me? No. Will I be an emotional wreck everyday? Probably. Will it be worth it? I don't know.
  43. R xxx

    R xxx

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    Sleep on it for another 6 months. Problem solved :smuggrin:
  44. Pharmacy Kid

    Pharmacy Kid LT Smash

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    :thumbup::thumbup:
  45. KARM12

    KARM12 Super Member

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    This didn't concern you?

    And the fact that they can't gain accreditation?
  46. pharmleague

    pharmleague

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    Yes, both of these were concerning. The way they spun it was that they were working on getting accredited and that the program was "so strong" that it didn't matter that it wasn't accredited yet. Sounded fishy to me, but I wanted residency training.
  47. Dalteparin

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    SDN 5+ Year Member
    Your experience sounds similar to mine. I absolutely hated residency, got little to no feedback (bad or good) from my PD and preceptors and thought it was the worst career decision I ever made. In hindsight, picking that specific residency was a terrible decision... but quitting would have been infinitely worse. Look at it this way: when you finish residency, you may feel inadequate next to someone who finished a residency at a prestigious hospital; however, if you quit this residency, people will look at you and think, "You couldn't even handle that program??? What's wrong with you?!?"

    Stick it out. Nothing good will come of quitting.

    (BTW, I don't think that the OP is at my old program; I'm not sure but I don't think my former residency site even has a program anymore.)
  48. BenJammin

    BenJammin No Apologies

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Where my ex's live
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    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Take this with a grain of salt but the district manager of the retail chain I work for specifically told me that a residency is great but it would essentially put your application at the bottom of the stack if you choose to go back to retail. I don't know how much stock to put into that statement though, hence the salt.
  49. KARM12

    KARM12 Super Member

    Joined:
    04.04.06
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    2,424
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    Status:
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    SDN 7+ Year Member
    Yes, but most people who go the residency path do not have an interest in retail pharmacy...
  50. BenJammin

    BenJammin No Apologies

    Joined:
    06.29.11
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    Location:
    Where my ex's live
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    Pharmacist
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    What about community pharmacy residents?

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