rahul129

rrondo1392
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Mar 29, 2009
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Hello

I'm a P4 that's trying to get a residency. I'm ASHP bound and just wanted some tips on getting interviews and making the most of the time. Any tips would be appreciated!

Also can someone explain to me what the point of the PPS? Is it something I should do IN ADDITION to the residency showcase? Is it worth it if you are going for a residency?

Thanks in advance!
 

GoldfishPharmD

walking on a dream
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May 25, 2009
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Hello

I'm a P4 that's trying to get a residency. I'm ASHP bound and just wanted some tips on getting interviews and making the most of the time. Any tips would be appreciated!

Also can someone explain to me what the point of the PPS? Is it something I should do IN ADDITION to the residency showcase? Is it worth it if you are going for a residency?

Thanks in advance!
Midyear is a good time to get to know the programs, especially if you plan to apply all over and not confined to one region. I would research what programs you're interested in and make a list. When you go to the showcase, it's going to be a mad house with tons of students so be prepared and know where you're going. In all honesty, it's hard to stand out as a student when a booth gets hundreds of students coming to it so it's more beneficial for you than it is the program. Of course, make a good impression. If you make a bad impression, they're more likely going to remember you from that. Bring business cards. You don't really need CVs cause most places don't want them but I would maybe bring 5 at the most just in case.

PPS is for people looking for employment and is mainly beneficial for residents applying for PGY2s versus PGY1s. If a bunch of the programs you're interested in are doing PPS for PGY1s then it may be beneficial but most PGY1 programs don't participate in PPS so save your money if you only see one or two. It's pretty much a must for PGY2 though if you plan to do that in the future. Hope that helps! :)

Forgot to add that at PPS, it's more intimate. You sit down with one or two people from the program and they tell you about the program and may ask you some questions and you can ask them more questions. It's really nice because you have peace and quiet and can actually hear the other person and they can hear you. They can learn more about you through PPS than they would at the residency showcase.
 
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rahul129

rrondo1392
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Mar 29, 2009
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Thanks for the advice GoldfishPharmD!

Some faculty I talk to said NOT to ask typical questions like "What is a typical day like?" to residents at the showcase. Are there any specific questions that you asked that would be helpful and also leave a good impression? Also, how many programs did you visit at the showcase? I've been told not to apply for more than 10 programs, but I guess it depends on what you are interested in. FYI I am interested in Solid Organ transplantation and critical care/ED so any suggestions in terms of good residency programs would be helpful too (through DM if you prefer).

One more question. I was going to approach some preceptors about asking for recommendations. When did you do this? I was told October by some and then some people have told me right after the rotation.
 
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John Detter

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Apr 29, 2010
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Some faculty I talk to said NOT to ask typical questions like "What is a typical day like?" to residents at the showcase.
I think that "typical" questions are fine if you construct them professionally and demonstrate that there was some thought put into the question. "What is a typical day like?" almost tells me that a candidate didn't do their research into what a pharmacy resident does since all programs have certain experiences that are required by ASHP (which are readily available online). However, I would be fine if a candidate asked specific questions such as involvement on committees, responding to codes, teaching opportunities, etc. as long as that information wasn't readily available on the hospital's website.

Are there any specific questions that you asked that would be helpful and also leave a good impression?
I would stay away from questions that could be answered easily via a Google search. Other than that, the showcase is for you to get the answers you need, which will depend on what you're looking for in a program. Impression-wise, residents see hundreds of students in a few short hours, so I personally think that not making a bad impression is more important than making a good impression. Bad impressions are easier to remember.

Also, how many programs did you visit at the showcase?
I was able to visit about 9 programs in each session. Keep in mind that you may have to wait to speak with someone from a program, so you have to triage and decide who you really want to talk to and how long you're willing to wait in lines.

I've been told not to apply for more than 10 programs, but I guess it depends on what you are interested in.
Apply to as many as you want and whatever will make you personally comfortable. However, keep in mind that each application requires money, time investment to complete the application and letter of intent, and if you are granted an interview - time for the interview. P4 year is busy, and fitting interviews into your APPE schedule and among your other residency interviews may be difficult. I personally applied to 12 programs.

One more question. I was going to approach some preceptors about asking for recommendations. When did you do this? I was told October by some and then some people have told me right after the rotation.
I asked mine early-to-mid November since that's when I felt that I had enough information to pass along to my preceptors in addition to my request. Your preceptor should have a general idea of your professional interests, types of programs you will be applying to, and career goals. They should also have a copy of your CV. Since ASHP is changes the letter-writing process every year, I provided my preceptors with a preliminary timeline of when things would need to be completed if they decided that they would be willing to write a letter for me.
 

tcasey

Psychiatric Pharmacy Resident
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May 2, 2011
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Nashville, TN
Rahul129 -- Do you remember the reason you were told not to apply to 10+ programs? As someone who is about to apply to ~15 different sites, I'm curious to know the logic behind that
 

GoldfishPharmD

walking on a dream
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Rahul129 -- Do you remember the reason you were told not to apply to 10+ programs? As someone who is about to apply to ~15 different sites, I'm curious to know the logic behind that
There's no harm in applying to 10 plus programs except costs and then if you end up getting a lot of interviews, you may have to turn some down if you can't afford all those trips. It's not going to hurt you.
 

rahul129

rrondo1392
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Mar 29, 2009
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Thanks for the help everyone! Definitely freaking out now that its close to midyear. I have a running list of roughly 25 programs I'm looking to talk to over the showcase. In my mind, I'm thinking I should reduce this to around 15 right?

Also, when would you guys recommend registering for the Match and PhorCAS? Do you recommend writing a personal statement even though the program doesn't specifically require it?
 

bacillus1

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May 27, 2008
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Thanks for the help everyone! Definitely freaking out now that its close to midyear. I have a running list of roughly 25 programs I'm looking to talk to over the showcase. In my mind, I'm thinking I should reduce this to around 15 right?

Also, when would you guys recommend registering for the Match and PhorCAS? Do you recommend writing a personal statement even though the program doesn't specifically require it?
No, 25 is OK. I talked to somewhere around 27 programs at Midyear back in my day, ended up applying to 9 and getting interviews for 4. It was hard to narrow down 9 programs, and often I just went by my "gut feeling" of whether the residents seemed to like a program, and whether the residents thought they'd have a good shot at jobs. Just ask what you'd like to ask; no one will remember you anyway unless you are unprofessional or have some other bad attributes (for example are super nervous or can't give a handshake). Just powerwalk and get a map of the programs beforehand so you know where they are. You don't need to do extra things that programs don't require--I only wrote a personal statement for 1 program that required it.
As far as references, ask soon. The holidays are coming up and us preceptors can be busy. My student already asked me yesterday.
 

rahul129

rrondo1392
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Ok good to know. I got my references all lined up so I'm good on that front.

How important is it to have your CV on resume paper? Should I just save it for when I go on an interview?
 

bacillus1

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Ok good to know. I got my references all lined up so I'm good on that front.

How important is it to have your CV on resume paper? Should I just save it for when I go on an interview?
Not important. The programs might not even look at your CV. Might get it for interviews though.
 

rahul129

rrondo1392
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7+ Year Member
Mar 29, 2009
61
1
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Pharmacist
Thanks! I had a great time at Midyear and definitly could narrow down my options (although I'm still working on it).
I ran into some unfamiliar terms when I was doing more research. What is a traditional vs. a nontraditional PGY1? They seem to have the same descriptions, but different stipend and even a separate checkbox on Phorcas.

Thanks!
 

bacillus1

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May 27, 2008
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I am not sure about non-traditional programs. The only ones I have heard of are programs for practicing pharmacists who want to go back for residency. I think they are spread out over more years, so you can be a practicing pharmacist while doing a residency.
 
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