PharmDalt

5+ Year Member
Jul 5, 2013
7
0
Status
Pharmacy Student
I am a P4 and I am just not sure which residencies to apply for. I have zero work experience and not a lot of professional involvement so all the really competitive residencies are out of questions. I do have a pretty decent GPA though (>3.6) and have had some good clinical rotations. Will probably have strong recommendation letters as well, but everyone has that. But the pressing issue right now is to decide which residencies to settle on applying to so I can let all my preceptors know for the letters of recommendation. I did go to midyear, talked to a lot of the VA programs in NY, Georgia, Florida, PA, Maryland etc. But I was really under prepared, didn't do enough research and ended up not checking out a lot of the non-VA programs. So here's my question, or rather multiple questions. How many residencies should I apply to considering that I am not the most competitive applicant out there? Barely meet the minimum requirements I would say. How are the VA residencies? From midyear, I really liked all of them. Are they really competitive? I mean prescriptive authority, lot of autonomy and extra pay for staffing, I would imagine everyone would want a VA residency. What about the ones in NY in particular?, there are 5 or so I think. Location-wise they are my best bet, but considering the # of pharmacy schools in NY, may be I should apply to other states around the tri-state area. Or should I just focus on the non-VA residencies if they are a little less competitive in general. I mean I know not all VA's are the same but just wondering. Long post and a lot of questions, apologies in advance, but all responses are appreciated.
 
Mar 24, 2013
183
45
Status
Pharmacy Student
You sound like me! Did you have any volunteer pharmacy experience in free clinics, etc in your area? I know a few pharmacists who have since graduated from my college of pharmact and gone on to do VA residencies and really enjoyed them. As far as your application process goes I think you should apply to a mix of both. If you really like the VA system and can see yourself working in that environment then go for it! Don't let the fear of not getting interviews keep you from applying. I would probably caution you not to apply to places only in large desirable cities but there are plenty of great VA options from the research I have done.

I think I am going to end up applying to around 7 non-VA and 7 VA programs. I too liked all of the VA programs I talked to. I am just working very hard on my letters of intent this week and I will hope for the best. As for your recommendation letters don't discredit that, from what i've heard not all people will have stand out letters. All of this being said I am a p4 like yourself and have not gone through the application process before. I just have taken advice from my peers/professors/mentors/etc. My COP is very heavy on residency training so we get a lot of good information about the application process and how to choose programs, etc. A lot of well qualified people I know last year applied to an average of 8-10 programs, that is why I am shooting for 12-14. I guess it really just takes one though :) good luck!
 
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PharmDalt

5+ Year Member
Jul 5, 2013
7
0
Status
Pharmacy Student
You sound like me! Did you have any volunteer pharmacy experience in free clinics, etc in your area? I know a few pharmacists who have since graduated from my college of pharmact and gone on to do VA residencies and really enjoyed them. As far as your application process goes I think you should apply to a mix of both. If you really like the VA system and can see yourself working in that environment then go for it! Don't let the fear of not getting interviews keep you from applying. I would probably caution you not to apply to places only in large desirable cities but there are plenty of great VA options from the research I have done.

I think I am going to end up applying to around 7 non-VA and 7 VA programs. I too liked all of the VA programs I talked to. I am just working very hard on my letters of intent this week and I will hope for the best. As for your recommendation letters don't discredit that, from what i've heard not all people will have stand out letters. All of this being said I am a p4 like yourself and have not gone through the application process before. I just have taken advice from my peers/professors/mentors/etc. My COP is very heavy on residency training so we get a lot of good information about the application process and how to choose programs, etc. A lot of well qualified people I know last year applied to an average of 8-10 programs, that is why I am shooting for 12-14. I guess it really just takes one though :) good luck!
Thanks! Did a bit of volunteering through professional organisations, couple of health fairs, patient education but nothing out of the ordinary.
 

bacillus1

10+ Year Member
May 27, 2008
2,802
439
Status
Pharmacist
When I did residency (2012-2013), I applied to 5 VA and 4 non-VA residencies. Ended up getting interviews at 2 VA and 2 non-VA and matched at a VA in PA. There were definitely positives and negatives to my program, but I'm glad I did a VA program because I was able to land a hybrid position at a VA in a very desirable location, and I don't have to get a state license in this location because you just need one license to work in any state if you work for the VA.
 

xiphoid2010

10+ Year Member
Aug 23, 2007
2,950
310
Texas
Status
Pharmacist
I am a P4 and I am just not sure which residencies to apply for. I have zero work experience and not a lot of professional involvement so all the really competitive residencies are out of questions. I do have a pretty decent GPA though (>3.6) and have had some good clinical rotations. Will probably have strong recommendation letters as well, but everyone has that. But the pressing issue right now is to decide which residencies to settle on applying to so I can let all my preceptors know for the letters of recommendation. I did go to midyear, talked to a lot of the VA programs in NY, Georgia, Florida, PA, Maryland etc. But I was really under prepared, didn't do enough research and ended up not checking out a lot of the non-VA programs. So here's my question, or rather multiple questions. How many residencies should I apply to considering that I am not the most competitive applicant out there? Barely meet the minimum requirements I would say. How are the VA residencies? From midyear, I really liked all of them. Are they really competitive? I mean prescriptive authority, lot of autonomy and extra pay for staffing, I would imagine everyone would want a VA residency. What about the ones in NY in particular?, there are 5 or so I think. Location-wise they are my best bet, but considering the # of pharmacy schools in NY, may be I should apply to other states around the tri-state area. Or should I just focus on the non-VA residencies if they are a little less competitive in general. I mean I know not all VA's are the same but just wondering. Long post and a lot of questions, apologies in advance, but all responses are appreciated.
I did VA residency in ohio 2010-11. Of the 7 residencies I applied, 5 were VA because that's the positive impession and feedback I got during school and rotations. The well established ones were competitive, but the new program and ambulatory care ones weren't so much.

The main draw was a very progressive pharmacy practice model with some limited prescribing rights, and a good way into the VA job system. I came out of there with a ton of knowledge on providing the standard of care, and a confidence to put it to practice. I ended up taking a private sector leadership opportunity, and it has propelled me faster and further than planned.

Doing a VA residency is a very flexible and successful path. You can stay within the VA system to enjoy a very secure job with good benefits that would be hard to get coming fro the outside, and still have the option to go out if a better opportunity comes along. The main thing is that when I finishing up, VA was aggressively expanding ambulatory care services at the expense of inpatient job openings. Not sure if it is still so.
 
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Jibby321

Ready or Not......
5+ Year Member
Jan 31, 2013
1,645
397
Status
Pharmacist
Anyone else have experience with VA residency? After you completed your residency were you offered a job?