Completing a residency program offers many benefits, some of which can be quantified, such as knowledge gained and skills developed. Others are more intangible, such as the relationships you form and opportunities that become available to you.
Below is a list of key benefits:
Improved clinical skills, confidence, and critical thinking: You gain more experience in direct patient care, project development, management and other activities where you can apply knowledge you learned in the pharmacy curriculum and expand your problem-solving skills.
Competitive advantage in the job market: Today many pharmacy positions especially those in patient care require some level of residency training. Both ACCP and ASHP House of Delegates have indicated that by 2020, completing an ASHP- accredited residency should be required of all new college of pharmacy graduates who will be providing direct patient care. In some fields a residency is already a prerequisite for a job, and this trend will continue as the job market becomes more competitive. Additionally, as the practice of pharmacy keeps shifting further from a product-oriented profession to one focused on patient care, pharmacy graduates will need to obtain the knowledge, clinical experience, and problem solving, communication, leadership, and interpersonal skills needed to optimize outcomes and excel in managing patients.
More effective teaching: Everyday, pharmacists are teachers to patients, caregivers, other health care professionals, students, and colleagues. Residency programs often offer many teaching opportunities, which allow you to become comfortable in teaching roles to adapt to different learners. You may precept student pharmacists completing rotations during pharmacy school, teach didactic lectures, provide continuing education or staff development programs, conduct nursing or physician in-service training, or lead community service activities, such as health fairs. You may also have the opportunity to take part in formal teaching certificate programs.
Networking Opportunities: Each residency program has preceptors who will work with you as a coach and mentor, modeling clinical skills and providing valuable lessons in patient care, communication, and leadership. You may have a chance to work with different residents, depending on the size of the residency and to interact with past program participants. You may be able to build relationships with physicians, other health care professionals, and academicians- relationships that open doors and help you with future career planning. You also can network at regional residency conferences and professional meetings.
Development of leadership skills: As a resident, you may serve on committees in your institution or takle on leadership roles in the department or service. You will get to work on a research project and will likely be exposed to other project management opportunities throughout the year. You also may see how pharmacy is practices in different parts of the country and in different settings, which exposes you to new ideas and different ways of thinking and helps you craft your personal practice style." (Miller, 2013, p. 3)
Miller, M. (2013). Getting started in a Pharmacy residency. Washington, DC: American Pharmacists Association.