Overview of the Matching Program
Figuring out how many pharmacy residency programs to apply to is very difficult, but a good rule of thumb is to apply to 10-15 programs. Even if you think you are an ideal candidate, do not limit yourself to only 3-4 programs.
You will use the Pharmacy Online Residency Centralized Application Service, also known as (PhORCAS), to submit your residency applications. This website will allow you to submit one application that disseminates to multiple ASHP accredited residency programs.
Once your application is submitted, your thank you letters are sent, applicants will go though the ASHP Resident Matching Program known as "The Match" which is a program designed to link applicants to PGY1 and PGY2 pharmacy residency programs (http://www.natmatch.com/ashprmp/). Dates, deadlines and registration information is also available on this website.
Note: Only programs that are ASHP accredited participate in The Match.
You may have to wait 2-6 weeks before receiving an invitation to interview after you submit your applications. Make sure you are well prepared in case you get one or ten interviews. For tips on preparing for your interview, please click here.
Ranking Residency Programs
Once you are finished with your interviews, your rank order becomes your most important decision. This is where you will have to ask yourself, in what order to rank the programs and if you should rank some programs at all. Your top priority in ranking these programs should be your own goals and personal preferences. Some additional thoughts that you may want to consider as you are ranking are:
-Mission of the program
-Opportunities in patient care, research and teaching
-Can you see yourself working there?
-Will your RPDs meet your learning and mentoring needs?
The Match is conducted in two phases:
Phase I: All applicants and programs submit their Rank Order Lists by the Rank Order List deadline for Phase I of the Match. You may submit your rank order selections as many times as you wish until the submission period is over. On Match Day, don't forget to ask your APPE preceptors for Match Day off in case you do not match and have to scramble. What if you did not match with any program? You move on to Phase II.
Phase II: Programs with unfilled positions in Phase I will offer those positions to unmatched applicants in Phase II. This will be the time where you scramble. To position yourself for success, you must fully understand how the scramble works. After the official Match of Phase I results are sent to residency programs and selected applicants, a list of unmatched positions is sent to the unmatched applicants and a list of unmatched applicants is simultaneously sent to programs with open positions.
As soon as you get your results and find out that you did not match, you will have to contact your references letting them know that you did not match and that you will need them to resend letters of recommendation to the new programs you identify (from the "Scramble list" which you will be able to access through PhORCAS). Keep in mind that you will have to be open to new residency programs in different parts of the U.S. Remember to talk to your professors and faculty and ask them for support and advice.
If you are seeking an ASHP accredited residency program, there are rules that apply to you and to the programs. Please click here to read the Rules for the ASHP Pharmacy Resident Matching Program