Should Your Worry about a Pharmacy School Residency?

Many students entering into a pharmacy college this year are thinking about the inevitable end of their time in college. Specifically, when planning out their college education the question of residency will come up for many schools. This is a highly debated topic among professional educators, some of whom say that residency is necessary. Others claim it is not. So what’s the real scoop on pharmacy school residency?

According to the University of Southern California, the benefits are great. Residency can be a way to be paid to learn more about your career as a pharmacist, while remaining within the security of the school’s broader education system. At USC, residency benefits include:

“Individuals appointed to the School’s residency programs are entitled to the following:

Yearly stipend of approximately $47,500

Professional liability insurance provided at affiliated institutional sites

Fringe benefits including health insurance, 12 vacation days

Upon completion of their training, USC residents are highly sought after and typically accept positions in academia, pharmaceutical research, pharmacy management and clinical services.” Click here to learn more about USC’s pharmacy college and residency program.

The Red Headed Pharmacist (an industry blog) also discusses the benefits of residency, and why this pharmacist did not choose to complete a residency program in college:

“I’ve been talking with several pharmacy school students lately.   They usually have questions for me and any other pharmacist available to them about their future.   Of course the job market is on a lot of their minds as they get closer to the completion of their education.   But there is one decision I see more and more pharmacy school students struggling with as they get closer to their graduation.   They are debating whether or not to do a residency.

Now for the sake of full disclosure I personally did not do a residency after finishing pharmacy school.   I also have work exclusively in the community setting as a retail pharmacist since becoming a licensed pharmacist some 10 years ago.   So my opinions about a residency come from someone who doesn’t do the clinical work that typically requires the additional training a residency provides.  But I thought I would touch on the subject because I see so many pharmacy school students struggling with the decision and I’m not sure if their respective schools are giving them the best advice. A little real world advice might just help a few of you with your decision.

I honestly can see both sides to the argument but I will give my thoughts about whether or not a residency is worth a student’s time, effort, and the lost wages.    Now there are some pharmacy school students that know right away that they are going to go the clinical route after school.   These people should go ahead and do a residency but I think any student that makes that decision should be realistic about the job market they will encounter after school.” Read more on this topic in The great residency debate!