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Yes, you may only apply to the UC San Diego Health Residency Program by registering for the ASHP Match and utilizing PHORCAS, the online application portal. Please refer to the PhORCAS website at
PhORCAS, which typically opens in early October.
Required Rotations - all residents will rotate through the following services at different times of the year:
Elective Rotations – there will be a total of 3 electives, two of which must be patient care electives.
No. While it is not required, many residents choose to apply to a post-graduate year two (PGY2) specialty program, either with UC San Diego Health or with another program. PGY2 Directors at UC San Diego Health may choose to offer early commitment to UC San Diego PGY1 residents, or to participate in the ASHP Match. Currently, UC San Diego Health offers PGY2 residency programs in Critical Care, Infectious Diseases, Health-System Pharmacy Administration, Internal Medicine, Oncology, Psychiatry, and Solid Organ Transplant.
First-year residents "staff" 20 weekends during the year. This includes two minor holidays and one major holiday. Residents receive a generous benefit’s package which includes 20 vacation days. Residents train on several weekends, and these training weekends count as staffing weekends. Residents are trained and staff in most areas of hospital pharmacy practice, including the central dispensing area and covering medical, surgical and ICU units, increasing the residents’ comfort and confidence as well as their marketability. Staffing is essential to becoming a fully competent practitioner and every year residents provide positive feedback regarding how valuable staffing is for their professional development. Once licensed the resident will also staff during some Wednesday Inpatient Pharmacy meetings.
Despite choosing electives in the first month, many residents discover new areas of interest. Each year more than half of our residents make changes to their rotation schedule. The program has been very flexible in changing the residency experience to accommodate the resident's changing interests and needs. In the past, special interests have been accommodated and encouraged. With over 25 electives to choose from, the challenge is choosing which electives to take!
Graduates from UC San Diego Health Residency Programs have strong market value and have chosen many different professional paths. Many PGY1 residents match or early commit to remain at UC San Diego Health for PGY2 residency programs; others have stayed at UC San Diego Health, hired on as pharmacists in various capacities. Some areas that second-year residents and fellows have specialized in at UC San Diego Health are HIV/infectious diseases, managed care, pediatrics, critical care, and transplantation. Other residents have continued their education in other specialty residencies or fellowships outside the UC system. Many residents have gone on to clinical positions at other local institutions and at institutions around the United States. Still others have gone on to industry, FDA and faculty positions at various schools of pharmacy and their affiliated hospitals. Many graduate residents sit for board exams and become Board Certified Pharmacotherapy Specialists.
A lot! We are a teaching and research focused academic institution. Residents precept second year IPPE and fourth year APPE students from the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences while they are on rotation. Residents are the primary preceptors/facilitators of the weekly case review Therapeutics Case Conferences. Collaborative teaching and information sharing occurs on a daily basis. PGY1 residents participate in a county-wide teaching certificate program.
Residents may choose to live close to the Hillcrest Medical Center or close to our La Jolla Hospital campus, which is also close to the UCSD Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, or anywhere in between. There are many housing atmospheres in San Diego, and residents may choose to live near the beach or inland. Rent prices vary depending on location, age and size of the unit, averaging $900-1500/month for a one or two bedroom apartment. Some residents choose to live with a significant other or to find a roommate. After the match, residents are provided with contact information for the residency class and may discuss housing. Matched residents are also paired with a current resident “buddy”. Your buddy may help you navigate the San Diego housing market and provide you with good recommendations and hints as to where to live.
No. UC San Diego Health and its residency programs have a long standing history of recruiting and matching with residents outside of California. We actively recruit at state and national professional meetings and we consider all qualified residency applicants. It is common to have a mix of students from the various California pharmacy schools as well as from throughout the United States.
Residents are required to take and pass the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination (NAPLEX) and the California Practice Standards and Jurisprudence Exam for Pharmacists (CPJE). This law exam typically contains a high percentage of clinical questions. Please start to make arrangements to take both exams as soon as you have decided to apply to residency programs in California. Many out of state applicants take the NAPLEX in their own states and then score transfer. You are required to have a valid California Intern Pharmacist license by July 1st and to have a valid California Pharmacist license within 90 days of starting your residency program. Contact information for the California State Board of Pharmacy may be found at:
https://www.pharmacy.ca.gov/. The NAPLEX is administered by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. The CPJE is administered by PSI licensure:certification, which can be contacted at
Yes. The pharmacy enjoys a strong, collaborative relationship with other health care professionals at UC San Diego Health. The residents are an integral part of this relationship.