Psychiatry Specialty Residency

Kelly Lee, PharmD, MAS, BCPP, FCCP

Kelly Lee, PharmD, MAS, BCPP, FCCP

On behalf of UC San Diego Health, thank you for your interest in our PGY2 Psychiatric Pharmacy residency program. We offer an enriching residency with diverse core and elective rotations at numerous mental health facilities. Our program is designed to provide you with a variety of learning environments, patient populations, disease states, acuity, teaching opportunities and projects to prepare you to be an excellent clinical psychiatric specialist. Our program goal is to provide you with skills, knowledge and professional development opportunities that maximize your marketability for employment in any mental health setting including academic or community hospital settings and academic/management endeavors. We also prepare our residents to become board-certified in psychiatric pharmacy (BCPP) upon completion of the residency program. We encourage our residents to become active in the profession so that they can be future leaders and advocates for those with mental illness. Residents will enjoy the longstanding, strong, collaborative nature of our interprofessional mental health teams in providing evidence-based patient care, and will benefit from working with knowledgeable and dedicated preceptors. We look forward to meeting with you and discuss the numerous opportunities that our program has to offer!

Program Summary

  • Residency Positions Available Per Year
    1 resident is accepted each year
  • Stipend
    The current annual stipend is approximately $54,000.
  • Beginning Date
    August 1st (matched resident must be licensed pharmacists in the State of California before starting the residency year and no later than November 1st)
  • Application Procedure
    Eligible applicants must have graduated from an accredited school of pharmacy with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree and successfully completed a PGY1 pharmacy practice residency.
  • Application Deadline
    December 31

Program Contact

Kelly Lee, PharmD, MAS, BCPP, FCCP
PGY2 Psychiatric Pharmacy Residency Director

Resident Contacts

Program Overview

PDF of PGY2 psychiatry program overview

Residency Program Purpose

Pharmacy residents completing the UC San Diego Postgraduate Year Two (PGY2) Psychiatric Pharmacy Practice Residency will be described as advanced mental health practitioners who will be able to make complex medication recommendations in a variety of psychiatric practice settings. This program is also designed to facilitate growth in areas of effective communication, critical assessment and management of psychopharmacology drug treatment, and leadership. Graduates of this PGY2 residency will possess intense, focused and marketable job skills that should prepare them for career opportunities in any mental health practice setting and be eligible to sit for board certification in psychiatric pharmacy examination.

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Required Learning Experiences

  • Orientation/training/research: 3 weeks
  • Core rotations: Adult Psychiatry, Geropsychiatry, Chemical Dependency/Substance Abuse, Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Correctional Psychiatry, Consult Liaison Psychiatry
  • Longitudinal Clinics: Adult ADHD, Senior Behavioral, Intensive Outpatient Pain Psychiatry
  • Electives: Emergency Medicine, Pain & Palliative Care, Academia, HIV Clinic, others (may also repeat any other Core rotations except Adult Psychiatry)
  • Staffing: 16 weekends throughout the year, including 1 major and 1 minor holiday
  • Research project and publication

The PGY2 resident will gain the skills to function as a psychiatric pharmacist during the required and elective rotations. Primary service responsibilities include rounding with the interdisciplinary team (inpatient experiences) to design, recommend, monitor, and evaluate patient-specific therapeutic regimens that incorporate the principles of evidence-based medicine. The resident will also learn skills needed to function within a multi-disciplinary mental health treatment team. Daily activities will include: participating in treatment rounds, reviewing each patient’s profile for appropriateness of drug therapy, providing provider, nursing and patient education, validating pharmacy orders on patients, and overseeing and directing PGY1 resident and pharmacy student activities. This integration of staffing and clinical services prepares the resident for any type of practice environment they may encounter in their future jobs by emphasizing the development of essential skills required for an advanced pharmacy practitioner: independent practice skills, multi-tasking and prioritization. During ambulatory care experiences, the resident will learn to integrate psychopharmacology knowledge in the care of specialty clinic patient populations.

Supplemental experiences: Electives

The resident will be provided with two-three six-week elective rotations during the residency year. The other electives can be selected from the list below (additional rotations may be available). 

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Palliative Care
  • Consult Liaison Psychiatry
  • Academia
  • HIV Clinic
  • Long-Term Care/Nursing Home
  • Adult Psychiatry
  • Geropsychiatry
  • Correctional Psychiatry
  • Child Adolescent Psychiatry
  • Chemical Dependency/Substance Abuse


Teaching is a large component of our program. The PGY2 resident will have many opportunities to precept/teach and their training will include learning how to incorporate teaching into their clinical responsibilities. UC San Diego is a teaching institution affiliated with UCSD Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (SSPPS) and UCSD School of Medicine. The PGY2 psychiatry resident will be a conference facilitator for 3rd year pharmacy students at UCSD SSPPS for the Therapeutics Course (Psychiatry/Neurology Modules). The resident will be required to participate in weekly preconferences and serve as a facilitator for a group of students. The resident will create patient case and SOAP keys for teaching purposes and may assist with creating/grading oral and written exams and simulation exercises. The resident will also be given opportunities to provide didactic lectures within the course. The PGY2 resident will also have multiple opportunities to precept 4th year SSPPS pharmacy students and PGY1 pharmacy practice residents, as well as to work with UCSD physician interns, residents and fellows on most, if not all, rotations. In addition, the resident will be asked to give many educational lectures to their colleagues throughout their residency year.

Grand Rounds: The resident will deliver a 1-hour CE lecture to the pharmacy staff regarding a topic in psychiatry. Allied health professionals are welcome to attend. Presentations are accredited for continuing education through California Accreditation for Pharmacy Education (CAPE).

M&M/ Medication Safety Related Topic:  The resident is required to provide one medication safety related topic presented to pharmacists, faculty, preceptors, residents, students, and technicians.  The resident will be assigned a topic and present during their Administration rotation.  Topics will be assigned by the M&M preceptor, Medication Safety Specialist, Dr. Sally Rafie.

Psychiatry Clinical Forums/Journal Club: The resident is required to present 3 “mini” grand rounds and 3 journal club presentations during the year at our Psychiatry Clinical Forum. The mini grand rounds are 20-minute lectures on various didactic topics related to the ASHP supplemental standard for an Advanced Practice Residency in Psychiatry and will be relevant to the patient population the resident is currently involved with from a rotational perspective. The objective of journal club will be to select and critically review a recently published journal article related to psychiatry/neurology.

Outreach Presentation: Residents participate in community outreach programs addressing the public regarding neuropsychiatric disease prevention and wellness promotion.

In-Services:  Residents are required to provide several medication and/or disease state in-services to medical teams, students, pharmacy preceptors and pharmacy staff as assigned by preceptors.  Topics will be based on requests by the nursing or medical staff, recommendations from the resident, or assigned by the preceptor.

San Diego Pharmacy Residency Leadership Teaching Certificate Program

The PGY2 resident has the option of participating in the San Diego Pharmacy Residency Leaders (SDPRL) Teaching Certificate Program which includes a seminar series with residents from other county-wide residency programs. Seminar topics will focus on teaching and preceptor development. Alternatively, the resident may select certain seminars to attend based on his/her interest areas.


The resident will be responsible for conducting 1 research project throughout the academic year that will be presented at the College of Psychiatric and Neurologic Pharmacists (CPNP) Annual . The resident is expected to submit the research findings to a peer-reviewed journal for publication. A list of project ideas will be generated from the preceptors and resident is expected to select a project during the first month of the residency year.


The resident will be required to write a manuscript suitable for publication by the end of the residency year. The purpose of this requirement will be the development of scientific writing and communication skills. The types of publishable literature can include any of the following types of manuscripts:

  • Case reports with a review of the literature
  • Primary research /original research
  • Medication Use Evaluation
  • Meta-analysis of a disease state or therapy
  • Review article


Residents complete a concentrated training rotation.  During training, the resident will work with members of the Pharmacy Staff in the Central Dispensing Area, as well as with several of the floor pharmacists, to gain an insight into the clinical and distributional functions of the centrally and floor based practitioners.  The resident will learn to manage and supervise the medication dispensing and delivery activities of the pharmacy technicians.  The PGY2 resident will be trained to cover the psychiatric/medicine units at UC San Diego Medical Center in Hillcrest during the residency year. The PGY2 resident will be required to staff 16 weekends (which includes 1 minor holiday weekend AND 1 major holiday). The resident will receive 13 paid days for holidays and 12 sick days for the academic year. Vacation time will be in accordance with GME rules and will be defined as 20 days of vacation PLUS 5 days for professional leave to attend meetings or conferences.

Professional meetings

The resident will have the opportunity to attend various professional meetings throughout the year. Resident receives an annual travel stipend that is variable based on available funding. The resident will receive a set stipend for the year which can be used at his/her discretion for registration, travel, accommodations, etc. The cost of attending the CPNP Annual Meeting (or an equivalent conference) will be deducted from the travel stipend, along with any other conferences the resident chooses to attend. Attendance at CPNP Annual Meeting is mandatory along with one additional meeting for recruitment purposes.

Program Outcomes

Our PGY2 Psychiatric Pharmacy resident completing this program will be advanced practitioners proficient to:

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Serve as an authoritative resource on the optimal use of medications used to treat individuals with psychiatric and neuropsychiatric disorders.

Our resident will learn to provide concise, applicable, comprehensive, accurate, and timely responses to requests for drug information pertaining to the care of individuals with psychiatric and neuropsychiatric disorders by using appropriate biomedical literature and assist the organization in achieving compliance with regulatory requirements related to the use of psychiatric and neuropsychiatric medications.

Optimize the outcomes of diverse populations of inpatients and outpatients with a variety of psychiatric and neuropsychiatric disorders and a range of complexity of problems by providing evidence-based, patient-centered medication therapy as an integral part of an interdisciplinary team.

By consistently using an efficient and comprehensive pharmacy practice methodology, our graduating residents will become leaders in medication safety and have enhanced patient outcomes by integrating patient- and evidence-based disease-specific pharmacotherapy at the level of an advanced practitioner in various neuropsychiatric settings.

Demonstrate leadership and practice management skills.

Our graduating residents will effectively strengthen their knowledge, skills, and abilities in all key areas of practice management. These areas would include, among others, exploring their own professional growth improving the quality of one’s own self-assessment, developing effective negotiation skills to resolve conflicts, and demonstrating a commitment to advocacy for the optimal care of patients.

Demonstrate excellence in the provision of training or educational activities for health care professionals, health care professionals in training, and the public.

Our graduating residents will become proficient in educating health care professionals, patients, and students on psychiatric and neurologic topics. Our residents will also be able to provide concise and accurate responses to requests for psychopharmacology drug information from health care providers.

Evaluate and improve the medication-use process in psychiatric and neuropsychiatric patient care areas.

Our graduating resident will contribute to the maintenance of the organization’s formulary for medications used in individuals with psychiatric and neuropsychiatric disorders by recommending modifications to the organization’s formulary and identifying alternatives to medications in real/hypothetical shortage situations.

Conduct psychiatric pharmacy practice research.

Our graduating residents will learn skills to be able to participate in continuous quality improvement (CQI) projects and psychiatric pharmacy practice research projects using effective project management skills. The resident will learn knowledge and skills required to conduct research in a responsible and ethical manner.