Solid Organ Transplantation Specialty Residency

Ashley Feist, SOT Director

Ashley Feist, Solid Organ Transplantation 

Thank you for your interest in the University of California (UC), San Diego Health PGY2 Solid Organ Transplantation specialty residency. All of the residency programs at UC San Diego Health are ASHP-accredited and fully committed to providing residents with a supportive learning environment and opportunities for professional growth in evidence-based patient care, teaching and research while also encouraging the resident’s sense of clinical responsibility and scholarly curiosity. Residents accepted into the UC San Diego Health PGY2 Solid Organ Transplantation specialty residency program will have the benefit of participating within established clinical services in both an inpatient and outpatient setting as well as developing and establishing new and unique solid organ transplantation programs throughout the health system. This flexible program offers a wide variety of established electives as well as opportunities to implement new or update existing clinical rotations with an emphasis in solid organ transplantation. As expected at an academic medical center, residents will also have many teaching opportunities both within a didactic setting at the UC San Diego Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and as a preceptor to other pharmacy residents and pharmacy students while on clinical rotations. Graduating residents will be described as advanced practitioners who are equipped to be fully integrated members of the interdisciplinary team while providing solid organ transplantation services in both the inpatient and ambulatory care setting.

Program Summary

  • Residency Positions Available Per Year
    1-2 residents are accepted each year
  • Stipend
    The current annual stipend is approximately $54,000.
  • Beginning Date
    August 1st (matched residents must be licensed pharmacists in the State of California before starting the residency year and no later than October 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 found on PhORCAS at
  • Application Deadline 
    December 31 

Program Contact

Ashley Feist, PharmD, BCPS
PGY2 Solid Organ Transplant Pharmacy Residency Director

Resident Contacts

Program Overview

Program Overview Solid Organ Transplantation

Residency Program Purpose

The purpose of the UCSD Solid Organ Transplant Pharmacy Practice Residency is to train and educate pharmacists in the delivery of exemplary pharmaceutical care focused in solid organ transplantation in both the inpatient and outpatient setting. Following the completion of the transplant residency program, the resident will be a competent member of the interdisciplinary team caring for transplant patients and assuming responsibility for the medication-related aspects of care. The resident will become skilled in providing education to multiple audiences including transplant patients and caregivers and other members of the healthcare team. In addition, the resident will have the opportunity to gain valuable experience in research and guideline/protocol development and will be able to contribute to the rapidly developing field of transplantation. The resident will demonstrate a commitment to professional and personal development, monitoring his/hers own performance and exhibiting leadership skills in all practice areas. Graduates of this specialized program will be highly skilled practitioners in transplantation and will be prepared for career opportunities in the focused field of solid organ transplantation.

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Required Learning Experiences

  • Orientation/training/research: 2-4 weeks (duration determined by the resident’s previous work experience)
  • Inpatient Abdominal Transplant/Hepatology: 2 blocks of 4-6 weeks
  • Inpatient Cardiothoracic Transplant: 2 blocks of 4-6 weeks
  • Ambulatory Care Clinics for Abdominal and Cardiothoracic Transplant: 5 weeks
  • Electives: 3 blocks of 5 weeks
  • Staffing: 12 weekends throughout the year (~1 shift/month) including 1 minor holiday plus 1 major holiday
  • Research project, Immunology Lab, and Life Sharing: 4 weeks

Supplemental experiences: Electives

There will be a total of 6 rotations that the resident can choose their three electives from. The electives can be selected from the list below and any of the transplant rotations may be repeated as an elective.

  • Nephrology
  • Bone Marrow Transplant
  • Cardiology
  • Transplant Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacokinetics
  • Surgical or Medical ICU


Teaching is a large component of our program. PGY2 residents 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 resident will have multiple opportunities to precept 4th year SSPPS pharmacy students and PGY1 pharmacy practice residents, as well as to work with UCSD multidisciplinary transplant team to provide in-services on medication related issues. Additionally, focus is placed on teaching patients and care givers pre and post-transplant in both the inpatient and outpatient setting.

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

Transplant Journal Club/Patient Support Groups: Residents are required to present at least 1 transplant journal club and 1 patient support group throughout the year. The resident will also be given multiple opportunities to provide in-services to other healthcare providers throughout the year.

Transplant Morning Conference/Topic Discussions: During the transplant rotations, the resident will lead/coordinate the transplant pharmacy conference with the students and PGY1 residents that are on the transplant rotation. A calendar of topics is scheduled in advance and the resident will have the opportunity to lead discussion on various topics including (but not limited to): immunosuppressive agents, opportunistic infections, acute kidney injury, HCV/HBV, HTN/Proteinuria, BK nephropathy, DM post-transplant, and anemia. Leading the conference provides residents the opportunity to practice a variety of teaching styles and improves their understanding of and ability to teach fundamental transplant topics.

Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences: Involvement with UCSD’s School of Pharmacy will vary but the resident may choose to be a conference leader for one of the 3rd year therapeutics courses and/or provide didactic lectures. The resident may be asked to write cases for therapeutics conference and prepare exam questions based on the lectures presented. Residents will also have multiple opportunities to directly precept 4th year pharmacy students who are currently on rotation with the resident.

San Diego Pharmacy Residency Leadership Teaching Certificate Program

PGY2 residents have 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, residents may select certain seminars to attend based on their interest areas.

Research/Quality Improvement Project

The resident will be responsible for conducting 1 research project throughout the academic year that will be presented at a conference and written up in manuscript form. A list of project ideas will be generated from the transplant preceptors for selection during the first month of the residency year. The resident will also complete a Quality Improvement project during the year. The project may include updating/implementing transplant protocols, assisting with the development of transplant care plans or implementing quality improvement projects to improve patient care.

Committee Experience

The resident will participate in select hospital and transplant committees throughout the year. This will include participation in the transplant teams selection and quality assurance committees.


The resident will be required to write a manuscript suitable for publication by the end of their 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


Staffing will be incorporated into the residency experience with weekend shifts that provide the opportunity for PGY2 residents to cover the inpatient transplant services. The PGY2 residents will be required to staff 12 weekends (which includes 1 minor holiday weekend) PLUS 1 major holiday (Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year’s). The resident will get 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 residents will have the opportunity to attend various professional meetings throughout the year. Residents receive an annual travel stipend that is variable based on available funding. In the past, residents have received a set stipend for the year which they can use at their discretion for registration, travel, accommodations, etc. Residents are encouraged to attend a specialty meeting (e.g. American Transplant Congress, ISHLT).

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Program Outcomes

Our Solid Organ Transplant (PGY2) Pharmacy residents completing this program will be advanced practitioners proficient in the areas of:

Serve as an authoritative resource on the optimal use of medications in recipients of a solid organ transplant.

Our graduating residents will become experts in transplant pharmacy related information and resources. Residents will also gain experience in developing guidelines and protocols for transplant patient care. Additionally, graduating residents will have developed a transplant related library and will be able to provide answers to drug information questions.

Optimize the outcomes of transplant patients by promoting and/or providing evidence-based medication therapy as an integral member of an interdisciplinary team in acute and ambulatory care settings

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 transplant settings.

Manage and improve the medication-use process in transplant patient care areas

The pharmacy resident will gain experience and will become a resource for administration and distribution of transplant related medications and will be able to optimize the medication-use system for transplant patients.

Demonstrating 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 about transplant-related medications for health care professionals and health care professionals in training.

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

Conduct transplant research.

Our graduating residents will be engaged in multiple transplant related projects throughout the year including a continuous quality improvement (CQI) project and at least one formal research project. Enhanced project management skills and familiarity of technological systems will support the resident throughout these endeavors.