What is the ASHP PGY2 Residency in Solid Organ Transplant Pharmacy Practice?

A specialized residency in solid organ transplant pharmacy practice is defined by ASHP as an organized, directed postgraduate program that centers on developing a mastery of knowledge and an expert level of competency in solid organ transplant pharmacy practice. The residency is organized and conducted to develop expert skills and competency in the area of solid organ transplantation. This residency is designed to focus on areas of immunosuppression, post-transplant complications, and transplant-related infectious diseases. It is a minimum of 12 months in length and is designed to build on those competencies developed by a PGY1 Residency in Pharmacy Practice.  

What are the goals of residency training at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center? 

The overall goal of the St. Luke’s residencies is to provide to the resident the practical training and experience that provides the opportunity and stimulus to develop, to the highest degree attainable, professional expertise and competence as a health-system pharmacy practitioner. Other goals are to provide a foundation for, and stimulate an interest in, the achievement of a leadership role in the profession; to support the attainment of professional self-realization; to prepare the resident for more advanced training or experiences, if that is the career objective; and, for the PGY2 solid organ transplant specialty residency, to prepare the resident to be a competent practitioner in this challenging, exciting, and professionally rewarding practice.

What is the history of the residency programs at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center?

An ASHP-accredited residency in hospital pharmacy was first initiated at Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center in 1972. It continued for some time, producing many graduates who have since assumed significant positions in all areas of the country. Full accreditation for the new program at BSLMC was awarded by the ASHP Commission on Credentialing in September 1992.  As of the fall of 2013, we have had 62 graduates of the current program and six in training.  Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center has several other residency opportunities. We have a post-graduate year 2 (PGY2) Critical Care Residency which was accredited in 2003 and has seventeen graduates and one in training. We also have a PGY2 Cardiology specialty residency program started in July 2008 and received full accreditation 2011. Also in 2008, we established a two year Infectious Diseases Fellowship in conjunction with the University of Houston College of Pharmacy. We have had five fellows complete the program. There are currently two in the program. Most fellows have stayed on to complete a third year. Lastly, we have a PGY1/PGY2 MS and Pharmacy Administration residency in conjunction with the University of Houston that was established in July 2009 and received full accreditation in 2011. We have had four graduates in the program and two in training. In 2012, we expanded the PGY1 Pharmacy Practice Residency to 6 positions. In addition, we added a PGY2 Solid Organ Transplant Residency program, which has had two graduates, one in training and received full accreditation in 2013. 

How is the PGY2 Solid Organ Transplant residency offered at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center?

The residency is a full-time 52-week program which requires a commitment of 40-48 hours per week. The residency is conducted through the accomplishment of formal learning objectives, consistent with the accreditation standards of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). The program is custom tailored to each resident’s background, experiences, and personal goals for the program.  

The start date of the residency is around July 1st. Earlier or later start dates may be arranged based on individual circumstances. Ample time is given off to take the licensure exam if that is an issue.  PGY2 residents staff every third weekend and can expect to cover one major and one minor holiday during the year, in addition to a clinical practice rotation. Two weeks of paid vacation are available during the year, and are given as additional pay if not used.  

Tell me more about “staffing experiences”. 

We knew you’d ask. Staffing experiences mean that the resident will be dedicated to working as a clinical practitioner here at Baylor St. Luke’s -- this is a critical component to the program as often times, this is your first opportunity to be an independent Pharmacist. Residents complete their staffing component through every third weekend assignments and a 4 week required rotation (Clinical Practice). While staffing, residents rotate through positions focused on patient centered services as well as centralized prospective order review. We believe that such staffing experiences are a very important part of meeting practice residency goals and objectives and that the absence of such experiences diminishes the resident’s growth and practice maturity in the program.

It is our belief that meaningful staffing experiences are absolutely necessary in the PGY2 solid organ transplant residency. We are, after all, focused on training competent practitioners who will provide pharmaceutical care to solid organ transplant patients. Staffing experiences give the resident the opportunity to function independently as a practitioner by conceptualizing and integrating accumulated experience and knowledge and transforming it into improved pharmaceutical care for patients who have received transplanted organs. The absence of such experiences diminishes the resident’s growth and practice maturity in the program.  

What is the stipend, and what benefits are included?  

The current stipend per year is $47,760. Residents are entitled to the same benefits as clinical pharmacists.  Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center has a “choice plan” for insurance benefits, with many options available to fit the individual or family situation.  

BSLMC allocates “benefit dollars” to employees, who then can spend them on the benefits of their choice. The allocation covers the needs of the individual employee, with payroll deduction for increased individual coverage or family/dependent plans. Parking is provided for free at a remote lot with access to Metro Transit (Metrorail) and free, air-conditioned shuttle service at all hours.  

Funded meetings are the American Transplant Congress and the Texas Society of Health-System Pharmacists annual seminar and ALCALDE Southwest Leadership Conference. Presentations of both projects are required to be given at each meeting attended.

The resident has dedicated desk space with access to a personal computer with all contemporary software and printing. Full internet access is provided, with e-mail services.   

What other opportunities are available with the Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center residency?

A major advantage in taking the residency program at Baylor St. Luke’s is its location in the Texas Medical Center (TMC). The TMC is the largest medical center in the world, and is more than twice as large as the second largest medical center. It occupies over 500 acres, including twelve major hospitals representing over five thousand beds, and has a large central medical complex. It is home to nine academic institutions including two colleges of medicine, two colleges of pharmacy, several colleges of nursing, dentistry, and other medical disciplines. TMC is adjacent to the Rice University campus and the Hermann Park/Museum complex of the City of Houston. Baylor St. Luke’s itself is home to the world renowned Texas Heart® Institute. The first human heart transplant in the United States was performed here; more open heart surgical procedures have been performed here than anywhere else in the world, and Baylor St. Luke’s has the largest cardiac catheterization facility in the world.

Houston is the fourth largest city in the nation and has an abundance of recreational opportunities. Immediately to the south of the Medical Center is the large Reliant Park complex, featuring NRG Stadium and the Astrodome. Evenings out can include events such as the Houston Astros, Texans, Rockets or Comets games. The beaches and attractions of Galveston Island are less than an hour away. Other activities include multi-cultural activities such as opera, the ballet, symphony or musicals. In addition, there are many places to eat and try new foods. 

What about the Department of Pharmacy?

The Department of Pharmacy at Baylor St. Luke’s consists of approximately 175 staff members, of which nearly 100 are pharmacists. All contemporary services are provided.  We emphasize being a “pharmacist-centered pharmacy in a patient-centered hospital.” Our distribution model uses unit based automation with decentralized clinical pharmacy services. We have automated carousels and automated repackaging in Central Pharmacy. Pharmacy Services are available 24/7 in Central Pharmacy. We have four pharmacy satellites in the operating room (OR), Cardiovascular OR, Outpatient OR Satellite, and Emergency Department Satellite.

The hospital itself has 850 available beds, of which 157 are intensive care. It has forty-four operating rooms and ten cardiac catheterization labs.  

What is desired in an applicant for the Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center residency?

We are looking for mature individuals who have made a career decision to become a leader in health-system or institutional pharmacy. The candidate must be prepared to make a serious commitment to satisfactorily complete all requirements of the program, as planned in advance. This commitment includes attendance at required meetings, programs, presentations and trips, and the availability and willingness to participate in any function of the Department of Pharmacy on a 24-hour basis. The residency is tailored to each individual, and regular evaluations of accomplishment must be satisfactory.  This is a mature program for mature individuals who are serious about the profession as a lifelong career, and solid organ transplant as a specialty practice. Applicants should hold the PharmD degree and complete and ASHP-Accredited PGY1 Residency in Pharmacy Practice prior to starting the Specialty Residency. Texas licensure is required as well.  

How does one apply and what about interviews?  

You will need to apply to our residency program online through the ASHP PhORCAS program (www.ashp.org/phorcas). Application documents required are a cover letter, curriculum vitae, college transcripts (if less than five years post-graduation), letters of recommendation along with the ASHP-developed recommendation form and a passport-size photo. The application deadline is January 5, 2015 at 11:59 p.m.  

An on-site interview is considered very important and is required for a complete application. All applications will be screened by our Residency Advisory Council, and all applicants chosen for interview will be contacted by the middle of January.  The on-site interview is a full day, and will include a fifteen minute presentation on a disease state management topic of your choice to a group of pharmacists. You will interview with two groups of Clinical Coordinators and Pharmacy Executives as well as Residents. The last date for interviews is normally one week before the ASHP match list submission date. Financial assistance for the on-site interview is not available, but we will work with you in any way we can to reduce expenses.