Residency Program “turbocharging” careers

Symposium attendees (L-R): Jacinta Johnson (SA Health), Cherrie Leong (Epic pharmacy), Courtney King (Icon Cancer Care), Chris Freeman (Vice President, PSA)
Symposium attendees (L-R): Jacinta Johnson (SA Health), Cherrie Leong (Epic pharmacy), Courtney King (Icon Cancer Care), Chris Freeman (Vice President, PSA)

Early career pharmacists and students say they have been inspired learning about SHPA’s hospital residency program – the first of its kind in Australia

Over 60 pharmacists have gathered in Melbourne over the past few days to attend the 2017 SHPA Residency Symposium, which was held to highlight Australia’s first hospital pharmacy resident program.

SHPA CEO Kristin Michaels says the symposium marks a “turning point” for the new SHPA Residency Program launched in late 2016, a two-year residency program designed to help pharmacists consolidate their formal academic education and apply this knowledge in real and complex workplace settings.

Within its first 12 months, the program already has accredited 30 sites around Australia and enrolled over 100 pharmacy residents.

“Following this success of our inaugural event in 2016, this year we’ve turned our attention to providing program leaders, preceptors, clinical educators and pharmacy directors with the hands-on support and guidance they need to deliver quality residency programs,” says Ms Michaels.

“The Residency Program is providing twin benefits: turbocharging the early careers of hospital pharmacists in their formative years, while rapidly deepening the skill set and capacity of hospital pharmacy departments.”

Shefali Parekh.
Shefali Parekh.

SHPA president Michael Dooley says the organisation’s vision is for all early career hospital pharmacists to undertake residency.

Shefali Parekh, immediate past president of NAPSA, told AJP that the residency program represents a “promising future” for aspiring hospital pharmacists.

Ms Parekh, who hopes to enter hospital pharmacy in the future, attended the event as the newly appointed NAPSA representative on the Residency Project Steering Committee.

“Residency represents a promising future and I am truly humbled to be given the opportunity to bring the student perspective to the committee table and keep students engaged,” says Ms Parekh.

“NAPSA’s National Pharmacy Student Survey has often highlighted students’ fears of lack of direction and career advancement in the pharmacy profession.

“Residency is a way forward in navigating the many career pathways that exist within the profession, and allows you to reflect on the impact of your practice through what you do, rather than what you know.”

Specialist pharmacist Jacinta Johnson says advanced clinical practice “builds the profession, opens opportunities, gives assurance of our value”.

UK program manager from the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, Beth Ward, says she is delighted Australian hospitals have embraced a framework that has been proven overseas.

“Not only do residency programs give early career pharmacists support to consolidate their studies, they assure hospitals that staff are providing patients with the best possible care in a safe environment,” says Ms Ward.

“In the UK we’ve published evidence that pharmacists who structure their career path via programs utilising developmental frameworks advance faster, and pharmacy services offering these programs are more enticing to enthusiastic and dedicated newcomers.”

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