UIC Pharmacy Practice Residency FAQ’s

  1. What are the required rotations?
  2. How many electives do the resident get?
  3. How long are the rotations?
  4. How much staffing is there?
  5. Are there rotations off-site?
  6. How many residents are you recruiting?
  7. Is there a preference for in-state or out-of-state school graduates?
  8. What is the “on-call” program?
  9. What teaching responsibilities are there?
  10. Where do residents go after the residency?
  11. What are the strengths/weaknesses of the program?
  12. How do you keep track of the individual resident?
  13. Do I really need to do a Pharmacy Practice Residency prior to a Specialty Residency/Fellowship at UIC?
  14. What PGY2 Residencies or Fellowships are offered or will be offered at UIC and do they participate in early commitment?
  15. How much vacation (and other benefits questions)?
  16. How much is the stipend?
  17. When is the application due?
  18. When is the start date?
  19. I have to start late, What do I do?
  20. Do I have to have an Illinois license?


  1. What are the required rotations? 
  1. There are six traditional month long required rotations: Internal Medicine (one in each half of the year, the second half Internal Medicine rotation will focus on precepting experiential students), Critical Care, Pediatrics, Drug Information and Pharmacy Systems.
  2. The resident is also required to attend a half-day longitudinal Ambulatory Care Clinic for the entire year. This clinic activity excuses the resident from any activity otherwise scheduled by the assigned monthly rotation. This ambulatory care service component may be split into two different six-month clinic sites.
  3. The resident is also required to participate in the on-call program throughout the year. When on the required Pharmacy Systems rotation, the resident may still be assigned on-call shifts though at a diminished frequency, that will be dependent on the total number of individuals participating in the on-call program that specific year. In general a resident should expect to have 3-5 on-call shifts per month with the exception of July and August
  4. The resident is required to attend the July orientation activities, which is usually completed after three weeks. Residents are also expected to spend one full week “staffing” in hospital pharmacy after orientation and before the end of August rotation. Past work experience and demonstrated competencies may lead to the forbearance of that “staffing training” week.

What do you mean by Pharmacy Systems rotation?

Each resident is required to successfully perform in the Pharmacy Systems rotation, which is moderately analogous to an administrative rotation.  Currently, there is both a Hospital Pharmacy Systems rotation and a Primary Care Systems rotation. Residents will be assigned to either site based on past experiences and future career plans. For example, residents wishing to focus in ambulatory care will be assigned the Primary Care Systems rotation. Residents wishing to focus in acute care will be assigned to the Hospital Pharmacy Systems rotation. Both sites require staffing assignments

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  1. How many electives do the resident get?

The residency provides for five months of electives. The remainder of the year is composed of the July Orientation and the five required rotations listed above. Typically, each resident is scheduled to have two required and two electives during August through December (the remaining assignment varies depending on performance and availability) and the remaining three of each during January through June.

Resident interests are solicited after the ASHP Matching Program results are announced and a preliminary schedule for the first six months is prepared and distributed during July Orientation.

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  1. How long are the rotations?

They are typically 4 weeks long. 

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  1. How much staffing is there?

There is “staffing” year round when one considers that the on-call program is clinical staffing. Conventionally defined “traditional “staffing” occurs during the Systems rotation month and also on Saturday and Sunday daytime on-call shifts when the paired PGY1 residents will be based in a hospital pharmacy practice area splitting the assigned responsibilities of that area while also performing traditional on-call responsibilities not covered by assigned PGY2 “clinical staffing” residents.

Is there emergency staffing?

There is not. When emergencies arise, the residents may be asked to volunteer to cover or assist in service coverage and they are allowed to do so as long as there is no concomitant on-call assignment. If the emergency persists beyond a single day/weekend, then residents would only participate if there were no conflict with regularly scheduled rotation and on-call assignments.  

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  1. Are there rotations off-site?

There are some provisions for “off-site” rotations. The individual resident may assume that they are allowed one “off-site” rotation. Historically, John Stroger (Cook County) Hospital (for Burn Unit, Trauma Unit, and additional HIV sites), Pharmaceutical Industry Drug Information, and other sites with contracted training agreements are used.

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  1. How many residents are you recruiting?

We are recruiting for 12 residents. An additional slot may be added depending on the overall quality of all the individual year’s PGY1 and PGY2 recruiting classes. We have successfully filled all of our slots in all but one of the past 13 years. We have also successfully found additional money after the Matching program to add additional residents four of those years.

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  1. Is there a preference for in-state or out-of-state school graduates?

While it appears there is a preference to in-state graduates (particularly from UIC) on the basis of absolute numbers this is more reflective of the total number of applicants from in-state programs. We have actually matched a higher percentage of out-of state applicants than in-state over the past 10 years.

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  1. What is the “on-call” program?

In existence since 1978 at UIC as an in-house overnight duty for pharmacy residents, the purpose of the on-call program is to provide the resident with an independent clinical service activity to assess their individual growth and professional development through the residency. The residents accomplish this by facilitating the on-site provision of clinical pharmacy services 24 hours daily, seven days weekly. Normal hours are 5PM – 8AM Monday through Friday; the 24 hour days of the weekend are divided into a variety of shifts which are usually determined by the individual residency class. Currently, weekend/holiday shifts are 8AM – 5PM and 5PM to 8AM. Weekend and holiday AM shifts are staffed by two residents, the overnight shift by one. This has overwhelmingly been rated the most valuable learning experience by on exit interviews by every residency class since 1999. 

  1. How often do you take call?
    During July and August while for training and while awaiting licensure in Illinois, it is ~ every four days. Once every resident is licensed, each resident averages 3-5 shifts monthly. Until a resident is licensed, they must be accompanied on-call by another licensed resident which has an obvious impact on scheduling frequency.
  2. Do I get time-off following call from rotation responsibilities?
    Residents are not to provide direct patient care services immediately following an overnight call shift. Essentially, every effort is made to assure that no one resident’s work week is scheduled to exceed an average of 80 hours over any rotation of assigned clinical service activity.
  3. What do I do on-call?
    Examples of required responsibilities are attendance to all called “Codes” as a participating member of the Adult and also the Pediatric Code Teams. Residents are also part of the Stroke/Code team. Residents are required to assist in the ordering and initiating of all TPN’s on the AM weekend shifts. Most of the remainder of the responsibilities is answering drug information questions (typically empiric antibiotic selections, pharmacokinetics, adverse drug reaction identification and computerized order entry issues) for all health-care providers in the facilities.. On weekend mornings these responsibilities are limited to calls from those areas not being covered by an on-call PGY2 residents.
  4. Am I alone on-call in July?
    No. All new training residents are paired up through July and August with another classmate. During July, the pair of new residents are accompanied by a ‘Trainer”, this is usually a PGY2 resident or a fellow who has just completed a Pharmacy Practice residency at UIC. There is always a clinical faculty member and a hospital pharmacy administrator on back-up telephone call year round daily.
  5. Who takes on-call?
    All PGY1 Pharmacy Residents take on-call. PGY2  residents have assigned “clinical staffing activities in varying areas relevant to their specialty training. At this time Pharmacy Fellows in the Infectious Disease programs also take part in the overnight on-call program with the PGY1s for one year depending on past experiences those who  have not previously taken part in an on-call program are required to participate.

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  1. What teaching responsibilities are there?

All residents must give an ACPE accredited one hour (45-50 minutes with Q and A session) CE seminar during the first half of the year. Residents are provided a list of suggested topics they may choose to select from in Orientation. The resident’s choice, progress and performance are assisted, monitored and evaluated by the Residency Seminar Committee. This group is appointed by the Residency Director and is compose of faculty with a demonstrated excellence and commitment to public speaking and resident education.

All residents must give a 45-50 minute lecture in the Pharmacy Grand Rounds class held every Spring semester. This is to the first professional year students and is intended to be interesting and motivating while providing a reflection on the individual speaker’s clinical activities and interests.

All residents participate in the Special Topics in Postgraduate Education Class (PMPR 359) that is held both semesters. Interested PGY2 residents can co-coordinate the class in the fall semester. The PGY1s are expected to co-coordinate the class in Spring semester in order to fulfill Teaching Certificate program tasks. Participation may include interactive classroom discussions with the students but also consistently includes precepting the students during their required shadowing during overnight or weekend on-call hours.

All residents are given the academic title “Clinical Instructor” to reflect the common occurrence of fourth year professional students being assigned to the same clinical service site as the resident. Though the primary site preceptor for the resident determines specific resident teaching responsibilities, all residents are expected to contribute to precepting and educating those clerkship students. This is especially likely on the Critical Care, Drug Information, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics and Primary Care rotation assignments.

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  1. Where the residents go after the residency?

Over the past 13 years, nearly 70% of residents have successfully progressed to a PGY2 residency or fellowship. That vast majority of the rest have obtained clinical positions.

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  1. What are the strengths/weaknesses of the program?

It’s usually the same unique programmatic feature that fulfills either extreme for different candidates. Most of our former residents identified the on-call program as a major strength but for a few it was far too physically demanding or the responsibility of acting independently was too stressful. Another example is the size of the program, with 12 residents it might be easy to “get lost” or “slip through the cracks”.  Most residents, however, have praised the large support networking with their classmates, the greater likelihood of finding compatible personalities, and the sense of camaraderie that seems to occur. Another major unique and valued feature is Resident Report held every business day from 12:30-1:30. The majority of these sessions are informal case reviews and discussions of on-call questions and activities. This is second only to on-call in perceived value to residents at year’s end. 

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  1. How do you keep track of the individual resident?

The Director’s Office is just outside the Resident’s Office allowing for significant ease of interactions. All residents are required to attend resident report daily, the Director attends the vast majority of these sessions. Also each resident may be assigned a faculty advisor at the beginning of the year with whom that may develop a mentor relationship or who can facilitate the development of such a relationship with another faculty member. Between the Hospital, Clinics and College (which are all immediately adjacent to one another) there are ~90 on-site clinical faculty allowing for a ~8:1 ratio of faculty to resident.  

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  1. Do I really need to do a PGY1 Pharmacy Residency prior to a PGY2 Specialty Residency/Fellowship at UIC?


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  1. What PGY2 Residencies or Fellowships are offered or will be offered at UIC and they participate in early commitment?

PGY2 Residencies are offered in Ambulatory Care, Cardiology, Critical Care, Drug Information, Emergency Medicine, HIV Care, Oncology, Organ Transplant, and Pediatrics. Each of these programs can elect to early commitment.

Fellowships are offered in Infectious Disease, Organ Transplant, Pharmacoeconomics, Pharmacogenomics and Pharmacokinetics/Pharmacodynamics.

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  1. How much vacation (and other benefits questions)?

Residents receive 10 days paid vacation (2 weeks) and four “floating holidays”. They also receive 15 sick days.  Please see the separate benefits sheet for additional information.  

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  1. How much is the stipend?

For the 2013-2014 year it will be $41,000. Residents also receive financial support meal tickets for their on-call shifts and are provided a variety of other incidentals.

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  1. When is the application due?

The application process is done through PhORCAS. The application deadline is the first Monday in January after New Year's day.  Application packets are evaluated for interview selection as soon they are completed. Interviews typically begin on two weeks after the application deadline. For this year that would be Friday January 17th, 2014. Interviews are scheduled to take place on Fridays and Mondays through March 7th , 2014

  1. Does that include the letters of recommendation?
    No. Letters may (frequently are) be received later than the application date. The only penalty a candidate suffers because of a later letter of recommendation is a delay in the evaluation for an interview. Not all applicants are interviewed; on average there will be 60 candidates interviewed for 12 slots.
  2. Does that include the transcript?
    Yes.  Please recognize that the most current transcript may not be necessary. A transcript missing one or two clerkship/clinical rotation grades is easily supplemented by any letters or recommendations that are written by the preceptor/s of those rotations. In addition, a complete transcript can be sent at any time prior to the March 3rd, once the final fall semester/quarter grades are available provided that a recent transcript has already be sent.
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  1. When is the start date?

Tuesday July 1st, 2014

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  1. I have to start late, what do I do?

You should discuss the situation with the Program Director  Residents may miss a portion of the Orientation process with such negotiation but are still expected to fulfill all the requirements of orientation  Some portion or all of the missed time will count towards the allotted vacation time  Once a resident exceeds a total of a month’s absence from the program, discussion regarding the circumstances and the need to extend the residency past the usual end date of June 30th into the following July must take place

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  1. Do I have to have an Illinois license?


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