Pharmacy school again exceeds national average for residency placement

LAWRENCE — Close to half of the University of Kansas School of Pharmacy 2020 graduates applied to residency programs, and once again, KU pharmacy students matched at a rate far above the national average, according to the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.

KU’s Pharm.D. students matched at a rate of 71%, compared to a national rate of 63%. Of the 131 members of the Class of 2020, 65 sought a residency program.

Graduates seeking a residency often apply to multiple programs throughout the United States. Following an interview process, the students and the program directors rank one another. When the numbers line up, a match is made.

The number of pharmacy students applying to and securing residencies is on the rise nationwide. Settings are varied and include locations such as hospitals, community pharmacies, long-term care facilities and more.

Associate Dean Janelle Ruisinger, faculty adviser to the School of Pharmacy’s Residency Club, said residency programs allow newly graduated students the opportunity to expand upon the knowledge and skills learned in pharmacy school.

“Residency programs are not easy, and the workload is often intense,” Ruisinger said. “But most residents say the professional gains more than make up for the hard work. The general consensus is that a one-year residency is equal to about three to five years of work experience.”

Ronald Ragan, dean of the pharmacy school, said the increasing emphasis on pharmacy residency training is indicative of the expanding role of pharmacists in the country’s health care system. Ragan said updates to the school’s Pharm.D. curriculum over recent years, coupled with a focus on faculty mentoring, have positioned the school to remain among the nation’s top schools of pharmacy.

“Having such a high percentage of our graduates match for these prestigious training experiences speaks to the quality of our students and our faculty. I believe the health of future generations is in great hands with this class of graduating students,” Ragan said.

Updated on: 06/02/2020