Record-setting 66 Auburn University pharmacy graduates moving on to residencies, fellowships

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A record-setting 66 graduates of Auburn University’s Harrison School of Pharmacy were recently selected to post-graduate programs at hospitals, clinics, universities and the pharmaceutical industry around the country. Along with setting a new benchmark, it is the fifth year in a row for at least 50 Auburn pharmacy graduates to move on to the highly competitive programs.

The residencies are postgraduate training in an organized and directed program that builds upon knowledge, skills, attitudes and abilities gained from the pharmacy degree program. While many first-year programs, or PGY-1, are general in nature, some allow students to specialize in certain areas, such as managed care, ambulatory care, community pharmacy and health system administration. Some choose to pursue a second-year residency, or PGY-2, that can focus on specialty practice areas, such as infectious diseases, oncology, pediatrics and psychiatry.

Those accepted to PGY-1 and PGY-2 residencies are spread among 16 states, with 23 remaining in-state to care for those in Alabama.

“If this past year has shown us anything, it is how critically important health care workers are and the impact they make in their communities,” said Richard A. Hansen, dean of the Harrison School of Pharmacy. “These students completed their rotations in the midst of a global pandemic, and I think it is no coincidence that we have a record number of our graduates accepted to residency programs.”

The Harrison School of Pharmacy, or HSOP, boasted a 69% match rate among those participating in the PGY-1 process. The HSOP delegation filled some of just 5,121 positions around the country that are accredited by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.

In all, a record-setting 46 members of the Class of 2021 are moving on to PGY-1 residencies, with another accepted to a post-graduate fellowship. Additionally, six previous graduates will enter a PGY-1 residency, while 13 will enter PGY-2 programs.

“These residency programs are very competitive, and it speaks volumes of our faculty and staff and their work in preparing practice-ready graduates,” Hansen said. “These programs know when they match with a HSOP graduate, they are getting someone that is a critical thinker, a problem solver and someone who will have a positive and enduring impact on patients, communities and the health care system.”

Of those entering PGY-1 residency programs, the 52 will be spread among 12 states, with 20 in Alabama, nine in Georgia, six in Florida, four in Tennessee, three in Virginia, two each in Kentucky and Texas and one each in Illinois, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Utah and Washington, D.C. The 13 PGY-2 residents represent 10 states, with three in Alabama, two in Utah and one each in Arizona, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas and Virginia.

Those in second-year programs will specialize in areas such as ambulatory care, critical care, emergency medicine, infectious diseases, oncology, pain management and palliative care, pediatric and pharmacy informatics.

Auburn University's Harrison College of Pharmacy is ranked among the top 20 percent of all pharmacy schools in the United States, according to U.S. News & World Report. Fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), the School offers doctoral degrees in pharmacy (Pharm.D.) and pharmaceutical sciences (Ph.D.) while also offering a master's in pharmaceutical sciences. For more information about the School, please call 334.844.8348 or visit the Harrison College of Pharmacy website.