Neil Keen is Chief Pharmacist for the Department of Health in Western Australia (WA). This role is primarily responsible for regulatory and compliance matters for drugs and poisons across the state. The position is also concerned with funding, policy and workforce matters for pharmacists in both public and private health sectors within WA. Neil has had a varied career in pharmacy, with extensive clinical experience and prior roles in management as a director of pharmacy. Neil’s current interests are in the areas of chronic disease, prevention and promotion, and medicines as they relate to public health.
Residency programs are workplace focussed experiential training programs designed to enhance professional practice. They provide participants with a formal and structured approach to personal and professional development.
Pharmacy residencies are generally aimed at pharmacists in their earlier career stages, building on the foundation provided by university qualifications. Residents are qualified practitioners, but work in direct patient care in a hospital environment and train under the supervision of experienced preceptors. Residency programs are an organised way to build competence and skills, and are accepted as a way to accelerate postgraduate learning. They can provide entry into a clinical pharmacy career, assist with career planning and selecting a speciality, and may offer a competitive job advantage for the resident.
Programs often consist of several distinct postgraduate years. The first builds general competencies, adding to the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and abilities gained from a pharmacy degree. The second is normally focussed on a specific area of clinical specialty practice and increases depth of knowledge and skills in practice and leadership in a chosen area of focus. Residencies can lead to advanced practice certification, fellowship or other qualifications. Pharmacists can choose to focus on clinical, management or other specialties.
In other countries, hospital pharmacy residency programs are common and well accepted. In the United States they have been in existence for over 50 years. It is important that any residency training program is properly organised and directed. Residencies should be accredited to ensure quality of training, consistent experiences for residents and uniform outcomes from the program.
Nationally, SHPA has embarked on a project to establish pharmacy residency programs in Australian hospitals. A first step has been to design accreditation standards against which hospital pharmacy residency program sites will be evaluated. Residents’ skills in the SHPA program will be evaluated against a competency framework aligned with the Advanced Pharmacy Practice Framework. In October 2016 SHPA called for hospitals to seek provisional accreditation of pharmacy residency programs.
In this conference session we will examine what makes up a residency program and the benefits they can deliver to residents and an organisation. The session will explore what it’s like to be a resident and what’s involved in supervising residents. How to set a residency up and the future of residency in Australia will also be addressed.