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Central Texas Veterans Health Care System

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Frequently Asked Questions

Central Texas Veterans Health Care System Pharmacy Residency Program frequently asked questions.

  1. How are the residents selected?
  2. How is the resident's year organized?
  3. How flexible is the program with electives?
  4. What transcripts are required when applying?
  5. What is the staffing requirement?
  6. No, really, how much do the residents staff?
  7. Can I moonlight within the hospital on the weekends?
  8. How are the residents evaluated?
  9. Is the resident required to give presentations?
  10. Is there an opportunity as a PGY-1 resident to early commit to one of the PGY-2 Programs?
  11. What teaching opportunities are available?
  12. Are all of the residents from Texas or Texas schools of pharmacy?
  13. Do residents receive financial support to attend professional meetings?
  14. Do residents have library privileges?
  15. Do residents have access to the Internet and email?
  16. What types of positions have former residents accepted?
  17. What is the average cost for housing in Temple?
  18. What is there to do in Temple?

1.  How are the residents selected?

A formalized, competitive selection process is utilized for ranking of residents through National Matching Services.

2.  How is the resident's year organized?

The first two weeks of residency are spent in orientation with introduction to various computer programs, policy review, logistics, residency structure, and development of customized training plans. At the end of the second week, each resident will meet individually with the Program Director to plan the year’s schedule, and will be organized to prioritize your top 2-3 clinical training preferences prior to ASHP Midyear. The training year is resident specific, developed to meet residents’ professional goals. Required training generally makes up 2/3 of the training year with 1/3 devoted to electives. While certain rotations are required, the wide availability of electives provides a unique experience for each resident, and more time may be allocated to individual areas of interest.

3.  How flexible is the program with electives?

Incredibly flexible, and a wide range of electives are available to choose from. Electives may be scheduled throughout the year and do not have to wait until the end of training. The duration of elective rotations is customized and can range from 4-16 weeks. If an elective is not currently available in an area of interest, great efforts will be made to create an opportunity.

4.  What transcripts are required when applying?

Undergraduate, college of pharmacy, and any other degrees.

5.  What is the staffing requirement?

The only staffing residents partake in is as a component of Outpatient and Inpatient Pharmacy rotation. Once those two rotations are completed, so is the staffing responsibility. Central Texas VA residents have no extra staffing responsibilities.

6.  No, really, how much do the residents staff?

Our residents have NO EXTRA STAFFING RESPONSIBILITIES

In fact, our residents are scheduled:

  • Monday through Friday
  • 8:00am to 4:30pm
  • NO nights
  • NO weekends
  • NO on-call duty
  • NO extra staffing

Sound too good to be true? Wondering what the catch is?

No catch!

Duty hours are from 8:00am to 4:30pm. However, successful residents will be expected to work outside these hours to be fully prepared for rotations and complete projects. The amount of time spent outside of standard working hours varies on many factors, including the current rotation, teaching schedules, progression of research or quality improvement project and upcoming presentations.

Our residents have as part of their required rotations 3-4 weeks of outpatient and six weeks of inpatient pharmacy practice.

In addition, residents will not routinely be pulled from other rotations to fill in for staffing issues. For example, if three people call in sick in outpatient pharmacy and a resident is currently in the primary care rotation, they will not routinely be pulled to cover for outpatient staffing issues.

These twelve months of residency are to provide you with customized clinical training, and you will not be asked to cover for staff on sick or annual leave.

The hours spent staffing during the course of these rotations fulfills the ASHP Duty Hours Requirements (http://www.ashp.org/DocLibrary/Accreditation/Regulations-Standards/Duty-Hours.aspx). This regulation states residents must abide by this regulation, and may not exceed the hours stated in the policy of total work time in the residency, own time on projects, and any moonlighting they may do. Once your rotation has ended, so does your staffing.

Residents are required to follow the ASHP Duty hours, which provide requirements for total work time for training hours, residency related work after duty hours, and any moonlighting at or outside the hospital. (http://www.ashp.org/DocLibrary/Accreditation/Regulations-Standards/Duty-Hours.aspx).

7.  Can I moonlight within the hospital on the weekends?

Yes! Through our Dual Appointment program, residents have the opportunity to apply for a pharmacist staff appointment to work in the outpatient pharmacy on weekends based on availability. This program is completely optional, with the only requirement being a commitment to work the minimum requested shifts per month, as designated by the Chief of Pharmacy, for the duration of the appointment.

8.  How are the residents evaluated?

Our program utilizes Resitrak for our resident evaluation system. Residents receive verbal feedback from their preceptors throughout the learning experiences, but formal written evaluations are completed by the resident and preceptor at the end of the rotation. For longitudinal training, written evaluations are required quarterly. Snapshot evaluations are also assigned by the Residency Program Director periodically to evaluate a specific learning objective. Quarterly written evaluations are also completed by the Residency Program Director and submitted to the Chief of Pharmacy.

9.  Is the resident required to give presentations?

Residents will participate in formal case presentations and journal clubs during Wednesday Noon Conference meetings. Residents will also teach groups of Veterans at interdisciplinary Diabetes Education Workshop, Cardiovascular Workshop and Tobacco Small Group meetings. Additional opportunities for formal presentations include presenting a poster at ASHP Midyear and presenting a poster at ASHP Midyear, presenting research at ALCALDE, presenting at quarterly Continuing Education programs, facilitating small student pharmacotherapy lab groups at the University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy and presenting at the University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy Pharmacotherapy Conference.

10.  Is there an opportunity as a PGY-1 resident to early commit to one of the PGY-2 Programs?

Yes. The Residency Program Director will notify all PGY1 residents of the option to express interest in our PGY2 Psychiatric Pharmacy residency. A formalized process is in place for selection through early commitment.

11.  What teaching opportunities are available?

Central Texas Veterans Health Care System is a major clinical teaching site for students from the Colleges of Pharmacy at the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Houston, Texas A&M University. After being licensed in Texas for six months, residents may apply for a Preceptor License and have the option to precept a student at CTVHCS. Residents also have the opportunity to facilitate a pharmacotherapy lab section for either P2 or P3 students at the University of Texas at Austin.

12.  Are all of the residents from Texas or Texas schools of pharmacy?

No, Central Texas Veterans Health Care System considers all qualified residency applicants. We seek the highest qualified residents for our program, and have historically recruited applicants from throughout the nation.

13.  Do residents receive financial support to attend professional meetings?

For PGY-1 residents, support is available for required meetings such as ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting and the ALCALDE Southwest Leadership Conference. For the PGY-2 resident, support is available for ASHP Midyear or College of Psychiatric and Neurologic Pharmacists (CPNP) annual meeting, as well as for ALCALDE Southwest Leadership Conference or University of Texas Psychiatric Update. Support to attend additional meetings is determined on an individual basis.

14.  Do residents have library privileges?

Residents have access to the Central Texas VA library, MicroMedex and UpToDate. Additional access to library resources is available for residents through their Clinical Instructor appointment at the University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy (see above question regarding teaching opportunities).

15.  Do residents have access to the Internet and email?

Residents will have their own desks and computers in a shared resident workspace, and will have access to both internet and email.

16.  What types of positions have former residents accepted?

Since the inception of our program, thirteen (13) of the thirty (30) total residents have been hired on with CTVHCS after the completion of the residency with another six (6) currently employed at other VA sites.. Since 2007, at least one resident has been hired by our facility every year. Our program produces pharmacists skilled in a diversity of areas, opening up a wide range of employment opportunities. Past residents have become clinical specialists, PGY2 residents, and academic faculty.include clinical specialists, PGY2 residency positions, and academic faculty. 

17.  What is the average cost for housing in Temple?

Area information
http://www.choosetemple.com/housing-cost-living

18.  What is there to do in Temple?

City of Temple Visitors Center
http://www.ci.temple.tx.us/index.aspx?NID=409

Bell County Expo Center
http://www.bellcountyexpo.com/