Thursday, July 19, 2012 2:12 PM

Celebrating a decade of growing stellar pharmacists

I can’t believe 10 years have gone by already!  I am so proud of Community Medical Centers’ Post Graduate Year One (PGY1) pharmacy residency program and being able to reach a milestone year.

Our humble beginnings started back at University Medical Center, where the teaching hospital was located.  We had some challenges back in the day such as: difficulty recruiting residents for a newly established program; misconceptions that the residency program was a UCSF residency (it is not); not having American Society of Health System Pharmacists (ASHP) accreditation (national accrediting body for pharmacy residency programs); and establishing clinical pharmacy services (Ambulatory Care, Critical Care, Emergency Medicine, Infectious Diseases, Internal Medicine).

We were able to overcome many of these challenges by working extremely hard to establish our clinical pharmacy services and providing an exceptional student and resident rotation experience.  Soon, pharmacy students and residents wanted to come to Fresno and CMC because they had heard from others about our great teaching and learning experiences.  When we started, we received no applications and had to actively pursue candidates.  This year we received 58 applications for 3 slots for the incoming 2012-2013 class.

Over time, we have become a well established and recognized program that earned ASHP accreditation in 2004 and reaccreditation in 2010.  To date, we have had 23 residents that have successfully completed our program with 11 past residents (or 48%) hired at our Community hospitals.  I truly believe that the heart of our program is the dedication, determination, willingness to share, and desire to teach by our talented preceptors that makes our program outstanding and one that residents want to apply to. 

What should we do in the next 10 years?  I would love to see an expansion of pharmacy services with additional clinical services to provide more rotation experiences and expand the number of PGY1 resident positions
One of our strengths is critical care, and the creation of a Post Graduate Year 2 (PGY2) residency would be an excellent addition to our program.

Check out our website at

Alice Robbins
Residency Program Director / Professional Development Specialist,
Pharmacy Services