Pharmacy Residency: Neurology
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A neurology training program will provide detailed, robust training across both inpatient and outpatient neuroscience practice, including neurology clinics, neurology wards, neurosurgery, and neuro-trauma.
The following is adapted from Grady’s program, one of only two in the US. Grady explain that their 12 month PGY2 program is designed to ‘develop and refine clinical, leadership, research, performance improvement, and teaching skills within the practice of neurology.’ As such, you will cover the entire spectrum of neurological disease, as well as procedures that are used in the treatment of said disease. You will work through literature that makes up the foundation for best practice in terms of the medical management of neurological disease and disorders, and also take on a variety of further responsibilities, including longitudinal research, presentations, on-call work, staffing responsibilities, pharmacokinetic work, and practice advancement. At Grady, the program is created to be flexible – ensuring that both the resident and program are satisfied. Graduates will be able to conduct independent research, and will be expected to be confident, practised educators for both other pharmacists and other healthcare professionals. Therefore, both the resident and the program will work together at the start to develop a schedule – this will need to include set required rotations, but will be adjusted in-line with the resident’s particular interests. Further specific experiences can be assigned throughout the year as the resident desires. Additionally, ‘neurocritical care learning experiences must be taken after the resident has successfully completed a surgical or medical intensive care unit rotation as a PGY1 or PGY2 resident.’
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As mentioned, only two institutions offer this residency program. They are the Grady Memorial Hospital, in Atlanta, Georgia, and the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, in Los Angeles.
In order to apply, you must have a doctor of Pharmacy degree from an accredited College of Pharmacy in the United States, and must have completed an ASHP-accredited PGY1 residency program prior to beginning the PGY2 year. You must then submit each of: a letter of interest stating why you wish to pursue neurology, a CV, your transcripts, and four references.
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The following outcomes are taken directly from the ASHP, and are the high-level points. You can find more information through the ASHP.
Goal R1.1: In collaboration with the health care team, provide comprehensive medication management to neurology patients following a consistent patient care process.
Goal R1.2: Ensure continuity of care during neurology patient transitions between care settings.
Goal R2.1: Demonstrate ability to manage formulary and medication-use processes for neurology patients, as applicable to the organisation.
Goal R2.2: Demonstrate ability to conduct a quality improvement or research project.
Goal R3.1: Demonstrate leadership skills for successful self-development in the provision of care for neurology patients.
Goal R3.2: Demonstrate management skills in the provision of care for neurology patients.
Goal R4.1: Provide effective medication and practice-related education to neurology patients, caregivers, health care professionals, students, and the public (individuals and groups).
Goal R4.2: Effectively employ appropriate preceptor roles when engaged in teaching students, pharmacy technicians, or fellow health care professionals in neurology.
Goal E1.1: Demonstrate understanding of key elements of the academic environment and faculty roles within it.
Goal E1.2: Exercise case-based and other teaching skills essential to pharmacy faculty.
Goal E1.3: Develops and practises a philosophy of teaching.
Goal E2.1: Exhibits additional skills of a practice leader.
Goal E2.2: Understand the process of establishing a pharmacy residency program.
Goal E3.1: Write and submit for publication pertinent medication-use information on neurology-related topics.
Goal E4.1: Participate in the management of medical emergencies.
Goal E5.1: Design and/or deliver programs that contribute to public health efforts or population management.
Life as a Resident
Life as a resident will cover the following core rotations:
Neurocritical Care 1 (8 weeks), General Neurology 1 (8 weeks), Neurology Clinics 1 (4 weeks), Neurology Consults (3 – 4 weeks), Research/administration/neurology (4 weeks), Surgical Intensive Care (4 weeks). Additional elective learning experiences, of which the resident chooses 3-4 could include (at Grady): Neurocritical Care, General Neurology, Neurology Consults, Neurology Clinics, Academia, Emergency Medicine, Neurosurgery, Geriatrics, and Palliative Care. Longitudinal learning, which takes place over 12 months, includes presentations, inpatient staffing, professional development, on-call work, research, and practice management.