Pharmacy Residency: Oncology
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Oncology is a popular subspecialty of pharmacy, and there are a number of programs available for PGY2 residency positions. A clinical pharmacist operating within oncology will provide direct patient care, and work alongside numerous other healthcare professionals, including clinical pharmacists, pharmacist coordinators, medical oncologists, surgeons, PAs, nurses, social workers and care coordinators, and students from each of these branches of healthcare. They will work in areas as diverse as acute care to palliative care, pain management clinics to paediatric oncology, and oncology critical care through to clinical decision support. Typically direct patient care activities will be performed with extensive input and consultation with other healthcare professionals, making this one of the most interdisciplinary of all parts of the health system – with the MDT first having arisen in oncology, of course. Work done will include the provision of drug information, nutrition support, therapeutic drug monitoring, educational services, and both continuing education and patient education.
Residents in oncology are able to take on active, daily patient care – but combine this with a range of multidisciplinary work including oncology grand rounds, case conferences, and education sessions. Residents at all programs will be expected to present an accredited presentation, and at many you will also be expected – or at least encouraged – to take an active part in research as well. Through an oncology residency, you are able to gain real, valuable experience in the best medical management of those with cancer, and in turn will be able to provide valuable support for clinical decisions, become a reference for others working alongside you, and in time begin to work towards not just being able to practise independently, but also being responsible yourself for the creation of protocol and guidance concerning the correct and optimal use of medication within oncology.
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There are programs offering the PGY2 Residency in Oncology across the US. In particular, prestigious institutions include Duke, Johns Hopkins, and Stanford. You can check the NMS website for information on all programs, and click-through on each to learn more about them, and the people in charge.
In order to be considered, you must have a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from an ACPE accredited school of pharmacy. Additionally, prior to the beginning of your PGY2 residency, you must have successfully completed an ASHP-accredited PGY1 pharmacy residency program. You will then need to apply through PhORCAS and use the NMS Match system – required documents to submit through PhORCAS include the CV, letter of intent, three letters of recommendation, and your transcripts.
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The following outcomes are taken from Duke, and serve as a good précis of the broader ASHP outcomes, which can be found on the ASHP website:
- Serve as an authoritative resource on the optimal use of medications used to treat individuals with cancer.
- Optimise the outcomes of the care of individuals with cancer by providing evidence-based, patient-centred medication therapy as an integral part of an interdisciplinary team.
- Manage and improve the medication-use process in oncology patient care areas.
- Demonstrate excellence in the provision of training or educational activities for healthcare professionals and health care professionals in training.
- Promote health improvement, wellness, and cancer prevention.
- Sustain the ongoing development of expertise and professionalism in the practice of oncology pharmacy.
- Conduct oncology pharmacy practice research.
- Function effectively in oncology settings participating in clinical investigations.
Additionally, the following is an elective outcome:
- Publish cancer-related topics.
Life as a Resident
The following are required rotations at Johns Hopkins for PGY2 Oncology Residents:
- Ambulatory Breast Oncology and Melanoma (1 month)
- Ambulatory GI Oncology (1 month)
- Ambulatory Leukaemia and Lymphoma (1 month)
- Ambulatory Multiple Myeloma (1 month)
- Ambulatory Thoracic Oncology (1 month)
- Cancer Pain and Palliative Care (1 month)
- Extended Oncology Clinical Decision Support (6 months)
- Extended Oncology Investigational Drug Service (3 months)
- Extended Oncology Pharmacy Practice Management (3 months)
- Inpatient Blood and Marrow Transplantation, Lymphoma, and Myeloma (1 month)
- Inpatient Hematologic Malignancies (1 month)
- Inpatient Medical Oncology (1 month)
- Longitudinal Weinberg Oncology Pharmacy Staffing (12 months)
- Oncology Formulary Management (3 months)
- PGY2 Oncology Pharmacy Residency Orientation (1 month)
The following are available as elective rotations:
- Oncology Critical Care (1 month)
- Pediatric Oncology (1 month)
- Transplant and Oncology Adult Infectious Diseases Consult Service (1 month)
- Other elective learning experiences may be developed based on resident interest and preceptor availability