Pharmacy Residency: Solid Organ Transplant
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Solid Organ Transplant is a specific branch of pharmacy dealing with the transplantation of kidneys, pancreas, liver, hearts and lungs – and the associated pharmaceutical management, protocols, and education.
As a resident in a solid organ transplant residency, you will work with patients and donors through each phase of the transplant process, from pre-transplant MDT to post-transplant care. You will work as an integral part of the MDT, and ensure that medications are safely used; that they are used optimally; that patients and their families are properly educated on their medications; that patients transfer smoothly between different care settings and different medication plans. You will typically also take on some learning covering immunology to ensure that you have a sufficient baseline, and further learning will cover not just solid organ transplant, but also broader professional development and clinical research. You will be able to teach both pharmacists and other healthcare professionals, and have the opportunity to present cases and give professional presentations. You will likely also have the chance to take part in research trials, especially at larger programs. In general, you will have the chance to tailor a program to your own desires to some extent – an overview of what you might expect to cover in a year can be found at the end of this article. Upon completing this residency, you should be confident in all areas of transplant pharmacy, such that you are able to teach it to others confidently and precept them in turn. You should feel ready for either practice as a clinical solid organ transplant pharmacist, or for the chance to continue in academia and learn more – either within solid organ transplant or elsewhere in the broader field of pharmacy.
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Leading programs include UPenn, Johns Hopkins and UC San Francisco. You can consult the NMS site for a list of all institutions, where you can also click through to find out more about them and their core staff.
In order to apply, you need to have graduated from an accredited school of pharmacy with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree and, by the time that you begin, you must have successfully completed a PGY1 pharmacy practice residency. All applications must include a Letter of intent, a CV, and three electronic references, of which typically at least two should be from preceptors or supervisors who can comment directly on your skills.
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The following outcomes are taken from Duke, and serve as an effective summary of the much more detailed ASHP outcomes document:
- In collaboration with the health care team, provide comprehensive medication management to solid organ transplant patients following a consistent patient care process.Ensure continuity of care during solid organ transplant patient transitions between care settings.
- Manage and facilitate delivery of medications to support safe and effective drug therapy for solid organ transplant patients.
- Demonstrate ability to manage formulary and medication-use processes for solid organ transplant patients, as applicable to the organization.
- Demonstrate ability to conduct a quality improvement or research project.
- Demonstrate leadership skills for successful self-development in the provision of care for solid organ transplant patients.
- Demonstrate management skills in the provision of care for solid organ transplant patients.
- Provide effective medication and practice-related education to solid organ transplant patients, caregivers, health care professionals, students, and the public (individuals and groups).
Effectively employ appropriate preceptor roles when engaged in teaching students, pharmacy technicians, or fellow health care professionals in solid organ transplant.
Life as a Resident
Life as a resident focuses a great deal (predictably) on transplant surgery, although there may be some variety through critical care surgery, for example. The following are core learning experiences at Johns Hopkins:
- Kidney/Pancreas Transplant Surgery
- Liver Transplant Surgery
- Heart Transplant and Heart Failure
- Lung Transplant
- Transplant Nephrology
- Transplant and Oncology Infectious Diseases
- Critical Care – Surgery
- Paediatric Transplant
Additionally, you would expect to undertake longitudinal learning in the following areas: Ambulatory Care Transplant Clinics (each experience will be 3 months in duration), Transplant Discharge Medication Education, Transplant Pharmacy Professional Development, Transplant Research Project or Medication Use Evaluation,Resident On-Call Program & Staffing, and Drug Class Review.
Lastly, electives are available in Advanced Kidney/Pancreas Transplant Surgery; Advanced Liver Transplant Surgery; Advanced Heart Transplant and Heart Failure; Advanced Lung Transplant; Advanced Transplant Nephrology.