Frequently Asked Questions: Training Program


What are the strengths of the Program (in random order)?
  • Program is run and managed by clinical pharmacists who work and precept in specialty areas along with the Residents.
  • Multi-campus experience – five different sized hospitals ranging from a large tertiary care center to a small community hospital
  • Offer teaching experiences at different levels – direct education to physicians and other health-care practitioners; direct instruction, facilitation, precepting and mentoring pharmacy students (i.e. school of pharmacy therapeutics laboratory)
  • Program tailored to specific Resident’s needs
  • Electronic medical record (EMR) system incorporating computerized physician order entry (CPOE) across all campuses and select medical clinics
  • Full participation in residency recruiting and interview process
  • Departmental support for resident self-selected Resident Project to be presented at Western States Conference
  • Great rapport with medical staff including many prescriptive authority protocols
  • Continued self-sustaining quality improvement with the Resident, the Program and the department
  • Autonomy in elective rotations including off-site rotations
  • Access to a large number of specialty pharmacy practice areas (i.e. Neonatal ICU, Transplant, Oncology, Neurology ICU, pediatrics, etc.)
  • Decentralized pharmacy services which includes collaborative practices with other health care multidisciplines
  • Opportunity to develop unique skill sets in the creation of a service, protocol, policy or project from initiation to completion stages

What changes and/or improvements can be made to the Program?
Each year, changes and improvements are made to the Program based on feedback from graduating Residents and current preceptors. For example, in 2011, we added Antimicrobial Stewardship as a core rotation to strengthen our resident's Infectious Disease knowledge; in 2012 and 2013, we created General Medicine rotations at Issaquah and Edmonds, respectively, to provide our residents with a strong background in our medical practices and prescriptive authority protocols in preparation for specialty rotations; and in congruent with the addition of a fourth resident position, we are in the process of creating a new Ambulatory Care rotation with the Swedish Medical Group (focus on lipid, hypertension and diabetes management) and new rotations in glycemic control and Stem Cell Transplantation. We also introduced regular preceptor meetings to improved feedback and customize our resident’s teaching plan. As with every year, our goal is to add more preceptors and more rotations, continue strengthening our current rotations, and continue standardizing the rotations between all campuses.

How much teaching and precepting is involved with the Residency Program?
The Residents extensively provide formal and informal teaching to the Medical Residents, didactic lectures to the Medical staff, and also teach Therapeutics Laboratory to the P3 University of Washington School of Pharmacy (UWSOP) students during the fall quarter, and P2 UWSOP students during winter and spring quarters. Through the UWSOP, the Residents earn an appointment as an affiliate clinical instructor. Our Residents are also given the opportunity to earn a teaching certificate through the UWSOP. In addition, the Residents precept students and interns for all rotations, and provide education to the pharmacy and nursing staff.

What types of projects can the Resident be involved in?
The Residents are involved in many prospective clinical practice management projects in conjunction with the pharmacy and medical staff. These projects include but not limited to Drug Monograph Review for Pharmacy and Therapeutics (P & T) Committee, policy development and/or revisions, Medication Use Evaluations (MUEs), committee involvement, protocol development, and pharmacy service development.

How are the projects chosen? Are they all voluntary?
The Residency Program does require the Resident to complete one P&T Committee project, two MUEs and at least one project on each rotation (chosen by the rotation preceptor) in order to gain valuable and useful clinical practice management skills. All other projects are voluntary. In addition, Residents do get to choose their own ASHP-required major Resident Project. The Resident Project is selected very early in the residency year to allow adequate time for multiple committee approval and data collection and mining.

How truly flexible is the Program?
There are 10 core rotations that must be completed but when they are completed is discussed with the Resident. Some of the rotations may be increased or decreased in length and also changed to different times during the year to provide the Resident more flexibility in meeting personal goals/objectives for the Residency year and for future career goals (i.e. PGY2). In addition, the Resident has either one or two elective rotations for the Residency year to enhance further training and interests. Swedish also has many new opportunities for the Resident to receive unique learning experiences. For a complete list of core rotations, please see "Rotations"

What types of elective rotations are available?
Residents have either one or two elective months during the year and if chosen, core rotations may be repeated or rotations may be at a pre-approved off-site location. The Resident is responsible for arranging a new outside experiences if one is desired. Please see  “Rotations” for a list of current electives.

What is the teaching certificate? If I elect to participate, does it take place of an elective rotation? How is it paid for?
The teaching certificate is provided by the University of Washington School of Pharmacy faculty to enrich the Resident's abilities to be effective facilitators, preceptors and educators. It is an option for the Resident to participate in and is not required. It does not take place of an elective rotation but involves a two-day workshop and subsequent online assignments and development of a teaching portfolio. The Resident will be partially reimbursed through the staffing yearly continuing education fund. This course is subject to change or termination.

Are the Residents evaluated?
Yes. Residents are formally evaluated by rotation preceptors on every rotation to provide written feedback and guidance. The formal evaluations are based on the ASHP Residency Learning System. Specific goals and objectives must be met for each of the rotations. Informal evaluations are conducted during each rotation by the preceptor and at least once a month by the Residency Program Director (RPD) and Residency Program Coordinator (RPC).

Are the Residents primarily based on one campus?
No. The Residents are not assigned to one campus and may have rotations on all five campuses. The Resident may voluntarily spend more time at one campus depending upon where their Resident Project is based.

Are the Residents assigned a mentor?
No. Generally the Residents naturally gravitate towards a preceptor they feel most comfortable with for guidance throughout the Program. Historically this has been a preceptor involved with their Resident Project. The RPD and RPC naturally act as mentors throughout the residency year.

Is Swedish a teaching hospital? Is it an academic hospital, tied to a University?
No. Swedish is a private, non-profit organization with select teaching services in conjunction with our Family Practice Medical Residency Program. It is not an academic center but Swedish does have pharmacy students from both University of Washington and Washington State University and from out of state schools of pharmacy, complete their Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE) rotations on all campuses.