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
  • Dedicated project time throughout the year
  • Major holidays off from rotation and work

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. Recently we added Emergency Medicine Services on all five (5) campuses, and both Stem Cell Transplant and Investigational Drug Services on the First Hill Campus as elective options. Although we’ve developed new pharmacist services in glycemic control and pharmacotherapy clinic, we are still in the process of developing elective rotations in them. For the 2020-2021 residency year, we increased from four (4) PGY1 resident positions to six (6) PGY1 resident positions and added one (1) PGY2 Critical Care position. Along with this expansion, we added a rotating Chief Resident position. We created a new Residency Research Coordinator position to assist our residents in their longitudinal residency research project. To assist our multi-campus preceptors, we are strengthening our resident handoff between rotations and preceptors. As with every year, our goal is to add more preceptors, 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 provide formal and informal teaching to the Medical, nursing and pharmacy staff and also teach either at Skill Laboratory to the University of Washington School of Pharmacy (UWSOP) students or Pharmacology Course at Seattle University to the Nurse Practitioner Program. 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 but it is not required (see "Teaching Certificate" below). In addition, the Residents precept students and interns for all rotations, and provide education to the pharmacy 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 two P&T committee projects (local and regional), two MUE/DUEs, two short term clinical projects, 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 longitudinal major Resident Project. This 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 nine (9) core rotations that must be completed but the order of when they are completed is discussed with the Resident at the beginning and determined based on interests and goals of the Resident. In addition, the Resident has four (4) weeks of elective time 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 four (4) elective weeks during the year and if chosen, 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, subsequent online assignments, quarterly assigned mentor meetings, 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.

Swedish is a multicampus site - is transportation required?
Three of the campuses, First Hill, Cherry Hill, Ballard, are located within Seattle with a daytime intercampus shuttle running between First Hill and Cherry Hill. The two remaining campuses, Issaquah and Edmonds, are located outside of Seattle limits. Both core and elective Ambulatory rotations and optional Ballard Campus rotation require travel within the city limits. The ability to travel to different campus sites is required and not provided by Swedish.