Pharmacy Residencies | VA Iron Mountain Health Care

The Oscar G. Johnson VA is excited to offer two PGY1 Pharmacy residency positions at our main Iron Mountain, Michigan Campus. Our program is in candidate status at this time. Our program offers a wide variety of ambulatory care opportunities in addition to long-term care and an inpatient acute care experience at the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center. These experiences are sure to create a well-rounded clinical pharmacist practitioner ready for clinical service. Upon accreditation, the graduating residents will be issued a certificate of completion from an ASHP-Accredited Residency Program.

During the residency year, residents will learn skills to effectively outline and perform medication use evaluations. Throughout the course of this one-year program, residents will further develop drug information, administrative, time management and organizational skills to aid in the practice of pharmacy. Verbal and written communication skills will be enhanced. In addition, residents will be required to design, conduct and complete project throughout their residency year. This project should be suitable for publishing. Project proposals are reviewed by the medical center’s research department and deemed research (which requires Investigational Review Board (IRB) approval) or process improvement (which is exempt from IRB). Final results are then presented at the Wisconsin Pharmacy Residency Conference in April.  

The OGJ VAMC PGY1 Program has a strong commitment to the ensuring that the PGY1 experience is customized to meet the future career goals of the resident. To demonstrate that commitment, PGY1 residents are allowed to tailor the length of some of their rotations, required and elective, to best match the interests of the resident and what needs the resident has to achieve those future career goals. Each rotation has a defined number of weeks in the experience from which the resident may choose. A minimum number of weeks reflects what the program believes to be adequate to understand the practice setting and achieve related rotation goals and objectives. For example, a resident interested in pursuing a PGY2 or career in ambulatory care may choose to maximize the amount of weeks spent in Primary Care, or choose to do a longitudinal elective while doing fewer experiences in administrative rotations.

Consideration is also given to schedule the rotations in which residents have the most interest early in the residency year. It is important that residents have that exposure up front prior to considering future career goals and/or PGY2 residencies. Residents’ interests may be fluid throughout the residency year, and at times changes are made to the residency schedule during the year based on newfound interests. As a result, no two residents will have the same rotation schedule; no two residents will have the same residency experience. The OGJ VAMC experience is about meeting the needs of the resident and their future path in Pharmacy. The Pharmacy Resident Manual shows an example schedule, but this is tailored at the beginning of each academic year for each resident and is fluid throughout the academic year.

Program Goal
To foster development of knowledge, skills, and values in preparation for patient-oriented pharmacy practice.

Clinical Training

  • Required Rotations
    • Anticoagulation
    • Long-Term Care
    • Internal Medicine
    • Mental Health
    • Pain Management
    • Primary Care
       
  • Elective Rotations

    The philosophy of the Oscar G. Johnson  VA Residency Program is to meet the personal and professional goals of the residents while providing pharmaceutical care to the patients. Elective rotations may be completed in various specialty areas. Residents have the option to repeat a prior required rotation at an advanced level or choose from a variety of new experiences including but not limited to:

    • Substance Use Disorder
    • ​​​​​​Geriatrics
    • Hospice/Palliative Care
    • Home Based Primary Care
    • Informatics
    • Antimicrobial Stewardship
    • Administration

Longitudinal Responsibilities

Residents have several longitudinal responsibilities throughout the residency year. Some of these responsibilities shift among the residents on a monthly basis while others are continuous responsibilities for all residents throughout the residency year. Training for each activity takes place with a clinical pharmacist during the orientation period.

Home Based Primary Care Anticoagulation Service: Pharmacy residents play a key role in this service. Residents and clinical pharmacist practitioners play a key role in providing complete anticoagulation care for patients enrolled in our Home Based Primary Care Program. This includes prescribing and adjusting anticoagulation medications, ordering labs, providing education to patients, and arranging follow-up appointment.

Prior Authorization Drug Requests (i.e. non-formulary review): Pharmacy residents are involved in the process of reviewing prior authorization drug requests entered by providers. The resident will receive the request, determine if the request meets criteria for use of the medication, approve or deny the consult, and communicate the decision to the provider. Participation in this process enhances residents’ decision making, communication and negotiation skills.

Drug information: Throughout the year residents are resources for drug information for providers, pharmacists and other staff.

Staffing (weekend/holiday staffing experience)

PGY1 residents will be scheduled for every 4th weekend (Saturday and Sunday from 0700-1530) starting in October of their academic year. Residents must be licensed as a pharmacist prior to starting this responsibility. The responsibilities during the staffing experience include outpatient staffing experiences which will include filling, checking prescriptions, processing prescriptions, counseling patients and answering phones as well as inpatient experiences which will include preparation, processing and checking of unit dose and IV medications, troubleshooting phone calls to the IV room, and performing PK monitoring. In addition to weekend rotation, each resident will work 1 major and 1 minor holiday during their academic year.

https://www.va.gov/iron-mountain-health-care/work-with-us/internships-and-fellowships/pharmacy-residencies/