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April 26, 2022

Alternate Pathway Series: What is a Community Pharmacy Residency?

Alternate Pathway Series: What is a Community Pharmacy Residency?

We invite Megan Smith, a faculty member and residency program director for one of the largest community pharmacy residencies in the united states, the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Pharmacy PGY1 Community Pharmacy Residency, to discuss the biggest questions surrounding community pharmacy residencies.

Community pharmacy residencies can either be accredited or unaccredited. We focus mainly on accredited programs in this episode. When a community pharmacy residency is accredited, it is jointly accredited by ASHP and APhA.

If you feel like you still need that structure and group of people pushing you to advance your skills, then community pharmacy PGY1 can provide that for you.

Key Take-Aways:

  1. Like pharmacy practice PGY1's, community pharmacy residencies also pack 3-5 years of clinical experience into one year
  2. Completing an accredited PGY1 community pharmacy residency makes you eligible for any PGY2 residency. Being eligible is not the same as being qualified, you may struggle going from community residency to a critical care PGY2, but there are still lots of PGY2's that you can explore, the most popular being ambulatory care.
  3. Community pharmacy residencies are a great way to hone your skills and set yourself up for leadership positions or other specialized training
  4. Each community pharmacy residency is designed differently, so be sure to research each one thoroughly to see what type of experiences you get.
  5. Programs can be single site, multi-site, hospital based, specialty based, have ambulatory care components, different administration components, and much much more!
  6. If you are interested in academia, community pharmacy residencies get you in front of students and in the classroom quickly when they are associated with a college of pharmacy.


Community Pharmacy PGY1's will still have a staffing component. This is going to be different based on the program, but generally it will be about 1 day a week and even though you are staffing you are still advancing your skills that you are learning outside of the staffing component.

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Megan SmithProfile Photo

Megan Smith

Assistant Professor

Megan G. Smith, PharmD, BCACP is an assistant professor of pharmacy practice at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Pharmacy. She is an advocate for elevating community pharmacy practice and completed training in practice-based research and education through a community pharmacy research fellowship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy (UNC). She obtained her Doctorate of Pharmacy degree from UNC and then completed a PGY1 community pharmacy residency at Kerr Drug. She is an active member in APhA, Chapter Co-Advisor for NCPA student chapter, and Arkansas Pharmacist Association.