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Residency Planning: What Can We Learn From the Class of 2020?

Over the past week you have seen the pictures and heard the stories. You know who has a plan and who doesn’t. You know who feels confident and who doesn’t.

Over the next couple months, you will notice that a lot of time and energy will be focused on residency placement navigation and decision. You will see the agony of waiting until match results are released. You will see joy in some faces and disappointment in others. Hopefully you know some members of this graduating class – there is much wisdom to gain from them. Here are some conversation starters for you:

What can we learn from the Class of 2020?

· Start asking questions about residency as soon as you can. Even if you’re not sure if it interests you, ask anyway. Ask to see what all the fuss is about. Ask to be curious. Ask because it’s a big deal to some and not a big deal to others and YOU want to make sure you're comfortable with your stance.

· The members of this class who plan to complete a residency may not have known forever. They may have made this decision after their first or second APPE rotation. They may or may not have completed research. They may be involved in some campus organizations but they may or may not hold leadership positions.

· Not all of the residency candidates are on LinkedIn. Not all of them have research posters. Not all of them have high GPAs.

· If you have a couple years before graduation, you should be working on activities that will help your CV standout in a competitive pharmacy world. It doesn’t matter if your future plans include a residency. Involvement in organizations, making efforts to improve your grades, and completing a research project will make you a more qualified candidate for ANY position. Let’s not forget about the other benefits: networking, building relationships, mentorship, learning new skills, time management, the list goes on…

· Talk to students of this graduating class – how prepared do they feel? What advice do they have about approaching this decision? How did they manage everything during the past few years?

· Not every pharmacist wants to do a residency nor needs one. Your professors and mentors want to make sure you have time to think about your options.

There is little time left for the class of 2020 to add anything else to their CV before residency applications and/or job applications are due.

The biggest lesson we can learn from them:
it’s not too late for YOU.

If you could ask them anything, what would you ask? Post it or email me:


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