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Marija Markovic
PGY-2 Neuropsychiatry Pharmacy Resident
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

After I graduated from pharmacy school in 2013, my career path took a rather non-traditional route. I worked as a community pharmacist at a chain pharmacy for two years before deciding to pursue clinical residency training. Having had two very enjoyable psychiatry clinical rotations during my final year of pharmacy school, I knew that I wanted my PGY-1 program to have experiences available in psychiatry. Initially, my career plan was to complete my general practice residency and pursue a position as a staff pharmacist in a hospital setting.

During my inpatient psychiatry residency rotation in my PGY-1 program, however, I had the eye-opening experience that another year of residency was likely on my horizon when I realized that I love practicing as a psychiatric pharmacist. After meeting with several programs at the Midyear Clinical Meeting, I applied and interviewed at four psychiatry PGY-2 residency programs along the East Coast, ultimately accepting an offer for an ASHP non-accredited residency just prior to the Match. Now that I am halfway through my PGY-2 residency year, I am starting to apply to jobs and looking into criteria for obtaining my Board of Pharmaceutical Specialties (BPS) Board Certified Psychiatric Pharmacist (BCPP).

In order to sit for the Psychiatric Pharmacy Specialty Certification Examination, the candidate must meet the following requirements:1

  1. Graduation from an ACPE*-accredited pharmacy program or a program outside the United States that meets the requirements for allowing the individual to practice in the jurisdiction
  2. A current, active license to practice as a pharmacist in the U.S. or another jurisdiction.
  3. At least one of the following experiential requirements:
    1. Completion of four years of practice as a licensed pharmacist in past seven years with at least 50% of time spent in psychiatric pharmacy activities
    2. Completion of an ASHP**-accredited or candidate status PGY-1 residency plus two additional years of practice with at least 50% of time spent in psychiatric pharmacy activities
    3. Completion of an ASHP-accredited psychiatric pharmacy PGY-2 residency

Due to the fact that my PGY-2 psychiatric pharmacy residency is non-accredited, I will have to practice as a psychiatric clinical pharmacist for an additional year after finishing my residency before I am eligible to sit for the BCPP exam. Residents completing an ASHP-accredited PGY-2 psychiatric residency, however, are eligible to take the BCPP exam immediately after graduation from the program. Potential candidates should consider this factor as they are researching PGY-2 programs. Ultimately, I feel that my residency program is providing me with an excellent knowledge base. The non-accredited status allows me a great deal of flexibility and customizability in arranging my rotation preferences and electives. As always, when researching potential programs, the residency candidate needs to take into account the fit of the program and alignment with their career goals.

References:

  1. Board of Pharmacy Specialties. Psychiatric Pharmacy. Available at: http://www.bpsweb.org/bps-specialties/psychiatric-pharmacy/. Accessed December 30, 2016.

*ACPE = Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education
**ASHP = American Society of Health-System Pharmacists

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25 Years!