Pharmacy Residency FAQs

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Frequently Asked Questions

How are the residents selected?
Resident selection involves an application process through PhORCAS (Pharmacy Online Residency Centralized Application) and an onsite interview. Interviews are held in January and February of each year.

How many residents are you recruiting?

  • Allen Hospital PGY1  Program:  3, NMS matching #211313
  • Community-Based PGY1 Program:  2, NMS matching #262315

How much is the stipend?
It will be approximately $47,476 for PGY1 residents. Residents are employees of UnityPoint Health and therefore have some of the same benefits: free parking, health/dental/vision insurance, etc. Other benefits include: paid time off and education and travel support.

Will I have to work holidays?
Yes, each resident will work a maximum of three holidays throughout the year. These will be assigned. If a resident cannot work their holiday, they will need to negotiate a trade with the other resident.

When is the application due?
The application, curriculum vitae, college transcripts, three letters of recommendation and a letter of intent must all be submitted by January 6 via the PhORCAS system (Pharmacy Online Residency Centralized Application). Interviews are planned to begin mid-January and throughout February.

Does that include the transcript?
Yes. Please recognize that the most current transcript may not be necessary. A transcript missing one or two clerkship/clinical rotation grades is easily supplemented by any letters or recommendations that are written by the preceptor/s of those rotations. In addition, a complete transcript can be sent at any time prior to January 30, once the final fall semester/quarter grades are available provided that a recent transcript has already be sent.

When is the start date?
Mid- to late June, depending on when the pay period begins. There is the potential to start a week early if the pay period begins then. This start date will be communicated to the matched residents in April.

Do I have to have an Iowa license?
YES! By no later than July 1 of the residency year unless previous arrangements are made with the Residency Director or Coordinator. Failure to obtain a license by that time may result in a failure to complete the residency without minimally extending the length past June 30 and/or termination of the resident.

How is the resident's year organized?

  • Allen Hospital PGY1 Program:  The first 6-8 weeks of the residency involves orientation. During this period, the resident will spend time training in various pharmacy and patient care areas learning the pharmacy and hospital computer systems, becoming  BLS and ACLS certified (if not already), exploring potential research projects, etc. Clinical rotations are typically 4-8 weeks. A research month may be scheduled based upon the magnitude and number of extra projects taken on by the resident in addition to appropriate progression of clinical experience. A week in December is reserved for attendance at the ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting.
  • Community-Based PGY1 Program:  The first 4-6 weeks of the residency involves orientation. During this period, the resident will spend time training in various pharmacy and patient care areas learning the pharmacy and computer systems, becoming BLS certified (if not already), and exploring potential research projects, etc. Once orientation is completed, the resident will provide clinical services for the pharmacy and adjoining clinics. This may include but not be limited to MTM, disease state management, vaccine services (on and off site), discharge medication reconciliation and long-term care management. As a new residency, the potential for additional services is open. Residents may also have opportunities for experiences in the hospital.


What is involved in the staffing requirement?
Allen Hospital PGY1 residents will rotate every third weekend (one resident per weekend), generally an 8 hour shift from 0700-1530, and one evening three out of four weeks. Community-Based PGY1 residents will provide weekend pharmacy coverage. Your schedule will be provided at the beginning of the program.

How are the residents evaluated?
Regular verbal and written feedback is provided to the resident throughout each rotation and during the year. The resident is provided with a list of goals and objectives for each rotation and completes a self-evaluation on these at the end of each rotation. The preceptor completes a final evaluation of the resident during the rotation as well. The evaluation forms are developed from ASHP's Residency Learning System (RLS). On a quarterly basis, the Residency Program Director or Coordinator will provide the resident with an evaluation of their progress. The objective of the frequent evaluations is to provide constructive feedback to the resident on their progress to maximize the opportunity for learning.

What teaching opportunities are available?
Allen Hospital maintains an affiliation with Allen College and University of Iowa College of Pharmacy as  clinical teaching sites for students. Allen Hospital residents have opportunities to assist in the teaching of students from multiple disciplines including pharmacy, medicine, nursing, and nurse practitioners. Opportunities for didactic teaching may be available within the College of Pharmacy or Allen College. In addition, pharmacy residents will participate in the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy's Pharmacy Educator Preparation Program for Residents (PEPPR) teaching certificate program.

Are all of the residents from Iowa or Iowa schools of pharmacy?
No, Allen Hospital considers all residency applicants and strives to obtain diversity in the educational backgrounds of the residents. However, Allen Pharmacy is not able to sponsor Visas.

Do residents receive support to attend professional meetings?
Financial support is provided for all required meetings (ASHP MCM, Midwest Pharmacy Residency
Conference). Total support includes hotel accommodations, airfare, conference registration, and meals to a maximum of $1000 unless otherwise specified.

Do residents have library privileges?
Residents have access to Allen College's library as well as online references from the Hardin Library of Health Sciences – University of Iowa. The Micromedex, Pharmacist's Letter and UpToDate systems are available through the hospital's intranet.

Do residents have access to the Internet and e-mail?
Each resident is assigned a computer, and will have access to computers in each nursing station as well as the pharmacy. All computers have internet access and email capabilities. Residents will be assigned a UnityPoint Health e-mail upon hiring.

What is the average cost for housing in the Waterloo-Cedar Falls area?
You should expect to pay $400 - $1200/month for a one or two bedroom apartment. Housing will need to be arranged by the resident. Contact the Residency Coordinator or other pharmacy staff for suggestions on the area if needed.

What is there to do in the Waterloo-Cedar Falls area?
Waterloo and Cedar Falls have an abundance of recreational opportunities including museums, visual performing arts venues, sports teams and arenas, and leisure activities. There is also an extensive bike and walking trail system throughout the Cedar Valley. A variety of local multi-cultural activities exist – see links below for calendars of events in the area. Both communities are family-friendly environments welcoming a diverse array of people from all walks of life.

Waterloo's shopping mall and movie theater are just the beginning of what the town offers. The outdoor waterpark accommodates hundreds of people daily and is a great family-friendly attraction. Waterloo is also home to a casino as well as two sports teams. The Waterloo Bucks are a pleasure for local baseball fans and the Waterloo Black Hawks hockey team floods Young Arena with its fans each season. Waterloo is home to Hawkeye Community College, Allen College, and an off-site alternative location for many other small colleges and universities.

Cedar Falls has many artistic venues to enjoy and a Main Street District that is enjoyable for all ages. With its historically renovated shops, theaters and art studios, as well as great restaurants, the area offers activity options for everyone. Cedar Falls is also home to the University of Northern Iowa. Not only does this allow for Panther sporting events and a beautiful campus to enjoy, but a well-rounded calendar of events for all interests.

The rural Cedar Valley also has hidden treasures not to be missed. Small town shops, town fairs and festivals, and beautiful scenery all give you the opportunity to engage in the rural life of local Iowans. There are plenty of things to see with just a short distance to drive. However, the Cedar Valley is conveniently located in the midst of several major cities that have their own flavor and attractions.

Distances to major cities:  Des Moines, 125 miles; Minneapolis, 200 miles; Chicago, 268 miles; Omaha, 242 miles; Kansas City, 310 miles, St. Louis, 356 miles.

Resident Life in Waterloo/ Cedar Falls
Cedar Falls Tourism & Visitor Bureau
Waterloo Convention & Visitors Bureau
Grout Museum District
Waterloo Center for the Arts
Eastern Iowa Tourism
University of Northern Iowa
WCF Courier