Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

Hiring Residents as Faculty Members: Dancing with the Stars

Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

Hiring Residents as Faculty Members: Dancing with the Stars

Article excerpt

As a department chair, I am deeply grateful for the efforts of residency program directors and graduate student mentors who nurture and develop residents and graduate students to become future faculty members. It is always hard to let go of individuals in whom you have vested so much, but your legacy grows with each successful placement.

From December to April is the crucial recruitment season when residents begin the serious process of interviewing for prospective faculty positions and making employment decisions. I have likened it to "Dancing with the Stars." Most residents are already "stars," but the condensed timeline creates stress on school personnel and residency candidates, and some of the prospects miss important steps in the "dance."

Like many of you, I spent endless hours in the ASHP Personnel Placement Service (PPS) venue last December. (Was the meeting actually in New Orleans?) With several of my colleagues, I enjoyed the introductory interviews with many pharmacists who would complete their residencies the following July and who expressed interest in faculty positions. The residents were well-prepared with excellent curriculum vitae, business cards, professional attire, and engaging communication. Most wrote timely and detailed thank you notes after the meeting. In other words, they made an excellent impression.

As a newer school, we conducted extensive interviews for pharmacy practice, pharmacy administration, and administrative positions over several months. I believe that just like student pharmacists who are applying to more residency programs because they perceive increased competition, residents are applying to many colleges and schools as they search for faculty positions. For example, 1 future candidate interviewed with 30 programs at PPS, applied to 8 programs, and received interviews with 6 colleges or schools. Residents are scheduling interviews, travel, presentations, and coverage at the practice site, while simultaneously completing residency requirements and dealing with the uncertainty of a potential move, spousal employment, family issues, and licensure in a new state--a challenging time, to be sure.

Meanwhile a school must try to balance expertise in practice areas, involve practice site personnel in interviews and decisions, navigate university processes, and prepare to gradually orient new faculty members and integrate them into courses and practice experiences. …

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