Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

Pharmacy Residency School-Wide Match Rates and Modifiable Predictors in ACPE-Accredited Colleges and Schools of Pharmacy

Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

Pharmacy Residency School-Wide Match Rates and Modifiable Predictors in ACPE-Accredited Colleges and Schools of Pharmacy

Article excerpt


In 2006, the American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP) published a position statement that outlined a vision for the pharmacy profession, which included a provision for required formal residency training prior to an entry-level position in patient care. (1) Two years later, student interest in residency positions increased by 50%. (2) In the early 2000s, the number of unmatched students rarely exceeded 200. For the past 3 years, that number has exceeded 1300 students, (3) thereby increasing the need for students to compete for positions and for pharmacy schools to better prepare their students. (4)

In 2014, there were 55,000 residency applications submitted with an average of 9.5 applications for every applicant. (5) To manage the higher volume, residencies have developed algorithms to evaluate applicants. (6) Valued applicant characteristics have traditionally included work experience, involvement in professional associations, rotation experiences, publications, presentations, and research experience. These characteristics align with the educational outcomes recommended by ACCP for pharmacy graduates ready for residency training (direct patient care, professionalism, and research). (7) Additional characteristics have been used to evaluate candidates including degrees held, certifications, pharmacy schools attended, honors/awards, and GPA. (8,9) These factors used have the potential to impact the residency placement rate of a college or school of pharmacy, which is a commonly used student achievement measure which accredited programs are now required to post online. (10,11)

Morton and colleagues revealed that new and/or private pharmacy schools have lower match rates when compared to older (>20 years) and/or public schools. (12) These factors cannot be modified by a particular institution, which is why the purpose of this study was to analyze the modifiable predictors of first post-graduate year (PGY-1) residency match rates at the institutional level so that colleges and schools and pharmacy and residency programs could better understand factors potentially influencing student match rates.


This study was considered exempt by the Roseman University of Health Sciences Institutional Review Board. In this retrospective study, school-specific residency match data reported for 2013 through 2015 were obtained from the Office of Accreditation Services at the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Prematch residency placements or those secured during the scramble were excluded. Branch campus data was combined with main campus data if they were under the same accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE). College or school inclusion criteria consisted of accreditation by the ACPE, reporting of a graduating class for 2015 and earlier, and availability of residency match data. Residency match rates were calculated as a percentage of students registering for the match via the National Matching Service. Modifiable characteristics of pharmacy schools selected for independent variables in the analysis included national licensing examination passing rates, history of ACPE accreditation probation, National Institutes of Health grant funding, academic health center affiliation, availability of a dual degree with the doctor of pharmacy degree, 3- or 4-year program length, ratio of the number of students admitted to the number of applicants, number of students per class, tuition rates, curricular availability of student-driven research, availability of a clinically focused academic track or program, residency program affiliation, U.S. News & World Report rankings, and percentage of ethnic or racial minority enrollment.

The North American Pharmacy Licensing Examination (NAPLEX) is the sole national licensing exam for pharmacists in the US; passing rates for first-time test takers for 2011-2015 were obtained from the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy website. …

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