Postgraduate Year One Pharmacy Residency—Ambulatory Care

Ambulatory Care

University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics is an internationally recognized academic medical center that provides premier multidisciplinary patient care services while supporting an environment for health education programs at all levels and in all specialties. UI Hospitals & Clinics is recognized as one of the best hospitals in the United States and is Iowa’s only comprehensive academic medical center.

UI Hospitals & Clinics offers a PGY1 Pharmacy Residency that gives the opportunity to focus in the ambulatory care setting. During this one-year training program, residents will have learning experiences in a variety of settings to acquire advanced knowledge of ambulatory care in a large academic medical center. Residents will have opportunities to learn within interdisciplinary teams, specialty pharmacy practice, primary care, and ambulatory pharmacies. Practice experience will include health system-based protocols and team-based care. This robust residency experience allows residents to become proficient in patient-focused care and develop the skills necessary to become a competent ambulatory care clinician.

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Use these resources to find out more about the PGY1 Pharmacy Residency in Ambulatory Care:

About the Program

The overall purpose of this residency training program is to provide the resident with the knowledge, abilities, experience, attitude, and critical thinking skills to become a competent and confident practitioner. Through rotations in a variety of areas based upon the resident’s individual needs and preferences, the resident will develop practice skills that are necessary to obtain a clinical pharmacist position or postgraduate year two pharmacy residency. Upon completion of this program, the resident will be able to do the following in addition to achieving the outcomes established by ASHP:

  • Establish a collaborative working relationship within a multidisciplinary practice setting
  • Provide effective, efficient, and evidence-based patient care
  • Use leadership and management skills to modify practice, develop policy, and optimize medication use
  • Provide education and teaching to other health care professionals in a practice site or training
  • Pursue board certification as a pharmacotherapy specialist

Recruitment brochure

Rotation Experiences

The residency year will be spent in a variety of rotational experiences, both blocked and longitudinal. The residency year begins with orientation and continues with a schedule that is designed based upon the resident’s interests and needs. 

Residents will spend approximately eight weeks at the start of the residency year in orientation. During orientation, the majority of time will be spent learning clinical pharmacist responsibilities and the responsibilities of the staffing component of the residency.

During each rotation, the resident participates in all aspects of patient medication use therapy including selection, assessment, monitoring, reconciliation, safety, and adherence. The resident will work as part of the multidisciplinary team, advising physicians, nurses, and patients about appropriate medication use. Rotations are typically four to five weeks in length, but may vary.

Core Experiences

Residents are required to complete core rotations in each of the following clinic areas: acute care, anticoagulation case management, family medicine/geriatrics, pharmacotherapy, practice management, and specialty clinics. This core group of rotations is intended to provide a well-rounded learning experience for the resident.  The specific patient care services in which each of these rotations takes place, will be tailored to each resident’s interest and needs. Residents will have time to complete one additional/elective rotation during the course of the year. This additional/elective rotation can be in a variety of areas, including additional experience from the core areas or expanding knowledge in a specific area. Residents must select one rotation in a pediatric area.

Specialty Rotations (3)

  • Hepatology/Virology
  • Neurology
  • Pediatric Specialty Clinics- Dermatology, Endocrine, Neurology
  • Pulmonary/Cystic Fibrosis
  • Rheumatology
  • Substance Use- Medication for Addiction Treatment
  • Transplant- Abdominal, Heart
  • Others as available

Primary Care Rotations (will complete each of these)

  • Anticoagulation Case Management Service
  • Family Medicine and Geriatrics
  • Pharmacotherapy

Pharmacy Management Rotation (1)

Acute Care (1)

  • Internal medicine
  • Medicine psychiatry
  • Solid organ transplant
  • General pediatrics
  • General cardiology
  • Lung transplant

Sample resident schedule


All residents are appointed to adjunct instructor at the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy, with access to informational, clinical, professional, and educational resources provided to UI College of Pharmacy preceptors. Throughout the course of the year, residents are provided with multiple opportunities to teach and develop presentation skills. Residents will have the opportunity to participate in the Pharmacy Educator Preparation Program for Residents and Fellows (PEPPR) in conjunction with the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy. At the end of the year, residents who satisfy program requirements will receive a certificate of participation and will have a completed teaching portfolio of activities from the year.

Learn more about the Pharmacy Educators Preparation Program for Residents and Fellows (PEPPR).


PGY1 residents are required to complete a yearlong research project, as well as a medication use evaluation. Residents will gain experience conducting research and presenting project findings in poster format. The Residency Research Committee will be available to guide in the process.

Selection of a project is based on the resident’s interests and presentation of project ideas by residency preceptors. Residents will present their research project, or other applicable project, at the Vizient® meeting during the ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting, the University of Iowa Research week, and as a platform presentation in the spring. Residents may also be expected to present their research at UI Hospitals & Clinics to members of the health care team who are vested in the project findings. The resident will provide a final manuscript write up prior to residency graduation. Publication in the medical literature is strongly encouraged.


Residents are required to fulfill the service commitment (staffing) designed to ensure that residents gain experience and can function as competent clinical practitioners.

Residents within the ambulatory care setting are assigned to work in the ambulatory care pharmacies, primarily the Discharge Pharmacy. There, residents participate in the transitions of care process by helping to reconcile discharge medications with inpatient medications. They provide patient education and counseling services as a part of the Meds-to-Beds Program.

Based upon interests and experiences, residents may be provided opportunities to staff in other areas after appropriate orientation.

Staffing requirements are as follows:

  • Upon completion of orientation, 32 hours per month in the Discharge Pharmacy is required to fulfill the staffing component.
  • Residents will work one major holiday, either Thanksgiving or Christmas and staff additional days around these holidays and two minor holidays, either New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Labor Day, or Memorial Day.
  • Staffing requirements are subject to change.

How to Apply

Candidates will need to complete an application through the Pharmacy Online Residency Centralized Application Service (PhORCAS).

Materials required:

  • PhORCAS application form
  • Letter of intent
  • Three reference submissions within PhORCAS
  • Official college of pharmacy transcripts
  • Curriculum vitae
  • A minimum of one letter of recommendation must be from a clinical preceptor

Application materials must be received by January 1. An interview is required and will be granted based on the review of application materials. Applicants must register for the ASHP matching program handled by the National Matching Services, Inc. Rankings must be submitted by the deadline.

  • NMS Code: 297413

Candidate Qualifications

  • Graduate of an ACPE-accredited Doctor of Pharmacy degree program or have equivalent educational qualification as determined by the residency program director with a minimum 3.0 GPA.
  • Licensed or eligible for licensure in Iowa by the residency start date. Please see the Iowa Board of Pharmacy website for complete qualifications.
  • Adhere to the rules of the resident matching program process.
  • Candidates who require a Visa will not be considered. Pharmacy Residency positions are not eligible for University sponsorship for employment authorization.

Contact Us

Kelly Hoenig portrait

Kelly Hoenig, PharmD​, BCPS
Clinical Pharmacy Specialist, Ambulatory Care
PGY1 Pharmacy Residency (Ambulatory Care) Residency Program Director

Alex Mersch, PharmD, MBA

Alex Mersch, PharmD, MBA, BCPS
Manager, Specialty Pharmacy Services
Adjunct Professor, University of Iowa College of Pharmacy
PGY1 Pharmacy Residency (Ambulatory Care) Residency Program Coordinator

Current Residents