Recommendations for Aligning PGY2 Pharmacy Residency Training and Pharmacy Specialist Board Certification

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Abstract

With the increased focus and anticipated growth in specialty training and certification within the profession of pharmacy, it is important for the profession to step back and evaluate the manner in which its adopted education and certification systems interface. As a result of specialty practice development, significant growth is occurring in both postgraduate year two (PGY2) pharmacy residency programs and individuals seeking certification by the Board of Pharmacy Specialties. As the profession continues to evolve its specialty training and credentialing systems, it is important to consider the inherent relationship between these systems. This paper considers the current landscape of specialty training and certification, including issues related to the quality of PGY2 training, consistent application of standards across and within PGY2 programs, credentialing of preceptors and program directors, and alignment of training with specialty certification examination content domains. We outline recommendations across three areas: (1) creating consistency between specialty training and certification, (2) aligning qualifications of PGY2 residency program directors and preceptors with the designated specialty area, and (3) assessing program quality in the context of the expectations of specialists established by the profession. The goal of this paper is to stimulate professional dialogue on these issues. Establishing both formal and informal connections between specialty training and certification can serve as the foundation for a rational approach to professional development and the credentialing that will be recognized by stakeholders outside the pharmacy profession. Establishing these connections will also support and advance the profession's mission of meeting the medication needs of patients.

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