Graduating Class Excels in Residency Match

Once again, the UGA College of Pharmacy residency match rate for this year’s Doctor of Pharmacy graduates exceeded the national average for placement, according to officials with the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), the organization responsible for overseeing the placement process.

Touting one of the highest residency match rates to date at UGA, 91% of the 136 members of the Class of 2023 who applied for a residency program were matched with healthcare institutions across the U.S. The national average of the 142 accredited pharmacy schools was 82%. Further, the College had the highest Post Graduate Year 1 (PGY-1), or first year match rate, among the four pharmacy schools in Georgia and was in the top five in the southeast among peer and aspirational institutions.

“Our overwhelming match rate speaks volumes to the outstanding pharmacy education that is delivered by the faculty of our college,” said Dean Kelly Smith. “Beyond the classroom, we provide future pharmacists with superior experiential learning curriculum in clinics, hospitals, community pharmacies, and many other healthcare settings. I am extremely proud of this accomplishment.”

Complementing the PGY-1 match rate was the number of residents who sought an additional year of specialized training, or a PGY-2 residency. According to ASHP data, 92% of UGA graduates who sought a PGY-2 residency were successfully matched, as compared to 90% nationwide. In total, the PharmD Class of 2023 had 60 PGY-1 matches and 20 PGY-2 matches.

Following graduation on May 6, the newly matched residents of the class of 2023 moved to hospitals, clinics, community pharmacies, and other sites in 18 states across the country, including Georgia, where 26 of the residents were placed.

Dr. Chris Bland, the Albert W. Jowdy Professor in Pharmacy Care, who teaches at the College of Pharmacy’s extended campus in Savannah, coordinated the match day announcements.  Said Dr. Bland, “I’m extremely proud of our students and graduates; have worked tirelessly to prepare for this important step in their professional development. To have the highest match rate, once again, in the state, as well as exceed the national average for both PGY-1 and PGY-2 positions is a testament to the quality of our UGA students and graduates. This success is impossible without the tremendous support and mentoring provided by faculty, staff, preceptors, and alumni along with student family and friends. The impact these mentors have is priceless.”

Dr. Monica AcharyaDr. Monica Acharya is a 2023 PharmD graduate, who was matched with Wellstar Kennestone Regional Medical Center in Marietta. She remarked, “A residency is important because it will allow me to gain more direct patient care experience as well as collaborate with other healthcare professionals. I would like to accelerate my growth as a resident and be able to apply these critical skills in any practice setting.”

Dr. Brooks PattersonSaid Dr. Brooks Patterson ’23, a fellow class member, “I decided to pursue a residency in hospital pharmacy administration because I want to further develop my leadership abilities. I felt that this path was tailored to my skill set and goals. After the completion of my residency, I plan to pursue a pharmacy leadership role in some capacity within a larger health system. I am excited to begin my training with some of the best pharmacy leaders in the country at Emory University Hospital Midtown in Atlanta!”

Editor’s Note: The UGA Residency Class of 2023-2024 gained 24 incoming PGY-1 and PGY-2 residents during the recent ASHP match process. The class represents seven states and 12 Colleges of Pharmacy; seven of the residents are UGA PharmDawg graduates. For more information about UGA-affiliated residency programs, see here.

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