UGA College of Pharmacy sets record with residency matches

Athens, Ga. – An unprecedented, record-setting number of students graduating from the University of Georgia College of Pharmacy Doctor of Pharmacy program this spring matched with post-education residencies across the country, announced Dean Kelly Smith.

Seventy-two percent, or 56 of the 78 UGA Pharmacy students who sought post-graduate residency matches, known as PGY-1 residencies, received successful notifications, compared to the national average of 61%.  This high number of matches placed UGA Pharmacy in the top 10 of 140 colleges of pharmacy across the nation that participated in residency matching. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) oversees the match process nationwide.

Along with the national ranking, UGA had the highest number of matches among the four schools of pharmacy in Georgia.

“Our successful match rate speaks volumes to the outstanding pharmacy education that is delivered by the faculty of our college,” said Smith. “Beyond the classroom, we provide future pharmacists with superior experiential learning curriculum in clinics, hospitals, and many other community and healthcare settings as well. I couldn’t be prouder of this accomplishment.  To be in the top ten nationwide is phenomenal.”

Complementing this match rate, the highest for the College of Pharmacy in UGA history, is the match figure for first-year pharmacy residents seeking an additional year of training, known as PGY-2 residencies. According to ASHP match result data, 91% of UGA pharmacy graduates who sought a second year of residency training were successfully matched. This additional year provides specialty training in such areas as critical care, infectious diseases, psychiatry, and oncology.

Following graduation, the new residents will move to hospitals, clinics, community pharmacies and other sites in 22 states across the country, including Georgia, where 29 of the 56 residencies are located. Residents will focus on specific areas of pharmacy as well as the entire pharmacy industry during their year-long learning experience.

“Obviously, the College of Pharmacy is committed to serving Georgians,” said Smith. “With 52% of our matched students coming to Georgia residencies, we know we are helping to enhance the pharmacy workforce across the state.”

Chris Bland, Pharm.D., a clinical associate professor at the College of Pharmacy’s extended campus in Savannah, helped to oversee the matching process for the college.  Said Bland, “To match 56 soon-to-be graduates with residencies and thereby placing UGA in the top ten of all accredited U.S. pharmacy schools is a testament to our incredible students. It also speaks to the phenomenal mentoring provided by the faculty, staff and preceptors affiliated with our college.”

Madalyn Motes, originally from Statesboro, who will graduate this spring from UGA with her Doctor of Pharmacy, was matched with Prisma Health in Columbia, S.C.  Said Motes, “I think the most important element to my education was finding great mentors, and the College of Pharmacy has so many. Each of the pharmacists who I worked with helped me tremendously throughout the match process by providing guidance, proofreading letters of intent, and writing letters of recommendations on my behalf.  I will forever be grateful to them.”

“When I saw that I matched, my heart dropped, and I had to re-read the email multiple times to make sure I was reading my email correctly!” said Sally Ouyang, from Hinesville, who matched with Banner Estella Medical Center in Phoenix, AZ.  “I felt relieved, grateful and overwhelmingly happy.  All of my hard work these few years, and especially these few months, has paid off, and I am super excited for the future.”

For a list of College of Pharmacy students and their matches, see here.