PGY1 Pharmacy - Acute Care Track


Pharmacists completing the PGY1 Pharmacy Residency at the University of North Carolina Medical Center will be competent and confident practitioners of pharmaceutical care in multiple practice sites. While functioning as integral members of the health care team, each resident will be equipped with the knowledge and skills to meet the daily demands of pharmacy practice.

The residents will solve practice-related problems through critical thinking and evaluative skills. These individuals will become effective educators of other health care professionals, students, patients, and the community on medication-related topics. They will develop a commitment to the profession of pharmacy through daily mentoring with other practitioners and will assume responsibility for their own personal growth, striving for life-long learning and leadership within the profession of pharmacy.


The residency program at UNC has a strong history of mentorship and this ideal is built into nearly all aspects of residency training. Each resident will have multiple mentors for multiple purposes. Mentors are chosen by the residents for research projects, presentation development and personal mentorship. The personal mentor exists to guide the resident through the academic year. The mentor is an individual who can answer questions, provide feedback, and counsel residents on how to approach the many challenging parts of the residency year. Mentors of PGY1 residents participate in a program-wide resident progression committee that monitors the growth and development of residents over the course of the year.

Research and Publication

Each resident is expected to participate in a project that enhances these learning objectives: developing research criteria, seeking approval of criteria from the IRB, collecting and summarizing data, analyzing results, and presenting findings. To fulfill this requirement, each resident must complete a pharmacotherapy project, a medication-use evaluation, and an administrative project. The ideas for these projects, which will be identified early in the year, will arise from interactions with the UNC Hospitals’ pharmacists and the UNC School of Pharmacy faculty. The pharmacotherapy project is a year-long activity that is designed to be a learning experience. Each resident will present to a research committee the initial design, finalized protocol, interim data, and final results.

Feedback from the Residency Research Committee is provided at each stage. Parts of these research projects will be presented at the University HealthSystem Consortium (UHC) Annual Meeting, the Research in Education and Practice Symposium (REPS) or at specified sub-specialty meetings as determined by the residency program director. In addition to conducting and presenting research, residents are required to submit a manuscript for publication over the course of the year.

Staffing Component

Residents will receive training and orientation to the department's services during their first few weeks of the program. Over the course of the residency year, residents must complete an average of 400 hours of staffing. Pharmacy practice responsibilities include staffing in decentralized or central pharmacist positions. Activities include, but are not limited to, verifying patient-specific orders and medications, providing pharmacokinetic consults when requested, answering in-depth drug information questions, attending all adult codes as the pharmacy member of the code team, providing patient education and solving pharmacotherapy situations as they may arise.

For PGY1 residents, this commitment is fulfilled by staffing every third weekend and for three concentrated week-long blocks distributed over the course of the year. Additionally, residents are also responsible for staffing during one of three major holiday blocks (Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year’s) and one of three minor holidays (Labor Day, Martin Luther King, Jr Day or Memorial Day). These requirements may be changed annually based on the needs of the department.

Clinical On-Call Program

The department of pharmacy provides an on-call pager service to our physicians, nurses, and other clinical staff. While this service does not have an in house on-call component, the residents do participate in answering on-call drug-information requests 24 hours a day. The resident will field medicine, surgery, oncology and pediatric questions. The types of questions that are referred to the service are those that can require significant time to research, or a specialized knowledge base. Each resident will rotate through primary on-call responsibilities. While on-call, the resident will be available over a 24-hour period and will have specified back-up pharmacists to assist with difficult questions if needed.

Seminars/Professional Meetings

PGY1 residents attend the NCAP Annual Convention in October, the ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting in December, and the Research in Education and Practice Symposium (REPS) in May.

Resident Evaluations

Evaluations are a large part of the residency process. At UNC, we utilize the ASHP-endorsed online evaluation system, PharmAcademic. Evaluations are built for each individual rotation, as well as for presentations, research, and staffing components of the program. Additionally, quarterly global evaluations are held with the program director, coordinator and/or mentor to ensure progress on long term goals.

Teaching Opportunities

Our teaching experience is provided through the University of North Carolina Eshelman School of Pharmacy. The residents have been involved in this program for over 10 years. Each resident will earn an appointment with the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy as a Clinical Instructor in the Division of Pharmacy Practice and Experiential Education and serve as a teaching assistant for the Pharmaceutical Care Labs courses. Residents work with second and third professional year students.

A core group of 10 students will be assigned to each resident to engage in therapeutic case discussions and to instruct in the basics of physical assessment, patient counseling and written and verbal communications. Five hours are committed to this experience each week, including teaching, preparation, and grading of assignments.

Residents are offered the option to pursue completion of a teaching certificate through activities in the Pharmaceutical Care Lab (PCL) and other longitudinal requirements over the course of the year. An application process is necessary to join the teaching certificate program, and if accepted, residents will be provided guidance on lectures, portfolio development and PCL participation to receive their certificate.

Leadership Opportunities

UNC residents are offered the option to pursue completion of a leadership certificate through participation in the UNCH Pharmacy Residency Leadership Certificate Program. An application process is necessary to join the leadership certificate program, and if accepted, residents will be provided guidance on leading topic discussions, leadership in motion projects, mentorship, and other activities to receive their certificate.

Educational Opportunities

UNC PGY1 residents are incorporated into a layered learning model with students on rotation at UNC Hospitals, co-residents, including PGY2s, and clinical specialists. Our layered learning model has been piloted on several rotations in which learners of various levels participated on the same team. This model will continue to be offered on several rotations. Other educational opportunities include POD discussions, case conferences and student seminars.

POD discussions are topic discussions determined by preceptors ahead of time which can be led either by PGY2s on rotation or a preceptor specializing in that topic. Case conferences are interactive, didactic and case-based weekly opportunities headed by clinical specialists and presented by PGY2s, PGY1s and students. There are two student seminars presented each week covering a variety of timely topics with a focus on providing useful information for UNC practitioners. These are all weekly opportunities for the resident to develop a more complete pharmacotherapy foundation.

Annual Residency Trip

Another highlight of the year is our residency trip. The residency trip provides an opportunity for the PGY1 residents to visit 2-3 residency programs. They contact the programs and arrange tours, luncheons, etc. with the host institution. This is always a fun trip and it allows for resident bonding and the creation of new professional contacts. Afterward, residents usually take a weekend break and go to the beach, hiking, whitewater rafting, shopping, etc. They then report back to our program about the trip, which helps enrich both the residency program and the Department of Pharmacy.

Post-residency Plans

While the focus of our program is the provision of patient care, our residents leave our programs and pursue a variety of different positions, including further PGY2 training, fellowship training, or clinical employment. A majority of PGY1 residents complete PGY2 residencies in specialty fields. From there, many have taken on roles as clinical pharmacists nationwide and even worldwide.

In these roles, a majority of our graduates are now involved in residency training at their own institutions. Others have pursued successful academic careers at schools of pharmacy nationwide, or further specialty training in either fellowships or graduate studies. Opportunities for residents upon completion of the UNC Training Program are abundant and represent a wide scope of practice styles and settings.

Additional Requirements

All residents are required to have a North Carolina license by July or reciprocity by September of their residency year. Please contact Moo Sultan for more information.

For more information, contact: Moo Sultan

Said "Moo" Sultan, PharmD, BCCCP
Residency Program Director, PGY1 Pharmacy Residency 
Clinical Specialist, Critical Care
Assistant Professor of Clinical Education