The ASHP National Residency Preceptor's Conference is held every other year in Washington, DC. This year's conference focused on a number of new changes that will be implemented during 2012–2013, including an online application tool for candidates and programs, a mandatory one-week waiting or “cooling off” period after the Match, and pharmacy resident specific duty hours. There was also strong emphasis on PGY1 residency program expansion.

The Pharmacy Online Residency Centralized Application Service (PhORCAS) will be a web-based tool for both residency candidate and programs to manage the residency application process. All programs registered in the ASHP Resident Matching Program with a unique National Matching Services (NMS) number will be automatically uploaded into PhORCAS unless the residency program director chooses to “Opt out” on this year's Resident Matching Program – Residency Agreement Form from NMS.

There is no cost for residency programs to participate in PhORCAS. The costs of the centralized application service will be covered by fees paid by applicants.

PhORCAS will contain standardized application materials such as:

  1. Basic candidate demographics

  2. Verified transcripts

  3. A candidate's personal statement/letter of intent

  4. Curriculum Vitae (CV)

  5. Three references, using a standardized reference template. Reference writers will also be able to upload a traditional reference letter into PhORCAS.

  6. Extracurricular information

  7. Supplemental information (optional) – May include program specific documents which can be uploaded in PDF, MSWord, Rich text format, or ASCII Text files.

It is important to note, PhORCAS will not list additional or “optional” program specific application requirements within a program's listing. Residency Program Directors should state customized application requirements on their residency program recruitment materials.

PhORCAS will be live for applicants starting on October 2, 2012. Pharmacy residency programs may start receiving access to electronic applications in their portal on November 1, 2012. Programs can select a specific application deadline when updating their annual NMS Match Agreement. Once this deadline has passed, applicants will no longer be able to apply to a program through PhORCAS.

ASHP will be offering a number of webinars and tutorials for both residency programs and candidates this fall. Additional information and on PhORCAS can be found on the ASHP website.

Due to concerns about the post-Match “Scramble” not providing applicants and programs with the “best fit,” a one week moratorium will be implemented after the 2013 Match results are announced. Candidates and programs will be able to use PhORCAS for the “Scramble.”

The meeting also focused on the ongoing need for pharmacy residency expansion. The ASHP-ACCP “2020 Resolution” supports the position that by 2020, the completion of an accredited PGY1 residency should be a requirement for all new college of pharmacy graduates providing direct patient care.

Since 2007, the number of new pharmacy graduates participating in the match has increased faster than the number of available positions. The most recent match results in 2012 had 2,268 candidate match to a PGY1 program, with 1438 candidates not matching. The number of available PGY1 and PGY2 positions has also grown, but not fast enough to keep up with interested candidates, especially PGY1 candidates.

The Commission on Credentialing (COC) also provided some updates including:

  1. All PGY2 Residency Program Directors need to be Board Certified in their specialty area of practice.

  2. Pharmacy Specific Duty Hours have also been revised and will be implemented July 1, 2013 for all programs.

  3. The Accreditation Standard for PGY1 programs will be revised. The process is scheduled to begin in 2013 and will align with the recent ACPE rewrite. The revision will also consider the impact of increasing residency capacity. Once the Standard for PGY1 programs has been updated, the standards for PGY2 programs will be revised.