Community pharmacy, residencies take majority of class of 2013 pharmacy graduates

SPOKANE – In a survey two weeks before their spring commencement, 75 percent of the students graduating with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Washington State University said they had accepted jobs or post-graduation residencies, and a majority of the students said they intend to stay in Washington state.

There were 54 students who said they had jobs as a pharmacist, with 38 of those jobs at chain store pharmacies and another three at independent community pharmacies.  Four of the employed were going into hospital pharmacy, one was headed to the pharmaceutical industry, three were going to work in clinics, one was going to long-term care and the other two didn’t say. The survey was completed by 96 of the 97 graduates.

Eighteen students said they had accepted a post-graduation residency. Residencies have become more popular among pharmacy graduates in the last five years. During a residency, the graduate works as a pharmacist while gaining additional training in a particular area.

Of the 41 students not planning on staying in Washington, 11 said they wanted to go to California. There were 17 students from California admitted to the program in this class four years ago. Six students said they were interested in furthering their education in something other than a residency, with four of those students interested in a business degree.

Eight of the students were headed for jobs underserved areas, with two of them going to pharmacies serving low-income patients with no insurance or under-insured, one to a clinic serving seasonal farm workers and three to rural areas with a shortage of healthcare professionals.