Frequently asked questions

How are the residents selected?
Resident selection involves an application process and an onsite interview. Application, college of pharmacy transcripts,and letters of recommendation must be received prior to scheduling interviews. Interviews are held in January and February. As an ASHP-accredited program, participation in the Resident Matching Program is mandatory.

How is the resident's year organized?
The first four weeks of the residency is orientation during which the residents rotate through different areas of the hospital, learn the pharmacy's computer systems, and explore potential research projects and medication usage evaluations (MUEs), and obtain BLS and ACLS certifications.

Clinical rotations are based on calendar months. Residents do not have a formal rotation during December. This month is designed for the resident to attend the ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting, and to work on their research projects.

What transcripts are required when applying?
The applicant should submit college of pharmacy transcripts.

How much do the residents staff?
The residents staff every third weekend throughout the year, primarily as a clinical pharmacist and one evening shift per month as a staff pharmacist. In the beginning, the residents function as an order verification pharmacist. This role transitions to clinical responsibilities on patient care areas. Additionally, each resident is required to take on-call responsibilities starting in the second half of the program. The on-call consists of the resident assisting in resolving clinical issues mainly by phone or computer. Remote access to the Methodist system as well as drug information references are made available to the resident. No night shifts are required. Residents will be scheduled to work one major and minor holiday.

How flexible is the program with electives?
During the residency, some residents discover new areas of interest. The program is very flexible in adapting the residency experience to accommodate the resident's interests and goals. Elective rotations are available off-site if the desired experience is not available at Houston Methodist Hospital. Residents in the past have successfully completed rotations at Memorial Hermann Hospital, Ben Taub General Hospital, the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital, the Houston Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and the Harris County Psychiatric Center.

How are the residents evaluated?
The resident is provided with a list of goals and objectives for each rotation. The preceptor provides frequent verbal feedback and completes a mid-point and final evaluation of the resident. The evaluation form is developed from ASHP's Residency Learning System (RLS). On a quarterly basis, the Residency Program Director provides the resident with an evaluation of their progress. The objective of the frequent evaluations is to provide constructive feedback to the resident on their progress to maximize the opportunity for learning.

Is the resident required to do oral presentations?
The residents are required to do monthly formal presentations to the clinical pharmacy staff. Other presentations may be required as determined by the preceptor, physicians, or nursing staff. Additional opportunities to present include Houston Methodist Hospital medical residents' Noon Conference, departmental journal club, and others.

Is there an opportunity as one of Methodist's PGY1 residents to early commit to one of the PGY2 Programs?
Each PGY2 program offers the opportunity for early commitment. The resident must communicate this intention to the respective Residency Program Director (RPD) and submit their written letter of intent in person by October 31st. Pursuant to the receipt of the application, the RPD will conduct an interview of the candidate and follow ASHP Residency Matching guidelines. Candidates not choosing to early commit or those who are not offered early commitment by the PGY2 program may still apply to the PGY2 program but are required to participate in the ASHP Residency Matching process.

What teaching opportunities are available?
Houston Methodist Hospital is a major clinical teaching site for students from the Colleges of Pharmacy at the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Houston, Texas Southern University, Texas A&M, and University of The Incarnate Word. The residents have opportunities to assist in the teaching of students from multiple disciplines including pharmacy, medicine, nursing, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners. Opportunities for didactic teaching exist in the local colleges of pharmacy. A teaching certificate program is offered as part of the HMH and University of Houston College of Pharmacy affiliation for residents interested in such a training experience.

Are all of the residents from Texas or Texas schools of pharmacy?
No, Houston Methodist Hospital considers all residency applicants and strives to obtain diversity in the educational backgrounds of the residents.

Do residents receive support to attend professional meetings?
Support is available for required meetings such as ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting and Midwest Pharmacy Residency Conference. Support to attend additional meetings is determined on an individual basis.

Do residents have library privileges?
Residents have access to The Texas Medical Center/Houston Academy of Medicine (TMC/HAM) Library (located across the street from the hospital). Residents also have access to The Houston Methodist Library (located on the first floor of the Main Building - M155 The Professional Education Center) which includes access to over 9,000 on-line books and journals and 36 subscription databases. Included in those databases are:  Micromedex, Clinical Pharmacology, Lexi-Comp, Natural Standard, Dynamed, Clinical Key and Up-To-Date  are available from the hospital as well as remotely.

What types of positions have former residents accepted?
Our residency programs produce highly skilled pharmacists capable of many different types of positions when they graduate. Several of our residency graduates have attained a diversity of positions including clinical specialists, PGY2 residency positions, academic faculty, fellowships, and pharmacy management. Previous residents have included a former ASHP President, residency program directors, director of pharmacy, local pharmacy chapter officers, and other successful leadership positions. 

What is the average cost for housing in Houston?
You should expect to pay $1200 or more per month for a one or two bedroom apartment if you live in the Texas Medical Center area. Housing in outlying areas is less expensive but results in longer commute times. Most residents choose to live closer to the hospital.

What is there to do in Houston?
Houston is fourth largest city in the nation and as such has an abundance of recreational opportunities. Evenings out can include professional sporting events such as the Houston Astros, Texans, Rockets, or Comets games. Discounted tickets are often available since Methodist is the sponsor hospital for many of the teams. An abundance of local multi-cultural activities exist such as the season of festivals as well as taking in the Opera, Ballet, Symphony or upcoming Broadway musicals.