Postgraduate Showcase Opens Career Doors

January 28, 2020

For a newly minted Pharm.D., a residency or fellowship can be a game changer.

“In a residency or fellowship, students gain additional training, which is useful if they want to specialize. A residency or fellowship also opens more career doors,” explained Chung-Shien Lee, Pharm.D., Assistant Professor–Industry Professional, Department of Clinical Health Professions, St. John’s University’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (CPHS).

Dr. Lee and Kimberly E. Ng., Pharm.D., Assistant Professor, Clinical Health Professions, collaborated with University Career Services to organize an annual Residency and Fellowship Showcase at the College. Held in October, the showcase hosted approximately 120 representatives from 47 postgraduate programs who provided students with information about the opportunities offered.

Typically, residencies are in hospitals or other healthcare facilities while fellowships generally are sponsored by pharmaceutical companies. Managed care companies and community pharmacy companies also have such programs. Among the residency organizations that participated in the 2019 showcase were NewYork-Presbyterian, the Mount Sinai Health System, NYU Langone Health, and Northwell Health.

In addition to CPHS’ postdoctoral pharmaceutical industry fellowships, which include Allergan plc; American Regent, Inc.; and Daiichi-Sankyo Group, other fellowship programs in attendance included Boehringer Ingelheim and Long Island University Pharmacy Fellowship Programs in Medical Communications. Managed care postgraduate program participants included Fidelis Care and Healthfirst, Inc.

To offer students a deeper understanding of the postgraduate experience, eight current residents and fellows were invited to join a panel discussion at the Dean’s Hour event following the showcase.

“This format allows students to have more open engagement and ask questions of their peers,” explained Dr. Ng. “The panelists share their experiences, which is valuable for our students.”

The College’s efforts to help students compete for these prestigious posts does not end with the showcase. The Student Society of Health-System Pharmacists, with the support of University Career Services, organizes a residency “boot camp” at which students learn more about the application process and receive résumé and CV preparation assistance. An informational program for those interested in fellowships also is offered, in conjunction with a pharmaceutical industry networking event. University Career Services also offers mock interviews.

The benefit to students is clear. “This was a very valuable event and opened my eyes to many more opportunities that are available to me in the future,” one student commented.

Postgraduate programs gain from the showcase as well. “In many instances, residencies and fellowships lead to job offers,” said Russell J. DiGate, Dean, College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. “At the showcase, program directors have an opportunity to speak with candidates to gain a sense of which students may be a good fit for their programs. We appreciate that representatives from these prestigious postgraduate programs attend our showcase and that more seem to come every year because we want to give our students every opportunity to jump-start their careers.”