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   | MUSC Medical Center Residency Program | Programs | PGY1/PGY2 24-month | Psychiatry

Psychiatric Pharmacy

Clint Ross, PharmD, BCPP
Residency Program Director

The Residency Experience
Service/Clinical Practice
Research/Scholarly Activity




The MUSC Medical Center is a 700-bed tertiary care academic medical center providing care for patients of Charleston and throughout the state of South Carolina. In addition to general medical and surgical services, MUSC offers a variety of specialty services including cardiothoracic, transplant and neurosurgery, level I trauma center, digestive disease, psychiatry and level III neonatal intensive care. The medical center is comprised of four hospitals, Ashley River Tower, Children's Hospital, Institute of Psychiatry, and University Hospital. Outpatient facilities include the Hollings Cancer Center, Ashley River Tower Clinics, Rutledge Tower Clinics, Family Medicine Center and affiliated faculty practice ambulatory care centers.

The Department of Pharmacy Services provides service to patients on a 24 hour basis through multiple inpatient and ambulatory pharmacies to fulfill the department’s mission, vision, and goals of providing optimal pharmaceutical care to all patients. The Psychiatric Pharmacy Residency Program is a 24-month postgraduate education and training program designed to develop a clinician with expertise in ambulatory
pharmaceutical care.

The first 12-months of the program will be spent completing a traditional PGY1 residency program, with elective options in psychiatry. The second 12-months of the program will be spent completing a PGY2 Psychiatric Pharmacy residency where the resident will have rotations in inpatient psychiatry and longitudinal experiences in a variety of outpatient settings..

The resident completing this comprehensive training program will be prepared to serve as both a clinician and teacher/consultant in psychiatric treatment.


The Psychiatric Pharmacy Residency Program is designed to develop accountability; practice patterns, habits, and expert knowledge, skills, attitudes, and abilities in advanced psychiatric pharmacy practice. The Psychiatric Pharmacy Residency Program begins in the PGY1 year where broad-based competencies are achieved. In the PGY2 year, the continued training and experience will deepen the residents’ ability to provide care in the most complex of cases or in the support of care through practice leadership. Therefore, the Psychiatric Pharmacy Residency Program provides residents with opportunities to function independently as practitioners by conceptualizing and integrating accumulated experience and knowledge and transforming both into improved medication therapy for patients.

A resident who completes successfully the Psychiatric Pharmacy Residency Program should possess competencies that enable attainment of board certification in psychiatric pharmacy.  Pharmacy residents completing the Psychiatric Pharmacy residency at MUSC will be competent and confident in the management of medication therapy for various psychiatric disease states. The resident will demonstrate proficiency in communication and in the education of other health care professionals, patients, and students. Upon completion of this comprehensive training program, the resident will be prepared to serve as both a clinician and teacher/consultant in an advanced position such as Psychiatric Clinical Specialist or Clinical Psychiatry Faculty member.


Specific residency goals and objectives will be established at the beginning of the residency year and are modified to meet the resident’s interest and previous experiences. To meet the purpose of the residency, the resident will advance in the following outcomes:

  • Establish a collaborative interdisciplinary practice.
  • Demonstrate leadership and practice management skills.
  • Demonstrate excellence in the provision of training or educational activities for health care  professionals, health care professionals in training and the public.
  • Serve as an authoritative resource on the optimal use of medications used to treat psychiatric and  neuropsychiatric disorders.
  • Optimize the outcomes of diverse populations of inpatients and outpatients with a variety of psychiatric  and neuropsychiatric disorders and a range of complexity of problems by providing evidence-based, patient- centered medication therapy as an integral part of an interdisciplinary team.
  • Evaluate and improve the medication-use process in psychiatric and neuropsychiatric patient care areas.
  • Conduct psychiatric pharmacy practice research and outcomes research
  • Demonstrate skills required to function in an academic setting
  • Where the psychiatric pharmacy practice is within a setting that allows pharmacist credentialing,  successfully apply for credentialing.
  • Contribute to the development of guidelines

The Residency Experience

Service/Clinical Practice

It is assumed that the candidate will enter the residency with a minimum competency in the area of clinical practice. Throughout the residency he/she will be expected to:

• Assist healthcare providers in the selection and utilization of the safest and most appropriate medication therapy by designing and implementing a therapeutic plan, based on patient -specific information.
• Support the documentation of day-to-day activities of the clinical pharmacists. In addition, planning, initiating and follow-up of recommendations made by clinical pharmacists.
• Provide medication information to prescribers and other health care practitioners.
• Educate and counsel patients and the general public on the proper use of medications.
• Develop and utilize patient education material and programs focusing on methods to improve patient understanding and compliance.
• Participate in continuous quality improvement efforts.
• Utilize assessment skills in the management of acute and chronic psychiatric illness and provide appropriate referrals to other health care providers.
• Critically evaluate and apply the drug literature considering the principles of evidence based medicine.
• Effectively communicate (verbally and in writing) with patients, peers, and other health professionals about all aspects of medication therapy.
• Assist the physician with the management of chronic disease states.


Following completion of the residency the resident will be able to function effectively as a teacher of all health care students and professionals, patients, and the public.
Opportunities for teaching include:

• Precepting PharmD students on inpatient psychiatry rotations.
• Presenting pharmacotherapy reviews.
• Conducting conference session teaching experiences (leading group discussions).
• Contributing to clinical teaching both in and out of the patient care environment.
• Participating in the pharmacy resident case-conference series and journal club.
• Laboratory instructor in a clinical assessment course in the college of pharmacy.
• Providing medical students and residents pharmacotherapy lectures and inservices.
• Optional participation in the Academician Preparation Program (teaching certificate).

Research/Scholarly Activity

An independent research project is required and will be determined by resident interest as well as by needs of the clinic/health care system. The results of this project will be presented at the end of the year to the Department of Pharmacy Services and at the Southeastern Residency Conference (SERC) as required. Participation in other ongoing research projects is also encouraged. Preparation of a manuscript for publication is required.


A detailed list of active preceptors may be found at

Clint Ross, PharmD, BCPP
Clinical Assistant Professor of Clinical Pharmacy & Outcomes Sciences
Residency Program Director
Pharmacy Coordinator - Psychiatry
Amy Vandenberg, PharmD, BCPP
Assistant Professor of Clinical Pharmacy and Outcomes Sciences
Clinical Specialist - Psychiatry
Amy Hebbard, PharmD
Clinical Pharmacist: Psychiatry

On-site Interviews Will Be Required

Starting in 2012 the MUSC Pharmacy Program will be using the PhORCAS Application System through ASHP.  Please submit all application materials through the applicant portal on ASHP's website.  The deadline for receipt of a complete application packet is December 31st.  Applicants can begin submitting materials through PhORCAS on November 19.  Complete applications include the following:

  • Letter of intent (uploaded with application)
  • Curriculum vitae (uploaded with application)
  • Three letters of reference completed by health professionals who can attest to the applicant’s practice abilities and aptitudes (uploaded directly from the authors beginning on November 19)
  • At least one letter must be from an immediate supervisor (if applicable - for PGY1 only)
  • At least one letter must be from a clinical preceptor
  • Official transcripts of all professional pharmacy education
  • Class rank (in a sealed envelope from Dean's Office)
  • List of Rotations completed.

The application, letter of intent and curriculum vitae should be submitted via the PhORCAS applicant portal.  Letters of reference should also be submitted via PhORCAS Reference Portal using the ASHP Reference Template no later than December 31 directly from the authors.  For further information, please see application information.

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