The Pharmacy Practice Residency Program Post Graduate Year 1 (PGY-1) at the VA Caribbean Healthcare System is a collaborative program between the School of Pharmacy of the University of Puerto Rico (UPR) and the VA Caribbean Healthcare System. It is accredited by the American Society of Health System Pharmacists (ASHP). The program consists of a 12-month period of concentrated training in all aspects of pharmacy practice. It is a structured training program in which service complements the educational and experiential objectives of the residency. Formal procedures for site, preceptors, and residents’ evaluations are in place. The learning experiences are provided according to the level and type of experiences specified in the broad competency areas established for the program. The program is flexible, in that it will adapt to the needs of the individual resident; yet it will provide the basic foundation for quality pharmacy practice. The ultimate goal of the program is to achieve professional competence in the delivery of patient-centered care and pharmacy services.  A Teaching and Learning Curriculum (TLC) or Certificate in Academia is also offered to interested residents as a parallel optional opportunity.



PGY1 pharmacy practice residency programs further develop competencies in patient- centered care and medication-use systems, as well as leadership skills. Upon completion of the program pharmacists may be eligible for board certification, and postgraduate year two (PGY2) pharmacy practice residency training.


The pharmacists completing this program will be competent practitioners in the following:


Required competency areas

  • Patient care
  • Advancing practice and improving patient care
  • Leadership and management
  • Teaching, education and dissemination of knowledge


Elective competency area

Teaching and Learning is an elective for those residents interested in participating in the Teaching and Learning Curriculum and obtaining the academic certificate.


Program Goals 

  1. In collaboration with the healthcare team, provide safe and effective patient care to a diverse range of patients, including those with multiple comorbidities, high risk medication regimens and multiple medications following a consistent patient care process
  2. Ensure continuity of care during patient transitions between care settings
  3. Prepare, dispense and manage medications to support safe and effective drug therapy for patients
  4. Demonstrate ability to manage formulary and medication-use processes, as applicable to the organization
  5. Demonstrate ability to evaluate and investigate practice, review data, and assimilate scientific evidence to improve patient care and/or the medication –use system
  6. Demonstrate leadership skills
  7. Demonstrate management skills
  8. Provide effective medication and practice related education to patients, caregivers, healthcare professionals, students and the public (individuals and groups)
  9. Effectively employ appropriate preceptor roles when engaged in teaching students, pharmacy technicians, or fellow health care professionals


Learning Experiences

  • Orientation and assessment
  • Direct patient care rotations
  • Practice management
  • Teaching experience
  • Service/staffing rotation and weekends
  • Investigational drug services
  • Direct patient care experiences include
    • Internal medicine
    • Critical care
    • Community living center
    • Anticoagulation management program
    • Patient-aligned care teams
    • Pain and palliative care
    • Oncology
    • Home based primary care (HBPC)


Residents’ Responsibilities

Each resident will be required to:

  • Complete all required learning experiences
  • Complete a residency project
  • Present the residency project results at the VACHS and prepare a manuscript suitable for publication
  • Participate in the quarterly pharmacy newsletter
  • Complete at least one medication use evaluation
  • Prepare a drug class review, monograph, treatment guideline or protocol
  • Comply with the service commitment requirements
  • Actively participate in one pharmacy service committee
  • Present two formal conferences to the pharmacy staff
  • Actively participate in residency conferences and educational activities
  • Prepare a portfolio of his/her practice and development, including a final self-reflection



  • Stipend-$41,098
  • 35 accrued leave time: 13 personal days, 13 sick leave & 9 holidays
  • Administrative leave for educational meetings
  • Parking
  • Uniforms
  • Teaching hospital



A certificate of residency accredited by ASHP is awarded to the residents who successfully complete the residency program.



  • Participation in the NMS Resident Matching Program and PhORCAS (Pharmacy Online Residency Centralized Application Service)
  • Academic: Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm. D) degree from an accredited college /school of pharmacy and college transcript
  • Professional license: Puerto Rico licensure eligibility or licensure in any state
  • Nationality: U.S. citizenship
  • Interview: An on-site panel interview
  • Letters of recommendation: Three formal letters using established format
  • Letter of intent essay expressing interest and the reason for pursuing a residency
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Language: Fully bilingual (Spanish and English).


Address all inquiries and application materials by January 15th of each year to:

Mirza D. Martínez, PharmD.
PGY1 Pharmacy Practice Residency Program Director
University of Puerto Rico, School of Pharmacy
PO Box 365067
San Juan, PR 00936-5067

        Tel. (787) 758-2525 Ext. 5316