PGY1 and PGY2 Residency Training Recognized

WASHINGTON, DC – The Board of Pharmacy Specialties has made changes to the eligibility requirements for both the Psychiatric and Oncology Pharmacy Specialties. The changes involve recognizing the value of residency training through postgraduate year one (PGY1) and postgraduate year two (PGY2) programs that are accredited by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. Beginning with the Spring 2015 BPS examinations, candidates for Psychiatric Pharmacy and Oncology Pharmacy will have three practice experience pathways by which to qualify:

Completion of four (4) years of practice with at least 50% of time spent in psychiatric pharmacy or oncology pharmacy activities (as defined by the respective BPS Content Outlines for each specialty)


Completion of a PGY1 residency plus two (2) additional years of practice with at least 50% of time spent in psychiatric pharmacy or oncology pharmacy activities (as defined by the respective BPS Content Outlines for each specialty)


Completion of a specialty (PGY2) residency in either psychiatric pharmacy or oncology pharmacy (depending upon which specialty certification the candidate elects to sit for)

All other eligibility criteria for each specialty remain the same.

Leigh Anne Nelson, Pharm.D., BCPP, Associate Professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Pharmacy and the 2014 Chair of the BPS Psychiatric Pharmacy Specialty Council notes that; “Recognizing PGY1 residency training speaks to the fact that these programs have strong, established criteria for training pharmacists to achieve professional competence in the delivery of patient-centered care. In addition, PGY1 residencies help develop clinical pharmacists responsible for medication-related care of patients with a wide range of conditions and when coupled with two years of practice experience in a specialty area help prepare pharmacists to sit for BPS Board Certification examinations.”

Previously, there was not a practice experience eligibility pathway that recognized PGY1 training in either the Psychiatric Pharmacy or Oncology Pharmacy Specialty.

Lisa E. Davis, Pharm.D., FCCP, BCPS, BCOP, Professor of Clinical Pharmacy at the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy stated, “The PGY2 pharmacy residency experience is designed to build upon those competencies developed by a PGY1 pharmacy residency and provides the training to allow residents to develop in the specialty area they select.  This experience, along with the mentoring of preceptors who have expertise in a specialty area, coupled with the fact that PGY2 residencies are structured learning experiences that are accredited led the BPS Oncology Pharmacy Specialty Council to determine that this was is an appropriate experience to prepare for board certification.”

Previously PGY2 residents in both Psychiatric Pharmacy and Oncology Pharmacy were required to gain an additional year of practice experience after completing a PGY2 program in order to meet the BPS practice experience requirement.

According to William Ellis, BPS Executive Director; “These changes create a two, three and four year pathway to meet the practice experience requirements while recognizing the value of formal training through ASHP accredited residencies while still maintaining an eligibility pathway that does not require a residency.”

Registration for the Spring 2015 BPS examination will open on or about January 15, 2015 and will close March 13, 2015. The Spring 2015 BPS examinations will be administered from April 23-May 9, 2015.


Founded in 1976 as an autonomous division of the American Pharmacists Association, BPS is a professional certification organization acting in the public interest by establishing and enforcing education, examination, and experience requirements for pharmacists seeking specialty board certification.


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