Residency programs are the center of pharmacy's future

February 28, 2023
PharmImpact Cover

Community-based residency program boosts pharmacy leaders and innovative practice models

In 1984, the American Pharmacists Association’s (APhA) House of Delegates had a call for action to advance community-based practice through residency programs. In 1999, APhA, in partnership with the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), adopted the Community Pharmacy Residency Accreditation Standards. Marialice Bennett, RPh, FAPhA, faculty emerita at The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy, and alumna Anne Burns, RPh, BSPharm ’80, who recently received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the college, were pioneers in this advancement.

With the goal of advancing a pharmacist’s role in patient care, Bennett pioneered the Ohio State College of Pharmacy’s first residency program in 1995. Through her vision, the college was one of the early adopters of such a program, which celebrated the 25th anniversary of its first graduate completing the program last year: Nick Page, PharmD ‘96, chief clinical and strategy officer of WellDyneRx.

The program started out as a PGY1 residency that offered training in community-based and ambulatory care practice. Later, a PGY2 in ambulatory care and a combined PGY1/2 with a master’s program were added.

“When residents participate in the program, we like to say that they are getting five years of experience in one year because of the breadth and depth of experiences and the number of preceptors that invest in their growth,” said Jennifer Seifert, MS ‘99, RPh, BCGP, director of continuing professional development at the College of Pharmacy. “After completing the intensive program, our graduates create new positions, advance patient care and give back to their communities in significant ways.”

Over 160 residents have graduated from the community-based residency programs, with eight residents currently participating in the program. In 2015 the college-based program and the Wexner Medical Center residency programs joined as one. Currently, the Ohio State Pharmacy Residency Program has about 40 residents training to lead the future of pharmacy practice.

“The program has influenced hundreds of pharmacy leaders, both residents and preceptors, that advance innovative practice models,” Seifert said. “The College of
Pharmacy is a leader in innovative community and ambulatory practice and has been since Marialice envisioned this over 30 years ago.”

Timeline of Residency Programs

Meet the first graduate of the college's community-based pharmacy residency program

Last year marked the 25th anniversary of The Ohio State University community-based pharmacy residency program’s first graduate: Nick Page, PharmD ’96. With the education and training Dr. Page received at the Ohio State College of Pharmacy laying the foundation of his career, he has established himself as a strong leader in pharmacy. 

Photo of Dr. Nick Page
Photo of Dr. Nick Page

Dr. Page is the chief clinical and strategy officer at WellDyneRx, a company that “leverage[s] clinical expertise to drive improved health outcomes for our clients and members,” according to its website. Dr. Page leads all clinical operations within the organization from a managed care perspective, helps run their pharmacy and therapeutics committee, develops authorization criteria and protocols, and consults clients.

As an undergraduate student at Ohio State, Dr. Page’s mentor and the college’s experiential director at the time, Gerald “Jerry” Cable, RPh, sent him on a rotation with a small managed care consulting pharmacy. It was Dr. Page’s first introduction to the business side of pharmacy – managed care and consulting. From there, Dr. Page completed two more business-centric rotations that he credits for molding his career path.

The entrepreneurial pharmacy experiences didn’t stop with these rotations, however; he was able to continue them through the community-based residency program. Marialice Bennett, RPh, FAPhA, faculty emerita at the College of Pharmacy and director of the community-based residency program at the time, gave Dr. Page the opportunity to think entrepreneurially in his residency experiences.

“I enjoyed the projects I worked on through the community-based residency program because they gave me experience learning more about the business of pharmacy,” Dr. Page said.

“At the time, I was of course completing clinical care, but I also worked on several projects that gave me the opportunity to create viable pharmacy programs, like a pharmacy home delivery service. I am thankful that Marialice encouraged me follow my interest in pharmacy business because those projects are what impacted my career the most.” Dr. Page’s first job outside the community-based residency program was running an OhioHealth ambulatory surgery care pharmacy in Whitehall, Ohio.

“I felt well-equipped to run the pharmacy because of my academic experiences and the residency program,” Dr. Page said. “I’ve always had a strong interest in business, so it made sense to me.”

After a few successful years working in ambulatory pharmacy, Dr. Page made the move to Florida where he started working in managed care and has stayed there ever since, eventually working at WellDyneRx.

“My goal is to change the way pharmacy is being delivered,” Dr. Page said. “This is why I got my PharmD and completed the residency program, because it would help me look at the operational side of things. Instead of impacting 30 patients a day as a community pharmacist, I help hundreds of thousands of people with the decisions I make every day.”