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KGI Doctor of Pharmacy Students Matched for Residencies

Ten graduating students and alumni in Keck Graduate Institute (KGI)’s Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program have been matched for residencies at hospitals, medical centers, and universities across California.

Pharmacy residencies allow students to apply the knowledge and skills they’ve learned in school to real patients, situations, and settings. Being exposed to various career paths available to pharmacists today can help better shape the expertise graduates want to go into.

Nancy Chukwumezie, PharmD ’21, was accepted for a PGY-2 specialized oncology residency at the UCSF Medical Center in San Francisco, CA. ​​The program is designed to develop clinical pharmacy specialists equipped with the expertise and clinical aptitude for practice in acute and ambulatory oncology training.

“I chose this residency program because UCSF truly embodies their P.R.I.D.E values of Professionalism, Respect, Integrity, Diversity, and Excellence, which I have experienced as a previous PGY-1,” Chukwumezie said. “I am very excited to develop a well-rounded foundation of oncology knowledge and the opportunity to experience different areas of pharmacy practice in inpatient and ambulatory care settings.”

Monica Torres, PharmD ’22, will serve her PGY-1 residency at Riverside Community Hospital, a 478-bed teaching hospital, and one of the largest emergency departments and Level 1 Trauma Centers in Southern California.

“My role is to ensure patient care and safety with optimal medication use. This includes attending code blues and providing consult services for antibiotics, anticoagulation, and parenteral nutrition,” Torres said. “Since I grew up in Riverside County and currently live here, I think this is a great way to give back to my community and be a helpful hand to those who need it. I am excited to put everything I learned the past four years into practice and advocate for patients while being a competent and compassionate pharmacist.”

Huu Dung Tran, PharmD ’21, matched with a residency at UCSD’s Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. In collaboration with UC San Diego Health Medical Center, the residency program focuses on community outreach, entrepreneurship, and family medicine in the community and ambulatory care settings.

“I’m grateful to be joining UC San Diego SSPPS and having the opportunity to expand the role of pharmacists in the community setting by implementing innovative programs and community outreach services,” Tran said. “I want to help bridge the gaps in healthcare, mitigate cultural stigmas, and break down barriers for underserved patient populations within the communities in San Diego.”

Tran emphasized that he is excited to utilize his previous experiences and clinical knowledge to provide patient-specific care in family care clinics and deliver healthcare accessibility to his community.

Alyssa Selve, PharmD 22, chose to pursue a residency in the high desert with a specific field in mind. Based in Lancaster, CA, Antelope Valley Hospital’s PGY-1 Residency is comprised of a one-year intensive training program in acute pharmacotherapy. It is strictly an inpatient hospital serving a large area of more than 1,500 square miles.

“I chose this residency program as I have a strong interest in acute care in a multitude of settings,” Selve said. “The pharmacists at this hospital are very progressive and have an active role in patient care. I am excited to expand my clinical knowledge and manage patients.”

Kelly Vo, PharmD ’22, is a PGY-1 resident at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center (ARMC) in San Bernardino County. ARCM is a 456-bed acute care teaching hospital where pharmacists and preceptors challenge residents clinically and provide hands-on exposure for a better learning experience.

Her rotations include acute and ambulatory care, such as critical care (medical/surgical), emergency medicine, NICU, and more. She said she knew this was the program for her after learning about ARMC’s training environment for residents in clinical, administrative, and managerial pharmacy.

“I was immediately drawn to the wide array of rotations such as critical care, infectious disease, emergency medicine, and even pediatrics,” Vo said. “I admire the program’s emphasis on leadership development through preceptorship, teaching, and professional development. I am currently precepting for the first time, and it feels different being on the other side.”

Vo said she has gained a new perspective on her field in a short amount of time and looks forward to expanding her interest into emergency medicine or critical care.

Jovanny Mercado, PharmD ’22, is a PGY1 resident at PIH Health Whittier Hospital, a nonprofit, 500-bed hospital in a regional healthcare network that serves a diverse community on the Los Angeles/Orange County lines. The year-long residency consists of extensive training in the inpatient setting and servicing outpatient family practice. Her rotations include internal medicine, NICU, infectious diseases, and advanced glucose management.

“I am excited to spend a year at PIH Whittier where I will continue to develop professionally and clinically,” Mercado said. “As a Spanish speaker, I wanted to do a residency at a community hospital that serves a diverse population, including the Hispanic population. I believe the extensive training I receive at PIH Whittier will fully prepare me to provide exceptional care to my patients and community.”

These KGI alumni represent the first of many recent KGI PharmD graduates that will go on to match and receive residencies across the country in the coming months.