Postgraduate Year One Residency Program

ASHP Program Code: 41150
National Matching Service Code:

Accreditation Status: ASHP accredited
Co-Directors of Pharmacy: Richard Jacobson, RPh, BS, MBA, and Kristen March, PharmD, BCPS
Program Director: Christopher Leong, PharmD, BCCCP
Program Coordinators:

Instagram account: @nmhpharmacyresidency

Residency Program Fast Facts:

  • Duration/Type: 12-month Traditional PGY1 Pharmacy Practice Residency
  • Number of positions: 10 Traditional; 1 combined PGY1&2 HSPAL
  • Application deadline: January 2, 2023
  • Starting date: Mid-June
  • Estimated stipend:
    • Approx. $47,000 for traditional
  • Interview required: Yes

Mission Statement

The Northwestern Memorial Hospital (NMH) PGY1 Pharmacy Practice residency program builds upon Doctor of Pharmacy education and outcomes to contribute to the development of clinical pharmacists responsible for medication-related care of patients with a wide range of conditions, eligible for board certification and eligible for postgraduate year two (PGY2) pharmacy residency training.

Pharmacy practice residency graduates will:

  • Learn to be a confident practitioner with the expertise, professional judgment and values of an experienced clinician.
  • Develop problem-solving abilities in a wide variety of practice areas.
  • Exert a unique, professional influence to obtain higher level goals in the patient's best interest.
  • Understand the importance of evidence-based medicine.
  • Learn how to critique and apply available literature and design and execute studies to solve relevant pharmacy-related issues.
  • Be dedicated to personal education and to the education of others to improve the safety of medication use.
  • Serve as a leader in developing pharmacy practice.
  • Serve as a preceptor to both IPPE and APPE pharmacy students.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The NMH PGY1 program is committed to prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion among pharmacy residents. Our program believes that a residency class from a diverse set of backgrounds helps broaden perspectives, leads to creative problem solving, enriches our department, and ultimately fosters excellent patient care. We continually challenge ourselves to work towards an equitable and inclusive program through our recruitment process, policies, and interactions. Our program will always respect the dignity and worth of each resident and celebrate a culture where value is seen in everyone's unique differences.

Program overview

Northwestern Memorial Hospital (NMH) is a large academic medical center with 897 beds, located in downtown Chicago, Illinois. The pharmacy department at NMH has a long history of training pharmacy residents since 1978. Our department offers the following positions:

  • 10 PGY1 residents
  • 2 combined PGY1&2 HSPAL (one per year)
  • 11 PGY2 residents

The pharmacy practice model of NMH is a patient-centered, team-based, integrated approach to care. At NMH, every pharmacist has both clinical and operational responsibilities. Clinical pharmacists rotate through day shifts, evening shifts and weekends to provide high level, continuous patient care. We have nearly 200 pharmacists, greater than 50 percent of which are board-certified and greater than 80 percent have completed residency or fellowship training.

Our pharmacists constitute eight clinical service teams, including:

  • Internal Medicine (including Anticoagulation and Psychiatry)
  • Critical Care
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Cardiology
  • Solid Organ Transplant
  • Hematology/Oncology
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Women's Health/Neonatal Care

We also have pharmacists specializing in drug information, medication safety, policy and compliance, nutrition support, investigational drug service, and informatics.

Pharmacy practice residency graduates will:

  • Learn to be a confident practitioner with the expertise, professional judgment and values of an experienced clinician
  • Develop problem-solving abilities in a wide variety of practice areas
  • Exert a unique professional influence to obtain higher level goals in the patient's best interest
  • Understand the importance of evidence-based medicine
  • Learn how to critique and apply available literature and design and execute studies to solve relevant pharmacy-related issues
  • Be dedicated to personal education and to the education of others to improve the safety of medication use
  • Serve as a leader in developing pharmacy practice
  • Serve as a preceptor to both IPPE and APPE pharmacy students

The program begins with a six-week orientation (Pharmacy Practice Rotation) which aims to review departmental policies and procedures, expose residents to various systems and workflows, and introduce key longitudinal responsibilities. Residents will also be trained to independently practice in central and satellite pharmacies. Additionally, there are five required rotations to be completed throughout the year. Each rotation experience spans over one month, with additional longitudinal clinic experiences extending throughout the residency year.

During orientation, residents coordinate preliminary rotation schedules with fellow residents and the program director. Most rotations are offered throughout the year and residents have flexibility to change their schedule anytime during the residency year. It is our goal to individualize the learning experience based on each resident's interests. Certain advanced experiences have prerequisites, for example, residents must complete infectious diseases rotation prior to participating in advanced ID rotations. Off-site rotations will be considered on an individual basis and need approval by the RPD.

Team-based precepting: NMH operates as a team-based integrated pharmacy practice model. Each rotation has a designated primary preceptor who coordinates the rotation experience. Residents usually spend time with multiple pharmacists on the same clinical team throughout the month. Residents have the opportunity to experience different precepting styles and learn from more than one preceptor.

Layered learning model: NMH has developed a layered learning model, mimicking the medical model of active learning. Learning at NMH is handled in a layered fashion, from attending level clinical pharmacist preceptor to resident to student. During many rotations, residents are expected to teach and mentor pharmacy students. PGY2 residents will also serve as the secondary preceptor for PGY1 residents.

Evaluation: The Northwestern Memorial Hospital PGY1 Program utilizes PharmAcademic to evaluate the progress of residents. Preceptors and residents are required to complete evaluations for each rotation experience. Residents also receive both formal and informal feedback from preceptors throughout the rotation. Finally, one-on-one progress discussions are scheduled with the RPD or one of the coordinators and each resident.


Required rotations may be completed at any time throughout the year with the exception of the Pharmacy Practice Orientation, which is always completed in June/July for PGY1 residents. Required rotations include:

  • Pharmacy Practice Orientation
  • Administration
  • Internal Medicine
  • Intensive Care
  • Drug Information
  • Infectious Diseases

Current elective rotations include:

  • Cardiology
  • Cardiac care unit
  • Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit
  • Developmental Therapeutics Research Pharmacy
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Infectious Diseases Outpatient Clinic
  • Inpatient Cardiology
  • Inpatient Hematology
  • Inpatient Oncology
  • Inpatient Psychiatry
  • Medication Safety and Policy
  • Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
  • Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit
  • Nutrition Support
  • Outpatient Benign Hematology Clinic
  • Outpatient Cardiology Clinic
  • Outpatient Oncology Clinic
  • Outpatient Specialty Clinic - Internal Medicine
  • Outpatient Ventricular Assist Device Clinic
  • Pharmacy Informatics
  • Psychiatry
  • Solid Organ Transplant – Abdominal
  • Solid Organ Transplant – Lung
  • Specialty Pharmacy
  • Stem Cell Transplant
  • Surgical Intensive Care Unit

Residents will have the opportunity to work longitudinally in a clinic. Residents are in clinic one weekday every other week. Residents are exempt from regular monthly rotation requirement during longitudinal clinic days. Some longitudinal rotations are also offered as one month rotations. Longitudinal rotations may include:

  • Oncology Clinic
  • Solid Organ Transplant Clinic
  • Transitions of Care Clinic
  • Transplant Clinic

Committee Participation

Residents will also participate in two longitudinal committees. One of the committees will be an internal P&T or Quality Sub-committee, and the other will be within a professional organization with one of the Northwestern Medicine clinical pharmacists. Available P&T Sub-committees include:

  • Therapeutics A & B
  • Antimicrobial
  • Medication Safety

Residents will be responsible for meeting minutes and may be responsible for additional committee work as needed.

Professional organization committee availability varies each year.

Additional activities

Research: Residents are required to complete an independent research project, with mentorship from clinical pharmacists and support from the departmental research committee. Residents have the freedom to choose any research project, define their own research question, and work with the research advisor of their choice. Residents are expected to present background and methods at the annual Vizient meeting which occurs prior to the ASHP Clinical Meeting. Results of clinical research projects will be presented at a resident-specific spring conference.

Resident presentations: PGY1 Residents are expected to present a 20-minute presentation, on average, every eight weeks during resident noon conference. Residents can choose any topic, including patient cases encountered during rotations, pharmacy hot topics, and controversial grey areas of medical practice. Residents receive timely feedback from preceptors and the RPD. All residents will present a 1 hour continuing education presentation for either pharmacists or technicians.

Meetings: Residents will attend the ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting, a resident-specific spring meeting, and ICHP Annual Meeting. Registration and the majority of expenses for these professional meetings are reimbursed and the use of personal time off is not necessary. Residents are encouraged to attend other conferences of their interest, and opportunities can be arranged with RPD and preceptors.

Required membership: Residents are required to be a member of ASHP and Illinois Council of Health-System Pharmacists (ICHP). Membership dues are not covered by the program.

Residency site visit: Residents will visit other residency programs when feasible.

Teaching certificate: Residents have the option to obtain a teaching certificate from a local college of pharmacy in the Chicago area. Teaching certificate requirements are introduced during orientation.

Advisor: At the end of the July, residents will choose one clinical pharmacist as their year-long professional advisor. The role of advisor is to provide support and guidance to the resident throughout the year.

Precepting opportunities: Each year, more than 450 pharmacy students representing 10 different colleges of pharmacy complete IPPE and APPE rotations at NMH. Residents have ample opportunities to serve as an informal and formal preceptors to students throughout the year. The NMH Department of Pharmacy strongly promotes the layered learning model. Residents are expected to lead topic discussions and serve as a mentor for students.

On-call: During the required administration rotation, residents will be on-call from Friday 4 pm to Monday 8 am for any administrative issues. Other department leaders are always on-call as well for assistance and support. Residents are NOT required to be in-house while on-call. There is no other required on-call activities for residents throughout the year.

Other activities may include:

  • Monthly RPD meetings
  • Participation in resident group service projects/volunteering
  • Resident game night with RPD/End of year celebration with RPD

Service Component

The service component is an integral part of the development of a clinical pharmacist. Residents will staff on average one evening shift every six weekdays, and every third weekend (eight-hour shifts Saturday and Sunday) throughout the residency year. Evening staffing will occur at the central pharmacy and ICU satellite pharmacy. Weekend staffing will occur at both the central pharmacy and IV compounding clean room as well as on a de-centralized medicine shift. All residents will rotate through different areas, day shift and evening shift to ensure a well-rounded experience.

Residents are required to work one major winter holiday during the residency year (Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year’s).


  • Stipend: As above, paid biweekly; residents have the opportunity to work additional shifts at pharmacist pay-rate outside of their residency requirement.
  • Vacation: 18 days paid time off and 6 days of paid holidays
  • Insurance: Residents will receive a comprehensive medical plan, which includes prescription, dental and vision benefits as a regular Northwestern Medicine employee.
  • Parking/Transportation: Residents can purchase a parking permit at an employee discount rate; Northwestern Medicine also offers public transportation pass purchase using pre-tax income.
  • Workspace: All residents will have their individual desk, personal laptop, desk phone, and pager. White coat, business cards, and other office supplies are also provided to the resident.
  • Library access: All residents have free access to Northwestern Galter Health Sciences Library, which grants access to a large collection of medical journals.
  • Extended leaves of absence: We understand emergent situations may occur during residency year. Any resident requiring extended leaves of absence can discuss their circumstance with the RPD. All decisions are made on a case-by-case basis.

How to apply

Eligible applicants include:

  • Be a graduate of a Doctor of Pharmacy program from an ACPE-accredited school or college of pharmacy
  • Legal working status in United States to cover the entire period of residency training (We are unable to sponsor visas for residents)
  • Eligibility for pharmacist licensure in the state of Illinois (Residents matched to our program shall obtain Illinois Pharmacist Licensure prior to September 1st)
  • Hold an Illinois pharmacy technician license if not registered as a pharmacist in the state of Illinois prior to residency program start date

All interested candidates shall register with both PhORCAS and the ASHP Resident Matching Program. All participation materials must be submitted through the PhORCAS online portal. Additional application requirements include:

  • Completed PhORCAS profile with the following items submitted to PhORCAS directly
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Letter of intent
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Reference letter writers should be preceptors, employers, professors or other professionals who can evaluate your skills and character. At least one of the three letters should be from a preceptor from a patient-facing APPE rotation who can comment on your clinical skills.
  • Reference writers are asked to complete the standard reference form within PhORCAS.
  • Pharmacy school transcripts
  • New for the 2023 application cycle, we require a personal statement.
    • A response to the following essay statement is required for acceptance. The essay response should be no longer than 500 words. An application will not be reviewed if this statement is missing. Please note that the essay is separate from your cover letter. (NOTE: The essay response should be uploaded in the Supplemental Information section in PhORCAS. This applies to both the PGY-1 Traditional and PGY-1/2 HSPAL program).
    • Please describe a personal hardship or life event that you have experienced. How did you manage to overcome this obstacle? What did you learn and how did you grow from it?

Application deadline: January 2

Residency Program Director

Christopher LeongChristopher Leong, PharmD, BCCCP

Christopher Leong serves as the residency director for the Northwestern Memorial Hospital (NMH) PGY1 Pharmacy Practice Residency Program. He is also the Pharmacy Education Practice Coordinator and serves as the chair of the executive residency advisory committee at NMH.

Chris received his PharmD from Midwestern University – Chicago College of Pharmacy in 2014. He went on to complete a PGY-1 residency at NMH and a PGY-2 in critical care with Midwestern University/NMH. He started his post-residency career as a critical care pharmacist at NMH, where he worked in the neuro-spine ICU and served as the team leader for five years prior to transitioning to his current role. During this time, he also worked closely with the residency program, serving on various committees and as a resident advisor, and PGY-1 coordinator. In his spare time, Chris enjoys traveling, spending time with his family, and traveling.

Combined PGY1&2-Health System Administration & Leadership

Northwestern Memorial Hospital offers one spot for the combined PGY1&2 HSPAL residency. This program participates in the ASHP Residency Match.

Program Overview

The health-system pharmacy administration and leadership combined PGY1/PGY2 program encompasses a 24-month experience that combines rotational and longitudinal experience in pharmacy practice, management, and administration, as well as longitudinal ambulatory clinic and staffing experiences. This program also includes participation in the ASHP Foundation Pharmacy Leadership Academy. More information on the PGY2 year is available here: PGY1&2-Health System Administration & Leadership.