PGY1 Experiences

The program begins with a six-week orientation (Pharmacy Practice Rotation) which aims to review departmental policies and procedures, certify residents in ACLS, and introduce key longitudinal responsibilities. Residents will also be trained to independently practice in central and satellite pharmacies. Additionally, there are six 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 the 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-on quarterly progress discussions are scheduled with the RPD and each resident.

Required Rotations

Required rotations are listed below. These 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.



Primary Preceptors

Pharmacy Practice Orientation

Elizabeth Short, PharmD, BCPS


Despina Kotis, PharmD, FASHP

Internal Medicine I & II

Kevin Bajer, PharmD

Medical Intensive Care Unit

Erik Rachwalski, PharmD, BCPS

Drug Information

William Budris, RPh

Infectious Diseases

Viki Barr, PharmD, BCPS

Elise Gilbert, PharmD, BCPS

Longitudinal Clinic Experiences

Residents will have the opportunity to work longitudinally in one of the following clinics. 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 as well.


MTM Follow-Up Clinic/Austin Clinic

Brooke Ward, PharmD, BCPS

Solid Organ Transplant Clinic

Carly D’Agostino, PharmD, BCPS

Cardiology Clinic

Michelle Huber, PharmD, BCPS

Oncology Clinic

Caitlin Handler, PharmD

Anticoagulation Service

Tracie Jacobson, RPh, MBA

Infectious Diseases Outpatient Clinic

Milena McLaughlin, PharmD, MSc, BCPS, AAHIVP


Elective Rotations

The following elective rotations are currently offered by our program.

Advanced ID-

Antimicrobial Stewardship Program

Viki Barr, PharmD, BCPS

Elise Gilbert, PharmD, BCPS

Advanced ID-

ID in Immunocompromised Host

Viki Barr, PharmD, BCPS

Elise Gilbert, PharmD, BCPS

Infectious Diseases Outpatient Clinic

Milena McLaughlin, PharmD, MSc, BCPS, AAHIVP

Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit

Nichole Cool, PharmD, BCPS

Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit

Kimberly Levasseur-Franklin, PharmD, BCPS

Surgical Intensive Care Unit

Brian Bushek, RPh

Emergency Medicine

Elizabeth Gorski Zdyb, PharmD, MBA, BCPS

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

Jennifer Lehman, PharmD, BCPS

Cardiac Care Unit

Robert Southard, PharmD, BCPS

Inpatient Cardiology

Katie Sandison, PharmD, BCPS

Inpatient Oncology

Colleen Bohnenkamp, PharmD, BCPS

Inpatient Hematology

Ashley Hicks, PharmD, BCOP

Stem Cell Transplant

Daniel Wojenski, PharmD, BCPS, BCOP

Solid Organ Transplant

Chad Richardson, PharmD

Christine Tseng, PharmD

Anticoagulation Service

Tracie Jacobson, RPh, MBA

Pharmacy Informatics

Krista Dorgan, PharmD, BCPS

Inpatient Psychiatry

Arti Phatak, PharmD, BCPS

Specialty Pharmacy

Lana Gerzenshtein, PharmD, BCPS (AQ-ID)

Nutrition Support

Halina Rubin, RPh, BCNSP

Developmental Therapeutics Research Pharmacy

Kayte O’Brien, PharmD, BCPS

Pediatric Intensive Care Unit

Thomas Moran, PharmD, BCPS


Committee Participation

Residents will also participate in two longitudinal committees. One of the committees will be an internal P&T Sub-committee, and the other will be within a professional organization with one of the clinical pharmacists at Northwestern Medicine. Available P&T Sub-committees include:
  • NMH Sub-committee A & B
  • Antimicrobial Sub-committee
  • Medication Safety Sub-committee
  • Northwestern Medical Group Sub-committee
  • NM Lake Forest Sub-Committee
Residents will be responsible for meeting minutes and may be responsible for additional committee work as needed.
Professional organization committee availability varies each year. There are approximately 20 different committees within professional organizations (ICHP, UHC, ASHP, SIDP, etc).

Additional Activities

Residents are required to complete one quality improvement project and one clinical research project.
Residents will collaborate with their co-residents on a quality improvement project, aimed to improve pharmacy operations or departmental policies and procedures. Results are expected to be presented at the annual UHC Meeting and ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting.
Residents will also 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. Results of clinical research projects will be presented at the Great Lakes Pharmacy Resident Conference, which is held annually in April at Purdue University.

Resident Presentations:
PGY1 Residents are expected to present a 20-minute presentation, on average, every three 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. At the end of the year, all residents will present an hour long continuing education presentation for either pharmacists or technicians.

Residents will attend the ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting, Great Lakes Pharmacy Resident Conference, 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 the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (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. Each year residents visit different programs both locally and out-of-state.

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

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. NMH Department of Pharmacy strongly promotes the layered learning model. Residents are expected to lead topic discussions and serve as a mentor for students. All residents are required to serve as the primary preceptor for one APPE student during internal medicine II rotation.

During the required administration rotation, residents will be on-call from Friday 4pm to Monday 8AM 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:
Quarterly resident book club/professional development discussion
Monthly RPD meetings
Advanced cardiac life support training
Participation in resident group service projects/volunteering
Resident game night with RPD/End of year celebration with RPD

Service Component

Clinical staffing is an integral part of the development of a clinical pharmacist. Residents will staff on average one evening shift (4pm-10pm) every six weekdays, and every third weekend (8 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 the central pharmacy and IV compounding clean room. All residents will rotate through different areas, day shift and evening shift to ensure a well-rounded experience. Residents are not required to be on rotation until 8AM the day following evening shift staffing to ensure adequate rest hours per ASHP standards. Residents are required to work one major winter holiday during the residency year (Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year’s).


Stipend: Approximately $41,000 per year, paid biweekly; residents have the opportunity to work additional shifts at pharmacist pay-rate outside of their residency requirement.

Vacation: 15 days personal time off and 6 days of paid holidays

Insurance: Residents will receive comprehensive medical plan, includes prescription, dental and vision benefits as a regular Northwestern employee.

Parking/Transportation: Residents can purchase a parking permit at an employee discount rate; Northwestern Medicine also offers CTA 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.


Staffing is an integral part of the development of a clinical pharmacist. Residents will staff one evening per week, and every third weekend throughout the residency year.