Presenter: Yun Man, PharmD, BCOP, Medication Use Quality and Policy Specialist, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA
Co-Authors: Megan Menon, PharmD, BCOP, Medication Safety Officer, Pharmacy, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, Buffalo, NY; Lijian Cai, PharmD, Chief Pharmacy Officer, Pharmacy, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, Buffalo, NY
BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic caused an unprecedented challenge with supply and demand of staff disruption in the healthcare system.1 The pharmacy residency learning experiences were ultimately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.2
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the impact of oncology pharmacy residents’ learning experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic by conducting an inquiry with response measurement from the American Society for Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP)-accredited postgraduate year 2 (PGY2) oncology pharmacy residency programs at National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) member institutions.
METHODS: We surveyed a stratified sample of ASHP-accredited PGY2 oncology pharmacy residencies at 28 NCCN member institutions through the NCCN Pharmacy Directors Forum. The survey included 43 questions and was delivered to the panel participants. The survey was deployed using the web-based survey tool SurveyMonkey, and targeted oncology pharmacy directors who are involved in PGY2 residency training. The representative of each program had the opportunity to complete the survey or to forward it to an alternative delegate within the program, for completion. Requests to participate were sent through e-mail to the participants. The survey included questions related to the oncology learning experience, pharmacy staffing, educational activities, and onboarding process after the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States.
RESULTS: Of the selected 28 residencies that were sent the survey, 17 residencies completed the survey between February 22 and March 19, 2021, resulting in a 60.7% survey response rate. Participating programs mostly have 2 oncology residents and at least 21 oncology pharmacy preceptors. At the time of the survey, 94% of the respondents reported they had no changes in the numbers and duration of the core and elective learning experiences. In all, 82% of the responding programs continued to have residents on the same staffing hours as before the pandemic. As reported by the survey respondents, the activities that were fully transitioned to virtual reporting included educational responsibility (41%), residents–students teaching encounters (11.76%), and conference presentations (87.5%).
CONCLUSION: The oncology pharmacy residency training experience has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, with the most significant change reported in shifting the learning experience to a remote format. Flexibility and adaptability are essential for residency programs that are required to undergo rapid structural changes and maintain consistent training experiences for residents.
- Welles Sasser C, Wolcott MD, Morbitzer KA, Eckel SF. Lessons learned from pharmacy learner and educator experiences during early stages of COVID-19 pandemic. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2021;78:872-878.
- Moore WJ, Webb A, Morrisette T, et al. Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on training of pharmacy residents and fellows: results from a national survey of postgraduate pharmacy trainees. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2021;78:1104-1111.