Frequently Asked Questions regarding Canadian Residency Programs
Who offers pharmacy residency programs in Canada?
Hospitals or health regions offer most pharmacy practice residency opportunities in Canada. The Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists website lists the most current information about opportunities that are available nationally.
Who is eligible to apply for a pharmacy residency program?
Entrance criteria may differ among programs. A program may require that applicants meet one or more of the following eligibility requirements:
- be registered with the CPRB Residency Matching Service (to apply to accredited programs)
- have graduated from a pharmacy education program accredited by the Canadian Council for the Accreditation of Pharmacy Programs (CCAPP)
- be a Canadian citizen or landed immigrant legally entitled to work in Canada
- hold a current license to practice pharmacy, or be eligible for licensure as a pharmacist in within a set time period after starting the residency program (e.g., evidence of having successfully challenged the PEBC Qualifying Examination Parts I & II, as well as Language Competence Evaluation may be required);
- have never been expelled from a pharmacy practice residency program
- have never been denied employment at a facility of the health region in which the residency is offered
- have never been denied licensure as a pharmacist or pharmacy intern in any jurisdiction
- be a member of the Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists within a set time period after starting the residency
- become a registered student at a University affiliated with the residency program
- have an acceptable criminal records, child abuse and/or adult abuse registry check
How do I find out what kind of training the program offers?
Each residency program offers a different mix of experiences and preceptors. CPRB-Accredited programs must meet Standards for teaching and program content. Think about what you want to achieve by completing a residency, then compare the programs to see which ones best fit your career path. The CSHP website is an excellent resource to use when comparing program offerings and requirements. Other things you might want to consider when comparing programs include:
- How much choice of rotations and preceptors will you have?
- How many preceptors are there? How much experience do they have?
- What have former graduates of the residency program accomplished during their program and in the first one to five years after they completed the program?
- Can the program provide contact information for current or former residents, so you can ask questions about experiences they had while a resident in the program?
- How many residents have withdrawn from the program before completing it? What were their reasons for withdrawing?
- What was the result of the most recent CPRB Accreditation Survey?
- What about stipends, support, licensing, liability insurance and student loan deferral?
Programs may vary with regard to:
- How the program is administered (e.g., is the program run privately by a hospitalor is it a program of a University; do you need to pay "student fees" while in the program);
- The dollar value of, terms, and conditions associated with the residency stipend;
- Other types of support available to pharmacy residents (e.g., access to computers and electronic work tools, parking, lab coats, photocopying, library services, shared or dedicated office space; casual hours of work; health benefits; financial support for conference attendance; employment skills coaching; unionization; assistance with relocation expenses; and, post-residency employment incentives, etc.);
- The need to be licensed as a pharmacist during or by a set time after starting the program;
- Liability insurance coverage (e.g., at the residency home site; when you train at sites other than your home site), and;
- Student Loan payment deferral options
Make sure to ask about these issues if the information is not part of the program's application and information package. Seek current information about licensing and exam costs from the Registrar of the pharmacy regulatory authority in the province where the program is located, even if the residency program doesn't require you hold a license. This is because costs and requirements for licensing will become important if you decide to remain in that province after the residency or if you want to seek casual hours of work to supplement your stipend. If you have not successfully challenged the PEBC Qualifying Examination, seek further information about the Qualifying Exam from the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada
When should I start working on the application process?
You must register with the CPRB Residency Matching Service to be considered for placement in an accredited program. Get more information about the Matching Service, including registration forms, from the CSHP website. Accredited Canadian pharmacy residency programs that participate in the CPRB Residency Matching Program have an application deadline of mid-October in the year prior to the program start date (e.g., mid-October for a program start date in May-Sept of the following year). To avoid missing application deadlines, review requirements of the national application and matching process well in advance of the deadline. The application period begins at the end of August yearly. Don’t under-estimate the time needed to prepare a complete application, and obtain references and transcripts.
How do I get application forms?
Refer to the CSHP Pharmacy Residency Application and Matching Service website for details regarding the application process.
How much will it cost me to apply for a residency?
You are responsible to pay the costs of completing and submitting your application(s). Remember to budget for:
- costs to register with the CPRB Matching Service
- costs of official transcripts;
- telephone or Internet Service Provider charges to contact referees or to visit the CSHP website;
- Costs for phone or on-site interviews