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Residency and Continuous Professional Development

Program Description

The Pharmacy Residency Program at the Hospital for Sick Children is a one-year general residency program designed to prepare qualified and knowledgeable hospital pharmacists to work in paediatric pharmacy practice.  The approach to practice and the problem-solving skills developed during the program will be useful in any practice setting.  Applicants must be graduates or prospective graduates of a Faculty of Pharmacy, meeting the Standards of the Association of Faculties of Pharmacy in Canada.  Applicants must also be eligible for licensure by a Canadian provincial licensing body.  The program usually commences in September of each year and accepts two applicants.

The program is clinically oriented and is designed to expose the resident to a broad range of activities.  Case presentations, projects, rounds, seminars, journal clubs and relevant work experiences provide the basis for the education and training components of the program.

Goals for the Resident

By the end of the program, the resident will:

  • Develop an understanding of the complete process of the drug distribution system, from the movement of drugs from the receiving area of the hospital up to and including their administration to the patient. The resident will also develop an understanding of an intravenous admixture service, including total parenteral nutrition and chemotherapy.
  • Be able to prepare and dispense medications for pediatric patients using appropriate techniques, observing age-related considerations, and following the health system's policies and procedures.
  • Understand the role of a Drug Information Service in supporting the needs of health professionals within the hospital and be able to provide complete, accurate and objective responses to a wide variety of drug information requests.
  • Develop an understanding of the principles of management which may be applied to the provision of hospital services as well as the role of the Pharmacy Leadership Team and the role of the department within the institution.
  • Become familiar with the scientific method and statistical analysis, demonstrate initiative and knowledge in the areas of clinical or pharmacy practice research, and contribute to patient care or to the profession of Pharmacy through the completion of a research project.
  • Develop the necessary skills, knowledge and values to provide pharmaceutical care to patients.
  • Design, recommend, monitor and evaluate patient-specific pharmacotherapy for paediatric patients.
  • Understand the natural process of growth and development in children, understand educational methods appropriate for use with pediatric patients, and use appropriate behavioural and cognitive techniques in interactions with paediatric patients.
  • Demonstrate leadership skills to contribute to the goals of the program, department, organization and profession.
  • Demonstrate skill in the four roles used in practice-based teaching: direct instruction, modeling, coaching, and facilitation.

Compulsory Rotations 

Medication Use Management -  6 weeks
During the six week distribution rotation, the pharmacy resident will develop an understanding of the drug distribution system in place at the hospital, which at SickKids is a computerized, unit dose drug distribution system.  The resident will develop an understanding of an intravenous admixture service, including parenteral nutrition and chemotherapy and will gain an understanding of the principles involved in formulating paediatric dosage forms.  The resident will become proficient at auditing medication orders for paediatric patients, handling problem orders and checking dispensing of first doses of medications.  By the end of the rotation, the resident will understand the importance of the role of the drug distribution system as a foundation to the provision of pharmaceutical care to the paediatric patient.

Leadership -  2 to 3 weeks (longitudinal)
The resident shall develop an understanding of the principles of management which may be applied to the provision of pharmacy services as well as the role of the Pharmacy Management Team and the role of the department within the health care organization.

Drug Information -  4 weeks (longitudinal)
Activities of the Drug Information residency rotation include: providing paediatric drug information to healthcare providers, parents and patients, and the public; developing a systematic approach to searching and accessing primary, secondary and tertiary drug information resources; critically appraising the primary literature and applying principles of evidence-based clinical practice, understanding the role of Drug Information Service in providing support to the Drugs and Therapeutics committee, and applying the process of adverse drug reaction reporting.  Included in this rotation is the preparation of a Drug Information Bulletin, a formulary drug review for the Drugs and Therapeutics Committee, a patient drug information pamphlet, and a journal club presentation.  

Pharmacokinetics -  4 weeks  (longitudinal)
The resident will learn the knowledge and skills to;

  1. Critically appraise literature on pharmacokinetics and/or TDM issues and the clinical applicability of such information.
  2. Integrate pharmacokinetic principles with patient specific parameters (e.g. demographics, disease states, serum drug concentrations, laboratory results, therapeutic endpoints) to perform appropriate calculations and/or estimations to optimize drug therapy.

Paediatric Medicine - 4 weeks
The goal of the General Paediatrics rotation is to develop the necessary skills and knowledge base to provide pharmaceutical care to patients with a variety of paediatric conditions.

Some of the rotation’s learning objectives include: describing the pathophysiology, epidemiology, clinical presentation and diagnosis of common diseases in the paediatric medicine patient population; explaining and comparing the treatment and/or prevention of common diseases in the paediatric medicine patient population, in terms of efficacy, adverse effects, dosing, administration and relevant monitoring parameters; preparing a pharmacy care plan (e.g. drug, dose, route, frequency, duration of therapy, expected outcomes and relevant monitoring), documenting ongoing care plans in a pharmaceutical care format and communicating pertinent information to the appropriate health care professional(s); reviewing a patient’s home medication regimen and interviewing the patient and/or caregiver to identify and/or prevent actual or potential drug-related problems.

Some of the common conditions covered in the rotation include sickle cell disease, asthma, gastroesophageal reflux disease and seizures (afebrile and febrile).  Learning activities include, but are not limited to: participation in hand-over and teaching rounds, identification of paediatric drug administration problems, presentation of an in-service to nurses or physicians and presentation of a case to the pharmacy staff.  

Project -  8 to 10 weeks (longitudinal) 
The resident shall complete a project which is of general interest to the resident and preceptor and of benefit to the individual, patients, health care organization and pharmacy profession.

Teaching Rotation - 1 week  (longitudinal)
The goal of this rotation is to provide formal education and opportunity for the resident to demonstrate skill in the four roles (direct instruction, modeling, coaching and facilitation) used in practice-based teaching.

Elective Rotations  

For all clinical electives, the resident will:

  • Gain knowledge of paediatric pharmacology/therapeutics
  • Acquire experience in the evaluation of drug therapy
  • Develop an understanding of the pharmacist in a clinical role using the pharmaceutical care model 

ASP / Infectious Diseases

4 weeks

Haematology / Oncology (H/O)

3 - 4 weeks

Haematology / Oncology Clinic

2 weeks

Blood and Marrow Transplant / Cell Therapy

3 - 4 or 2 or 3 weeks if combined with H/O rotation

Transplant and Regenerative Medicine

4 weeks

Paediatric Critical Care

3 - 4 weeks (Paediatric Intensive Care or Cardiac Critical Care)

Neonatal Intensive Care

3 - 4 weeks


3 - 5 week rotation in combination with Cardiac Critical Care

Surgical Consult Services

2 weeks


3 - 4 weeks


4 weeks

Additional Opportunities

University of Toronto Course

  • Audit up to one full graduate course

Residents Clinical Conference

  • Clinical Skills Building Conference for Ontario Pharmacy Residents

Conferences  (up to 10 days)

  • Choice of one out-of-town conference (for example, ACCP, PPAG, CSHP-AGM)
  • Paediatrics for Pharmacy Professionals Conference (SickKids)
  • Professional Practice Conference (PPC)

Weekend shifts: 1 in 5 weekends at current pharmacist rate

Vacation: 10 days


Applicants must be graduates or prospective graduates of a Faculty of Pharmacy meeting the Standards of the Association of Faculties of Pharmacy in Canada.  Applicants must also be eligible for licensure by a Canadian provincial licensing body.

Application Procedure:

Applications are available electronically through http://www.cshp.ca/

Program Director:

Jimmy Fung, BScPhm, ACPR, MBA, Director of Pharmacy

For further information, please contact:

Alicia Koo, RPh, PharmD, ACPR, BScPhm, HonBSc
Education Coordinator, Department of Pharmacy
Clinical Pharmacist, Haematology/Oncology and Blood & Marrow Transplant/Cellular Therapy Program 
The Hospital for Sick Children
Email: alicia.koo@sickkids.ca
Telephone: 416 813 6449