Clinical training

As a PGY-1 pharmacy resident, you devote much of your time to comprehensive training as a member of the interdisciplinary team. A breadth of learning experiences has been designed to increase and refine your clinical competency, provide evidence-based pharmacotherapeutic care plans, and develop your confidence as an independent practitioner.

Direct patient care services allow you to provide patient-specific pharmaceutical care services. Responsibilities include development of individualized care and monitoring plans for various patient populations. After coaching, instruction and modeling by a preceptor, you are assessed and constructively critiqued on how to further refine the delivery of evidence-based recommendations.

You provide drug information to patients, physicians, nurses, pharmacists and other allied health professionals. Your preceptors offer feedback to enhance your drug-information retrieval skills using a variety of resources and modalities.

Required learning experiences

The PGY-1 Pharmacy Residency at Mayo Clinic Health System — La Crosse is designed to provide a diverse experience for the future pharmacy clinician. Required learning experiences may be extended based on your interests and include the following:

Orientation 8 weeks
Antimicrobial stewardship and infectious diseases 4 weeks
Critical care 4 weeks
Family medicine 4 weeks
Internal medicine 4 weeks
Medication safety Longitudinal
Practice management Longitudinal
Research Longitudinal
Staffing Longitudinal
Teaching and learning certificate Longitudinal

Elective learning experiences

Electives are available in a variety of inpatient and outpatient settings that allow you to tailor the program to your needs. The list below includes learning experiences that past PGY-1 residents have completed at Mayo Clinic Health System — La Crosse.

  • Administration
  • Advanced critical care
  • Advanced family medicine
  • Cardiology
  • Nephrology
  • Neonatal intensive care unit
  • Oncology
  • Palliative care
  • Pediatrics
  • Surgery

Additional elective learning experiences may be available upon request.

Teaching requirements


As a PGY-1 pharmacy resident, you are required to provide formal continuing education presentations throughout the academic year at Mayo Clinic Pharmacy Grand Rounds. Pharmacy Grand Rounds are accredited through the Mayo Clinic School of Continuous Professional Development in collaboration with the Department of Pharmacy to provide Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) and Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) credit types. This presentation venue affords pharmacy residents the opportunity to showcase pharmacology-related topics and expertise to interdisciplinary audience members, including pharmacists, physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and certified nurse specialists.

Mayo Clinic Pharmacy Grand Rounds are broadcast to multiple Mayo Clinic and Mayo Clinic Health System sites across the United States and are available via live webcast at any Mayo Clinic facility. Regardless of location, learners can actively participate in assessment questions using state-of-the-art polling software on mobile devices, such as phones. You are provided with formal evaluations on your presentation skills for continual development.

In addition to presenting regularly to medical residents and behavioral health patients, you will have additional presentation requests while on specific learning experiences.

Teaching certificate and precepting

A teaching workshop is required for all residents. The goal of the workshop is to gain firsthand knowledge and develop your teaching skills. The workshop highlights principles of pedagogy, matching teaching goals to classroom and testing activities, assessment of educational outcomes, and practice pearls for clinical teaching. Submission of a teaching philosophy and example learning experiences with evaluations are required for a certificate.

Under the direction of a preceptor, you are afforded the opportunity to precept pharmacy students. Evaluation and feedback on precepting skills is provided by a mentor to ensure your continual teaching development.

Practice committees

The PGY-1 pharmacy resident at Mayo Clinic Health System — La Crosse serves as a core member of multiple committees, which include: clinical practice, medication safety, pharmacy and therapeutics, and residency advisory. In addition, you participate in other operational and leadership committee activities throughout the residency year.

Research certificate, project and resources

Pharmacy residents at Mayo Clinic make valuable contributions to evidence-based literature through completion of a required research project. Concurrent with development of your research project under the direction of subject matter experts and a mentor, you are enrolled in Mayo Clinic's pharmacy research curriculum to develop foundational research skills.

This curriculum includes a combination of live application-based workshops taught by experienced pharmacist researchers and completion of a certificate program through Mayo Clinic's Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCaTS). The certificate program, funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH), is designed to address the development and implementation of national standards and best practices for translation, from basic discovery to clinical and community-engaged research.

In addition to live workshops, you complete the CCaTS Essentials of Clinical and Translational Science (ECaTS) program to obtain a certificate. ECaTS comprises approximately 55 hours of online coursework, including the following modules:

  • Fundamentals of clinical and translational science
  • Introduction to clinical epidemiology
  • Biostatistics in clinical research

The live research workshops, offered at the beginning of the academic year, allow you to learn directly from and with research experts on a variety of topics, including:

  • Authorship considerations and guidelines
  • Institutional review board introduction and submission considerations
  • Development of a research proposal and protocol
  • Research timeline development and management
  • Database development and basics of data management
  • Introductory course on statistical software
  • Abstract, poster and manuscript preparation and writing

During the academic year, you will have time devoted specifically to research projects. You are encouraged to publish your research results in a peer-reviewed journal and are required to present the results of your research at an assigned residency conference.

You are also afforded additional research support in the form of statistical expertise and discretionary funds to offset electronic data pulls, abstract and manuscript publication fees, equipment, and other research-associated costs.

Medication use evaluation and quality-improvement training

All residents are required to complete a medication use evaluation (MUE) with a focus on quality improvement during the residency year. The goal of the MUE project is to develop a systematic process designed to determine, improve and maintain the appropriate and effective use of medications.

Advanced life-support education and emergency-response participation

As part of the medical emergency response learning experience, Basic Life Support (BLS) and Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) certification are required for PGY-1 pharmacy residents.

Additional pharmacy department training is provided on code cart basics and emergency-specific competencies. You actively respond to medical emergencies throughout the year, including codes, traumas and stroke priorities.

Professional travel

During the residency, you have the opportunity to attend professional meetings for the purpose of networking, professional development and service to the profession. Funding for travel-related expenses, such as airfare, hotel and registration fees, is provided by the residency program.

PGY-1 residents are required to attend the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) Midyear Clinical Meeting and a conference to present research results. Additional meetings are based on the discretion of the residency program and available funds. You are expected to actively participate in recruiting activities at these meetings. Typically, residents are allotted a maximum of 10 professional travel days a year.

Staffing commitment

Mayo Clinic Health System — La Crosse pharmacy residents staff on average every third weekend (eight-hour shifts) including an eight-hour shift the Friday prior to the scheduled weekend. As a resident, you train on weekends in July and August, and begin staffing in September. Shifts may occur on day or evening hours depending on scheduling needs. Residents staff two holidays in addition to regular staffing hours.


Core standards for resident performance have been established by ASHP to provide clear expectations. The PharmAcademic evaluation system is used to ensure that you receive ongoing feedback that facilitates the development of your skills throughout the year. This feedback utilizes consistent assessment criteria and provides a mechanism for improving your skills.

In addition to required learning experience evaluations, you have a one-on-one quarterly evaluation with your residency program director to document your achievements and progress toward graduation requirements, as well as to tailor the program to meet your needs. You are also asked to evaluate each of your preceptors, as well as each learning experience, to help improve the experience for future residents.

Curriculum enhancements

The Department of Pharmacy and Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences are committed to developing and maintaining the best education programs. The curriculum and other aspects of this program are routinely assessed and changed as necessary to ensure the highest-quality training.