MPA | Pharmacy News

By John S. Clark, Pharm.D., M.S., BCPS, FASHP, associate chief pharmacy officer, Michigan Medicine, Ann Arbor and clinical associate professor, University of Michigan College of Pharmacy, Ann Arbor

One of the most important items a pharmacy resident can learn is accurate and critical self-assessment. Once a resident enters practice, feedback will most often be provided formally one or two times per year. In an environment with seemingly scarce feedback, a pharmacist must be able to assess one’s own knowledge, skills, abilities and attitudes on a timely basis. The self-assessment objective in the post graduate year one (PGY1) pharmacy residency standard is designed to meet this important need. A change was made from the 2006 PGY1 Pharmacy Residency Standards regarding self-assessment versus the 2014 PGY1 Pharmacy Residency Standards. 

An excerpt from the 2014 American Society of Health-System Pharmacy (ASHP) PGY1 standards relating to self-evaluation reads:

“Objective R3.1.2: (Applying) Apply a process of ongoing self-evaluation and personal performance improvement.
  • Criteria:
      --   Accurately summarizes own strengths and areas for improvement (in knowledge, values, qualities, skills, and behaviors).
      --   Effectively uses a self-evaluation process for developing professional direction, goals and plans.
      --   Effectively engages in self-evaluation of progress on specified goals and plans.
      --   Demonstrates ability to use and incorporate constructive feedback from others.
      --   Effectively uses principles of continuous professional development (CPD) planning (reflect, plan, act, evaluate, record/review)."
As a major contributor to the development of the new ASHP Pharmacy Residency Standards, I am very aware that a primary goal of the group was to simplify opportunities for programs to be compliant with the standards. The 2006 standards created a lot of work for residents, preceptors and residency program directors (RPDs) alike. As such, the group decided to make the self-assessment strategy for residents an objective rather than an obligatory self-evaluation matching for each preceptor evaluation provided.

The outcome is a simpler approach. For any evaluation, an RPD may add an evaluation through PharmAcademic for the resident to complete. At Michigan Medicine, for the PGY1 pharmacy program, I have chosen to add self-evaluations for some required experiences. In a strategy to assist in ensuring achievement of the objective, self-assessments are included in more than one required rotation. 

In conclusion, an attempt was made to reduce the number of self-evaluations in the 2014 PGY1 pharmacy residency standards while continuing the high quality development of skill in the residents. The change was made by being more selective about when self-assessments would be completed and reducing the number of self-evaluations required. If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact me at

1. American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. Accreditation Standards for PGY1 Pharmacy Residents. ASHP website. Accessed June 2017. 

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