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Record Number Of UM Pharmacy Students Match For Residencies

Kandis Backus, a 2017 UM pharmacy graduate, is congratulated at Commencement by Buddy Ogletree, clinical assistant professor of pharmacy practice. Backus is complating a community pharmacy residency at Walgreens in Jackson. Submitted photo

The University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy’s 2017 graduating class included 31 graduates who will go on to complete a pharmacy residency – the largest number in school history.
Of those who applied for residencies, 72.5 percent were matched, compared to the national average of 69 percent, as reported by National Matching Service Inc.
Thirteen of the 31 matched students will work at rotation sites within the state, mostly in Jackson or surrounding cities, with others in Oxford, Southaven and Tupelo. Out-of-state matches included 12 states, ranging as far as Colorado and Maine.
“I’m excited for what the future has in store for our class of 2017 and am proud of our residency placement,” said Katie McClendon, assistant dean for student services at the pharmacy school’s Jackson campus. “Our graduates will have an impact in Mississippi and across the U.S. in institutional, community and administration residencies.
“Residency training will prepare them for a job in the ever-evolving health care field, where they will improve care for individual patients and populations.”
Much like medical students, pharmacy students go through a residency matching process in their fourth and final year of the professional pharmacy program, ranking their top choices and interviewing with potential residencies in a variety of settings.
McClendon helps students apply for these residencies, which typically last a year, during which pharmacy graduates receive general training. Some pharmacy residents elect to complete a second year to pursue more specific interests and specializations.
Leslie Davis

Kandis Backus, a 2017 pharmacy graduate from Chicago, matched to a community pharmacy residency at Walgreens in Jackson. This residency includes a rotation at Open Arms Healthcare Center, a clinic that specializes in HIV and AIDS prevention and treatment.
“I am excited to do this residency because it combines three things that I love: HIV treatment and prevention, research and retail pharmacy,” Backus said.
Backus has been working with the clinic for over two years. She said she was happy to find out that she matched with them and looks forward to being an “actual pharmacist” at this clinic.
Residencies are beneficial to patients, as well, as they receive care from highly educated new professionals.
Leslie Davis, a recently-graduated pharmacist from St. Louis, matched with the UM Medical Center. Davis said her many great experiences at UMMC as a pharmacy student made her excited to move forward as a resident there.
She is particularly interested in pediatrics and looks forward to rotations at Batson Children’s Hospital.
“I love working with kids,” Davis said. “They are so resilient and always want to get better as fast as possible. I love being able to talk with them and go through the whole process with them and their parents.”
Jordan Kelley

Jordan Kelley, from Charleston, matched with University of Kentucky HealthCare in Lexington. The process of applying was strenuous, but Kelley said she enjoyed traveling to the sites she was considering.
Kentucky was her first choice and she was “overjoyed” when she found out she matched there.
“I’m primarily interested in infectious diseases, but what I love about Kentucky is that they have every aspect of pharmacy you could want to explore,” Kelley said. “I can research infectious diseases while also interacting with oncology and HIV patients. All of those opportunities will be afforded to me while I’m there.”


Courtesy of Jessica Evans and the Ole Miss News Desk
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