frequently asked questions

  1. Why should I do a pharmacy practice residency?

    The following American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) video tells the story. The LMPS Residency Program is comparable to the "PGY1" residency mentioned in this video.
    See the YouTube video >

    The following video is developed by the BC Branch of the Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists (CSHP) provides an overview of the many aspects of hospital pharmacy.
    Watch the YouTube video >

  2. What are the primary strengths of the LMPS Residency Program?

    Our dedicated preceptors and mentors, our 40+ years of experience in residency training and our unmatched range of learning opportunities available at the various sites across our region deserve your consideration. Many of our alumni are local, national and international leaders of our profession.

  3. How many residents do you train each year?

    For the 2019-20 cycle, LMPS will be offering 30 one-year, full-time Year 1 pharmacy residency positions, with a program start date of June 10th, 2019. Twenty-seven are adult-focused residency positions and 3 are pediatric-focused.

  4. You're big. Is that better?

    During the intense 1-year opportunity that is residency, most desire maximum opportunities for learning with greatest flexibility in tailoring experiences to their own needs and interests. No other program has the triple threat of our dedicated preceptors and mentors, experience in residency training, and breadth of patient-care environments and the invaluable opportunity to learn, laugh, and grow as part of a team of fellow residents.

  5. What if I want to specialize in pediatrics following residency?

    The LMPS Residency Program will be offering 3 pediatric-focused residency positions with training based primarily at our major pediatrics training sites, BC Children's and Women's Hospital and Surrey Memorial Hospital.

  6. I notice you have 2 "pods" in your program. What determines which pod I'll be in?

    Applicants rank the "LMPS Pediatrics" and "LMPS Adults" components separately in the CSHP PRAMS system. The matching process, therefore, determines whether you're in the Adult Pod or Pediatrics Pod.

  7. What type of employment arrangement (return of service agreement) do I enter when matched/accepted to the LMPS Residency Program?

    Upon acceptance into our program, you are entering into 1-year term contract with LMPS. You will be paid $30,000 ($15,000 in repayable salary and $15,000 in wages) over the course of the program. If you sign a return of service agreement you will not be required to pay the $15,000 tuition fee. Soon after matching to the LMPS Residency Program, you will receive an Offer Letter which outlines these terms.

    Additionally, you may choose to enter into either the

  8. What if I start but don't finish the program for some reason?

    Please refer to the Residency Training Agreement (RTA) for further details.

  9. What if I complete the program under the Residency Training Agreement (RTA), but don't want to work for Lower Mainland Pharmacy Services?

    This is covered in Residency Training Agreement (RTA). If you know this in advance, you should likely consider not entering into the RTA.

  10. Do I have to commit to full time employment upon completion of the residency program when entering into the Residency Training Agreement?

    No. However, your commitment to the Lower Mainland Pharmacy Services will be pro-rated. For example, a 1-year full-time commitment equals a 2-year half-time commitment. Please refer to the RTA for further details.

  11. Do I get employee benefits while in the residency program?

    Yes. Regardless of whether or not you enter into the RTA, you will be enrolled in the following employee benefits: Medical Services Plan of BC (MSP), Dental, Extended Health and Group Life. LMPS covers 100% of the premiums. Your Offer Letter will provide more details. After your residency, if you become a regular LMPS staff member, you will be entitled to a expanded benefits package, the details of which can be obtained from our Employee Engagement/Human Resources department.

  12. Does this mean I have to enter into the Residency Training Agreement to get into the LMPS Residency Program?

    No, although we sincerely hope you'll join our team after completion of your residency, regardless of which option you choose.

  13. But I want to pursue a post-graduate Pharm.D. after residency. Does the Residency Training Agreement hinder that?

    No. We are gratified when our residents decide to pursue further pharmacy training after residency and they frequently do. Under the Residency Training Agreement (RTA), you are free to pursue a graduate level Pharm.D. (or other formal) training and defer your post-secondary employment commitment to after the completion of your graduate degree. Please refer to the RTA for details.

  14. If I enter into the Residency Training Agreement, am I going to get a job that I want afterwards or will I be stuck somewhere?

    A hiring process is currently in place to ensure our residents have the opportunity to apply for positions that might best match their interests at our many clinical practice sites. Similarly, our sites strive to ensure that people who seem to be the best fit for the position fill those positions. We call this a Best Fit/Best Match system that is designed to work in everybody's best interests.

    Furthermore, once you are hired by LMPS and become a member of the Health Sciences Professionals Bargaining Association you will have the same status as any other staff pharmacist in our department, including the ability to apply for any available positions across our region that you might qualify for.

  15. If I enter into the Residency Training Agreement, will I be let go after 12 months of employment?

    Our hope is that you will stay with us and find a rewarding career within our organization. Once hired into our department, you have all the rights of any of our pharmacists and nothing about the RTA is meant to imply that our desire to have you work with us ends after any particular time period. We sincerely hope that you will find Lower Mainland Pharmacy Services to be an excellent organization, with many professional and career growth opportunities, and will want to stay on indefinitely.

  16. Once employed as a Clinical Pharmacist after residency, what happens if I need to go on maternity or parental leave?

    As a clinical pharmacist, the Health Sciences Professionals Bargaining Association covers you. All leaves and rights are applicable under the said agreement. Upon return from your leave you will resume the remainder of your commitment to the employer.

  17. How does my pharmacy practice residency program experience get recognized?

    • You are entitled to use the credential "ACPR" in your title

    • The program is acknowledged on a University of British Columbia (UBC) transcript

    • As per the Health Sciences Professionals Bargaining Association, when you are hired as a clinical pharmacist, your salary will start at step 2 of the grid. Seniority is not credited for the LMPS Pharmacy Residency Program.

  18. Where do our residents spend their time?

    One of the primary strengths of our program is the opportunities it provides for residents to work in and experience the variety of hospital environments in our region. From internal medicine at St. Paul's Hospital to cardiology at Royal Columbian Hospital to pediatrics at BC Children's Hospital, our residents have the opportunity to experience diverse and robust learning opportunities, all within the friendly confines of a program that keeps residents connected to each other, their mentors, and their Program Coordinator. Our residents spend the majority of their time at our major teaching sites, with additional time at other sites, depending on scheduling nuances and electives chosen.

  19. Where will I live when I'm at each site?

    Most of our teaching sites have dedicated office space for our residents to hang their hat/iPhone/iPad/Android.

  20. How does the process of choosing elective rotations work?

    Shortly after matching to our program (i.e.: in mid-January), incoming residents are asked to provide their rank-order preference list of elective rotations. The list of available electives and their availability vary from year to year. The Program Coordinator then works to accommodate the preferences of each resident. Rotation schedules are made available to the residents one to two months before the start of their programs in June.

  21. How will I know I'm loved?

    We are committed to our residents and their successful completion of their residencies. Each resident has numerous layers of support available to them, including their Program Coordinator, preceptors, mentors, fellow residents, and the experienced and caring staff at each of our sites. Our Residency Advisory Council members and dedicated Ombudsperson are also available to provide additional support when needed.

  22. I'm already a VCH/PHC/FHA/PHSA employee. Do I get preferential consideration for the program?

    No, all aspects of the application, reference letters and interview are considered in our selection process.

  23. How do I apply for the program?

    Refer to our Apply page for more information on the application process.

  24. What if I have other questions?

    Contact the Program Coordinator. If you have questions regarding the legal implications of the Offer Letter or the Residency Training Agreement, please contact your lawyer.