Ambulatory Care

Post-graduate year one (PGY1) Pharmacy Residency- Ambulatory Care

The purpose of the PGY1 Pharmacy Residency Program at the University of Southern California School of Pharmacy is to build on the Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) education and outcomes to contribute to the development of clinical pharmacists who are responsible for medication-related care of patients with a wide range of conditions, eligible for board certification, and eligible for postgraduate year two (PGY2) pharmacy residency training.

This program provides residents with comprehensive pharmacy practice training and experience in a variety of ambulatory care settings and prepares residents to:

  • Implement or advance outpatient comprehensive medication management programs in any setting including community/safety net clinics, government-run healthcare organizations, outpatient pharmacies, hospital-based clinics, remote telehealth programs, accountable care organizations and health-maintenance organizations by aligning organization needs with appropriate clinical pharmacy services and resources.
  • Serve as an adjunct professor in a school of pharmacy and progress towards joining the faculty of a school of pharmacy. Completion of this residency program will result in the development of skills in clinical practice, teaching (including a teaching certificate), and research, all of which are key elements of university employment.
  • Enter into a PGY2 Residency Program or fellowship program to continue developing skills and knowledge necessary for specialty practice and related expertise.

Graduates of the program have pursued careers in a broad variety of organizations including safety net clinics, government health care systems, community hospitals, teaching medical centers, private physician practice groups, managed care organizations, health-maintenance organizations, accountable care organizations, pharmaceutical industry, and academia.

Practice Settings and Learning Experiences

Chronic disease state management training is acquired in a variety of unique training sites including: (1) Edward R. Roybal Comprehensive Health Center (ERRCHC), (2) Keck Medical Center of USC Internal Medicine Clinic, (3) Los Angeles County (LAC) Cardiology Outpatient Clinic, (4)Davita HealthCare Partners, (5) QueensCare Family Clinics (safety net), (6)Keck Medical Center Telehealth Transitions of Care Service), (7) Maternal Child and Adolescent/Adult Center for Infectious Diseases and Virology, (8) Los Angeles Christian Health Center, and (9) Keck Medical Center of USC Specialty Pharmacy. These sites expose residents to the challenges of managing high-risk patients with a complex set of chronic conditions. Residents will gain experience managing a broad range of chronic conditions, including diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, asthma / COPD, heart failure, anticoagulation, HIV, hepatitis C, rheumatoid arthritis, pain management, psychiatric conditions, and multiple sclerosis.

Additional emphasis is placed on managing chronic illnesses for patients who cannot afford to pay for medical services or medication. Residents will learn to overcome challenging socioeconomic and cultural barriers. Our safety net clinics have been recognized by 3 national organizations for clinical pharmacy practice excellence (ASHP, APhA, AACP). Our program developed a tool that is being used nationally by healthcare organizations to track medication therapy interventions and describe the medication-related problems (including medication safety issues) identified and resolved by pharmacists. Residents in this program are consistently involved in the development and enhancement of clinical pharmacy services in new and established practice settings. Each year brings new opportunities for growth and practice expansion.

Each resident’s schedule is customized to their specific goals and areas of interest while maintaining a strong basis in comprehensive disease management. Residents will do block rotations ranging from 10-14 weeks.

Goals for this set of learning experiences are to:

Competency Area R1: Patient Care

GOAL R1.1 In collaboration with the health care team, provide safe and effective patient care to a diverse range of patients, including those with multiple co-morbidities, high-risk medication regimens, and multiple medications following a consistent patient care process.

GOAL R1.2 Ensure continuity of care during patient transitions between care settings.

GOAL R1.3 Prepare, dispense, and manage medications to support safe and effective drug therapy for patients.

GOAL R2.1: Demonstrate ability to manage formulary and medication-use processes, as applicable to the organization.

Competency Area R2: Advancing Practice and Improving Patient Care

GOAL R2.2 Demonstrate ability to evaluate and investigate practice, review data, and assimilate scientific evidence to improve patient care and/or the medication use system.

Competency Area R3:  Leadership and Management

GOAL R3.1 Demonstrate leadership skills.

GOAL R3.2 Demonstrate management skills.

Competency Area R4: Teaching, Education, and Dissemination of Knowledge

GOAL R4.1 Provide effective medication and practice-related education to patients, caregivers, health care professionals, students, and the public.

GOAL R4.2 Effectively employs appropriate preceptors’ roles when engaged in teaching.

Required Longitudinal Learning Experiences


All residents in the School of Pharmacy program participate in various patient care, teaching and educational activities, including:

  • Coordinating courses with faculty mentors
  • Giving lectures and conducting small group discussions for first, second and third year pharmacy students
  • Serving as a preceptor, role model, and discussion leader for students during IPPEs and APPEs

In addition, a teaching certificate is offered which requires specific teaching activities and evaluation of these activities. The teaching certificate offered by USC is consistent with national pharmacy education standards.

The goals for this learning experience, assessed longitudinally during the residency year, include:

Goal E6.1 Demonstrate foundational knowledge of teaching, learning, and assessment in healthcare education.

Goal E6.2 Develops and practices a philosophy of teaching.


Research classes and seminars are provided to residents to assist them in developing high quality clinical research projects. Residents and preceptors collaborate on the selection and development of their research project. During the year, residents are required to:

  • Complete a residency project
  • Present the project’s findings at the Western States Conference for Pharmacy Residents, Fellows and Preceptors
  • Submit a manuscript for publication prior to the end of the residency

Specific goals for this learning experience are:

Goal E1.1 Conduct and analyze results of pharmacy research.

Elective Learning Experiences

Elective learning experiences available both within USC and its affiliates include community pharmacy practice, travel medicine, HIV specialty practice, psychiatric pharmacy practice, pharmacy management, and cardiology. Syllabi and learning goals for these experiences are provided directly from the primary preceptor. If the elective experience of a resident’s choice is not currently offered, it is likely that it can be developed in partnership with our broad network of USC faculty and alumni in the Los Angeles area.

Electives are integrated into the longitudinal schedule (e.g., 1 day per week for up to 12 weeks) or provided as a separate block (e.g., 3 to 6 weeks at the elective practice site), depending on the particular elective. Residents may choose up to 2 elective experiences, but more may be provided depending on each resident’s particular goals.

Resident Training Seminars

Residents in the USC programs receive expert training on a variety of important topics through weekly residency seminars. These seminars include:

  • Instruction on being an effective teacher and small group discussion leader
  • Research design and methodology, including presentation skills
  • Physical assessment skills
  • Updates on recently approved medications or therapeutic controversies
  • Overview of healthcare reform initiatives and legislation and the impact of clinical pharmacy practice
  • Grantsmanship

Contact Us

If you have questions or need additional information, please contact:

Michelle Chu, PharmD, CDE, BCACP
Assistant Professor of Clinical Pharmacy
1540 Alcazar Street, CHP 217-D
Los Angeles, California 90089-9003
Telephone: (323) 442-1556

William C. Gong, PharmD, FASHP, FCSHP
Director, Residency and Fellowship Programs
Associate Professor of Clinical Pharmacy
University of Southern California
School of Pharmacy
1985 Zonal Avenue
Los Angeles, California 90089-9121
Telephone: (323) 442-2625