UF College of Pharmacy maintains top residency placement ranking in 2024

By Tyler Francischine

The University of Florida College of Pharmacy has maintained its top, national ranking as the pharmacy school with the most students matching into residency programs. This marks the eighth time in nine years that the college has reported the nation’s largest number of total residency placements within the American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists, or ASHP, match.

In this year’s match, 95 UF pharmacy students and graduates matched with first postgraduate year, or PGY1, programs, while another 39 graduates matched with second postgraduate year, or PGY2, programs. Gator pharmacists matched with programs in 21 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.

With a 93% PGY1 match rate for the class of 2024, Peter W. Swaan, Ph.D., M.Pharm., dean and professor of the UF College of Pharmacy, said there’s no denying the UF College of Pharmacy’s continuous impact on the national pharmacy landscape.

“Leading the nation in pharmacy residency matches again this year is a testament to the exceptional students and graduates who have excelled in our program and are poised to make meaningful contributions as pharmacy professionals,” Swaan said. “We also recognize the faculty, preceptors and everyone in the UF College of Pharmacy who have supported our students and graduates on their educational journey. Their efforts were instrumental in helping these Gator pharmacists secure residency positions that align with their career goals.”

ASHP’s match program places student pharmacists from across the nation in a host of pharmacy practice settings for their residencies, including at hospitals, academic health care centers and community pharmacies. For Jacksonville-based, fourth-year pharmacy student Dionna Shine, matching into a residency at UF Health Jacksonville marked a full-circle moment in which her lifelong goals of giving back to her beloved community were realized.

“I’m born and raised in Jacksonville. I went to Darnell-Cookman School of the Medical Arts, a secondary, magnet school that exposes you to different fields in medicine and health care. When I was there, I developed a love for biology and chemistry – I used to always say, chemistry is the closest thing to magic,” Shine said. “That school is actually across the street from the UF Health Jacksonville campus. I’m so grateful for this opportunity, because I think it’s important for me to give back to the community that gave to me, and I want to serve the people who are my community.”

From left to right: Dionna Shine and Katarina Eckstein-Schoemann

Shine said she feels thoroughly prepared to begin her residency later this year in no small part due to the hands-on and individualized training she received at the UF College of Pharmacy’s Jacksonville campus.

“Being at the UF College of Pharmacy in Jacksonville, the class size is small, and the college emphasizes team-based learning, so I was able to not only work on a team that will help me in the future clinically, but also work as a family,” Shine said. “Right now, it feels like the world is my oyster. I’m going to take this year to soak it all up like a sponge and use these experiences to direct my journey moving forward. I feel like graduation is just the beginning.”

Katarina Eckstein-Schoemann, an Orlando-based, fourth-year pharmacy student who matched into a residency at Duke University Hospital in Durham, North Carolina, said it was the inviting demeanor and thoughtful insights of the UF College of Pharmacy faculty that helped her secure the residency position of her dreams.

“When applying to residencies, I knew I wanted to train at a large, academic medical center to gain exposure to high-acuity patients in a wide variety of clinical settings,” Eckstein-Schoemann said. “Professors and faculty members at the UF College of Pharmacy have always been warm, welcoming and willing to answer any of my questions ranging from how I could best prepare myself to be a strong residency candidate to what I should be looking for in programs while applying to residency.”

Eckstein-Schoemann said as she begins the next chapter of her career, she will hold the lessons she learned at the UF College of Pharmacy close to her heart, as she believes her experiences over the last four years hold the keys to future professional success.

“I can’t say enough good things about how much UF has set me up for success. The UF College of Pharmacy’s team-based curriculum has provided me with opportunities to work with my classmates on clinical cases similar to what is experienced in the profession. My dream career is clinical pharmacy, which involves working on teams full of differing opinions and thought processes. The teamwork aspect of UF’s curriculum has prepared me for a successful career in clinical pharmacy.” she said.