Exceeding national averages is nothing new for the South Dakota State University College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions. Shortly after leading the nation with the highest first-time pass rate on the NAPLEX for 2016-18 graduates, the college’s residency match rate for pharmacy graduates was 82.2 percent, bettering the national match rate of 64.4 percent.
“The South Dakota State University Pharm.D. program truly is world class and this residency placement rate is another example of how competitive our graduates are. In fact, this placement rate puts us in the top 10 nationally among the colleges of pharmacy,” said Dean Jane Mort, noting the college’s graduates posted a pass rate of 99.1 percent versus the national average of 87.8 percent for the 2016-18 timeframe.
While James Clem said this year’s residency match rate is a bit higher than normal for SDSU graduates, South Dakota State students have developed a reputation with regional and national residency programs.
“We have received feedback from faculty, residency preceptors and residency program directors in the region where students have applied and they are very impressed with the quality of our students,” James Clem, who leads the Department of Pharmacy Practice. “They are happy to try and match with our students in the residency process.”
Clem thinks the combination of several facets is the reason why SDSU students are obtaining so many residency matches and succeeding in the programs.
“We have high-quality students and faculty, lofty standards and mock interviews led by our student organizations, which involve faculty and a required seminar presentation all of which play a part,” he said. “In addition, our preceptors and faculty do an outstanding job in leading the quality of our P4 year, or experiential year.
“If you’re coming to South Dakota State to major in pharmacy, you know you’re going to get a job in a great career,” Clem continued. “We have a reputation for producing graduates who are going to pass the licensing exam and be in high demand for jobs. We’re also developing a reputation for having our students be in demand for residency programs.”
Residency programs are increasing in popularity among graduates because they serve as opportunities to expand on knowledge acquired while pursuing a doctorate in pharmacy and help to advance career options but they are not required. A residency allows for specialization, allowing graduates to have additional career opportunities in today’s job market, according to Clem.