College of Pharmacy Sees 100% Postgraduate Attainment Rate for 2023

By Benjamin Waldrum

The college announced that each student who applied for a residency received one, for a perfect 100% rate. Six alumni also matched to second-year positions in their specialty.

Megan Smith

Megan Smith, Pharm.D., announced that students found positions in seven states, with most in Arkansas.Benjamin Waldrum

At the ceremony, held on the UAMS campus in Little Rock, seniors clutched large red signs where they had written the name and place of their match in big black letters. Two seniors announced their matches virtually via video from Northwest Arkansas.

“I’m honored to celebrate the achievements of our residency-bound graduates,” said Dean Cindy Stowe, Pharm.D. “As someone who’s completed residency education myself, I know firsthand the value this experience will bring to your patients, as well as the doors it will open in your career. I’m proud of your hard work and dedication thus far, and I have no doubt you will continue to make valuable contributions to the profession of pharmacy.”

Upon completion of their Doctor of Pharmacy degree, students are able to join the workforce or continue to develop their skills in a specific area through residencies, fellowships or graduate programs. Residents further develop their professional competence beyond entry-level practice, as well as build leadership skills to improve services and patient care outcomes.

The seniors received postgraduate year one (PGY-1) residencies in seven states: Arkansas, New Mexico, Texas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama and Florida. More than half of the students accepted postings in Arkansas. The six alumni received postgraduate year two (PGY-2) residencies in their specialties in four states: Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and North Carolina.

“We are so thrilled that we had a 100% match rate,” said Megan Smith, Pharm.D., assistant professor in the college’s Department of Pharmacy Practice and chair of the Postgraduate Training and Opportunities Committee. “We know that you will continue to excel as you prepare for the pharmacy profession, and you will continue to make us proud.”

Most residencies are accredited by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, and positions are filled through a process called matching. Through the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP), seniors apply in the fall before graduation to dozens of programs, then interview with several of them. In the spring, seniors each send a ranked list of their choices to the NRMP. The residency programs also submit a list of their preferred candidates, and an NRMP computer uses an algorithm to reconcile the lists.

The UAMS seniors competed along with 6,019 other applicants nationwide for 5,256 positions. The college’s perfect match rate well exceeded the 82% national match rate.

Michael Kramer, Pharm.D. (COP ’22), a PGY-1 community-based pharmacy resident at Walmart, was the keynote speaker. He spoke of his own growth over the past year through his residency and offered three suggestions: be confident, relationships matter and “today’s dreams are tomorrow’s reality,” a phrase he said helped motivate him.

“You all should be so incredibly proud of yourselves,” Kramer said. “Everyone in this room is in a great position. You all are the next generation of pharmacists to take care of your patients — whether it be in a community, hospital or other settings, you all will be the best of the best.”


PGY-1 Residencies

Elma Abdullah – Searcy (ARcare)

Emily Campbell – Little Rock (Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System)

Taylor Connor – Little Rock (Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System)

Justin Dino – Louisville, Kentucky (Norton Hospitals)

Abigail Dunn – Little Rock (UAMS College of Pharmacy Outpatient Pharmacy)

Marissa Gates – Searcy (Unity Health White County Medical Center)

Elizabeth Harmon – Las Cruces, New Mexico (MountainView Regional Medical Center)

Michelle Hernandez – Little Rock (UAMS Medical Center)

Hannah Hunt – North Little Rock (Baptist Health Medical Center)

Stephanie Mahaffey – Dallas (Baylor University Medical Center)

Madeline Malloy – Little Rock (UAMS Medical Center)

Brendan Midkiff – Little Rock (Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System)

Siddhi Patel – Little Rock (UAMS Medical Center)

Martha Schanandore – Auburn, Alabama (Auburn University Clinical Health Services)

Erica Smith – Little Rock (CHI St. Vincent Infirmary)

Morgan Tracy – Memphis, Tennessee (Methodist University Hospital)

Brias Watson – Dallas (Parkland Health)

Jasiha Welch – Little Rock (UAMS College of Pharmacy Harps Food Stores, Inc.)

Jacob Wingfield – Bentonville (UAMS College of Pharmacy Walmart)

Vidya Desai – Richardson, Texas (Health Care Service Corporation)

Holley Maness – Pensacola, Florida (HCA Florida West Hospital)


PGY-2 Residencies

Mary Burlette – Kansas City, Kansas (University of Kansas Health System)

Ashlyn Curry – Searcy (ARcare)

Bailey Garner – Charlotte, North Carolina (Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center)

Brooke Lessenberry – Little Rock (Arkansas Children’s Hospital)

Geoffrey Vaughn – Springfield, Missouri (University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Pharmacy Jordan Valley Community Health Center)

Rebecca Zodrow – Westwood, Kansas (University of Kansas Health System)