Infectious Disease

Program Purpose

PGY2 pharmacy residency programs build on Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) education and PGY1 pharmacy residency programs to contribute to the development of clinical pharmacists in specialized areas of practice. PGY2 residencies provide residents with opportunities to function independently as practitioners by conceptualizing and integrating accumulated experience and knowledge and incorporating both into the provision of patient care or other advanced practice settings. Residents who successfully complete an accredited PGY2 pharmacy residency are prepared for advanced patient care, academic, or other specialized positions, along with board certification, if available.

Program Description

The University of Utah Health Care PGY-2 Infectious Diseases Residency is a structured, 12-month learning program that will provide the resident with the skills to practice as an Infectious Diseases specialist in a variety of settings.  One PGY-2 resident position is available each year.  Foundational learning experiences include clinical rotations with the adult general and immunocompromised infectious diseases consult services, antimicrobial stewardship, outpatient infectious diseases/HIV, hematology/oncology intensive care, and clinical microbiology.  Additionally, administrative, teaching, leadership, and research skills will be developed through various longitudinal projects and activities throughout the year.  The program is intended to be customized to the individual resident’s goals and interests.  A partial list of elective opportunities includes pediatric infectious diseases, solid organ transplant, bone marrow transplant, cystic fibrosis, critical care including medical, surgical, cardiovascular, or burn, and clinical research.  An application for accreditation through ASHP has been submitted.  The program is currently in “candidate” status.

Highlights of Experience

Microbiology experiences will occur at ARUP laboratories, a national reference laboratory, offering the resident practical experience with highly sophisticated and specialized assays.  Extensive teaching opportunities in a variety of settings are available through our affiliation with the University of Utah College of Pharmacy.  Several opportunities for scholarship are available beyond the required longitudinal research project.  Additionally, work-life balance is encouraged and Salt Lake City’s proximity to the mountains allows for convenient outdoor recreation.

Clinical Rotations

Core Learning Experiences:

  1. Orientation/Research (1 month)
  2. Adult General Infectious Diseases Consult Service (2 months)
  3. Adult Immunocompromised Infectious Diseases Consult Service (2 months)
  4. Antimicrobial Stewardship (2 months)
  5. Outpatient Infectious Diseases/HIV (1 month plus longitudinal)
  6. Hematology/Oncology Intensive Care Unit (1 month plus longitudinal)
  7. Clinical Microbiology (2 weeks)
  8. Completion of the University of Utah Teaching Certificate program if a similar program has not been completed as a PGY1 resident

Elective Learning Experiences:

  1. Pediatric Infectious Diseases Consult Service and Antimicrobial Stewardship at Primary Children’s Hospital (2 weeks)
  2. Solid Organ Transplant
  3. Hematology/Oncology
  4. Bone marrow transplant
  5. Cystic fibrosis
  6. Critical care including Medical, Burn, Surgical, Cardiovascular, or Neurosurgical ICU
  7. Alternatively, any of the core learning experiences may be repeated as an elective

Additional Experiences

  1. Infectious Diseases Conferences:
    1. Weekly: ID clinical core conference, ID clinical case conference, ID fellows case conference, HIV journal club
    2. Monthly: ARUP microbiology combined clinical case conference, journal club, and controversies in ID
  2. Pharmacy Resident Conference:
    1. Weekly 1-2 hour meetings on various topics such as teaching, literature evaluation, leadership, and other topics as requested by residents
  3. Presentations:
    1. ACPE-accredited continuing education for local pharmacists in the fall
    2. ID clinical core conference presentation in the spring
    3. Project presentation at Mountain States Conference
  4. Service Commitment:
    1. To average 16 hours/month (generally every 3rd weekend) in Hematology/Oncology Intensive Care
    2. Shared evening (not overnight) and weekend coverage of the restricted antibiotic approval pager
  5. Meetings:
    1. IDWeek in October
    2. ASHP Midyear and UHC Conferences in December
    3. Mountain States Resident Conference in May
  6. Research:
    1. Complete an ID-related research project and submit manuscript for publication
    2. Additional opportunities for research, medical writing, and other scholarly activities depending on the interest of the resident
  7. Teaching:
    1. Facilitate pharmacy student recitations at the University of Utah College of Pharmacy in the spring
    2. Direct precepting of PGY-1 pharmacy residents in the spring
    3. Other teaching experiences available depending on the interest of the resident

Program Faculty

Russell Benefield, Pharm.D., BCPS-AQ ID
Clinical Pharmacist, Infectious Diseases, University of Utah Health
Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Utah College of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmacotherapy

Christine Jamjian, Pharm.D., AAHIVP
HIV clinical specialist, University of Utah Health
Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Utah College of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmacotherapy

Stephanie Sanders, Pharm.D., BCOP
Clinical Pharmacist, Oncology Intensive Care, University of Utah Health
Adjunct Instructor, University of Utah College of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmacotherapy

Tristan Timbrook, Pharm.D., MBA, BCPS
Clinical Pharmacist, Infectious Diseases and Antimicrobial Stewardship, University of Utah Health

Emily Sydnor Spivak, M.D., M.H.S.
Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of Utah School of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases
Medical Director for Antimicrobial Stewardship

Donald Alexander, Pharm.D.
Clinical Coordinator, Infectious Diseases, University of Utah Health
Adjunct Associate Professor, University of Utah College of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmacotherapy

Jared Olson, Pharm.D., BCPS
Clinical Pharmacist, Infectious Diseases and Co-Director of Antimicrobial Stewardship Program, Primary Children’s Medical Center
Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Utah School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics

Site and Facilities

The University of Utah Health (UUH) provides regional referral for five states. UUH is a level 1 trauma center, specialized services are provided in burn, surgical, medical, oncology, and neurosurgical intensive care.  Outstanding programs include critical care, transplant, cystic fibrosis, neurology, HIV/AIDS, primary care, oncology, and medical/surgical services. UUH is a research-oriented tertiary medical center. It is affiliated with the colleges of pharmacy, nursing, health, and the school of medicine. Laboratory services are provided by ARUP laboratories, a national clinical and anatomic pathology reference laboratory.  The Salt Lake metropolitan area has a population of approximately 1 million people. It is located at the base of the Wasatch Front of the Rocky Mountains. The city and region provide cultural and four-season recreational activities.


Candidates must graduate from an ACPE-accredited pharmacy program with a doctor of pharmacy degree (or equivalent combination of education and clinical experience) with a minimum GPA of 3.1 on a 4.0 scale. Residents must have completed an accredited PGY1 pharmacy residency program. Applicants must be eligible for Utah licensure and are expected to obtain licensure as a pharmacist in Utah by September 30th of each program year. (The University of Utah Pharmacy residency programs do not sponsor visas.)

Recruitment and Selection

The following information must be submitted via PhORCAS by the date specified on the residency application for the applicant to be considered for an onsite interview:

  1. Completed PhORCAS application
  2. Letter of intent
  3. Curriculum vitae
  4. College of pharmacy transcripts
  5. Three professional letters of recommendation

Please submit all required materials as early as possible.  All application materials must be received by the application deadline to be considered.  Completed applications will be reviewed, and competitive applicants will be invited to attend an on-site, full-day interview.  The program participates in the Resident Matching Program of ASHP.

For more information contact:

Russell Benefield, Pharm.D., BCPS-AQ ID
University of Utah Department of Pharmacy Services
50 N Medical Drive, Room A-050
Salt Lake City, UT 84132
(801) 587-0587