Postgraduate Year Two (PGY2)

Program Description

The cardiology pharmacy residency program at University of Utah Health (UUH) offers a specialized training experience in which residents are fully integrated into multidisciplinary teams that includes physicians, advanced practice clinicians (e.g. physicians assistants, advanced practice nurses), nurses, respiratory therapists, physical therapists, dietary specialists, and social workers. As a major referral site for the Intermountain West, high acuity patients are transferred for specialized care from several surrounding states (Idaho, Wyoming, Nevada, Montana, Colorado, and New Mexico). The purpose of the residency is to enhance professionalism and to develop the knowledge and skills needed to provide comprehensive medication management to patients with diverse cardiovascular conditions. Residents will also enhance their leadership skills and practice management in a cardiovascular medicine environment.

Program Purpose (ASHP)

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.

* The PGY2 Cardiology Pharmacy Residency program at University of Utah Health has applied for ASHP pre-candidate status and aims to achieve full accreditation in 2021. The resident will receive a certificate upon completion of the residency.

Program Goals

After successful completion of this cardiology pharmacy residency program, the resident shall be able to:

  • Systematically and methodically develop care plans and monitor patients for efficacy of drug therapy and possible adverse drug events.
  • Establish a high level of professional responsibility, dedication, skill, and maturity to practice in a cardiology clinical environment.
  • Exhibit actions and behaviors of a highly sophisticated cardiology pharmacy practitioner and serve as a leader in clinical practice, medication safety, and policy/protocol development.
  • Clearly, concisely, effectively, and appropriately communicate, both verbally and in writing, with health care professionals, patients, and patients’ family members.
  • Attain a level of didactic knowledge that will enable them (after additional study and review) to pass the examination for appropriate Board of Pharmacy Specialty (BPS) certification (e.g. BCPS, BCCP, BCCCP).
  • Demonstrate motivation and responsibility for honest self-assessment of skills sets and translate this into self-directed, independent study and learning.

Division of Cardiovascular Medicine

UUH is one of the premier cardiovascular institutions in the United States and the flagship academic medical center for the Intermountain West. Conducting over 1,350 heart transplants since our first in 1985, the University of Utah was among the first Medicare-approved heart transplant centers and has been a leading pioneer in advanced heart failure management. Other key cardiovascular services provided by UUH include a 24-hour heart catheterization lab, electrophysiology lab, advanced interventional structural heart procedures (e.g. TAVR, MitraClip), and advanced care for critically ill cardiovascular patients (nationally recognized SHOCK and ECMO teams).

UUH inpatient cardiovascular care is high-volume and high-throughput. It consists of a 35-bed cardiovascular medicine unit, 20-bed cardiovascular intensive care unit, 3 heart catheterization labs, and 2 electrophysiology labs. The Cardiovascular Clinic (CVC) serves 100-150 patients per day in its subspecialty clinics (general cardiology, heart failure and transplantation, cardiothoracic surgery, interventional cardiology, electrophysiology, congenital heart disease, vascular surgery, cardio-oncology, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, amyloid, and sarcoid clinics).

Department of Pharmacy Services

Pharmacy services reach every corner of UUH patient care and safety. With 293 professional pharmacy staff and 377 supporting pharmacy staff, we are able to provide pharmacotherapy care to the vast majority of patient care teams in both inpatient and outpatient environments. Our department has residency-trained clinical pharmacists in nearly all areas (e.g. critical care, internal medicine, infectious disease, ambulatory care, oncology/hematology, anticoagulation, etc.). The majority of these pharmacists maintain Board Certification in Pharmacotherapy or their respective specialty area (e.g. BCCCP, BCCP, BCACP).

Rotation Experiences

The cardiology residency offers the following required experiences:

  • Inpatient Rotations
    • General Cardiology (4 weeks)
    • Cardiac ICU/Advanced Heart Failure I (4 weeks)
    • Cardiac ICU/Advanced Heart Failure II (4 weeks)
    • Cardiothoracic ICU (4 weeks)
    • Cardiothoracic Surgery (4 weeks)
  • Ambulatory Care Rotations
    • Heart Failure or General Cardiology Clinic (4 weeks)
    • Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension Clinic (4 weeks)
    • Heart and Lung Transplantation (4 weeks)
      • Inpatient and ambulatory care components
  • Education and Leadership (Longitudinal)
  • Research/Quality Improvement (Longitudinal)
  • Service Commitment (Longitudinal)

Many elective experiences are available, which include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Electrophysiology and Interventional Cardiology (inpatient)
  • Heart Failure or General Cardiology Clinic
  • Anticoagulation Clinic
  • Various Longitudinal Clinic Experiences
    • Hyperlipidemia Clinic
    • Cardio-oncology Clinic
    • Amyloid Clinic
    • HCM Clinic
    • Sarcoid Clinic
  • Pediatric Cardiology (outside facility)

Teaching and Learning Opportunities

The resident will provide in-services to interprofessional colleagues and lead topic discussions during each rotation experience. Moreover, residents are actively involved in the training of PGY1 residents and pharmacy students. Longitudinal teaching opportunities include the following:

  • ACPE-accredited continuing education program (CE)
  • University of Utah College of Pharmacy lecture
  • Division of Cardiovascular Medicine – Grand Rounds presentation
  • Division of Cardiovascular Medicine – M & M presentation(s) (elective)
  • ACCP PRN Cards Student/Resident Journal Club (if selected)

Numerous additional opportunities are available at the hospital, and affiliated schools of pharmacy and medicine. This residency includes an optional teaching certificate program.

Service Commitment (Staffing Component)

The resident will complete their staffing commitment of 4 shifts per month primarily in a decentralized, rounding environment. The resident will be responsible for providing comprehensive pharmaceutical care to all patients on the assigned team. The primary focus of this staffing experience is providing excellent patient care and for the resident to serve as the primary pharmacy contact for the team. The resident is expected to attend daily rounds with the assigned medical team as well as be the primary pharmacy contact person for that team. Residents are also expected to perform thorough medication and vaccination histories on each patient and communicate pertinent patient information through documentation in the electronic chart. Additional staffing areas may be included based on departmental needs. Residents are required to staff a portion of observed holidays.

Residency Research/Quality Improvement Project

Residents have the opportunity to complete their required research/quality improvement project within a collaborative, interdisciplinary environment, and as such, residents have the opportunity to meet regularly with other collaborators (e.g., physicians, nurses, etc.) to enhance their overall research design. Residents are also supported by one of the preeminent Drug Information Services in the country, which is readily accessible within our pharmacy department. Residents will demonstrate an understanding of the steps involved in planning and coordinating a project that furthers pharmacy practice, including, but not limited, to the following:

  • Project selection and defense to the institution’s Resident Advisory Committee
  • Development of project proposal in IRB format and IRB approval as necessary
  • Identification and coordination of data collection and analysis
  • Presentation of research in poster format at Vizient-UHC
  • Presentation of research in poster format at American College of Cardiology Scientific Sessions
  • Presentation of research in platform format at Mountain States Conference
  • Preparation of a manuscript suitable for publication in a peer-reviewed journal

Professional Meetings

The resident is expected to attend ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting and Mountain States Conference, and will have the opportunity to attend the American College of Cardiology’s Annual Scientific Session. Travel support is provided.


Applicants must have a Pharm.D., M.S. in pharmacy, or equivalent experience. Completion of a pharmacy practice residency, or equivalent experience, is highly desired. Applicants must submit letter of interest, academic transcript, CV, 3 letters of recommendation. Resident must be eligible to work in the US prior to the start of the residency program as well as be fully licensed as a pharmacist by the Department of Professional Licensing in the State of Utah by September 30th. (The University of Utah Pharmacy residency programs do not sponsor visas.)

Recruitment and Selection

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

  • Completed PhORCAS registration
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Letter of intent
  • College of pharmacy transcripts
  • Three recommendations using the PhORCAS standard form

All residency programs at University of Utah Health use the Pharmacy Online Residency Centralized Application Service (PhORCAS). No paper applications will be accepted. Completed applications in PhORCAS are reviewed, and competitive applicants are invited to attend an on-site, full-day interview in January or February. The program participates in the ASHP Resident Matching Program.

Fringe Benefits

Residents receive 18 days of paid time off for vacations & sick leave; however residents are limited to 10 days of vacation/interview per year. Residents also have 10 days of holiday leave, though residents staff 3 holidays per year. Residents are considered full time exempt staff and receive medical and life insurance. Travel and registration for the ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting and Mountain States Resident Conference are paid by the Pharmacy Department.

For more information contact

Teshia Sorensen, PharmD, BCCP, BCPS, AACC
Clinical Pharmacist - Cardiovascular Medicine
PGY2 Cardiology Residency Program Director
50 North Medical Drive, Rm A-050
Salt Lake City, UT 84132
Phone: 801-587-2485

Program Director

linda tyler

Teshia Sorensen

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