Students at the South Carolina College of Pharmacy (SCCP) continued to excel in residency placement as 88 percent of the College’s residency candidates successfully matched.

The national average for pharmacy residency placement is around 55 percent. Last year, the College placed 85 percent of its prospective residents and has placed close to 90 percent of candidates for the last three years.

“One of our most important quality measures is how many of our students go on to additional postgraduate training and where they go,” said Joseph T. DiPiro, executive dean of the SCCP.

Forty-three of the 49 students who applied matched, landing in some highly prestigious residency programs. The total represents around 24 percent of the student body and included multiple students at six programs, 14 students among all eight in-state programs, and a record five students in community residency programs.

Matching sites include the University of Kentucky Medical Center, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Auburn University, Indian Health Service, Nebraska Medical Center, the University of Tennessee-Knoxville Medical Center, and the VA at Charleston, Columbia, West Palm Beach, Orlando and Salisbury.

Residents also went to renowned SCCP partners Palmetto Health Richland, Spartanburg Regional, McLeod, Greenville Health System, and the nationally recognized program at MUSC.

“Although only 30-40 percent of pharmacy graduates pursue postgraduate residencies, the funnel gets smaller and smaller with residency slots available for about half of those students.” said Brandon Bookstaver, vice chair of clinical pharmacy and outcomes sciences at the SCCP. “That our students do so well is certainly a reflection of their outstanding ability and a testament to our faculty mentors and preceptors. Our pre-residency track has created a roadmap for success in achieving a successful match.”

Bookstaver and SCCP assistant professor Celeste Rudisill Caulder, along with two others, literally wrote the book on postgraduate training, sharing the secret of that success with any student interested – in February, they published the new book Roadmap to Postgraduate Training in Pharmacy.

Katherine Shugart will fill the inaugural community residency at the Medicine Mart in Columbia; the College announced that new partnership through the Kennedy Pharmacy Innovation Center (KPIC) earlier this year. Four other community residencies were filled as well in the growing community residency program.