PGY1 Pharmacy Residency – Benioff Children’s Hospital



The PGY1 Pharmacy residency program at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital builds upon Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) education and outcomes to develop pharmacist practitioners with knowledge, skills, and abilities as defined in the educational competency areas, goals, and objectives. Residents who successfully complete the PGY1 Pharmacy residency program will be skilled in diverse patient care, practice management, leadership, and education, and be prepared to provide patient care, seek board certification in pharmacotherapy (i.e., BCPS), and pursue advanced education and training opportunities including postgraduate year two (PGY2) residencies.


The PGY1 Pharmacy program at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital is a one-year ASHP-accredited program. Residents will take on the role of clinical pharmacists and provide care to pediatric patients in a variety of patient care settings at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital. A major strength of the program is the large number of clinical faculty members and instructors with many years of experience in various pediatric specialties (e.g. critical care, oncology, acute care peds, transplant) and in the areas of management, health outcomes, medication use policy and teaching. Residents grow exponentially in their clinical skills and gain experience in teaching, research, pharmacy operations, and medication use policy and evaluation. This program places an emphasis on the provision of pediatric pharmaceutical care in many patient care areas, research and teaching of pharmacy students and health care practitioners.

Virtual Open House

An annual open house event is offered in the fall for interested applicants. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet and ask questions of current and former residents, preceptors and the Residency Program Director.


Tuesday, November 14, 2023 at 3 - 4 PM (PST)

Tuesday, December 12, 2023 at 3 - 4 PM (PST)


Meeting ID: 973 4994 2846

Password: 700842


Learning Experiences


Rotation Schedule

At a minimum, each resident will spend two thirds or more of their time involved in direct patient care activities. Rotation blocks are 5 to 6 weeks in duration, for a total of 8 blocks throughout the residency year. All residents will be assigned the 6 core blocks, and may select 2 elective learning experiences

Sequencing of Learning Experiences

Learning experiences are sequenced such that areas of possible PGY2 specialization occur prior to the ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting. Sequencing and scheduled experiences are modified during the year based on changes in resident interest and customization based on interests and/or performance.

Sample Schedule

PDF icon PGY1 Pharmacy Residency Program - BCH Schedule At a Glance

Core Rotations

  • Orientation

  • General Pediatrics

  • Pediatric Intensive Care

  • Hematology/Oncology

  • Medication Use & Outcomes

  • Leadership & Management


  • Neonatal Intensive Care
  • Bone Marrow Transplant
  • Infectious Disease
  • Solid Organ Transplant & Transitional Care - Kidney, Liver
  • Transition of Care Services
  • Adult Medicine

Longitudinal Experiences (CORE)

  • Research Project (11 months)
  • Pharmacy Grand Rounds (Continuing Pharmacist Education) (4 weeks, scheduled based on Grand Rounds schedule)
  • Small Group Teaching (6-8 weeks)
  • Hospital Committee Member (11 months)
  • Operational Drug Distribution (including Code Response and Mock Codes) (11 months)

Longitudinal Experiences (ELECTIVE)

  • Ambulatory Care - Pediatric Heart Failure Clinic (up to 12 weeks)
  • Resident Wellness Program (events scheduled year-long)
  • Large Group Teaching - Students (4 weeks)


Operational Training

All residents receive comprehensive training in each of the operational areas during orientation, including formalized training in sterile compounding and aseptic technique. At the beginning of the residency year, residents are paired with an experienced preceptor who will oversee their operational staffing learning experience throughout the year and provide residents with summative feedback.

Staffing Areas

Operational staffing occurs longitudinally and takes place approximately every third weekend spanning throughout the residency year for a total of 16 weekends. Residents staff in the main pharmacy with an emphasis in order verification and oversight of sterile compounding.


Project Selection

The Residency Program Director receives project proposal submissions from clinical pharmacists for consideration as a resident research project on an annual basis. Projects are reviewed for feasibility, and appropriateness of timeline for the resident research process. The list developed in this forum focus on projects that demonstrate potential value that may focus on clinical pharmacist services, quality improvement initiatives, such as drug safety, optimal medication use, cost effective drug use, and efficient, safe and effective medication preparation, delivery and administration. The Residency Program Director will reach out to the residents in early summer to start discussion of project selection.

Research Training

PGY1 residents participate in the UCSF Research Certificate Program and will gain skills in: adhering to a research timeline, creating an appropriate study design and methodology, completing data collection and analysis and summarizing research findings. Residents are enrolled in the Designing Clinical Research course that is part of the Summer Clinical Research Workshop. This interprofessional curriculum within the Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics guides residents through modification of their research proposal and creation of a version suitable for submission to the UCSF Institutional Review Board. For projects requiring more advanced statistics, residents also receive support to work with the Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) in order to complete analysis. Residents will participate in a research certificate whereby they attend structured research sessions throughout the year in guiding the successful completion of the research project.

Poster & Platform Presentations

All projects are of a scope suitable for publication. Projects are presented as posters at the UCSF Department of Clinical Pharmacy Spring Research Poster Session. They are also presented as posters at the Vizient residency session that precedes the ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting. The final platform presentation occurs in spring at the Pediatric Pharmacy Association (PPA) Annual Conference.


Teaching Instruction

Teaching is a focus of the residency at UCSF, and residents participate in the UCSF Teaching Certificate Program. The certificate is awarded upon successful completion of the program and recognizes the significant contributions and skills that are attained during the residency year. Residents receive training in teaching methodology, precepting IPPE and APPE students in a layered learning model, and small group conference facilitation through a variety of educational seminars that are planned during the year.

Teaching Experiences

Teaching opportunities may include the following:

  • Large group teaching
    • Pediatric Elective Lecture
    • Continuing Pharmacy Education, UCSF Health
  • Interprofessional education to nursing & physician groups
  • Small group facilitation
  • Precepting IPPE and APPE students on clinical rotations and project-based work

Code Response


PGY1 Pharmacy Residency residents are integral members of the interprofessional emergency response care team. Residents will become certified in Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) and receive hands-on pediatric and adult code training. Residents respond to Code White (Pediatrics), Code Blue (Adult), Seizure Codes and participate in stroke response. During emergent response, residents ensure appropriate drug selection and administration, timeliness of medication retrieval and preparation, adjusting medication dosages and monitoring for response.

Mock Codes & Simulation

PGY1 residents at BCH will participate in multidisciplinary simulation-based mock codes throughout the year in both pediatric and adult clinical practice areas to practice their skills. Residents will also have opportunities to participate in simulation lab session at the Kanbar Center for Simulation and Clinical Skills.

Salary & Benefits


$61,267 annually, paid biweekly


Medical/Dental/Vision Plan and Professional Liability Insurance

Vacation / Professional / Sick leave

All residents will participate in the UCSF Health Paid Time Off (PTO) program. Residents accrue PTO and Extended Sick Time (EST) based on the appointment type, number of hours on pay status, and years of qualifying service. Residents will earn approximately 21 days of PTO per year and approximately six days of EST. Additionally, residents receive 10 days of paid professional leave which may be used to attend professional meetings or professional job interviews.

Travel Stipend

All residents are provided with a stipend to support travel, lodging, and registration fees for the purposes of professional conferences. The amount of the travel stipend is determined each year and may not cover all travel expenses.

The PGY1 Pharmacy residents will be expected to attend the following conferences to assist in recruitment events:

  • California Society of Health-System Pharmacists (CSHP) Annual Seminar
    Pediatric Pharmacy Association (PPA) Fall Conference
  • American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) Midyear Clinical Meeting

Residents will be expected to attend the Pediatric Pharmacy Association (PPA) Spring Conference to present a platform presentation on research projects.

Additional Benefits

Residents will be provided with a UCSF white coat, scrubs and access to the resident office workspace. Meal cards are provided with a value determined by the number of staffing hours assigned.


General Information


June 24, 2024 to June 30, 2025 (53 weeks)

Positions Available

  • PGY1 Pharmacy Residency -  Benioff Children’s Hospital (NMS 293113) – 2 positions


The Residency Program Director and residents recruit potential residency applicants at the following events:

  • California Society of Health-System Pharmacists (CSHP) Annual Seminar OR Pediatric Pharmacy Association (PPA) Fall Conference
    • Residency Showcase
  • American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) Midyear Clinical Meeting
    • Residency Showcase


Requirements for Admission

Applicants must be graduates or candidates for graduation of an accredited pharmacy degree program (or one in process of pursuing accreditation), or have a Foreign Pharmacy Graduate Equivalency Committee (FPGEC) certificate from the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP). Applicants must be licensed or will be eligible for both intern and pharmacist licensure in California by the start of the residency program. 

Non-US and US Citizens from Foreign Schools of Pharmacy

Non-US citizens must be eligible to work and live in the US by obtaining an appropriate visa and must be eligible to work as a licensed pharmacist in California. We do not sponsor visas for foreign pharmacy residency applicants. Non-US and US citizens who graduate from a foreign school of pharmacy must first be certified by examination before the process of licensure in the US can begin. The Foreign Pharmacy Graduate Equivalency Committee ™ (FPGEC®) certificate program operates under the auspices of the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy®. The NABP® provides the FPGEC Certification Program as a means of documenting the educational equivalency of a candidate's foreign education, as well as the license and or registration to practice pharmacy. More information about this entire process is provided in these NABP® links:

How to Apply

  1. Match: All applicants must register for The Match – ASHP Resident Matching Program.
  2. PhORCAS: Applications will be accepted through PhORCAS (Pharmacy Online Residency Centralized Application Service), a web-based pharmacy residency application system. The application deadline is Tuesday, January 2, 2024 at 8:59 PM PST.
  3. Cover Letter: A cover letter describing the elements of the program that most interest you and how each element relates to your personal goals is also required.
  4. Letters of Recommendation: We request a minimum of one (two is preferred) of your three references should come from a preceptor who you have worked with in a clinical setting, related to an APPE in acute or ambulatory care. The clinical preceptor should be able to comment on your scope of responsibility, total patient load, level of autonomy, clinical abilities, and organizational and time management skills. All 3-reference writers should use the standard PhORCAS template to submit their candidate recommendation. An uploaded letter of recommendation is optional and not required.
  5. Supplemental Application Materials: A response to the following essay statement is required for acceptance. The essay response should be no longer than one page in length. An application will not be reviewed if this statement is missing. Please note that the essay is separate from your cover letter. (NOTE: The essay response should be uploaded in the Supplemental Information section in PhORCAS. Space is limited to a max of 5 MB and must be provided in the following format: .pdf, .doc, .txt, .rtf.)

Reflect on a challenging situation at any point in your life (personal or professional) that required you to question your values or assumptions. How did you deal with the situation? What did you learn from the experience?


Application Reviews

Each PGY1 applicant packet is screened and scored by members of the pediatrics team. Screeners assess the following: communication skills, clinical experience (breadth, performance, scope of activity), personal/environmental factors (maturity, confidence, motivation, and adaptability), work experience, aggregate letters of recommendation, leadership/initiative, teaching (interest and/or experience), research (interest and/or experience), extracurricular involvement and academic performance. The screening score is used to determine if an interview will be extended.

Virtual Interviews

All interviews will be conducted virtually via Zoom. The interview process consists of two 45-minute panel interviews and a personal interview with the Residency Program Director. Applicants are asked to prepare in advance a 10-minute presentation on a topic of their choice (not related to pharmacy or healthcare).

PGY1 Pharmacy Residency - UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Interviews 2024:

  • Friday, February 9, 2024
  • Monday, February 12, 2024


Mai Uyen Alissa Le, PharmD, BCPPS

PGY1 Pharmacy Residency Program Director - Benioff Children's Hospital
Pediatric Clinical Pharmacist, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital
Assistant Clinical Professor, UCSF School of Pharmacy

Education and post-graduate training

Doctor of Pharmacy, Temple University School of Pharmacy (2020)
PGY1 Pharmacy Practice, Mayo Eugenio Litta Children's Hospital (2021)
PGY2 Pediatric Pharmacy, UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital (2022)


1975 Fourth Street, Room C4411
San Francisco CA 94158
[email protected]

Leigh Ann Witherspoon, PharmD, BCPPS

Pediatric Residency Programs Coordinator
Pediatric Clinical Specialist, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital
Assistant Clinical Professor, UCSF School of Pharmacy

Education and post-graduate training

Doctor of Pharmacy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2013)
PGY1 Pharmacy Practice, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2014)
PGY2 Pediatric Pharmacy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2015)


1975 Fourth Street, Room C4411
San Francisco CA 94158
[email protected]