Rules for the ASHP Pharmacy
Resident Matching Program
Background: the following rules represent a compilation of elements of the accreditation regulations and standards for pharmacy residency programs that are ASHP-accredited, have preliminary accreditation, or are in a candidate or pre-candidate status. The rules apply to these programs and to individuals seeking a residency with these programs. ASHP contracts with National Matching Services Inc. (NMS) to conduct the Resident Matching Program (RMP), commonly referred to as "the Match".
- These rules apply to all participants (applicants and programs) in the RMP for pharmacy residencies, including postgraduate year one and two (PGY1 and PGY2) pharmacy residencies that are ASHP-accredited, have preliminary accreditation, or are in a candidate or pre-candidate status.
- All participants shall abide by all deadlines and their agreements for participation in the Match.
- Residency program directors must ensure that all people involved in recruiting or selecting residents understand and adhere to these rules.
- Faculty of schools of pharmacy with students interested in participating in the Match for pharmacy residencies are asked to assist in ensuring that their students understand and adhere to these rules.
- Violations of these rules or Match agreements by applicants or programs may result in sanctions by ASHP or legal action by other Match participants.
- Pharmacy residency programs in the United States must offer all of their positions through the RMP, with the exception of Department of Defense and Public Health Service pharmacy residency positions offered exclusively to commissioned pharmacy officers.
- Positions for which funding is not assured should not be offered in the Match.
- All positions with funding secured by the Rank Order List (ROL) submission deadline for Phase I of the Match must be offered in Phase I of the Match.
- Positions that are left unfilled in Phase I of the Match must be offered in Phase II of the Match, in accordance with paragraph 7 and its subparagraphs below.
- Positions that are not offered in Phase I of the Match, such as positions for which funding becomes assured after the Phase I ROL deadline or newly created positions, may be offered in Phase II of the Match, in accordance with paragraph 7 and its subparagraphs below.
- Positions that are not offered in Phase I or Phase II of the Match can be communicated and/or offered to applicants only after the results of Phase II of the Match are released, in accordance with paragraph 8 and its subparagraphs below.
- For Phase I of the Match, residency programs that conduct on-site or telephone interviews must make a reasonable effort to notify every applicant who submits a complete set of application materials as to his/her interview status. Such notification must occur no later than the interview notification date that appears in the program's online ASHP Residency Directory listing and/or other publicity materials, and may be communicated by e-mail, telephone, regular mail (postmarked no later than the interview notification date), or other means. For Phase II of the Match, notification of interview status is not required.
- Participants in the RMP, including applicants and programs, may not communicate, solicit, accept, or use any ranking-related information pertaining to either Phase of the Match prior to the release of the results for Phase II of the Match. (Program directors and resident selection committees may discuss the ranking of candidates among themselves only.)
- Residency programs should include the following statement in their brochures and other materials used for recruiting: This residency site agrees that no person at this site will solicit, accept, or use any ranking-related information from any residency applicant.
- The only information that persons at the residency site may communicate to an applicant prior to the release of the results for each Phase of the Match is whether or not the applicant remains under consideration for admission. The spirit of this item precludes any communication of applicants' rankings, however veiled or indirect such communication might be, prior to the release of the Phase II Match results.
- Residency program personnel and applicants may never solicit information regarding applicants' and programs' rankings, even after release of Match results.
- Residency sites that offer more than one program in the Match (i.e., sites with more than one Match code number) are expected to ask applicants to identify the site's program(s) to which they are applying. In addition, these sites may, for the sole purpose of arranging interviews, ask applicants to designate their preferences regarding the programs at the site for which they wish to be interviewed. These sites may request interview preference information only when it is essential for making interview arrangements, and such information may not be used for any other purpose in the selection process. Further, these sites may not solicit any information about applicant's final rankings of programs. Sites requesting interview preferences should state clearly in their written materials that these preferences will be used for arranging interviews only and for no other purpose.
- Any ranking information that is communicated between applicants and residency programs, even though such communication is a violation of these rules, is non-binding and may be changed at any time prior to the ROL submission deadlines. The only binding rankings are the confidential ROLs that are submitted to NMS for each Phase of the Match.
- Residency programs may choose to provide applicants with information about the size of the applicant pool.
- Results of the RMP constitute binding agreements between applicants and residency programs that may not be reversed unilaterally by either party.
- Appointments of applicants to residency positions may be contingent upon the applicants satisfying certain eligibility requirements (e.g., obtaining pharmacist's license, negative drug testing results). Such eligibility requirements must be specified clearly in the residency programs' written recruiting materials and provided to applicants in advance of the Match.
- Residency program directors are encouraged to contact matched applicants by telephone as soon as possible after NMS releases Match results for each Phase of the Match.
- It is not necessary for residency program directors to contact applicants with whom they have not been matched.
- Residency program directors must ensure that a letter, putting in writing an appointment agreement with matched applicants, is sent to all matched applicants and is postmarked no later than 30 days following receipt of the results for each Phase of the Match.
- The residency program director must ensure that residents who are accepted into the program receive a letter outlining their acceptance to the program. Information on the terms and conditions of the appointment must also be provided in a manner consistent with that provided to pharmacists within the organization conducting the residency.
- Acceptance by residents of these terms and conditions must be documented prior to the beginning of the residency.
- Residency programs that receive their Phase I Match results and have one or more positions left unfilled must offer those positions to applicants in Phase II of the Match. New positions for which funding is secured after the Phase I ROL submission deadline may also be offered to applicants in Phase II of the Match.
- All applicants who register for Phase I of the Match and who do not obtain a position in Phase I (e.g., those who withdraw or remain unmatched), as well as applicants who register after the ROL submission deadline for Phase I of the Match and before the ROL submission deadline for Phase II, are eligible to participate in Phase II of the Match. Applicants who match to a position in Phase I are not eligible to participate in Phase II.
- All positions at a program that remain unfilled in Phase I of the Match must be offered to applicants in Phase II of the Match. A residency can decide not to offer an unfilled position in Phase II only if it decides not to fill the position in the program for the coming year (e.g., anticipated loss of funding, shifting of funding to other purposes or another program in Phase II). Removing an unfilled position from Phase II of the Match for any other reason requires ASHP approval.
- Residencies with positions that are offered in Phase II of the Match may not take any actions to fill these positions prior to the release of the Phase I Match results. Applicants who do not obtain a position in Phase I of the Match, along with other individuals acting on their behalf, may not contact residency programs about available positions in Phase II prior to the release of the Phase I Match results.
- Upon completion of both Phases of the RMP, residency programs that have one or more positions left unfilled may then make other direct offers (verbal or written) to applicants who remain unmatched or to applicants who did not participate in the Match. Applicants who receive their Match results and who remain unmatched may then receive other direct offers of admission.
- Failure to receive timely notification of Match results, for any reason, does not constitute a release from the Match.
- Residency program personnel may not take any actions to fill open positions prior to release of the results for Phase II of the Match. Applicants who remain unmatched may not contact residency programs about unfilled positions prior to release of the Phase II Match results.
- Prior to making offers to fill open positions, residency program directors must verify with applicants, to the best of their ability, that the applicants have neither been matched previously to other programs nor accepted other offers.
- Applicants may not accept an offer if they have been matched or have already accepted an offer from another residency program.
- An offer (verbal or written) that has been tendered by a residency program director and accepted by an applicant constitutes a binding agreement between the program and the applicant that may not be reversed unilaterally by either party.
- The residency program director must put in writing the appointment agreement with the applicant in a letter postmarked no later than 30 days following acceptance of the offer by the applicant, as described in paragraphs 6a and 6b, above.
- The Match will accommodate an "early commitment process" for residency sponsors that offer both PGY1 and PGY2 pharmacy residency programs and elect to allow PGY1 residents to commit to one of the sponsor's PGY2 residencies.
- Residency sponsors that might consider using an early commitment process must have a formal, written policy addressing, at a minimum, how this option is promoted to PGY1 residents and how candidates will be assessed and selected.
- The early commitment process may occur only between a PGY1 resident and a PGY2 residency program that is conducted by the sponsor of the PGY1 residency program.
- The PGY1 and PGY2 residencies must be continuous years of employment for the resident.
- When contacted annually by NMS, PGY2 residency program directors must register all positions that could be potentially in the Match. Typically this occurs before it is feasible to consider offering any positions to an early commitment process.
- If a PGY2 residency program director offers an early commitment to a PGY1 resident, a letter of agreement must be signed by both parties. A copy of the letter of agreement must be sent to NMS and received by the date that is established by the ASHP.
- After the date that is established by the ASHP, residency sponsors may not make early commitment offers and must offer all positions through the RMP, unless the sponsor does not intend to fill some positions.
- Match fees (equivalent to those paid by applicants to participate in the Match) for positions filled through an early commitment process will be paid to NMS by the sponsor offering the PGY2 residency program. (PGY1 residents pursuing PGY2 residency positions not filled through the early commitment process pay an application fee to NMS to participate in the Match.)
- Individuals who detect violations of these rules are urged to request compliance from the appropriate party or parties.
- Unresolved compliance problems should be resolved informally, whenever possible, through consultation among applicants, residency program directors, and ASHP, or by other informal means.
- Residency program directors who become aware of violations of these rules by other residency program personnel should urge the applicants involved to follow the informal resolution procedure described above, and/or should contact directly the other residency program directors.
- Problems not amenable to resolution through informal consultation should be reported as soon as possible to the ASHP Commission on Credentialing at the address listed at the end of this document.
- If a formal complaint regarding an alleged violation of these rules is filed with the ASHP Commission on Credentialing, the Commission will evaluate the allegations and recommend an appropriate course of action to the ASHP Board of Directors. The ASHP Board of Directors is the body that ultimately determines the course of action. Violations of the RMP rules should be reported to:
Secretary, ASHP Commission on Credentialing
Accreditation Services Division
American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists
7272 Wisconsin Avenue
Bethesda, MD 20814