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Curriculum Overview

Pharmacy Practice Training

Rotation & Learning Experience


The first eight weeks of the PGY1 residency program are dedicated to pharmacy practice training, residency orientation, and a drug information refresher. The Pharmacy Practice rotation helps residents become familiar with the day-to-day operations of the pharmacy, including policies, procedures, regulatory requirements, problem-solving techniques, and resource utilization. Billings Clinic residents are trained on all pertinent technology and information systems, including Cerner®, Omnicell™, Talyst®, DoseEdge™, Sentri7®, Quantifi®, and much more.

Clinical Training

Residents will spend the remainder of their PGY1 residency program participating in and expanding clinical pharmacy services. Residents will be exposed to all aspects of patient care using an integrated approach. Residents will work in a dynamic, educationally-stimulating residency environment as they mentor pharmacy students from several colleges of pharmacy during both their Introduction to Pharmacy Practice Experience (IPPE) and Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE) rotations at Billings Clinic. Residents will also interact regularly with intern, resident, and attending physicians from the Billings Clinic Internal Medicine Residency Program and periodically with providers from the Montana Family Medicine Residency Program.

Program Design

Core Rotations/Experiences

Cardiology: 5 weeks

Critical Care: 5 weeks

Infectious Diseases: 5 weeks

Internal Medicine: 5 weeks

Pharmacy Practice/Orientation/Drug Information: 9 weeks

Drug Information: Longitudinal

Medical Emergencies: Longitudinal

Pharmacy Academia: Longitudinal

Pharmacy Administration: Longitudinal

Research/Project: Longitudinal

Staffing: Longitudinal

Selective Rotations (residents must choose 2)

Ambulatory Care - Internal Medicine: 5 weeks

Ambulatory Care - Psychiatry: 5 weeks

Emergency Medicine: 5 weeks

Geriatrics/Long-Term Care: 5 weeks

Medication Reconciliation/Transitions of Care: 5 weeks

Neonatology/Pediatrics/Women’s Health: 5 weeks

Oncology: 5 weeks

Elective Rotations

Billings Clinic wants each resident’s experience to be unique and tailored to his/her own interests. Residents are encouraged to discuss ideas for elective rotations with the Residency Program Director as early as possible. Residents each have one 5-week block for elective rotations. Elective experience options include additional rotations in any of the core or selective rotation areas and others as desired by the residents.

Flexible Time

Residents are also allotted 4 weeks of "flexible" time in their year, which can be used for vacations, project time, or a mini-elective. These are split up into 2 weeks after the ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting and 2 weeks after the American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP) Pharmacotherapy Preparatory Course.

Project Time

After the first 9 weeks of the program, residents are allotted approximately one-half day per week or one full day every other week for project time, which may be used for research, meetings, or other residency assignments.

Additional Program Certification


As additional learning experiences, residents will be required to successfully complete Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) training as well as have the option to complete Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) training. Residents will also participate in a teaching certificate program in conjunction with the University of Montana, Skaggs School of Pharmacy.


Residents who successfully complete the requirements of our PGY1 pharmacy residency program will receive a certificate of graduation.

BCPS Certification

Board of Pharmacy Specialties Pharmacology Exam

The PGY1 program at Billings Clinic is designed to prepare residents to successfully pass the Board of Pharmacy Specialties (BPS) Pharmacotherapy examination. Therefore, after completion of the PGY1 program, residents will be expected to take the exam. This gives residents a goal to aspire towards and adds depth to their learning. Board certified pharmacotherapy specialist (BCPS) designation allows residents to set themselves apart from their colleagues and become recognized as model practitioners. Reimbursement may be available for the exam.

Board of Pharmaceutical Specialties

Contact Pharmacy Leadership

PGY1 Residency Program Director

Melanie J. Townsend, PharmD, BCPS

Phone: (406) 657-4842

Pharmacy Educator / Student Coordinator

Reina Coggins, PharmD, BCPS

Phone: (406) 657-4851