Pharmacy Benefits Management - PGY-2 Residency Program - VA Heart of Texas Health Care Network
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VA Heart of Texas Health Care Network


Pharmacy Benefits Management - PGY-2 Residency Program

Pharmacy Outcomes & Healthcare Analytics

Program Purpose

The purpose of the VISN 17 Pharmacy Benefits Management PGY2 Pharmacy Outcomes and Healthcare Analytics Residency Program is to develop clinically proficient healthcare data analysts who will improve the quality, and outcomes of patient care services. The Residency Program promotes the integration of informatics and data analysis with the practice of evidence-based medicine and medical treatments and process improvement.

Program Vision

Healthcare data analytics is an evolving area within the healthcare industry. Over the next five years, as the prevalence of electronic health records and the integration of health systems increases, the need to monitor health outcomes and the demand for clinically competent healthcare data analysts will escalate.  The VISN 17 Pharmacy Benefits Management PGY2 Pharmacy Outcomes and Healthcare Analytics Residency Program will help to meet this demand through its innovative approach to training and education. This PGY2 program is designed to develop accountability, expert knowledge, skills, attitudes and abilities to meet the needs of this advanced area of pharmacy practice.

Program Information

The primary goal of the PGY-2 Pharmacy outcomes and healthcare analytics residency program is to develop and foster the resident’s skills in data analysis, change management, clinical pharmacy, organizational acumen, and leadership with the ultimate goal of developing the next generation of pharmacy leaders: who are able to create pharmacoeconomic proposals, reports and dashboard tools, manage formularies, and develop and implement criteria for use on certain drugs. The VISN 17 PBM provides a unique practice environment that is dynamic and challenging. By concurrently using data analysis and evidence based medicine, outcomes measurement, and process improvement we strive to provide our 1,000,000+ Texas Veterans with the best care found anywhere in the country by supporting and encouraging evidence-based prescribing. Gaining proficiency in SQL programming, metric reporting software tools, and pharmacoeconomic principles will enable graduates to optimize quality and outcomes within various health care management systems or policy organizations. Pharmacists completing the Pharmacy Outcomes & Healthcare Analytics Residency Program will be positioned to serve as experts in outcome and analytics, and pharmacoeconomic clinicians. These clinicians will promote best pharmacotherapy care practices, safety initiatives, and cost effective prescribing for all levels of patient populations from the individual patient to large regional populations.

Residents will gain experience creating multi-facility metrics and dashboards and will develop leadership skills by actively participating in national and regional taskforces and committees comprised of interdisciplinary teams. Residents will present a formal continuing education lecture and complete a quality improvement research project. Residents will have the opportunity to participate in a teaching certificate program offered through University of Texas at Austin, as well as precept students and PGY1 residents if interested.

The VISN 17 Pharmacy Benefits Management offices are located in Temple, Texas with convenient access to the major metropolitan areas of Texas (Austin, Houston, Dallas/Ft. Worth, and San Antonio).  The Live Music Capital of the World, Austin, Texas, lays a mere 60 miles south and is a popular hotspot for locals and visitors alike.  For weekend adventure, you can hike the Texas hill country, bike the Southern Plains, or enjoy the beaches of the Texas gulf coast.

Core rotations will be in the areas of:

Data Management

Overall the resident will learn and apply a variety of data skills from database creation/extraction to final product development such as creation and maintenance of electronic dashboards and reports.  Knowledge and applied use of query languages will be taught and developed for interacting with relational databases.  The resident upon graduation from the program will have an overall understanding of the VA health data repository enterprise architecture data warehouse structure applied to VISN 17.  This will include specialized knowledge of cube design and development, database management, use of collaborative development environments, digital dashboard development and maintenance, and formulating, executing, and revising plans and coding procedures for database searches using SQL. 

Formulary Management

This is a required extended learning experience that begins after orientation and continues throughout the year.  The VISN 17 Pharmacy Executive and a PBM Clinical Pharmacy Specialist will serve as the preceptors for this learning experience.  The resident will develop the knowledge, skills, values and abilities necessary to assist in creating and maintaining Criteria for Use, improving procurement, contract compliance, and inventory control activities to achieve maximum savings and data accuracy.  Several standing committees and many practitioners are involved with the work of developing, modifying, and maintaining the VA National Formulary.  In addition, the VISNs are responsible for adherence to Criteria for Use developed nationally and locally.  The VISN PBM supports many aspects of the programs designed to support this system.  The resident will be exposed to the concepts of managed care systems through their involvement in all aspects of VISN formulary management.  Overall, the resident will better understand the complete cycle of drug procurement from the formulary addition, to negotiating contracts with the manufacturer, to ordering, and to receiving the pharmaceuticals.  In addition, the resident will gain the necessary knowledge and experience in revenue generation to better understand the legislation, regulation and policies concerning the prescription benefit within the Veterans Health Care Administration.  Projects will be developed and assigned by the preceptor at the direction of committees, workgroups, informal groups and will be independent and group learning experiences.  The resident will be assigned tasks and will work with a variety of VISN employees in diverse areas to accomplish PBM goals/business for this learning experience.

Pharmacoeconomics and Health Outcomes

The resident will develop skills, values and abilities in the practical application of pharmacoeconomic principles to the VA healthcare environment and in research design and methodologies to assess pharmaceutical-related economic, clinical, and humanistic health outcomes.  The facility pharmacy service chief, or their designee, serve as the preceptor for this Extended Learning Experience that begins after orientation and continues throughout the year with quarterly assignments to each facility within VISN 17.  The resident will be assigned projects and will work with a variety of VISN employees in diverse areas to accomplish tasks for this learning experience.  Outcome projects will be developed and assigned by the preceptor at the direction of committees, task forces, informal groups and will be independent and group learning experiences.

Pharmacy Practice Foundation

This rotation is a longitudinal experience that will help residents become familiar with the key principles utilized in health systems for leadership and overall practice improvement.  The RPD/VISN 17 Pharmacy Executive will serve as the primary preceptor and evaluator for this experience; though the resident will be precepted by other management/leaders within the organization as well.  This experience is designed to expose the resident to leadership nomenclature, key principles, tools, and available resources that will assist them in growing as clinicians, practitioners, and leaders.  During the residency, practice foundation skills and values will be taught and observed by preceptors and the experience will be individualized based on the resident’s baseline knowledge and growth throughout the year.  The resident will participate in a number of activities designed to improve their working knowledge and experience with leadership concepts.  The overarching goal of this longitudinal experience is to enable the resident to apply the knowledge gained to any pharmacy practice setting to improve their individual practice and confidently utilize leadership skills.  Topics may include mission/vision statements, strategic plans, effective communication, networking, mentoring, clinical leadership, leadership strategies, available resources/opportunities, regulatory bodies, finances, medication safety, organizations, the importance of publishing, and various programs/activities designed to develop the resident’s pharmacy practice/leadership foundation.

Population Management

This is a Longitudinal Experience intended to provide continued clinical practice in combination with population management throughout the residency year.  The resident will be working with the Temple VA (CTVHCS) Pharmacy Service and available VISN 17 dashboard tools to improve patient safety, quality and other outcomes. The resident will be assigned to this experience ½ day/week throughout the year.  With two PGY2 residents, each will be on rotation for 5 months of the year for this longitudinal experience (excluding July and December). The purpose of this rotation is to continue to expose the resident to direct patient care through the use of analysis tools to identify/target patients based on local needs at the Temple VA (to assist in meeting metrics, measures, or fulfilling another patient care need).  This will maintain and improve the resident’s clinical abilities while allowing them the opportunity to utilize tools they are creating in order to provide the perspective of an end-user.  The resident will not only collect and analyze patient information from the analysis tools, but work in collaboration with other healthcare providers at the medical center to create patient plans and directly involve themselves in patient care as necessary. 

Service and Policy Development

The resident will gain exposure and contribute to the development and achievement of PBM and pharmacy service goals on the local, VISN, and National levels.  This is an extended learning experience that begins after orientation and continues throughout the residency.  The RPD will serve as the primary preceptor but the resident will have an opportunity to work with many Clinical Pharmacy Specialists, physicians, administrators and VISN leadership in achieving the outcomes associated with the projects of this learning experience. During this experience, residents will learn policy development abilities through the concepts of process management, resource provision, and product management.  Communication and leadership skills will also be emphasized in order to facilitate effective policy and service development.  Residents will be asked to identify needs within the VA (whether clinical, departmental, or organizational), perform data collection and an issue analysis, and draft a policy, procedure, or other solution that assists in rectifying these.  Residents will work on updating current policies and procedures; assist in taking minutes or creating agendas for various taskforces and committees, and assist in working to maintain compliance with various regulatory bodies.  Additionally, residents will assist in creating, maintaining, and prioritizing new services that will assist clinicians, administrators, and management in improving their service capabilities.

Quality Improvement Research Project

This learning experience is designed to develop, execute, and report results of investigations of pharmacy practice-related issues.  The resident will be responsible for obtaining experience in all areas of a research or quality improvement project including development of a hypothesis, submission of a project proposal, application to IRB (for research approval or classification as a QI), data collection, data analysis, drawing conclusions, and presentation of results.  The resident will work with the RPD and one or more preceptors throughout the project life cycle as well as the Research Pharmacist from the CTVHCS who will assist in coordinating project deadlines and IRB approval.  Residents will be encouraged to conduct outcomes-based research or quality improvement projects, preferably incorporating the skills learned from other rotations and building a new analysis tool that will assist in the data mining component of the project.  Residents are required to present a project poster at the ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting, a PowerPoint presentation at the annual ALCALDE Southwest Leadership Conference.

Elective Experiences

Each resident will have opportunities for one or two experiences that are considered electives.  Elective experiences are specifically intended to tailor the residency experience to the resident’s needs, goals, and interests.   It is possible to elect to work in one area for additional time to gain more confidence and skills. Despite the nature of this program, if a resident is interested in an alternative are (ex. direct patient care), this can be reasonably arranged.  The resident is responsible for arranging all electives with the preceptor and the RPD.  It is recommended that this be accomplished as early as possible in the residency year to facilitate planning of all involved.

Electives may be selected from well-established pharmaceutical care areas or developed for unconventional areas.  Any of the core areas may be selected as an advanced elective rotation.  Other opportunities include, but are not limited to:  Mental Health Inpatient, Mental Health Outpatient, Women’s Health, Triage (Emergency Room) Medicine, Diabetes Care, Pediatrics, Didactic Lecturing, Intensive Care Unit, Advanced Medicine, Advanced Data Management, Infectious Disease/HIV, Advanced Ambulatory Care, or VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic.

Application Process, Applicant Qualifications and Resident Selection

The VISN 17 PBM utilizes PhORCAS for all application material submission. All application and supplemental materials should be submitted via the PhorCAS system (

Required Application Materials

Applicant Qualifications

  • Applicants must be legal citizens of United States of America to be eligible for federal employment through this training program
  • Graduate of an ACPE-accredited school of pharmacy
  • Possess a state issued pharmacist license and be in good standing
  • Completed a first-year (PGY-1) ASHP-accredited pharmacy practice residency program or equivalent experience
Candidates will be ranked according to the National Match Program. This residency site agrees that no person at this site will solicit, accept, or use any ranking-related information from any residency applicant. Information about registering for the Match can be found at:

Compensation and Benefits

Estimated Salary is $52,636/year. Benefits include health insurance, 13 days of vacation, 13 days of sick leave, 10 holidays, paid travel to required events, office with up-to-date computer systems and paid administrative leave for conferences and educational events.

VISN 17 PGY2 Residency Program Contact Information
  • Reach our program by phone by calling: (254) 899-6002
  • E-Mail VISN 17 Pharmacy Benefits Management at:

ASHP Program Information

Program Code Number:  74053
Residents National Match ID#: 691481