STLCOP Resident Customizes Pharmacy Residency Program
Published on 06 November 2015
St. Louis College of Pharmacy PGY1 resident Kimberly Zitko, Pharm.D., never imagined that she would move from Toledo, Ohio, to pursue her dream of becoming a clinical pharmacist specializing in ambulatory care.
Working in community pharmacy throughout high school gave Zitko her first experience with direct patient care.
“Originally, I wanted to go into community pharmacy,” Zitko says. “However, after shadowing my professor at an endocrine clinic, I saw how she was able to make such an impact on patients’ health. Realizing the responsibilities that we, as pharmacists, have to help our patients inspired me to go into a residency program focusing on ambulatory care.”
Zitko applied for a residency at Mercy Hospital St. Louis coordinated through STLCOP’s PGY1 pharmacy residency program.
“I was attracted to Mercy Hospital because its program offered opportunities to learn about inpatient medicine, pediatrics, family care, and most importantly, ambulatory care,” Zitko says. “The flexibility and customizability of the program allowed me to gain broad clinical experience in acute and ambulatory care.”
Through the program, Zitko was able to add an elective rotation at the St. Louis County Department of Health. By completing rotations through a customizable residency program with Mercy Hospital and the Department of Health, Zitko has been able to experience a variety of care settings and collaborate with other health care professionals.
By a stroke of fate, Zitko applied for a STLCOP pharmacy residency and now she looks forward to advancing her skills during year two of the residency program.
“Next year, I hope to dive further into ambulatory care clinical pharmacy by pursuing a PGY2 ambulatory care residency program,” she says.
For more than 20 years, STLCOP has offered residency training programs. In addition, the College maintains affiliations with major hospitals, teaching institutions, managed care organizations, and major health care corporations in the St. Louis area, providing access to nearly 50 different residency rotations and preceptors.