Establishing an Infectious Diseases Pharmacy Residency

Published on 23 October 2018

A trailblazer, mentor and Preceptor of the Year are just a few ways to describe Ryan Moenster, B.S. ’04, Pharm.D. ’05, FIDSA, BCPS-AQ ID, associate professor of pharmacy practice.

In 2005, Moenster began exploring residency programs as a student at St. Louis College of Pharmacy. After learning more about the College’s teaching opportunities and residency program partnership with the VA St. Louis Health Care System, he knew he wanted to continue to work alongside faculty with whom he had already established connections with as a student.

He participated in a postgraduate year one (PGY1) pharmacy residency at the VA St. Louis Health Care System through the College and learned how to provide direct patient care as part of a multidisciplinary team.

“After completing my PGY1 residency, I knew I wanted to stay at the VA because I enjoyed their scope of practice, but there weren’t any residency positions built around studying infectious diseases,” he said. “I worked with my program director, who happened to be Jack Burke at the time, and infectious diseases physicians at the VA to form a plan of how I could get the most experience working on the specialty side.”

Moenster was determined to forge a path that met his educational and personal interests. He transitioned into a postgraduate year two (PGY2) internal medicine residency and sought out additional opportunities to work with infectious diseases physicians rounding in the hospital. Working alongside the physicians allowed him to showcase the benefits of having a clinical pharmacist on their team.

His determination created a ripple effect and opened the doors for pharmacy residents interested in infectious diseases. Eventually, Moenster established the PGY2 Infectious Diseases Residency at the VA St. Louis Health Care System where residents participate in the inpatient infectious diseases consult service, the outpatient infectious diseases and HIV clinic, and manage the Outpatient Parenteral Antimicrobial Therapy program, a multidisciplinary model designed to monitor patients who require intravenous antimicrobial therapy in an outpatient setting.

“Most of the program was created while I was a resident,” he said. “After proving the need for infectious diseases pharmacy residents at the VA, I made it my goal to establish the program officially.”

After undergoing a live test and working directly with the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), the PGY2 infectious diseases residency position received full accreditation in 2016.

Today, Moenster serves as the residency program director and his work has been celebrated among his fellow preceptors and residents. He was recently named Preceptor of the Year by the College for his dedication to helping residents expand their clinical skills and knowledge.

“There is no way I would have gotten to where I am today if I didn’t have preceptors and mentors who helped me along the way,” he said. “I’m honored that I’m able to give back to the profession and help residents grow throughout their residency.”

Moenster has served as a preceptor at the VA St. Louis Health Care System for the past 12 years and has mentored multiple residents from the College as well as residents from sites around the city. As a preceptor, he has been responsible for mentoring and educating student pharmacists and residents on how to use their classroom knowledge in real-world practice.

“It’s like watching a journey of self-discovery,” he said. “I’m just here to witness their progress and create an environment where they can learn. It has been rewarding to step back and see my residents’ success within the College’s programs.“

To learn more about residency programs, visit stlcop.edu/residency.

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