Relationship between pharmacy residency examination rank and specialty choice for French pharmacy residency-admitted students

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Olivier Fardel


Internship, Nonmedical, Pharmacy Residencies, Pharmacy Service, Hospital, Pharmacists, France


Objective: To analyze the link between the rank at the national pharmacy residency examination and the choice of pharmacy specialty for hospital residency-admitted French pharmacy students.

Methods: Examination ranks as well as the pharmacy residency specialty to which residency candidates are finally admitted were collected for all students (n=1948) having successfully passed the national French pharmacy residency examination over the period 2013-2016. Students were categorized by their pharmacy specialty for residency, i.e., “Medical Biology” (n=591), “Hospital Pharmacy” (n=1175) and “Pharmaceutical Innovation and Research” (n=182), and medians of examination ranks as well as limit ranks (the rank of the last admitted postulant) by specialty were compared.

Results:  Examination ranks for pharmacy residency-admitted students were found to significantly differ according to the nature of the specialty in which students were finally admitted. “Medical Biology” has the lowest examination ranks (and appears thus as the most selective specialty), followed by “Hospital Pharmacy” and ended by “Pharmaceutical Innovation and Research”, that has the highest examination ranks (and appears thus as the least selective specialty). Limit examination ranks were additionally shown to discriminate university hospitals in which residents were assigned. 

Conclusion: Specialty choice for hospital residency-admitted French pharmacy candidates is closely associated with their rank at the national pharmacy residency examination, which can be assumed as reflecting their academic level. By this way, an implicit hierarchy of French pharmacy residency specialties according to the academic level of postulants can likely be drawn.

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