Medication-Use Safety and Policy group

Residency Program Director

Contact Information: 
Phone: 916-734-8096
Department of Pharmacy
UC Davis Health
2315 Stockton Blvd, Room 1310
Sacramento, CA 95817

Ashley Trask, Pharm.D.
Medication Safety Officer, UC Davis Health
Department of Pharmacy
UC Davis Health

2021-2022 Resident: 
Priscilla Liu, Pharm.D.

Unique experiences:

  • Pharmacy Peer Responder (provides psychological first aid and support to fellow staff and residents experiencing stressful or traumatic patient-related events)

  • Member of Vizient Quality Safety and Compliance Committee

  • Member of UC Health Medication Safety Officers Collaborative Team

ASHP Directory listing:

UC Davis Health PGY-2 Medication Use Safety and Policy Residency Purpose

PGY2 pharmacy residency programs build on Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) education and PGY1 pharmacy residency programs to contribute to the development of clinical pharmacists in specialized areas of practice. PGY2 residencies provide residents with opportunities to function independently as practitioners by conceptualizing and integrating accumulated experience and knowledge and incorporating both into the provision of patient care or other advanced practice settings. Residents who successfully complete an accredited PGY2 pharmacy residency are prepared for advanced patient care, academic, or other specialized positions, along with board certification, if available. 

Program Overview

The PGY2 Medication Use Safety and Policy Residency is designed to transition PGY1 residency graduates from generalist practice to a specialized role as an organizational leader with the skills and abilities to lead multidisciplinary teams, respond to change, and direct projects intended to maintain safe systems and strive for zero harm.

Residents exit the program with content matter knowledge about drug information and medication policy, principles of human error and human factors engineering, medication-use safety nomenclature, management of drug shortages to minimize medication errors, and performing organizational safety culture assessments. They can interpret and synthesize information from a variety of sources to formulate recommendations for process improvement and have experience designing clinical decision support to mitigate errors. They are trained to be highly effective communicators and experienced project managers. They can effectively represent the medication-use safety perspective when considering the design of technology and automation systems at the organizational level.

Graduates also demonstrate experience in the design and delivery of medication safety-related education to a full scope of concerned audiences including patients, health care professionals, and health care professionals-in-training. Their knowledge of policies and process provide them with the ability to assess staff competence in the delivery of patient care and the safe use of medications. They are equipped to promote the cause of medication safety through the conduct of research and quality improvement work on medication safety-related topics.

UC Davis Health and Pharmacy Services

UCDH is a major academic health center located in Sacramento, California. Pharmacy services recruits, hires, and trains caregivers to provide progressive pharmacy services as collaborative team members to support optimal patient outcomes. The Department of Pharmacy values wellness and resilience and has developed layered resources to support learners and staff. Opportunities exist for residents to participate in the Wellness Program, and to serve as Wellness Ambassadors or Peer Responders. Peer Responders provide psychological first aid and support to fellow staff and residents experiencing stressful or traumatic patient-related events. Residents are also paired with a mentor and frequent check-ins are encouraged.

More about the Department can be found on our Webpage:

Educational Outcomes Required by the Accreditation Standard:

R1. Assess safe and effective medication-use systems and policies.

R2. Conduct medication-use data collection and analysis.

R3. Design safe and effective medication-use systems/policies.

R4. Manage drug shortages and supply interruptions.

R5. Conduct evaluations of medication-use technology.

R6. Conduct medication-use research.

R7. Demonstrate the leadership and management skills.

R8. Demonstrate effective teaching, education, and dissemination of knowledge.

The UCDH PGY2 Medication Use Safety and Policy Residency is a diverse experience designed to develop the resident’s skill in safety principles, leadership, research, planning, and process improvement. The resident will train alongside 2 full-time medication safety pharmacists and will coordinate a multidisciplinary medication safety committee with oversight for identifying and resolving medication safety and policy issues within the institution. Residents will gain experience and skills in adverse event analysis, reporting, and mitigation strategies; project management; quality improvement; drug shortage management; hospital accreditation survey readiness and compliance with national and state regulations; maximizing clinical decision support with eHR; smart pump utilization and drug library management; and policy and guideline development.

Residents and RPD’s will determine the length of certain rotational opportunities and target areas for growth as the residency progresses.

Program Structure

The PGY-2 Medication Use Safety and Policy Residency is a full-time, one-year commitment, beginning on July 1st and ending on June 30th, unless alternative dates are pre-arranged.  Clearance to start work by UCDH Employee Health and a Human Resources orientation meeting must be completed prior to July 1st.

Proposed Calendar of Activities:


1st rotation block begins (Orientation)

Entering assessment

Establish residency goals/customized learning plan

Select research project and a medication safety topic for Grand Rounds

Orientation to committees (Vizient QSC, UC Health Med Safety Officers Collaborative, UC Davis Health Medication Error Reduction Committee)


Prepare research protocol

2nd rotation block begins (Regulatory)

Longitudinal rotations begin (Ops, Med Safety Staffing, Project Management, & Research)

Attend committee meetings monthly


3rd rotation block begins mid-month (Quality Improvement)

IRB deadline for research project

Vizient Education Summit, optional


1st quarter development plan due

Start residency recruitment for following year

ASHP Leaders Conference, optional

California Society of Health Systems Pharmacists Annual Meeting, optional


4th rotation block begins (suggestion: Poster)

Deadline for submitting poster to ASHP MCM and Vizient Pharmacy Network Meeting

5th rotation block (Lean Six Sigma elective or Grand Rounds)


Vizient Pharmacy Network Meeting & Poster Session

ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting & Poster Session

5th rotation block begins (Clinical Informatics elective)


2nd quarter development plan due

6th rotation block begins (Formulary Management & Supply Chain)


7th rotation block begins mid-month (Automation & Technology)

Residency candidate interviews

Compile research project results and prepare draft presentation to RPD


Complete research project deliverables


3rd quarter development plan due

8th rotation block begins (Leadership)


UC Collaborative: Pharmacy Research Conference

9th rotation block begins (Grand Rounds or Lean Six Sigma elective)


ASHP Medication Safety Collaborative, optional

10th rotation block begins (elective of choice)

Complete exit interview, residency requirements checklist, program evaluation

Longitudinal Activities:

  • Grand Rounds presentation on a medication safety topic
  • Research project
  • Committee coordination
  • Safety Huddle participation
  • Nursing Orientation Medication Safety lecture monthly
  • Self evaluation reflection
  • Teaching Program (if not completed during PGY1)
  • Mentorship program
  • Professional society involvement
  • Service requirements (weekend & evening staffing requirements)

    Program Learning Experiences:

    Required Experiences

    Learning Experience


    Automation & Technology

    Block (6 weeks)

    Formulary Management & Pharmacy Supply Chain

    Block (6 weeks)

    Grand Rounds

    Block (2 weeks)

    Inpatient Gen Med/Cards Evening Staffing

    Longitudinal (11 months)


    Block (4 weeks)

    Medication Safety Staffing: Managing Safe Systems

    Longitudinal (11 months)


    Block (4 weeks)

    Pharmacy Operations

    Longitudinal (11 months)


    Block (2 weeks)

    Project Management & Safe System Design

    Longitudinal (11 months)

    Quality Improvement

    Block (6 weeks)


    Block (6 weeks)


    Longitudinal (11 months)

    Elective Experiences

    • Academia (2 weeks)
    • Automation & Technology 2: Smart Pumps Focus (4 weeks)
    • Clinical Informatics (4 weeks)
    • Drug Diversion (4 weeks)
    • Focused Research (2 weeks) *for research opportunities separate from longitudinal research project
    • International Rotation (2 weeks)
    • Lean Six Sigma (2 weeks)
    • Pediatric Medication Safety (4 weeks)
    • Publication (2 weeks)
    • STLP I & II (Longitudinal 12 weeks each)
    • Mentorship I & II (Non-evaluated experience, Longitudinal 12 weeks each)

      UC Davis Health PGY-2 Medication Use Safety and Policy Resident’s Role in Teaching:
      UC Davis Health offers many opportunities for both clinical and didactic teaching. The resident will be responsible for assisting preceptors with clerkship teaching for University of California, San Francisco pharmacy students and UC Davis Health PGY-1 pharmacy residents. The resident will assume the primary preceptor role for UCSF pharmacy students for at least one rotation but may be encouraged to do more if deemed appropriate by preceptors.  The PGY-2 Medication Use Safety resident will be required to prepare an ACPE accredited pharmacy grand rounds presentation on an appropriate medication safety-related topic, based on the resident's interests and a department needs assessment.  In addition, the resident may choose to participate in academic teaching at regional schools of pharmacy, or through the Center for the Professional Practice of Nursing, with the approval of the Program Director. The resident will have the ability to participate in the UC Davis Teaching Certificate program if they are so inclined.

      Residency Research Project:
      All UCDH PGY2 residents are required to complete a research project and present their research in a podium presentation at the UC Collaborative Conference or other regional meeting. In preparation for conducting their research project, the resident will complete UCDH IRB-required training and certification. The resident will prepare a project proposal, which will be reviewed and approved by the UCDH Pharmacy Residency Oversight Committee (PROC). The resident will also submit their project to the Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee. They will submit to IRB for review, before embarking on their research. Upon completion of the project, the resident will be required to summarize their research project for the Department newsletter and prepare and submit a manuscript. PGY2 residents will be highly encouraged to prepare an electronic poster suitable for submission.

      Committee Assignments:
      The PGY2 Medication Use Safety and Policy resident will participate in various internal and external committees, as assigned by the PGY2 Medication Use Safety and Policy residency program director. Assignments will be determined based on current department initiatives. The purpose of the resident’s committee involvement is to ensure the resident gains exposure to the medication safety pharmacists’ role in activities related to quality-improvement, medication safety, safe handling of high alert and hazardous drugs, guideline development and assessment/implementation of technology and automation within the institution and pharmacy department. Committees in which medication safety pharmacists play a key role at UCDH include: Medication Error Reduction Committee, Pharmacy & Therapeutics Committee, Nursing Pharmacy Medication Safety Committee, Perioperative Medication Safety Committee, and the Pediatric Medication Error Reduction Committee. The resident will also be expected to participate as the secretary of the University of California Health Medication Safety Officers Collaborative group, which unites the medication safety officers from all University of California Health campuses for monthly discussions and medication safety-related collaborative projects.

      Professional Development:
      The PGY2 Medication Use Safety and Policy resident is encouraged to maintain an active role in pharmacy professional organizations. The resident is expected to become a member of Vizient, participate in the Vizient Quality, Safety & Compliance Committee, and is strongly encouraged to attend the annual Vizient Pharmacy Network meeting in December. The resident is also strongly encouraged to become a member of the American Society of Health Systems Pharmacists (ASHP) and attend their annual Midyear Clinical Meeting in December. The resident salary includes a $2500 stipend for professional development/travel and professional leave time is provided to facilitate participation in professional development activities.

      Pharmacy Department Service:
      The PGY2 Medication Use Safety and Policy resident will be expected to provide pharmacy department service hours during evenings and weekends. This expectation will be met primarily by providing central pharmacy operations staffing coverage one weekend every 3 weeks (15 weekends) plus one major holiday block (Thanksgiving/Black Friday, Christmas Eve/Christmas Day or New Year's Eve/New Year’s Day). The PGY2 Medication Use Safety and Policy resident will also be expected to provide pharmacy department service hours during the evenings on a rotation with other pharmacy residents. A back-up operations pharmacist, or the Residency Program Director, will always be available on site or on-call, to advise and support the resident as needed. It is anticipated that the PGY2 resident will offset a staff pharmacist in the central pharmacy during weekend shifts, once competency is established.

      Required Competencies:
      Residents function as licensed pharmacist’s in patient care activities. As such, minimum knowledge in a variety of areas must be assured. Within one month of starting the residency, the resident must complete competencies required of all clinical pharmacists. Basic Life Support (BLS) certification, as well as Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) are required.

      Resident Portfolio:
      Residents will be required to maintain a file on the S drive under AC/Pharmacy/Resident throughout the residency year. This file will contain all presentations given during residency which include all lectures, in-services, journal clubs, competencies and associated evaluations; duty hours, Vacation Hours Worksheet; and a copy of the PGY-1 Residency Certificate.

      Sick Leave:
      Residents accrue 6 days of Extended Sick Leave each year. Use of sick leave is allowable beginning on the 3rd day of an extended illness and is subject to approval by the RPD consistent with Medical House Staff Policies and Procedures.

      Vacation, Holidays and Professional Leave:
      Residents earn 24 days of Paid Time Off (PTO), and 4 days for Professional Development each year. Use of leave must be arranged in advance with the RPD.

      Resident Personnel Policies:
      The following policies can be located in the Pharmacy Resident Personnel Manual located at

      • Resident Qualifications
      • Early Commitment Policy
      • Pre-employment drug testing
      • Health insurance and Benefits
      • Licensure requirement for 2/3 of the residency year
      • Moonlighting
      • Duty hours
      • Tracking of duty hours
      • Professional, family, and extended leave policies
      • Dismissal policy and consequences of failure to progress

      Requirements for successful completion of the residency:

      1. Copy of certificate of completion of PGY1 residency if PGY1 was performed in another program
      2. Pharmacy Licensure in California per pharmacy department residency policy
      3. Successful completion of all required rotations/learning experiences and associated assignments
      4. Successful completion of all required rotations/learning experiences with no outstanding “Needs Improvement” on any required rotation goals or objectives and a minimum of 80% reaching “Achieved” by the end of the residency year
      5. Completion of a research project
      6. Presentation of research project at UC Collaborative Conference (or equivalent)
      7. Preparation of manuscript for research project, suitable and submitted for publication
      8. Completed pharmacy operations staffing requirements as outlined by the residency program description
      9. Pharmacy Grand Rounds on a medication safety topic
      10. Completed end-of-year self-assessment and residency program evaluation
      11. Resident closeout completed in PharmAcademic with portfolio attachments uploaded
      12. A minimum of 12 months training inclusive of standard vacation, professional and sick leave