Pharmacy Residency | MedStar Washington Hospital Center | MedStar Health

MedStar Washington Hospital Center Pharmacy virtual tour

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Pharmacy Residency Program at MedStar Washington Hospital Center

The purpose of the MedStar Washington Hospital Center’s PGY-1 pharmacy residency program is to build on Doctor of Pharmacy education and outcomes to contribute to the development of clinical pharmacists responsible for medication-related care of patients with a wide range of conditions, eligible for board certification, and eligible for postgraduate year two (PGY2) pharmacy residency training. Our program’s training emphasis is on acute care in a hospital setting. The program has been accredited by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists since 1994. Our preceptors are clinical coordinators and clinical specialists who work in their area of specialty.

MedStar Washington Hospital Center is a 912-bed, private, not-for-profit teaching hospital. U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks the Hospital Center’s cardiology and heart surgery program as one of the nation’s best. Respected specialty areas include MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute, Transplantation services, MedSTAR shock/trauma, and The Burn Center.

The Hospital Center is among the100 largest hospitals in the nation, and is renowned for handling the Washington region’s most complex cases. As one of the largest teaching hospitals in the Washington area, the Hospital Center trains more than 300 medical residents and fellows in more than 30 specialties annually. The Hospital Center is a member of MedStar Health, a regional health care delivery system serving the Baltimore-Washington corridor.

Pharmacy residents work with the health care team by collaborating during interdisciplinary rounds, monitoring drug therapy, providing drug information and educating patients, health care professionals and students. The program provides opportunities for residents to gain experience in delivering educational programs, participating in performance improvement projects as well as designing and completing a residency project. Residents have the opportunity to participate in the P&T committee as well as enhance leadership skills via one of the department’s Shared Governance Councils. The pharmacy department offers weekly onsite educational conferences including educational programs that are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) to enhance pharmacists’ knowledge and skills.

Graduated residents have pursued PGY-2 residencies, became clinical pharmacists, clinical specialists, preceptors, and leaders. Some have pursued opportunities at ASHP and the FDA.

Learning experiences

There are longitudinal learning experiences in staffing and residency project. In addition, each resident is required to complete core rotations and 3 elective learning experiences.

Core rotations:

  • Orientation
  • Internal Medicine
  • Drug information
  • Cardiology
  • Oncology
  • Medical Intensive Care
  • Surgical Intensive Care
  • Practice management
  • Advanced Heart Failure & Heart Transplant

Elective rotations:

Based on the resident’s progress and interests, resident may choose 3 elective learning experiences that include:

  • Antimicrobial Stewardship
  • Ambulatory Oncology
  • Palliative Care
  • Neuroscience Intensive Care
  • Burn/Trauma
  • Informatics
  • Compounding preparations
  • Pharmacogenomics
  • Neonatal Intensive Care
  • Health system administration


Residents complete projects throughout the program. These projects are in areas that are relevant to contemporary pharmacy practice and pharmacy management. Each project is an opportunity for residents to develop skills in collecting, analyzing and presenting data. Completion of a residency project is a requirement of the program. Residents present their residency projects at the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) midyear clinical meeting, our pharmacy department’s conference and Eastern States Conference for Pharmacy Residents and Preceptors.


Residents fulfill a service commitment on weekends by working with one of the pharmacy teams to provide pharmaceutical care.


Residents provide education to healthcare professionals, pharmacists, and pharmacy students. This is an opportunity to develop teaching and presentation skills. A teaching certificate is available.


Resident benefits include generous salary, health/vision/dental insurance, 10 paid vacation/sick days, seven holidays, stipend for attending professional pharmacy meetings, and free onsite ACPE educational programs.

Applicant requirements

All candidates must meet the following criteria:

  • Possess a PharmD from an ACPE-accredited school or college of pharmacy
  • Be eligible to apply for a license to practice pharmacy in the District of Columbia
  • Have completed 1,500 hours of professional pharmacy practice as a student or graduate pharmacist
  • Have completed an additional 400 hours of independent pharmacy work in distribution of medicines and prescriptions. This is work experience that is outside of school, a DC Board of Pharmacy requirement.
  • Participate in the ASHP PGY-1 Residency Matching Program
  • Eligible to work in the United States

Application requirements

Applicants are required to submit the following documents via PhORCAS:

  • Completed application
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Personal statement indicating professional goals and interests
  • Three standard recommendation forms
  • College of pharmacy transcripts

Application process

Individuals interested in applying should apply via the Pharmacy Online Residency Centralized Application System (PhORCAS) Qualified applicants will be invited for an interview. Candidates are selected based on professional competence, scholastic achievement, communication skills, interpersonal skills and comprehension of current standards of pharmacy practice. Candidates are matched via the ASHP Resident Matching Program.

Our program code is 174713

Program Director

Lama Kanawati, PharmD, BCPS
110 Irving Street, NW B147
Washington, D.C., 20010-2975

P 202- 877-3407

Residency preceptors

Wafaa Abou-Zeineddine, PharmD, BCPS
Pharmacist Clinical Specialist
Preceptor: Internal Medicine, Staffing

Julianna Gachoya, PharmD, BCPS, DPLA, MBA-MHA, BCSCP
Coordinator Pharmacy Services / Central Pharmacy
Preceptor: Compounding Preparations

Pauline Guthrie, RPH, PharmD
Clinical Coordinator
Preceptor: Oncology

Minhee Kang, PharmD, BCPS, BCOP
Clinical Pharmacist
Preceptor: Oncology

Lama Kanawati, PharmD, BCPS
Residency Program Director, Pharmacist Clinical Specialist
Preceptor: Medical Intensive Care

Bolanle Lawuyi, PharmD, BCPS, BCCP
Clinical Pharmacist
Preceptor: Cardiology

Zetta Leftridge, PharmD
Clinical Coordinator
Preceptor: Internal Medicine

Danyae Lee, PharmD, BCPS
Drug Information/Medication Safety Clinical Specialist
Preceptor: Drug Information

Bonnie Levin, PharmD, MBA
AVP, MedStar Health
Preceptor: Health System Administration

Quan Li, PharmD, BCPS, BCOP, DPLA
Clinical Coordinator, Ambulatory Services, Cancer Institute
Preceptor: Ambulatory Oncology

Victoria Ly, PharmD, BCCP
Pharmacist Clinical Specialist
Preceptor: Cardiology

Alexandra McPherson, PharmD, MPH
Palliative Care Clinical Specialist
Preceptor: Palliative Care

Sarah Norman, PharmD, BCPS
Antimicrobial Stewardship Clinical Specialist
Preceptor: Antimicrobial Stewardship

Lisa Peters, PharmD, BCPS
Pharmacist Clinical Specialist
Preceptor: Advanced Heart Failure & Heart Transplant

Max Smith, PharmD, BCPS
Pharmacogenomics Clinical Specialist
Preceptor: Pharmacogenomics

Clyde Spence, PharmD, MBA
Sr. Director of Pharmacy
Preceptor: Practice Management

Cynthia Willis, RPh, PharmD
Clinical Coordinator
Preceptor: Surgical Intensive Care, Neuroscience Intensive Care

Residency projects

Graduation year 2022


Evaluation of Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors and/or Beta-Blockers in Primary Prevention of Cardiac Dysfunction Caused by Anthracyclines and Trastuzumab in African American Breast Cancer Patients
Serena Mitaly, PharmD; Victoria Ly, PharmD, BCCP; Quan Li, PharmD, BCOP, BCPS, DPLA

Marijuana and Dietary Supplement Use in African American Hematology/Oncology Patients
Humam Alkhaled, PharmD; Quan Li, PharmD, BCOP, BCPS, DPLA

Effects of Immunosuppression Titration by Single Point Immune Cell Function Assay in Heart Transplants
Rita Chen, PharmD; Bolanle Lawuyi, PharmD, BCCP

Evaluation of the Safety of the New Alcohol Containing Cyclophosphamide Formulation
Tonya Wright, PharmD; Quan Li, PharmD, BCOP, BCPS, DPLA

Graduation year 2021


Evaluation of patients switching from direct oral anti-Xa inhibitors to parental anticoagulation in tertiary care hospital
Betlihem Semma, PharmD; Lisa Peters, PharmD, BCPS

Impact of pharmacist driven patient education on acute coronary syndrome patient outcomes
Rohina Bayat, PharmD; Lisa Peters, PharmD, BCPS

Impact of ketamine use on pain management in the emergency department
Manraj Kalkat, PharmD; Lama Kanawati, PharmD, BCPS

Pharmacist managed anticoagulation in LVAD patients in a large tertiary care hospital
Jessica Szatkowski, PharmD; Victoria Ly, PharmD

Graduation year 2020


Evaluation of moderate sedation outcomes in procedural areas by non-anesthesiologists
Nancy Tang, PharmD; Cynthia Willis, PharmD

Appropriateness of empiric antimicrobial treatment of septic patients transferred from skilled nursing facilities to a tertiary hospital
Dilbi Hussein, PharmD; Lama Kanawati, PharmD, BCPS

Evaluation of fentanyl transdermal systems for pain management in a tertiary hospital
Carlette Cavenaugh, PharmD; Diana Stewart, PharmD, BCPS

Evaluating the impact of nasal screening for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) on vancomycin therapy in the intensive care unit
Roshani Patel, PharmD; Jennifer Brandt, PharmD, FASHP, BCCCP

Graduation year 2019


Impact of a multiplex polymerase chain reaction system on antibiotic optimization Assessing the incidence of medication-related patient safety events
Gayle Unhjem, PharmD, MHS; Jennifer Brandt, PharmD, FASHP, BCCCP

Trace Element Supplementation in Burn Patients
Annmarie Cristiano, PharmD; Jennifer Brandt, PharmD, FASHP, BCCCP

Evaluation of ketamine use for postoperative pain management
Inna Perinskaya, PharmD; Lama Kanawati, PharmD, BCPS

Assessing the incidence of medication-related patient safety event reports
Lisa Pickmans, PharmD; Jennifer Brandt, PharmD, FASHP, BCCCP

Implementation of operating room pharmacy services in a tertiary care hospital
Inna Perinskaya, PharmD; Cynthia Willis, PharmD

Graduation year 2018


Evaluation of vancomycin-associated nephrotoxicity before and after implementation of an intensive pharmacist monitoring program
Sarah El-Gendi, PharmD; Zetta Leftridge, PharmD

Medication Safety events secondary to pump programming errors before and after implementation of an infusion management system
Taylor Kravatz, PharmD; Cynthia Willis, PharmD

Appropriateness of surgical antibiotic prophylaxis before and after guideline implementation
Erin Grannan, PharmD; Jennifer Brandt, PharmD, FASHP

De-escalation of broad-spectrum antibiotics in the intensive care unit
Mary McIntyre, PharmD; Jennifer Brandt, PharmD, FASHP