Pharmacy Residency Iowa Methodist Medical Center


Pharmacy Residency Program Overview

The Department of Pharmacy at Iowa Methodist Medical Center includes a team of over 90 pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, support staff and interns. The Department of Pharmacy utilizes a decentralized model to ensure that pharmacists are readily accessible to patients and other members of the health care team. The pharmacy staff is well integrated within the health care team, participating in patient care rounds, providing pharmacy consult services, educating patients, performing medication reconciliation activities and offering experiential education opportunities to many central Iowa students. Pharmacists within the Department of Pharmacy at Iowa Methodist Medical Center are highly qualified and well respected within the institution. These pharmacists and technicians are committed to providing a great learning environment for both our students and residents.

PGY-1 Residency

Purpose Statement
PGY1 pharmacy residency programs build on Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) 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.
Program Overview
Pharmacists completing this residency will be able to provide proficient, confident and compassionate medication-related care in both acute and ambulatory healthcare environments. Residents will be accountable for promoting safe and effective medication use and achieving optimal drug therapy outcomes as vital members of the healthcare team. These practitioners will develop skills in educating other healthcare professionals, patients and community members on drug therapy-related topics and will gain experience in conducting pharmacy-practice-related research. They will be proficient in managing all segments of the medication use process, from medication selection and product dispensing to drug therapy monitoring and medication administration. Residents will gain experience in leadership and mentorship while developing confidence and independence. Experience gained during the residency year will prepare the resident to pursue a variety of interests including: PGY2 training, academia and clinical practice in either a hospital or clinic.
Program Outcomes

Upon completion of this PGY1 residency, the pharmacist will:

  • Demonstrate proficiency, confidence and compassion in providing pharmaceutical care to multiple patient populations.
  • Design, conduct and evaluate investigations of pharmacy practice-related issues.
  • Demonstrate professionalism and maturity in all aspects of practice.
  • Exhibit proficiency and confidence in all areas of pharmacy practice, including drug provision, distribution and pharmacy management.
  • Educate patients and health care providers on effective and safe medication use.
  • Manage the medication use process including programs to promote patient safety.
  • Competently and efficiently teach pharmacy students in both didactic and experiential settings.

Curriculum Structure

The resident's training will be conducted primarily at Iowa Methodist Medical Center. However, nearby clinics and hospitals (all in Des Moines) may serve as practice sites depending on the goals of the resident and the program. Travel to Drake University will be required for academic activities.

Pharmacy Residency Teaching

The resident will receive an appointment as a Clinical Instructor at the Drake University College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences. This will allow the resident the opportunity to complete a series of seminars for new faculty at Drake and develop their experiential teaching skills by co-precepting Doctor of Pharmacy students from Drake on rotation at Iowa Methodist Medical Center. This will include day-to-day instruction in patient care rounds, participation in Journal Club, Pharmacy rounds and other activities. Additionally, residents will have several opportunities for didactic teaching at Drake including completely co-teaching an elective course in the College of Pharmacy that will give residents the opportunity to design and deliver lectures, active learning exercises, examination question development and grading coursework. At the end of the year graduating residents will receive a teaching certificate.

Drake University is a mid-sized, private university located in Des Moines, Iowa. The university strives to provide students with an exceptional learning environment through collaborative learning, research opportunities and community service. The College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences offers a variety of programs in pharmacy, health sciences, occupational therapy and athletic training. Iowa Methodist Medical Center partners with Drake University.


  1. Resident candidates must possess a Doctor of Pharmacy degree (or equivalent) from an Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) accredited degree program (or one in process of pursuing accreditation) or have a Foreign Pharmacy Graduate Equivalency Committee (FPGEC) certificate from the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP).
  2. Resident candidates shall be licensed to practice pharmacy in the state of Iowa or be eligible to obtain licensure by August 1 of the residency year.
  3. Resident candidates shall adhere to the rules of the resident matching program process.
  4. Resident candidates shall meet all other pre-employment requirements for UnityPoint Health-Des Moines including, but not limited to, a pre-employment physical, drug screen and background check.
Core Learning Experiences
  • Hospital Pharmacy Practice (orientation for 5 weeks, then longitudinal throughout residency year)
  • General Pediatrics (4 weeks)
  • Infectious Disease (4 weeks)
  • Internal Medicine (6 weeks)
  • Medical Intensive Care (4 weeks)
  • Pharmacy Management (1 month)
  • Clinical Management (longitudinal - 11 months)
  • Teaching (longitudinal - 5 months)
Elective Learning Experiences
  • Adult Palliative Care (2-4 weeks)
  • Ambulatory Care (2-4 weeks)
  • Cardiology (2-4 weeks)
  • Emergency Medicine (2-4 weeks)
  • Mental Health (2-4 weeks)
  • Oncology (4 weeks)
  • Pediatric Hematology/Oncology (2-4 weeks)
  • Pediatric Infectious Disease (2-4 weeks)
  • Pediatric Intensive Care (4 weeks)
  • Pediatric Palliative Care (2-4 weeks)
  • Renal/Transplant (2-4 weeks)
  • Surgery/Trauma (4 weeks)
  • Others as discussed
Staffing Responsibilities

During the residency year, residents will complete a longitudinal staffing rotation. Residents will be required to staff every third weekend on Saturday and Sunday from 7 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. Residents will receive a free "comp" day to be used once a month as a day off for staffing weekends. Residents will also be required to work a half-shift in the evening from 3:30-9 p.m. once a week except the week following weekend staffing. Residents will also be required to staff a major holiday and one day surrounding a major holiday.

  • Major holidays include: Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.
  • Shift (day or evening) will be determined based on schedule needs.

While staffing, residents will be covering assigned floors and activities will include: order verification, clinical consults (vancomycin dosing, warfarin dosing, etc.), medication reconciliation and answering drug information questions from nurses and physicians. Residents will be thoroughly trained their first month of residency, so they feel fully confident staffing. Typically, residents will cover internal medicine and surgical floors with the option to staff more specialized areas later in the year. If desired, residents will also have the opportunity to pick up extra shifts moonlighting for additional pay later in the residency year.

Projects and Activities
  • One clinical/practice research project to be presented at regional resident's conference
  • Medication usage evaluations
  • Drug information projects: author or contribute to a formulary monograph and/or class review
  • Completion of one Pharmacy Grand Rounds presentation
  • Completion of Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM) Resident Course
  • Various practice management projects
  • Other activities as determined by the program and the resident
  • Journal Club in conjunction with medical residents
  • Completion of the teaching certificate program through Drake University's College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
  • Eighty-five percent (85%) of goals and objectives scored as achieved for residency
PGY-1 Pharmacy Practice Residency Summary Information
  • Accreditation: ASHP Accredited
  • Program Code: 61500
  • ASHP Match #: 153813
  • Number of Residents: 3
  • Hospital Size: 450 beds
  • Number of Preceptors: 15
  • Salary: $48,500
  • Paid Vacation Days: 10 days of PTO. One comp day per four week learning experience. Residents have PTO available for illness, interviews, personal days, and extended weekends for travel to home or special personal or family events.
  • Leave: Professional Leave Attendance at professional meetings is considered part of professional responsibilities, not PTO. Medical and Personal Leave of Absence Residents may apply for a leave of absence for medical reasons, personal reasons, military service and jury duty per UnityPoint Health HR policy.
  • Travel: Reimbursement for all reasonable trainee expense including meeting registration, travel, hotel (double occupancy), and meals. PGY1 Residents typically attend two meetings, the ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting and the Midwest Pharmacy Residency Conference. *Due to COVID-19 availability and participation may change
  • Health Benefits: dental, vision, prescription drug, life insurance, disability
  • Staffing: Two eight hour shifts every third weekend, ½ evening shift/week
  • Other: Professional meeting attendance (ASHP Midyear and regional residency conference), convenient underground parking, paid holidays, designated resident office, reference material stipend, access to Health Sciences Library, BCLS/ACLS Certification (ACLS optional), free on-site fitness facilities access, one comp day for every 4-week learning experience and UnityPoint Health team members may present their ID badge to ride any Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority - DART bus for free.


What I Like About Des Moines

What I Like About the Pharmacy Residency Program

Application Process


Candidates must complete the Phorcas residency application before the deadline listed on the ASHP residency site, and include the following:

  • Personal statement/letter of intent
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Verified pharmacy education transcripts

Virtual and/or in person interviews will be scheduled in February. As part of each interview, candidates will participate in a clinical case workup. Applicants must be authorized to work for any employer in the U.S. The UnityPoint Health – Des Moines Pharmacy Residency Program is unable to sponsor or take over sponsorship of employment Visas at this time.

The deadline for receipt of all application materials vis PhORCAS is January 1, 2022. To support public health efforts during the current pandemic, we will align with ASHP recommendations to conduct all interviews virtually. Virtual and/or in-person interviews will be scheduled in January or February. As a part of each interview, candidates will be required to present a 20-minute journal club or participate in a clinical case work-up.

Applicants must be authorized to work for any employer in the US. The UnityPoint Health – Des Moines Pharmacy Residency program is unable to sponsor or take over sponsorship of employment Visas at this time.
Resident Matching Program
As an ASHP-Accredited site, this pharmacy practice residency program will participate in the ASHP residency matching process. Applicants must be enrolled in the match to be considered for this program. Our ASHP match number is: 153813. More information about the ASHP residency matching process may be obtained at:

Key Faculty

Current Residents

Past Resident Bios


Dr. Brittni Gerdts, PharmD - Dr. Brittni Gerdts is originally from Clarinda, Iowa. She graduated from Creighton University with a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) in May 2021. Brittni's current practice interests include critical care, emergency medicine, cardiology, and behavioral health. Her residency project evaluated the impact of pharmacist-facilitated discharge medication reconciliation on preventing adverse drug events and consequential re-admissions. Upon completion of her pharmacy practice residency, she will be a clinical patient care pharmacist with Nebraska Methodist Health System. Her favorite things about completing a residency at Iowa Methodist Medical Center was the collaborative practice model working with the medical residents, attendings, preceptors, and clinical staff. There was a healthy balance of mutual respect and peer-based learning which provided a very positive and memorable experience during residency. She also enjoyed the opportunities to co-precept and mentor pharmacy students, providing professional guidance and promoting self-confidence as residents grow simultaneously in their own pharmacy practice.

Dr. Kimberly Owen, PharmD - Dr. Kimberly Owen is originally from Reedley, California. She attended California State University, Fresno, for her undergraduate degree in mathematics and earned her Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) from Creighton University in May 2021. Kimberly's current areas of interest include infectious diseases and pediatrics. Her residency project evaluated the time to optimal antibiotics utilizing the expanded pathogen identification of the Biofire Blood Culture Identification 2 panel compared to the first generation Biofire Blood Culture Identification panel. Upon completion of her residency, Kimberly is excited to be continuing her career as a pharmacist at Iowa Methodist Medical Center. Her favorite aspects of the residency were the incredible relationships she developed, both within the pharmacy team and through interprofessional collaboration. The variety of learning experiences offered during her residency provided Kimberly with a broad knowledge base and the opportunity to learn from dedicated, experienced, and engaged pharmacy preceptors.

Dr. Karlie Seiler, PharmD - Dr. Karlie Seiler is originally from West Des Moines, Iowa. She graduated from The University of Iowa College of Pharmacy with her Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) and Certificate of Palliative Care in May of 2021. Karlie's current practice interests include pediatric and adult hematology/oncology and palliative and supportive care. Her residency project evaluated the current management of urinary tract infections in term infants < 60 days of age and effects following the implementation of a standardized approach. Upon completion of her PGY1 residency, Karlie will be completing a PGY-2 in oncology at M Health Fairview – University of Minnesota Medical Center. What she enjoyed most about her time at Iowa Methodist Medical Center were the relationships she was able to form with her co-residents, pharmacy staff, and providers while advancing her clinical knowledge in a wide range of clinical settings.



Dr. Haley Noeldner, PharmD - Dr. Haley Noeldner is originally from Waconia, Minnesota. She graduated with a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) from the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy on the Duluth campus in May of 2020. Haley's current practice interests include infectious diseases, transplant and oncology. Her residency project evaluated the clinical utility of MRSA nasal PCR assays beyond respiratory infections. The results of her study will be used to expand the local pharmacy Collaborative Practice Agreement (CPA) to allow pharmacists to order MRSA nasal swabs for patients outside of pneumonias in order to help guide and improve antimicrobial stewardship efforts. Upon completion of residency, Haley will be moving back to Minnesota where she has accepted a clinical pharmacist position at a critical access hospital. What she enjoyed most about residency at Iowa Methodist Medical Center was the wide variety of opportunities she was able to experience on rotations and the amazing relationships she was able to establish with not only pharmacy preceptors/staff, but also medical residents and providers.

Dr. Saidee Oberlander, PharmD - Dr. Saidee Oberlander is originally from Valley City, North Dakota. She graduated from North Dakota State University with her Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree in May of 2020. Her current practice interests include internal medicine, critical care, infectious disease, and cardiology. Saidee's residency project evaluated the effect of intravenous azithromycin on the QTc interval of ICU patients. Upon completion of her pharmacy practice residency, she will begin her new role as an inpatient pharmacist at Sanford Health in Bismarck, North Dakota and is working towards completion of Board Certification in Pharmacotherapy. Saidee's favorite things about her residency at Iowa Methodist Medical Center were the wide variety of rotational experiences and the opportunity to get to know and work closely with providers, medical residents, pharmacists and her co-residents.

Dr. Victoria Smith, PharmD - Dr. Victoria Smith is originally from Rochester, MN. She attended the University of Minnesota for her undergraduate degree in biochemistry as well as her PharmD, graduating in 2020. Her current practice interests include internal medicine, nephrology, pain management and antibiotic stewardship. Her residency project was Impact of Pharmacist Medication Assessment in Patients with High Fall Risk at a Community Teaching Hospital. Upon completion of her residency, Victoria will be a PRN clinical pharmacist at UnityPoint Health - Des Moines. Her favorite aspects of residency were building relationships with residents and students across professions and the flexibility to adapt the residency to her evolving interests. In her free time, Victoria enjoys trying new recipes, going to farmer's markets and cheering on the Golden Gophers.


Dr. Jillian Ginger, PharmD - Dr. Jillian Ginger is originally from Pleasantville, Iowa. She completed her undergraduate degree in Microbiology at the University of Iowa and went on to obtain her Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) with a certificate in palliative care from the University of Iowa in May of 2019. Her current practice interests include pain management and palliative care, infectious diseases and pediatric hematology/oncology. Jillian's residency project evaluated the impact of adding a pharmacist to the palliative care team. The results of her study will be used to create a business proposal for the addition of a Pain, Palliative Care and Opioid Stewardship Pharmacist position at UnityPoint Health-Des Moines as well as the ability to continue to offer Adult and Pediatric Palliative Care Learning Experiences for future pharmacy residents. Upon completion of her residency, Jillian will start as a PRN clinical pharmacist at UnityPoint Health-Des Moines. The things she enjoyed most about the residency were establishing rapport and working alongside many different providers, the ability to make the residency what she wanted and learning from the dedicated residency preceptors. 

Dr. Jenna Manatrey-Lancaster, PharmD - Dr. Jenna Manatrey-Lancaster is originally from Norwalk, Iowa. She graduated from Drake University with a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) and concentration in Diabetes Medication Management in May of 2019. Jenna's current practice interests include nuclear pharmacy, trauma and surgery, critical care and internal medicine. Her residency project evaluated impact of BioFire FilmArray respiratory panel results on antibiotic days of therapy and clinical decision making. Results of her project will be used to identify and implement a strategy to improve judicious ordering of respiratory panels and increase result utilization in an effort to promote antimicrobial stewardship, improve quality of care and reduce healthcare costs. Upon completion of her pharmacy practice residency, she will be a nuclear pharmacist with Cardinal Health and stay on part-time as a clinical pharmacist at Iowa Methodist Medical Center. Her favorite things about completing a residency at Iowa Methodist Medical Center included the advanced pharmacy practice model and the opportunity to get to know and work closely with providers, medical residents and pharmacists.

Dr. Kylie Markovich, PharmD - Dr. Kylie Markovich is originally from Niles, Illinois and she graduated with a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa in May of 2019. Her current practice interests are infectious diseases, transplant and critical care. Her residency project was Implementation and Assessment of Pharmacist Driven Procalcitonin Collaborative Practice Agreement to Aid in Antimicrobial Stewardship. Since completing her PGY1 residency at Iowa Methodist Medical Center in June of 2020, Kylie is now at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Mississippi completing her PGY2 residency in Infectious Diseases. Upon completion of her clinical training, she plans to become board certified in infectious diseases pharmacotherapy and work as an infectious disease pharmacist. What she enjoyed most about her residency at Iowa Methodist Medical Center was the great relationships with providers and preceptors.


Dr. Nicholas Kayser, PharmD - Dr. Nicholas Kayser is originally from Lake Mills, IA. He graduated from The University of Iowa College of Pharmacy with a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) in May of 2018. His current practice interests include pediatrics and critical care. His residency project evaluated NICU gentamicin trough levels based on Blank Children's Hospital unique dosing algorithm. Upon completion of his pharmacy practice residency, he will be a clinical pharmacist at Stead Family Children's Hospital in Iowa City, IA. His favorite things about completing a residency at Iowa Methodist Medical Center were the close relationships with providers and the advanced pharmacy practice model.

Dr. Vilailack Kheuakham, PharmD - Dr. Vilailack Kheuakham is originally from Des Moines, Iowa. She completed her undergraduate degrees in Biology and Healthcare Administration at Grand View University and Mercy College of Health Sciences. She went on to receive her Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree from the University of Iowa in May of 2018. Ve's current practice interests include infectious disease, internal medicine, cardiology and critical care. Her residency project involved comparing and evaluating the impact on 30-day mortality rates in patients with Gram-negative bacteremia treated with definitive intravenous therapy versus those de-escalated to oral therapy. After completion of this residency, Ve will continue her career as a PRN clinical pharmacist at Iowa Methodist Medical Center and has accepted a position at the Veterans Affairs Health Systems in Des Moines. Her favorite things about completing a residency at Iowa Methodist Medical Center were experiencing the advanced pharmacy practice, establishing a positive pharmacist-provider-patient relationship and having the opportunity to precept pharmacy students.

Dr. Mackenzie Leal, PharmD - Dr. Mackenzie Leal is originally from Blue Grass, Iowa. She completed her undergraduate degree in Chemistry with a minor in Zoology at Western Illinois University. She went on to receive her Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) from Drake University in May 2018. Her residency project evaluated vancomycin dosing in the neonatal intensive care unit and developed a new vancomycin-dosing algorithm. Upon completion of her pharmacy practice residency, Mackenzie will be a clinical pharmacist at the Central Iowa VA Health Care System. The things that she enjoyed most about completing her residency at Iowa Methodist was learning from the preceptors and staff pharmacists and the advanced pharmacy practice.


For the longitudinal research project component, how are topics chosen?
Dr. Laura Elliott: The residency preceptor group and leadership develop a list of potential research topics prior to the residency year kicking off. The list is based on needs at either the local or system level for quality improvement or are thought to be impactful. We are also open to ideas that residents bring and encourage exploration of their own personal areas of interest. We've had two years in a row where residents have developed their own project ideas and carried them out with great success.
How is pharmacy integrated into the health care team (i.e. what kind of relationships do pharmacists have with other providers)?
Dr. Kelli Cunningham: Our relationship with providers is one of the reasons I love working at UnityPoint Health – Des Moines. Our providers truly value our input and seek us out if we are not in rounds. We are considered an integral part of the medical team and are able to practice at the top of our license due to the amount of respect we hold on the team.
In what areas have past residents found employment?
Dr. Allie Schlicher: Residents that graduate from our program are extremely well-rounded. A large number of residents have chosen to stay on at UnityPoint Health – Des Moines! Other residents have pursued additional residencies in oncology, ID and administration, or have taken clinical pharmacist positions at other hospitals.
What are the staffing requirements for this residency?
Dr. Allie Schlicher: Residents will complete an orientation month in July to familiarize themselves with EPIC, our collaborative practice agreements and the hospital's policies and procedures. After orientation, the residents will staff every third weekend (7 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.). On the weekends, pharmacists are centralized in the main pharmacy to verify orders and complete consults. Additionally, they send up first doses of medications, answer phone calls, check oral syringes, fill the narcotic safe and complete consults. The resident will staff one evening each week, except the week after their weekend (these hours are 3:30 – 9 p.m.). During staffing shifts, the resident will cover internal medicine or surgery floors. The resident will be responsible for verifying orders, completing new and continuing consults, obtaining medication histories and performing chart reviews as needed.
What changes do you foresee happening with the residency program in the near future?
Dr. Allie Schlicher: Our elective rotation options will continue to expand – we are currently looking into a psychiatry elective. Our program would love to expand to include a PGY-2 program in ID.
What do you like best about living in Des Moines?
Dr. Kelli Cunningham: I love Des Moines! It's a wonderfully kept secret in the Midwest offering some unique and great places to eat, craft breweries, hundreds of miles of bike trails around the metro and surrounding communities, great art and theatre culture and a short commute (even from the suburbs!).
What is something that you feel is unique to this residency program?

Dr. Amanda Bushman: It is small enough to know everyone and foster relationships yet large enough to offer diverse patient care, opportunities, and resources.

Dr. Allie Schlicher: There are a large number of elective rotations that provide flexibility for the resident to complete two- or four-week rotations, so each resident can adapt the schedule to meet their interest areas. Iowa is very pro-pharmacy and we have developed 25+ collaborative practice agreements so we have a lot of autonomy to provide patient care. Collaborative practice agreements include – vancomycin, aminoglycoside, warfarin, parenteral nutrition, electrolyte management, asplenia, oncology dose rounding, IV to PO and many, many more.

What is the overall relationship like between residency preceptors and the residents?
Dr. Kelli Cunningham: Our preceptors truly care about the residents – their success and as individuals. We get to know the residents on a personal level due to the amount of time we spend with them on learning experiences throughout the year. We all invest a lot of our time and energy into helping them grow into successful pharmacists and individuals and we value their input in making changes to the residency program to help train the next generation of pharmacy practice residents.
What opportunities are there for residents to teach – both formally or informally?
Dr. Allie Schlicher: The residents informally teach P4 students on many rotations (pediatrics, internal medicine, ID, etc.). The resident will often "run the list" with the student prior to rounds to answer any questions that might arise. In addition, the residents have a wonderful opportunity to co-teach a laboratory elective at Drake University in the spring. Each resident is responsible for communicating with students, developing and presenting lectures, creating active learning activities and writing exam questions. During their residency year, they will also attend the new faculty development series and earn a teaching certificate. Most residents find this to be a very rewarding part of residency!
What opportunities for electives are available to residents?
Dr. Allie Schlicher: Since I graduated from this residency 10 years ago – the electives have multiplied as our pharmacy team continues to become established in different areas of the health care teams. We now offer palliative care (pediatric and adult), pediatric infectious disease, PICU, hematology/oncology (pediatric and adult), kidney transplant, trauma/surgery, emergency department and cardiology. The residents will often work directly with the physicians and resident physicians to provide direct patient care.