Montefiore's New PGY2 Infectious Disease Pharmacy Residency Program: Training the Next Generation of Pharmacists to Fight Drug Resistance

With the rapid emergence of resistant bacteria and rise in the antibiotic resistance, infection control is a growing priority in healthcare facilities around the globe. Across the Montefiore Health System, infectious disease (ID) pharmacists are among the many clinicians that play an increasingly important role in patient wellness, positive outcomes, and evidence-based medicine. As experts in antimicrobial pharmacotherapy, ID pharmacists are in high demand.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identified that 20%–50% of all antibiotics prescribed in US acute care hospitals are either unnecessary or inappropriate. And new standards set by the Joint Commission emphasize the need to reduce the use of inappropriate antimicrobials in all health care settings due to antimicrobial resistance.

Yi Guo, PharmD, Director, PGY2 ID Pharmacy Residency Program
Yi Guo, PharmD, Director, PGY2 ID Pharmacy Residency Program

To that end, Montefiore’s Department of Pharmacy is excited to offer its first PGY2 Infectious Diseases Pharmacy Residency Training Program, beginning in July 2020. The year-long program, which is currently recruiting for one trainee, will aim to optimize patient care and train the future leaders of pharmacy in the field of infectious diseases and antimicrobial stewardship.

Combatting Ongoing Resistance

“The Bronx is a melting pot and we see so many infections from all over the world,” said Yi Guo, PharmD, Director of the PGY2 ID Pharmacy Residency Program, Clinical Pharmacy Manager of Infectious Diseases, Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine, and Co-director of Antibiotic Stewardship Program (ASP). “With an increasing limited supply of antimicrobials to combat ongoing resistance, there’s a great need to train the new generation of ID pharmacists to improve patient outcomes by ensuring appropriate use of these drugs.”

Throughout the training, the ID Pharmacy resident will gain a solid understanding of the pharmacokinetics (what the body does to a drug) and pharmacodynamics (how drugs effect an organism) of antimicrobial therapy and microbiology. Rotating among Montefiore’s four main campuses at Moses, Weiler, Wakefield, and CHAM, the resident will round with infectious disease consult teams in general ID, transplant ID, pediatric ID, and ASP. Elective rotations include Medical Intensive Care Unit, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Outpatient Parenteral Antimicrobial Therapy, Pediatric Vaccine Clinic, Pharmacokinetics Service, Infection Control, among others.

Victor Chen, PharmD, ID pharmacist and ID Pharmacy Residency Program preceptor at Weiler Hospital
Victor Chen, PharmD, ID pharmacist and ID Pharmacy Residency Program preceptor at Weiler Hospital

“By the end of their training, the resident will be able to optimize antimicrobials in their own practice and prevent the complications of resistance that arise from using antimicrobials for too long,” said Victor Chen, PharmD, an ID pharmacist and ID Pharmacy Residency Program preceptor at Weiler Hospital.

Montefiore’s Department of Pharmacy, under the leadership of Frank Sosnowski, MS, Director of Pharmacy, and Mark Sinnet, PharmD, FASHP, Director, Clinical and Educational Pharmacy Services, offers PGY1 pharmacy residency program and various clinical services in critical care, solid organ and bone marrow transplant, cardiology, oncology, ambulatory care among other specialties. The PGY 2 ID pharmacy residency program is a welcome addition.

An Exciting Career

"Thanks to the support of the hospital and department of pharmacy, we finally have a chance to build a state-of-the-art ID pharmacy residency program, said Priya Nori, MD, ASP medical director and Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine (Infectious Diseases) and Orthopaedic Surgery. “The ID division and antimicrobial stewardship program are thrilled to be a part of its inception.”

A pharmacist preparing antibiotics in Moses pharmacy
A pharmacist preparing antibiotics in Moses pharmacy

The profession of pharmacy has evolved over the past 20 years to focus on practicing evidence-based pharmacotherapy. Today, ID pharmacists take part in clinical care, teaching ID fellows and residents, and research. Recently, Drs. Guo and Chen were awarded a grant to investigate patient outcomes by comparing oral vancomycin vs. fidaxomicin in immunocompromised patients with C. difficile infection.

“ID is a hot field for pharmacy and we’re looking forward to having our first ID pharmacy resident join the clinical team this summer,” Dr. Guo said. “It’s an exciting career.”

To learn more about Montefiore’s ID Pharmacy Resident Training Program go to