"So...ya gonna do a residency?"

-Everyone ever


If you're reading this, you probably don't need me to tell you that residency training is an important step in your practice career.

"Here's a graph of my job offers, salary, and personal happiness thanks to my PGY1!"  -Recent Alumni of your Pharmacy School

"Here's a graph of my job offers, salary, and personal happiness thanks to my PGY1!"
-Recent Alumni of your Pharmacy School

That's been sold to you since your first week of pharmacy school.

Your professors have been saying it... 

The dean has been saying it...

Your school even brought in alumni guest speakers to shout from the mountaintops about how valuable their residency training was. 

But there's something that gets missed in the middle of all this residency excitement...

No one tells you how to actually get into residency.  

Sure, your enthusiastic guest speakers will talk about their personal story. They'll say how important it is to have "X, Y, and Z" on your CV. They'll talk about the power of networking and attending Midyear. They'll give you a list of one-off tactics you "have" to do, such as:

  • Get a bunch of professional student business cards

  • Get really awesome letters of recommendation

  • Use thick stock resume paper to print your CV

  • Present a poster at Midyear

  • Send hand-written thank you cards to everyone you speak to at the Residency Showcase

We're not knocking any of these tactics. The problem is that tactics are meaningless without strategy.

The secret weapon to guaranteeing a successful residency match

The secret weapon to guaranteeing a successful residency match

Do you really think that your CV printed on aged vellum is going to get you a residency if the rest of your application is weak?

These things are the dessert of your PhORCAS application. Not the meat and potatoes. 

The other problem with this "advice" is that thousands of other students are told the same thing. 

Literally thousands. Over 6100 students applied for the Match in 2017. More than 1000 of those students dropped out before ranking any programs (most because they did not get an interview). And in the final tally, just over 3400 students matched with a PGY1 program. 

If you run the numbers, you're left with this fact:

Only 56.2% of the students that apply for the Match actually get a residency. 

Your odds are basically 1 in 2. 

And the application process is expensive. By the time you add up

  • PhORCAS application fees

  • Registration for the Match

  • Registration for Midyear

  • Flight/hotel for Midyear

  • Flights/hotels for programs that grant you an interview

  • And business cards, CV copies, thank you cards, and postage

we're talking literally thousands of dollars

Are you willing to bet thousands of dollars of your money on a roll of the dice with 1 in 2 odds of success?

What if you could tip those odds in your favor?



Mastering the Match: How to Secure a Pharmacy Residency


“One Word: Enlightening!”
— Yewande D., Successful Match Participant
“I am confident that ‘Mastering the Match’ is a huge reason why I got a residency. I can’t emphasize how helpful this guide is!”
— Usma K., Successful Match Participant

Mastering the Match is your one stop shop for all things pharmacy residency. It's a step-by-step guide that walks you through every step of the process; from pre-midyear, to midyear, to post-midyear, to post-match. 

You'll learn how to make yourself an attractive candidate during your P1 - P3 years, how to win at Midyear, how to destroy your residency interviews, and everything in between. 


Who is Behind Mastering the Match?


Hi! Brandon Dyson and Sam Oh here. We're the creators of tl;dr pharmacy. You'd be pretty hard pressed to find anything from tl;dr pharmacy that doesn't have our grubby little fingerprints all over it. 

But for Mastering the Match, we wanted to go even bigger. We wanted to create the best resource available for securing a pharmacy residency. 

So we brought in an expert.

You may remember Stephanie Kujawski. She's the brains behind our posts on vancomycin, aminoglycosides, and pharmacokinetics

All of us are board certified, residency-trained pharmacists. We all come from different backgrounds, had different grades in pharmacy school, and and completed different PGY1 programs. We were all offered full time pharmacist positions with our residency programs after completing our PGY1s. And we all went on to become preceptors and now sit on the other side of the interview table from PGY1 applicants. 

The point is that we have gone through every one of the struggles that you're facing right now (and not too awfully long ago). We got past it and saw a lot of other pharmacy students muddling through the exact same hang-ups and anxieties about residency. 

So we created Mastering the Match: How to Secure a Pharmacy Residency. 

“I am so, so, SO GLAD I bought this!”
— Danielle D., Successful Match Participant
Accurate depiction of the residency process

Accurate depiction of the residency process

It's a "real talk" analysis of all the things we wish we knew before going into residency. But even more, Mastering the Match is also a collection of all the things we've learned since.

Mastering the Match is filled with actionable, "to the point" information that will help you untangle the ball of yarn that is pharmacy residency. 


What's Included in Mastering the Match?

Let's start with the basic chapter list: 

  1. PGY1s and the Match (an overview)

  2. The PhORCAS Guide

  3. The Cost of Residency Applications

  4. How to Write a Curriculum Vitae

  5. How (and who) to ask for Letters of Recommendation

  6. Surviving the Showcase

  7. Mastering Midyear

  8. How to Write a Letter of Intent/Cover Letter

  9. Residency Interviews: General Notes

  10. Residency Interviews: Clinical Cases

  11. Residency Interviews: Presentations

  12. Ranking Residency Programs

  13. Match Day

  14. What to do if you don't Match for Residency


Or, if you're the "I want to see an actual screen shot!" type, here ya go:



As you can see, Mastering the Match is broken down into 4 phases: 

Phase I: Before Midyear

This covers your P1 year all the way up to Midyear during your P4 year. You'll learn how to make yourself the type of candidate that's irresistible to PGY1 programs.

How do you write an earth-shattering CV? What experiences should go on your CV? Do you need to intern? Do research? Publish? Be student president of your school's chapter of ASHP? How does the Match work? How much money do you need to set aside to apply for residency? How (and who) do you ask for a Letter of Recommendation? 

You'll find answers to all of these questions in Phase I of Mastering the Match. The sooner you start preparing, the easier it'll be for you (and the more impressive a candidate you will be). 

Phase II: Midyear

No matter what, you need to read this section before going to Midyear. It's the only way you'll be prepared. 

Midyear is a zoo of over 10,000 pharmacists and pharmacy students. The Showcase is a "Hunger Games" like scenario pitting you up against 5000 other students for a chance to meet the PGY1 program of your dreams. Literally everyone you run into at Midyear might be a professional connection that could make or break you in this small world of pharmacy. 

How do you ready yourself for that? Phase II of Mastering the Match will tell you.

Phase III: After Midyear

Now the real fun begins. It's time to actually start applying to programs. Better polish up your Letter of Intent. You've got one of those ready right? And what about the actual process of interviewing for a PGY1 residency? You know, that ordeal where you are subjected to interrogations for 5 - 8 hours? And you have to give a presentation? AND review a clinical case? 

Are you ready for that? You will be after reading Phase III of Mastering the Match. 

“This guide helped me get the most out of Midyear and I absolutely would not have survived interview season without it!”
— Matt D., Successful Match Participant

Phase IV: The Match

How should you rank the programs that granted you an interview? Should you rank all of them? Should you try to rank higher the ones where you "feel" like you have a better chance of matching? It's all about #ResidencyOrBust, right? Right?! And what about in that worst of all scenarios...what if you don't match? Is it over for you? Do you give up on the residency dream? 

Don't worry; there's a Mastering the Match Phase for that. 


But wait! There's more...

Is that not enough for you? Are you not entertained!? You drive a hard bargain. We like that.

So to sweeten the pot, we'll throw in two freebies for you.

By purchasing Mastering the Match, you will also get:

  • Interview Mastery (the tl;dr pharmacy guide to interview questions)

  • The Residency Candidate Evaluation Cheat Sheet (an example of the actual rubric that PGY1 programs use to evaluate your application)

Interview Mastery is a whopping $15 value that you're getting absolutely free with your purchase of Mastering the Match.

But it's really not even about the price. How much would it be worth for you to not feel the anxiety and fear of wondering what the hell you're going to do next year? How would it feel to spend thousands of dollars applying and interviewing for PGY1 programs only to not match?

Shivam P., Successful Match Participant

Shivam P., Successful Match Participant


Click BUY NOW for instant access to Mastering the Match: How to Secure a Pharmacy Residency


We take these, and more!

We take these, and more!

Some quick info. Our checkout process is 100% secure. Upon clicking "Buy Now" you will be redirected to our sales vendor. 

We use a service called Gumroad to process all of our transactions (in fact, when you purchase Mastering the Match, it will show up as "Gumroad" on  your credit card statement.) We can't say it any better than they can, so here's the skinny directly from their website:

"Your payment is secured by TLS, a higher grade of security than SSL, with128-bit encryption and using modern SHA2 cyphers. Your payment is processed using PCI Compliant service providers. PCI Compliance means that our providers meet current security standards for handling payment information. In other (actual) words; Your payment details never get stored anywhere when you buy on Gumroad - we don't see your credit card information, we just see a token that represents your credit card. The same goes for your PayPal details."

So rest assured: You can use any credit card without worrying about anything screwy going on. We will not collect or store your financial information. 

We guarantee your satisfaction with Mastering the Match.

We have a 30 day, no questions asked return policy. If you're not satisfied with the book, just let us know. We'll return the full amount of your purchase. We'll even eat the credit card processing fees. 

We want you to get so much value from Mastering the Match that you'll think you stole from us. 

And we stand behind that, 100%.


Our lawyers made us include this section...

Although we'd really like to, we cannot guarantee that you will match with a PGY1 program. Even if you purchase Mastering the Match.

You will greatly improve your odds of getting a residency with Mastering the Match...but only if you actually do the work. It's not enough to passively read along and nod your head. You've got to put all of the advice into practice. 

tl;dr pharmacy has no affiliation with ASHP or The Match (or match.com). So everything you read in Mastering the Match is based on the opinions and experiences of the authors. Luckily for you, those experiences include being on both sides of the PGY1 interview table. 


Are you still reading this?

Impressive that you've made it this far. If you have any questions that haven't been answered yet, send an email to mail@tldrpharmacy.com and we'll get right back to you. We personally read and respond to every email. 

Click BUY NOW to get instant access to Mastering the Match. The 'future you' that has completed residency and is in love with their job will thank you.