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Residents speak about why they chose Upstate.

Meet the Residents 2021 - 2022

PGY-1

Rejs Ademovic, PharmD
Rejs Ademovic, PharmD
College: Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
Email: ademovir@upstate.edu
Why I chose Upstate: When pursuing a PGY1 pharmacy residency, I knew that I wanted a program that would expose me to as many learning opportunities as possible. Given that it is a large academic medical center and level 1 trauma center, I knew that Upstate University Hospital would provide me with those opportunities. I enjoy taking part in multidisciplinary patient care and having internal medicine as a basis of the program was something that I appreciated. The research certificate program was important to me as I have been interested in research since an early age. Seeing how vital research is to the program and the high publication rate was incredibly exciting and I can’t wait to see my growth at the end of this program. My area of interest is infectious disease so having a PGY2 in infectious disease was a big deciding factor. Combined with the astounding support of all the preceptors and staff, I knew that Upstate University Hospital had all the resources available for me to mature as a clinical pharmacist. After just a few months, I am already amazed at the personal growth I’ve achieved. I am so grateful to be a resident at Upstate and I look forward to the rest of the academic year!
Sara Farooqi, PharmD
Sara Farooqi, PharmD
College: The Arnold & Marie Schwartz College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences- Long Island University
Email: farooqis@upstate.edu
Why I chose Upstate: When the time came to select a residency program, I had no doubt that the PGY1 program at Upstate would be the right fit for me. I was drawn to the unique opportunities that Upstate has to offer, which includes the Teaching and Learning certificate program, designed to strengthen my skills in academia, and shape me into a successful future preceptor. What piqued my interest further was the strong collaborative relationship between pharmacy and the patient care team, particularly within the various ambulatory care settings. One of the advantages of the program is its ability to provide patient-centered care to a large and diverse patient population. By doing so, the program emphasizes the importance of demonstrating cultural competence as an essential component in becoming a well-rounded practitioner. The residency program also creates a positive learning environment amongst the residents, encouraging our continuous growth and development. The residency team truly took their time to welcome me into the pharmacy family. Their devotion to the program is inspiring and fuels my desire to excel in my career as a clinical pharmacist. I believe Upstate has given me the resources to cultivate my critical thinking, leadership, research, and intradisciplinary skills. I am confident that Upstate will push me to become a competent pharmacist and I am excited to see what the year will bring!
Allison Field, PharmD
Allison Field, PharmD
College: Auburn University, Harrison School of Pharmacy
Email: fieldal@upstate.edu
Why I chose Upstate: The PGY-1 residency program at Upstate offers everything that I was looking for in a residency. The first thing that everyone says when you ask them what the best part of working here is the “Upstate family”. Even though I attended pharmacy school out of state, from day one I felt instantly welcomed into this close-knit environment. All of our preceptors and colleagues have been so supportive and kind. One of my favorite things about Upstate is that it is an academic medical center, so on each rotation we are provided the opportunity to collaborate with other medical professionals on interdisciplinary teams. Another thing that sets Upstate apart from other pharmacy residency programs is the opportunity for not only a Teaching Certificate, but also for a Clinical Research Certificate and a Medical Emergency Certificate. These opportunities will provide me with great tools for my future as a clinical pharmacist. Lastly, something else I love about this residency program is the number of residents. Having 5 co-residents is amazing because it’s small enough that we each get the individual opportunities we need, but large enough that we get to do fun things together and always have someone to turn to every step of the way. Just two months into residency, I can confidently say that I made the right decision by picking Upstate. I am so happy and grateful to be here and can’t wait to see what the rest of the year will bring!
Allison Hitchcock, PharmD
Allison Hitchcock, PharmD
College: St. John Fisher College, Wegmans School of Pharmacy
Email: hitchcoa@upstate.edu
Why I chose Upstate: When first applying to residency programs, I searched for residencies that would allow me to progress toward my future career goals of pursuing infectious disease and academia. The magnitude of teaching opportunities incorporated into Upstate University Hospital immediately drew me to the program. Here, I will be able to cultivate my communication and leadership skills in order to become an effective and influential pharmacy mentor and professor. The interview at Upstate solidified my decision to pursue a residency at this facility. During this process, I not only witnessed the vast amount of clinical specialties in the pharmacy, but it was apparent that each preceptor is dedicated to promoting resident knowledge, independence, and growth. Already through a zoom interview, I was able to see the family-feel environment and how the pharmacy at Upstate works as one supportive team. This characteristic of the program is unique in that as a PGY-1 resident, I am seen as an equivalent colleague to my pharmacy preceptors. The idea of the “Upstate Family” is also demonstrated on interdisciplinary rounds where the pharmacists’ perspectives are highly respective. I am appreciative of the opportunity to practice among such highly supportive preceptors and interprofessional teams throughout my PGY-1 residency year. I look forward to seeing the maturation of my clinical skillset this year at Upstate, and I’m excited to see how this residency program will shape my future as a clinical pharmacist!
Keri Mastro, PharmD
Keri Mastro, PharmD
College: Binghamton University School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
Email: mastrok@upstate.edu
Why I chose Upstate: Why I chose Upstate: It is an honor to be a PGY-1 pharmacy resident at Upstate! The PGY-1 pharmacy residency program offered at SUNY Upstate University Hospital encompasses both a teaching and research certificate, in addition to offering a wide array of clinical experiences at a level 1 trauma, tertiary care academic medical center. These attributes, among many others, including the opportunity to provide optimal, patient-centered care as a collaborative member of an interdisciplinary healthcare team, serve as highly valued elements that captivated my interest when seeking a program which would foster my ability to practice at the top of my licensure. I look forward to continue building upon my clinical knowledge while further developing my professional skillset at Upstate!
Nicole Ondrush, PharmD
Nicole Ondrush, PharmD
College: Western New England University College of Pharmacy
Email: ondrushn@upstate.edu
Why I chose Upstate: When searching for a pharmacy residency program, Upstate was everything and more that I was looking for. This program offers a vast array of inpatient rotation experiences with a heavy emphasis on internal medicine, as well as countless opportunities for teaching and research. Throughout my interview process with Upstate, the family and supportive atmosphere of the pharmacy department was evident. Additionally, the passion and dedication of the preceptors and pharmacy staff was unparallel. The numerous opportunities Upstate offers along with the limitless support from preceptors and mentors, will help shape me into an autonomous clinical pharmacist. I am immensely grateful to be a part of the Upstate Family as a PGY-1 pharmacy resident and I’m excited to grow as a clinical pharmacist here!

PGY-2

Kaitlyn Agedal, PharmD - Pediatrics Pharmacy Resident
Kaitlyn Agedal, PharmD - Pediatrics Pharmacy Resident
Residency: Upstate University Hospital
College: St John Fisher College, Wegmans School of Pharmacy
Email: agedalk@upstate.edu
Why I chose Upstate: Pursuing my PGY-1 residency at Upstate was a dream of mine since my first ever rotation as a student at Upstate. I had such a great experience during my first year of residency, which I owe to all of my wonderful preceptors, mentors, program director, and co-residents. I feel so gracious and honored to be staying on for another year to complete my PGY-2 pediatric pharmacy residency at Upstate’s Golisano Children’s Hospital. My experience in pediatrics from both my rotation as a student and as a first-year resident has contributed to my interest in pursuing our PGY-2 pediatric pharmacy residency program. I am so lucky to work with such amazing colleagues each and every day who have helped me to learn and grow as a pharmacist. Our pediatric pharmacy team is incredible, and I cannot wait to continue learning from them and advancing my knowledge of pediatric clinical pharmacy throughout the year. Our program offers rotations in several different pediatric patient care areas, including toxicology, emergency medicine, critical care, infectious diseases, and hematology/oncology, all of which I am confident will help me to transition into a role as a clinical pediatric pharmacist after the conclusion of this academic year!
Chieh Chen, PharmD - Ambulatory Care Pharmacy Resident
Chieh Chen, PharmD - Ambulatory Care Pharmacy Resident
Residency: Upstate University Hospital
College: St John’s University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
Email: chenchi@upstate.edu
Why I chose Upstate: I am so grateful and excited for the opportunity to continue my residency training as the PGY-2 Ambulatory Care Pharmacy Resident at Upstate. All the preceptors are incredibly supportive, knowledgeable, and dedicated to providing the best learning experience that I could ever ask for! This program offers comprehensive training though an impressive variety of clinics and specialty pharmacy services, allowing me to explore my specific interests in diabetes, anticoagulation, pharmacogenomics, and HIV. Moreover, the affiliation with St. John Fisher College - Wegmans School of Pharmacy presents an unparalleled introduction to academia through student lectures, preceptorship, and leadership workshops and meetings. Furthermore, I am excited for my unique longitudinal experiences in business plan development and grant writing, valuable skills that I will use to hopefully expand ambulatory care practice in the future!
Jeffery Thomas, PharmD - Infectious Diseases Pharmacy Resident
Jeffery Thomas, PharmD - Infectious Diseases Pharmacy Resident
Residency: Allegheny General Hospital, Pittsburgh PA
College: St John's University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
Email: thomajef@upstate.edu
Why I chose Upstate: Why I chose Upstate: I decided to pursue my PGY-2 residency training at Upstate University because I believe that it provides an environment that fosters learning and critical thinking skills required to develop a well-rounded clinician. Upstate University Hospital is a level 1 adult and pediatric trauma center and thus provides the opportunity to provide care to critically ill patients including those with complex infectious disease processes. In addition, Upstate has supportive preceptors that are enthusiastic about research and offer the resident the opportunity to complete a research certificate program. This research certificate program is a unique opportunity for every resident at Upstate to develop their critical skills and experience in translational research to help advance the pharmacy profession. Ultimately, the reason why I chose Upstate University Hospital’s residency program is because it provides the training needed to help me practice at the highest level of my profession.
Jaylan Yuksel, PharmD - Geriatrics Pharmacy Resident
Jaylan Yuksel, PharmD - Geriatrics Pharmacy Resident
Residency: Upstate University Hospital
College: St John Fisher College, Wegmans School of Pharmacy
Email: yukselj@upstate.edu
Why I chose Upstate: I enjoyed my PGY-1 experience at Upstate and decided to continue my training with the Upstate family to pursue my PGY-2 residency in Geriatrics. Originally, going into my PGY-1, year I knew I wanted to complete a PGY-2, but I had many areas of interest. I went into the year with an open mind, ready to take on all opportunities. My first learning experience happened to be my geriatrics elective. I quickly learned how much I enjoy working with this patient population. I was drawn to Upstate’s program specifically because of the heavy focus on research. Research is something that I enjoy doing and I wanted to be a part of a program that allows the resident to grow and build on their research skills. I also enjoy that this program has a focus on giving back to the community. This program offers an elective longitudinal experience, Humanitarian Healthcare, which is something I have always been passionate about. I appreciate that there are a variety of clinical rotations to pick from to allow the resident to focus on their interests and goals. I believe this program will allow me to grow into a competent clinical geriatric pharmacist. I am excited and honored to continue my training at Upstate.
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