PGY-2 Critical Care

This residency is designed to transition PGY1 resident graduates from generalist practice to specialized practice that meets the needs of critically ill patients. It is defined as an organized, directed, accredited program that builds upon the competencies of PGY1 training. This residency is focused in critical care pharmacotherapy, clinical research, and academia and is meant to increase the resident's knowledge, skills, attitudes, and abilities to raise the resident's level of expertise in medication therapy management and clinical and academic leadership.

Residency Goals

  • Serve as an authoritative expert on the optimal use of medications used in the care of patients with critical illness.
  • Optimize the outcomes of patients with acute and chronic diseases in various settings through the expert provision of evidence-based, patient-centered medication therapy as an integral part of an interdisciplinary team.
  • Demonstrate leadership and practice management skills.
  • Manage and improve the medication-use process for patients with critical illness.
  • Contribute to the body of critical care pharmacotherapy knowledge.
  • Demonstrate excellence in the provision of training and educational activities for health care professionals, health care professionals in training, and the public.
  • Participate in the management of medical emergencies.
  • Demonstrate skills required to function in an academic setting.
  • Conduct outcomes research.
  • Demonstrate additional skills for managing and improving the medication-use process for patients with critical illness.
  • Demonstrate additional skills for serving as an authoritative resource on the optimal use of medications used in the care of critical care patients.
  • Demonstrate additional training and educational skills.

Application Requirements

All residents must be eligible for pharmacist licensure in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Applications for Pharmacist License and Intern Registration are available.

Application Process

Eligible candidates will have completed an ASHP accredited PGY1 pharmacy residency program and must submit the standard application requirements via PhORCAS by December 31st. An on-site interview may be required.

This residency site agrees that no person at this site will solicit, accept, or use any ranking related information from any residency candidate.

To prepare pharmacists to assume any of the following roles:

  • Critical care medicine pharmaceutical care provider

  • Clinical Educator

  • Clinical Researcher

Our residency graduates exit equipped to be fully integrated members of the interdisciplinary critical care team, able to make complex pharmacotherapy recommendations in this fast-paced environment. Training focuses on developing resident capability to deal with range of diseases and disorders that occur in the critically ill population.

Graduates are experienced in short-term research and excel in their ability to teach other health professionals and those in training to be health professionals. They also acquire the experience necessary to exercise leadership for this focus in the health system. A strength of our program and a significant focus is on academic pharmacy practice.

Duration: 12 months
Number Positions: 1
Starting Date: July 1
Salary: $51,037
Benefits: Health, dental, eye care, life, and disability available, vacation and professional travel provided, travel stipend available
Training Site Type: Hospital
Owner/Affiliates: Private
Model (type): Teaching, tertiary
Professional Staff: 48
Total Beds: 1093

Each resident's schedule is devised based on the program requirements and each resident's specific goals. Each resident will complete a Pre-Residency Survey and Rotation List Form by no later than mid-June to help create a schedule to accomplish his/her goals. Based on this information, an individualized plan is created of each resident at the beginning of the year and used as an assessment tool throughout the year.

The resident's schedule consists of block and longitudinal rotations, project weeks, professional meetings, and vacation. Each block rotation will be at least 4 weeks long. Required block rotations include:

Required Learning Experiences

  • Medical intensive care unit (MICU)
  • Surgical/trauma ICU
  • Cardiac ICU or CTICU
  • Repeat of one ICU rotation in the MICU, or surgical/trauma ICU which will serve as an advanced rotation
  • Preceptorship
  • Clinical outcomes/research

Required Longitudinal Learning Experiences

  • Hospital Pharmacy Operations
  • Teaching or Mastery of Teaching Program (if not previously completed in a PGY1 Residency)
    • One didactic lecture
    • One Case based practica session
    • One skills lab
    • Acute Care Simulation Elective Course participation
  • Resident Research Series
  • Drug Information - Formulary review

Elective rotations include:

  • Cardiology pavilions
  • Anticoagulation
  • Cardiology clinics
  • Drug information
  • Cardiothoracic ICU or CCU
  • Neuro ICU
  • Neuro Trauma ICU
  • Nutrition
  • Hematology/oncology
  • Infectious disease
  • Antibiotic management
  • Bone marrow transplant
  • Internal medicine
  • Transplantation
  • Emergency medicine

Other elective rotations are available based on resident interest and faculty availability.



Brian Baum, PharmD

Neal J. Benedict, PharmD

Marissa Campagna, PharmD

Abby Chiappelli, PharmD, BCCCP

James Coons, PharmD, BCPS (AQ-CV)

Joseph B. Durkin, PharmD, BCPS

Amanda Eger, PharmD

Bonnie Falcione, PharmD BCPS

Lara Groetzinger, PharmD, BCCCP

Heather J. Johnson, PharmD BCPS

Sandra L. Kane-Gill, PharmD, MSc, FCCM, FCCP

Catherine Kim, PharmD, BCPS

Amanda L. Korenoski, PharmD, MHA

Cory McGinnis, PharmD, BCCCP

Ryan Rivosecchi, PharmD, BCCP

Amy L. Seybert, PharmD

Pamela L. Smithburger, PharmD, MS, BCPS, BCCCP, FCCP, FCCM (Director)

Janine Then, PharmD, BCPS


UPMC Presbyterian

*= PGY2 Resident at the time

Rea RS*, Ansani NT, Seybert AL. Role of inhaled nitric oxide in adult heart or lung transplant recipients. Ann Pharmacother 2005, 39:913-7.

Rea RS*, Kane-Gill SL, Rudis MI, Seybert AL, Oyen LJ, Ou NN, Stauss JL, Kirisci L, Idrees U, Henderson SO. Intravenous amiodarone for the treatment of in-hospital cardiac arrest due to pulseless ventricular tachycardia/ventricular fibrillation (AMVENT Trial). Crit Care Med 2006, 34(6):1617-1623

Bellamy CJ*, Kane-Gill SL, Falcione BA, Seybert AL. Neuroleptic malignant syndrome in traumatic brain injury patients treated with haloperidol. J Trauma, 2009;66:954-958.

Smithburger PL*, Kane-Gill SL, Nestor BL*, Seybert AL. Recent Advances and Opinion of the Treatment of Hypertensive Emergencies. Crit Care Nurse 2010. (In Press)

Smithburger PL*, Kane-Gill SL, Seybert AL. Significance of Drug-Drug Interactions in Cardiac Intensive Care Units. Drug Safety (Accepted)

Ford DG*, Seybert AL, Smithburger PL*, Kobulinsky LR, Samosky JT, Kane-Gill SL. Clinical Impact of Simulation-Based Learning Compared to Traditional Didactic Lecturing on Medication Administration Error Rates in Critically Ill Patients. Intens Care Med, March 19, 2010. DOI 10.1007/s00134-010-1860-2

Smithburger PL, Seybert AL, Armahizer MJ*, Kane-Gill SL. QT prolongation in the intensive care unit: commonly used medications and the impact of drug-drug interactions. Expert Opin Drug Saf, 2010;9(5):1-14.

Smithburger PL*, Kane-Gill SL, Benedict N, Falcione BA, Seybert AL. Grading the severity of drug-drug interactions in the intensive care unit: A comparison between clinical opinion and database severity ratings. Ann Pharmacother 2010; 44:1718-1724.

Gokhman R*, Smithburger PL*, Kane-Gill SL, Seybert AL. Pharmacokinetic rationale for combination therapy of pulmonary arterial hypertension. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol 2010;56(6):686-95. PMID:20838230

Smithburger PL*, Kane-Gill SL, Benedict N, Falcione BA, Seybert AL. Grading the severity of drug-drug interactions in the intensive care unit: A comparison between a severity assessment instrument and database severity ratings. Annals of Pharmacotherapy 2010;44(11):1718-24 PMID: 20959499

Devabhakthuni S, Armahizer M*, Dasta JF, Kane-Gill SL. Analgosedation: A paradigm shift in ICU sedation practice. Ann Pharmacother 2012;46:530-540

Harinstein LM*, Kane-Gill SL, Smithburger PL, Culley CM, Reddy VK, Seybert AL. Use of a laboratory-drug combination alert to detect drug-induced thrombocytopenia in critically ill patients. J Crit Care. 2012;27(3):242-9. PMID:22520497

Anthes, AM*, Harinstein LM*, Smithburger PL, Seybert AL, Kane-Gill SL. Improving adverse drug event detection in critically ill patients through screening intensive care unit transfer summaries. Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf 2013; 22:510-16

Armahizer M*, Seybert AL, Smithburger PL, Kane-Gill SL. Drug-drug interactions contributing to QT prolongation in the ICU.

Smithburger PL, Kane-Gill SL, Lohr BR, Kloet MA*, Seybert AL. Advancing interprofessional education through the use of high fidelity human patient simulators. Pharm Pract 2013;11:61-65

Kloet MA*, Lohr B*, Smithburger PL, Seybert AL, Kane-Gill SL. Prospective assessment of inpatient boxed warning prescriber adherence. J Patient Saf. J Patient Saf. 2017;13(1):25-30

Wong A*, Benedict NJ, Armahizer MJ, Kane-Gill SL. Evaluation of adjunctive ketamine to benzodiazepines for the management alcohol withdrawal syndrome. Ann Pharmacother 2015;49:14-9

Wong A*, Benedict NJ, Kane-Gill SL. Multicenter evaluation of pharmacologic management and related outcomes associated with severe resistant alcohol withdrawal. J Crit Care 2015;20:405-9.

Rivosecchi RM*, Garavaglia J, Kane-Gill SL. An evaluation of intravenous vitamin K for warfarin reversal: Are guideline recommendations being followed? Hosp Pharm 2015;50:18-14.

Rivosecchi RM, Smithburger PL, Svec SM, Campbell S, Kane-Gill SL. The effect of non-pharmacologic interventions to prevent the development of delirium: An evidence based systematic review. Crit Care Nurse 2015;35:39-49.

Lyons P, Nery J, Rivosecchi R*, Smithburger PL, Kane-Gill SL. Fentanyl induced hyperalgesia in acute pain management. J Pain Palliat Care Pharmacother 2015;29:153-60.

Wong A*, Benedict NJ, Lohr B, Pizon A, Kane-Gill SL. Management of benzodiazepine-resistant alcohol withdrawal across a health system: benzodiazepine dose escalation with or without propofol. Drug Alcohol Depend 2015;154:296-9.

Wong A*, Smithburger PL, Kane-Gill SL. Review of adjunctive dexmedetomidine for the management of severe alcohol withdrawal syndrome. Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse 2015;41:382-91.

Rivosecchi RM*, Kane-Gill SL, Svec S, Campbell S, Smithburger PL. Giving your patients M.O.R.E.: The implementation of a non-pharmacologic protocol to prevent intensive care delirium. J Crit Care 2015; 31:206-11.

Rivosecchi RM*, Kellum JA, Dasta JF, Armahizer MA, Bolesta S, Buckley MS, Dzierba A, Frazee E, Johnson H, Kim C, Murugan R, Smithburger PL, Wong A, Kane-Gil SL. Drug class combination-associated with acute kidney injury: A review of the literature. Ann Pharmacother 2016; 50(11):953-972.

Rivosecchi RM*, Kane-Gill SL, Garavaglia J, MacLasco A, Johnson HJ. The effectiveness of intravenous vitamin K in cirrhotic patients with coagulopathy in the intensive care unit. Int J Pharm Pract 2017;(in press).

Smithburger PL, Korenoski AS*, Kane-Gill SL, Alexander SA. Perceptions of family members, nurses, and physicians on involving the patient's family in delirium prevention activities in a medical intensive care unit. Crit Care Nurse 2017 (in press).

Shoulders BR*, Smithburger PL, Tchen S*, Kane-Gill SL. Characterization of guideline evidence for off-label medication use in the intensive care unit. Annals of Pharmacotherapy. 2017;51(7):529-42.

Weaver CB*, Kane-Gill SL, Gunn SR, Kirisci L, Smithburger PL. A retrospective analysis of antipsychotics in the treatment of ICU delirium. Journal of Critical Care. 2017;41:234-9.

A Systematic Review of ICU and Non-ICU Clinical Pharmacy Services Using Telepharmacy.
Strnad K, Shoulders BR, Smithburger PL, Kane-Gill SL.Strnad K, et al. Ann Pharmacother. 2018 Dec;52(12):1250-1258. doi:
10.1177/1060028018787213. Epub 2018 Jul 9.Ann Pharmacother. 2018. PMID: 29984590

Reply: Sufentanil Sublingual Tablet: A New Option for Acute Pain Management.
Reardon CE, Kane-Gill SL, Smithburger PL, Dasta JF.Reardon CE, et al. Among authors: smithburger pl. Ann Pharmacother. 2020 Jun;54(6):619. doi:
10.1177/1060028019891163. Epub 2019 Nov 28.Ann Pharmacother. 2020. PMID: 31775520 No abstract available.

Sufentanil Sublingual Tablet: A New Option for Acute Pain Management.
Reardon CE, Kane-Gill SL, Smithburger PL, Dasta JF.Reardon CE, et al. Among authors: smithburger pl. Ann Pharmacother. 2019 Dec;53(12):1220-1226. doi:

10.1177/1060028019863144. Epub 2019 Jul 7.Ann Pharmacother. 2019. PMID: 31280585 Review.

2020-2021 UPMC/University of Pittsburgh Residencies Preceptor of the Year- Pamela L. Smithburger, PharmD, MS, BCPS, BCCCP, FCCP, FCCM

2020-2021 UPMC/University of Pittsburgh Residencies Resident Educator of the Year- Victoria Williams, PharmD

2008 Residency Preceptor of the Year - Amy Seybert
University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy

2009 Pharmacy Residency Excellence Preceptor Award - Amy Seybert
ASHP Research and Education Foundation

2012 SCCM, Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacology Section Patient Safety Technology Award* for using simulation-based learning toreduce medication errors in critically ill patients. (Ford*, Seybert, Kane-Gill, Smithburger)

2013 SCCM, Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacology Section MedicationSafety Award* for evaluating the impact of transfer summaries as part of an active surveillance system for the detection of ADEs in the ICU (Anthes*, Kane-Gill, Smithburger, Seybert)Medical Center, Phoenix, AZ

2016 ASHP Residency Excellence Award- Preceptor (Kane-Gill)2016 UPMC Health System Residency Preceptor of the Year (Falcione)

Program Director

Pamela L. Smithburger, PharmD, MS, BCPS, BCCCP, FCCP, FCCM
Associate Professor
3501 Terrace Street
Salk Hall, Room 5472
Pittsburgh, PA 15261
Phone: 412-647-0899

UPMC Presbyterian