Pharmacy Students Rank Top 10 in National Clinical Skills Competition

By Jenna Pizzi

Published on February 7, 2019

Askey and ChowIn a test of how they would handle a complex patient case, prioritize their problems, and assign the correct treatments, USciences pharmacy students Kayla Askey PharmD’20 and Karissa Chow PharmD’20, ranked in the top 10 in the national clinical skills competition at the American Society of Health System Pharmacists Mid-Year Clinical Meeting in Anaheim, California in December.

The skills competition closely mirrors what pharmacists do in hospital settings, especially when working in acute patient care teams, said Askey, who hopes to pursue a job as a hospital pharmacist in the future. “By developing my skills creating treatment plans and determining follow up, I feel that I am preparing myself to do this in my future career,” said Askey.

Askey and Chow at ASHPChow said she wanted to enter the competition to test her clinical skills and better prepare herself for upcoming clinical rotations. The two practiced test cases, but once the competition started, it was intense, but fun.

“The competition itself was a blur,” said Askey. “We went in and focused on the case in front of us … we jumped right in and got to work. We never could have done it without Dr. Angela Bingham and all of her help and support. She was our biggest cheerleader.”

“I’m really proud of how we did in the competition,” said Askey. “I think it represented everything I have worked for and towards throughout school and shows me that I do have what it takes to be an amazing pharmacist after graduation. I chose Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and USciences initially because I was looking for a 6-year program and I liked the idea that it was the first program in the country and therefore offered a large alumni base, in addition to being well known and having a great reputation in the field. However, when I stepped on campus for the first time I just knew it was the right place for me.”

ASHPCompeting against more experienced pharmacy students further along in their education, Askey and Chow said they didn’t expect to advance in the competition, but rather were hoping to learn something from the experience. The disease state at the center of the patient case for the competition was related to HIV, a topic they haven’t yet reached in the curriculum, however they were able to advance because of the ability to find, analyze, and utilize information efficiently, skills they attribute to their education from PCP.

“When they flashed up on the screen who made it to the final oral round and I realized that we had made it to the top 10, it was a wonderful surprise,” Chow said.

Chow and Askey agreed that getting a chance to go to the ASHP mid-year meeting was also a valuable experience because it allowed them to network with alumni and pharmacists from around the globe. Askey also presented a research poster at the meeting, so she had an opportunity to practice her presentation skills and field questions and comments from experienced pharmacists.

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