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News & Press: PSHP News

PittPharmacy Wins ASHP Annual Clinical Skills Competition

Friday, January 26, 2018  
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201801PittPharmacy.pngThis year, ASHP hosted their 22nd Annual Clinical Skills Competition at the Midyear Clinical Meeting & Exhibition in Orlando, Florida. The competition tests students’ ability to accurately and efficiently assess the health of a patient and prepare a prioritized treatment plan; top-scoring teams are challenged to effectively communicate their plan to a panel of clinical pharmacists. Competitions occur first at the local level; local winners advance to the national competition in December on behalf of their schools.

Following their win in the local Clinical Skills Competition at the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy, Mary Grace Fitzmaurice and Lindsay Jablonski teamed up with Dr. Christopher Ensor, Assistant Professor and final-round judge for Pitt’s competition. Dr. Ensor debriefed the team on their strengths and areas for improvement based on their local performance. Fitzmaurice and Jablonski spent the month of November completing the previous national cases available on the ASHP website in preparation for the national competition. In an effort to simulate the competition environment, the girls used only an iPad and an AHFS Clinical Drug Information textbook in their two hours completing each practice case. To maximize their efficiency, they developed a strategy to divide the work depending on the content of the case and their individual skill sets. After they finished each case, Dr. Ensor graded their written plans according to the answer keys provided online. The team also self-graded their cases to familiarize themselves with the scoring system. 
After several weeks of hard work, the PittPharmacy team competed in the national competition against 135 schools of pharmacy. Their fine-tuned strategy earned them the highest score in the semi-final round, which advanced them to the final round. After adding their score from the oral presentation, the girls were awarded first place in the competition for the first time in PittPharmacy history. Fitzmaurice and Jablonski attribute their success to the excellent clinical training they received at Pitt, the thoughtful guidance provided by their coach, and the endless support from previous competition participants, colleagues, faculty and mentors at PittPharmacy and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC).
Fitzmaurice and Jablonski are a part of the Pharmacotherapy Scholars Program at Pitt, a competitive academic training program in which students complete additional coursework, a longitudinal research project, a professional development series, and advanced clinical rotations. Fitzmaurice and Jablonski presented their Scholars research at the ASHP Student Poster Session on Wednesday morning. The team will graduate from the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy in April with the Class of 2018. Both girls are pursuing pharmacy practice residency training after graduation.

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