September 25, 2015, was a proud day for Pacific as once again as a team of PharmD students won the Clinical Skills Competition at the California Society of Health-System Pharmacists (CSHP) Seminar. With an attitude of confidence and a solid foundation of clinical skills Hasna Manghi ’16 and James Wall ’16 made a dynamic team.
Clinical Skills Competition has three levels, the first of which is a local competition held within a university. The winning teams in California then represents their universities at the state level at the CHSP seminar. The final level is at the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) annual Midyear Clinical Meeting. This year the ASHP conference will be held on December 5, 2015, in New Orleans, Louisiana. There Manghi and Wall will be competing against 138 teams from universities all across the country.
In describing the competition Assistant Clinical Professor and San Diego Regional Coordinator Marie C. Scott, PharmD, explains that there are three phases. During the first phase the team has two hours to “identify the most important therapeutic need and prepare a plan for the patient.” They then have only two minutes to present their recommendations. The final phase is eight minutes of question and answer during which they must defend their plan. According to Scott “they definitely need to be able to identify the most pressing needs to the patient.” To do so they have to “draw from their knowledge in therapeutics [and] pharmacology.”
Wall points out that just like in a real life scenarios “you can’t just open a book and fall on the right page and find out what’s wrong.” It is essential to have a framework from which you can systematically work to identify what is the primary problem and which are the peripheral issues that can be addressed at a later time. Manghi explains that the competition is a good introduction to the complexity and unpredictability of cases that one will face as a pharmacist: “You never know what to expect.” They recommend that as you are going through your clinical rotations that you try to absorb as much as you can.
Scott believes that what set Manghi and Wall apart from other teams was that they have a “strong knowledge base [and] speak with confidence.” Wall confirms that Pacific’s PharmD courses prepared them to tackle complicated cases and gave them the ability to effectively utilize a limited number of resources. Manghi proposes that the key to standing out from among the crowd is “showing the quality of yourself as a pharmacist.” Manghi emphasizes compassion, empathy and confidence: “The best advice I can give is confidence in your presentation.”
Wall says that he would “absolutely” encourage future students to participate in the Clinical Skills Competition as it is an excellent opportunity to hone your clinical skills. Scott believes that students “don’t think their clinical skills are polished enough, but this is such good practice to use all of the resources that are given to you.”
Manghi and Wall are deeply appreciative to Dr. Scott for facilitating the preliminary round and offering support throughout the process. Manghi said that Dr. Scott has “shown us a lot of love and a lot of support.”
This is not the first time that Pacific has beat out the competition at the CSHP seminar. In 2000 the winners Rajul Patel ’01, ’06, PharmD, PhD, who went on to become one of the School’s Associate Professors, and his now wife Annie Shinn Patel ’01, PharmD, PhD. Again in 2004 Pacific had a winning team with Jamie Chew ’05, PharmD, and Teresa Kwong Wakumoto ’05, PharmD.
Students who are interested in competing in next year’s Clinical Skills Competition should look through the participant resources and practice cases, which can be found at ashp.org <http://www.ashp.org/menu/AboutUs/Awards/ClinicalSkillsCompetition.aspx>.
By Anne Marie H. Bergthold