UIW PharmD Student Team Wins Regional Clinical Skills Competition

April 19, 2024

Submission by Jaclyn Moreno

First-year Feik School of Pharmacy (FSOP) students Jaclyn Moreno and Shayla Rubio won first place in the Texas Society of Health-System Pharmacists Clinical Skills Competition (P1 Category) in Round Rock, Texas for navigating a complex patient case and presenting a pharmacist's care plan complete with recommendations for therapy, therapeutic goals and monitoring parameters for a patient with multiple chronic conditions. 

The Clinical Skills Competition (CSC) is a team-based analysis of clinical scenarios for hospital and health-system pharmacists. It provides student pharmacists the opportunity to enhance their skills in providing direct patient care.

The duo officially became a CSC team when they both expressed interest in participating in FSOP's local Student Society of Health-System Pharmacists (SSHP) Clinical Skills Competition with Assistant Professor Dr. Christina Long in October 2023. With the guidance she provided, other FSOP faculty and clinical skills competition practice sessions organized by SSHP, the students competed in their first local SSHP Clinical Skills Competition that month and placed in the top five as the only P1 (first-year pharmacy student) team competing that year.

When the chance to compete against student pharmacists from across Texas presented itself, it was the perfect opportunity for the P1 student team to broaden their clinical skills while preparing them for their future careers as pharmacists with clinical interests in Critical Care, Pediatrics and Solid Organ Transplant (Moreno) and Infectious Diseases and Cardiology (Rubio). 

During the competition, the team had two hours to dissect the patient case, carefully consider all health care problems that needed to be addressed and prioritize treatment based on highest acuity. After developing their pharmacist care plan, the students presented their recommendations to Critical Care, Emergency Medicine and Infectious Disease pharmacists practicing throughout the state of Texas. The judges were repeatedly impressed with the team's ability to reference patient care guidelines to support their recommendations in response to detailed questions and even remarked at the end of their presentation, "Are you sure you are first-year students?" 

As an opportunity for team-based analysis of clinical scenarios that hospital and health-system pharmacists encounter daily, the goal of the competition was to enhance the team's clinical skills in providing direct patient care. This statewide competition also helps students prepare to compete on a national scale as they progress in their pharmacy school curriculum. 

This is the first time in the past six years that a UIW PharmD student team has won first place in the regional competition. The students competed against highly skilled student pharmacists from across the state and have attributed their success to their faculty for giving them the resources to dissect a complex patient case, their curriculum for giving them confidence in their abilities to deconstruct the case in a timely and effective manner, and the support of FSOP administration for giving them the opportunity to represent the school they love.

When reflecting upon their achievement, Moreno shared, "As a student with clinical interests in pursuing critical care, pediatrics or solid organ transplant, I walked away from the competition not only feeling comfortable with navigating complex patient cases, but also building valuable connections with student pharmacists and pharmacy practitioners throughout the state to further expand my involvement in TSHP as I progress in pharmacy school."

“I was very proud of us and grateful to our professors at the Feik School of Pharmacy,” remarked Rubio. “We worked hard, and I am elated to represent UIW.”