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Pharmacy Students Place in Top 10 at National Clinical Skills Competition

December 14, 2016

For the third consecutive year, St. John Fisher College Wegmans School of Pharmacy students placed in the Top 10 during the Clinical Skills Competition, held by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). MacKenzie Crist and Seda Donmez, both P4 students, rose to the top against 131 teams from across the nation.

Wegmans School of Pharmacy students MacKenzie Crist and Seda Donmez placed in the Top 10 during the Clinical Skills Competition.

Wegmans School of Pharmacy students MacKenzie Crist and Seda Donmez placed in the Top 10 during the Clinical Skills Competition.

Earlier in the fall semester, Crist and Donmez won the School’s internal competition against seven other teams. As winners of that competition, they were invited to participate in the national competition during the ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting, held in Las Vegas on Saturday, Dec. 3.

A case-style competition, the teams are given an overview of a patient case and have two hours to develop a written care plan that addressed all the patient’s problems. To prepare, they worked with Dr. Matt Zak, assistant director of experiential education, to review their local competition results, and also studied disease states they thought might show up in the case. Both students said their fourth-year rotation experience was critical to helping them create a treatment plan for the patient, as the experience exposed them to disease states commonly seen in the hospital setting.

As they worked through the case, the team divided up the five active disease states the patient was exhibiting. Crist said the complexity of the case highlighted the many essential characteristics of a clinical pharmacist.

“We were given patients with multiple disease states in both the local and national competition, so we were able to practice our clinical knowledge in both of these rounds,” Crist explained.

Both students felt the teamwork component of the competition would help them as they enter the profession.

“Being a pharmacist you are always working in some type of team setting whether you are working in the inpatient setting in a hospital, or outpatient setting in a clinic or community pharmacy,” said Donmez. “This competition allows you to figure out your strengths which helps the team perform better and also identifies any areas of weakness you might have.”

Earning a Top 10 finish, Crist and Donmez were then invited to participate in the final round, which included a verbal two-minute presentation and question-and-answer session with a three judge panel.

“When I found out that we had placed in the top 10 out of 131 schools I was overwhelmed with joy,” Donmez said, noting that it was exciting to know they are part of the School’s legacy of Top 10 finishers. “It is an experience I will never forget.”

Both students hope to engage post-graduate training in a pharmacy residency after graduation. Crist hopes to pursue a career as a clinical pharmacist at an academic medical center, while Donmez would like to work as an ambulatory care pharmacist.