College’s 2020 Clinical Pharmacy Team Most Successful Yet in National Competition

By Ben Boulden

“The students were surprised. They were confident, but I don’t think they expected to make it that far,” Allison Oswalt, Pharm.D., said. “They all worked really well together and played off each other’s strengths. Not everyone can know everything about each topic, but I think we had someone who was strong in each general subject area.”

Oswalt is a clinical pharmacy specialist at UAMS and the ACCP liaison for the College of Pharmacy. She helped moderate the competition rounds and coach the team. Team members were Jacqueline Dodwell, Ryan Marks and Haodi Ruan. Madeline Neubauer was an alternate member.

The first national challenge was organized in 2010, and teams from the college have participated for several years. Oswalt has coached them for the last three years, and it was the best any of the teams has ever done before.

“I’m very excited for them,” Oswalt said. “I was proud of how well they prepared  they were and how well they worked together, especially given the physical constraints surrounding the pandemic.”

The quarter-final, semi-final and final rounds originally were planned to take place live at the ACCP Annual Meeting in Dallas in October, but those also took place virtually this year because of the pandemic. Preliminary rounds of the national competition took place virtually in August and September. After a qualifying round, 64 teams faced off, then 32, 16 and, in the quarter finals, eight.

Teams from other schools and colleges of pharmacy competed in a “quiz bowl”–type format. Only one team per institution was allowed to enter the competition, and team members were permitted to collaborate in answering the questions.

Questions were offered in the three segments: a lightning segment of trivia questions, one where teams came up with treatment plans in clinical cases and a Jeopardy-style segment with more points awarded for the most difficult questions.

Each team in the quarter-final round received three complimentary student virtual meeting registrations. Each team member also received an ACCP gift certificate for $125 and a certificate of recognition.