College of Pharmacy Students Place High at National Competitions

By Benjamin Waldrum

A team of Tori Hoggard, Lexi Jacobus and Dylan Yowell was the national runner-up at the ACCP Clinical Pharmacy Challenge, held during its annual meeting in Dallas. Manny Gamboa and Alexa Ramick were the team alternates, with Allison Jenkins, Pharm.D., clinical assistant professor in the College of Pharmacy, serving as sponsor. The competition drew participation from 114 institutions representing 46 states and the District of Columbia.

Hoggard and Jacobus also placed in the top 10 in the ASHP Clinical Skills Competition, held at its Midyear Meeting Clinical Meeting and Exhibition in Anaheim, California. Lindsey Dayer, Pharm.D., associate professor in the College of Pharmacy, sponsored that team.

“I am so proud of these students for these amazing accomplishments and for setting the standard for future students to pursue,” said Ashok Philip, Ph.D., associate dean for student services.

To make it to the ACCP competition finals, students competed in four online rounds before traveling to Dallas to compete in the quarterfinal, semifinal and final rounds, Jenkins said. The team-based competition uses a quiz bowl-style format. Students answer questions developed and reviewed by an expert panel of clinical pharmacy practitioners and educators.

This is the first time a UAMS College of Pharmacy team competed in the top eight finals.

“I’ve always loved competing, so getting to represent UAMS at ACCP on the national level was an honor,” Yowell said. “I am very excited that we could put UAMS in the conversation as a top performer. I also loved the opportunity to work so closely with Lexi and Tori. They are amazing teammates and people who helped us get so far while keeping it fun.”

The ASHP’s National Clinical Skills Competition drew teams from 133 schools. Student pharmacy teams analyze and make treatment recommendations for complex patient case scenarios. Each team prepared a written case study, presented it to a panel of judges, and then defended their reasoning in the finals.

This is the third time a UAMS College of Pharmacy team has placed in the top 10.

“It’s very competitive and difficult to make it to the top 10 at the national level,” Dayer said. “We are so proud of Tori and Lexi for their strong performance in the ASHP competition. They represented the College of Pharmacy so well.”

“Because we have worked together our whole lives, Lexi and I communicate very effectively and complement each other,” Hoggard said of competing with her sister. “We were efficient in our clinical case for the ASHP competition, and Dylan rounded out our team perfectly for the ACCP competition.”

“We had such a fun time competing for UAMS,” Jacobus said. “I really enjoyed the ACCP competition because it was fast-paced and high-intensity. For the ASHP competition, we just used the knowledge we have gained over the past three and a half years in class and on rotations. Tori and I have always been extremely competitive with backgrounds in track and field, so it was so fun to get to utilize our competitive natures again.”

Twin sisters Hoggard and Jacobus each had storied athletic careers before applying to pharmacy school, winning multiple pole vault championships at state, regional and national levels. Jacobus competed for Team USA in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. In 2022, the sisters were enshrined as part of the 27th class of the Arkansas Track & Field Hall of Fame.