University of Texas at Austin Pharmacy Students Win Top Honors in National Clinical Skills Competition

Two University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy students have won the national clinical skills competition at the meeting of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP).

Tamara Spraker and Sijy Mathew placed first among student teams representing 102 U.S. colleges of pharmacy competing for the award. The mid-year meeting of the ASHP is being held this week in Las Vegas, Nev.

The Clinical Skills Competition is an interactive, team-based analysis of clinical scenarios for hospital/health-system pharmacists to help patients make the best use of their medications. Local competitions are held each fall on college campuses around the nation. Winners of the local competitions advance to the national competition.

The competition calls on students to assess a complicated patient profile and determine the best care plan. They must prepare a written plan and then defend their decisions and answer questions posed by a panel of expert judges, said Dr. James Karboski, clinical associate professor of pharmacy practice and faculty sponsor of the Society of Health-System Pharmacists student chapter.

"Our students nailed it," Karboski said. "I'm very proud of them."