Ohio State student continues legacy of placing top 10 in national patient counseling competition


June 15, 2022

Emma Siegel photo
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To provide exceptional patient care, a pharmacist must be an excellent health care advisor.

Patient communication, also known as patient education, is a key piece of the Doctor of Pharmacy curriculum at The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy, which is reflected in the fact that four Ohio State students have placed top ten in the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) Patient Counseling Competition in the past 10 years.

The latest to place top 10 is Class of 2022 PharmD graduate Emma Siegel, who competed at the APhA Annual Meeting in San Antonio, Texas, in March.

The APhA-ASP Patient Counseling Competition encourages student pharmacists to become outstanding patient educators while reflecting and reinforcing the changing role of a pharmacist. In each round, students get five minutes to study a patient’s medical profile, their prescription and the prescription’s information sheet. Once the five minutes are up, the student pharmacist must consult their patient—an actor—on their medication.

Competitors first compete among pharmacy students at their own schools. Once a winner is selected in the local challenge, they head to the next round where they compete at the national conference against hundreds of students across the country. The final round of the challenge features only 10 students who vie for first place.

Making it into the top 10 of this national competition is a difficult and rewarding challenge since many students across hundreds of pharmacy schools compete.

Pharmacy Buckeyes who have made it to the top 10 include:

  • Emma Siegel, PharmD ’22, PGY1 pharmacy resident, University of Cincinnati College of Pharmacy
    • 2022, top ten
  • Sarah Wheeler, PharmD ’18, BCACP, assistant professor of pharmacy practice, Ambulatory Care, Shenandoah University in Winchester, Virginia
    • 2018, first place
  • Jamie Bailey, PharmD ’14, BCACP, specialty practice pharmacist, Department of Family and Community Medicine, Ohio State Wexner Medical Center
    • 2014, third place
  • David Matthews, PharmD ’13, BCACP, assistant professor – practice, Division of Pharmacy Education and Innovation, College of Pharmacy
    • 2013, first place

"In order to provide effective patient care, pharmacists must be strong communicators who can forge connections with their patients,” Dr. Matthews said. “Our PharmD curriculum at Ohio State provides students many opportunities to practice this important skill, and our college's strong performance in the APhA-ASP National Patient Counseling Competition over the last ten years is a testament to the importance we place on training future pharmacists to provide excellent patient care."