UMKC Team Wins National ACCP Clinical Pharmacy Challenge

Second national championship this year for School of Pharmacy
three students standing for a pic

Three fourth-year students from the UMKC School of Pharmacy defeated a team from Auburn University Harrison School of Pharmacy to win the 2020 ACCP Clinical Pharmacy Challenge. It is the school’s first national championship in the competition conducted annually by the American College of Clinical Pharmacy.

It is the second time this year that the School of Pharmacy has achieved the top rung in a national competition. In April, the American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists recognized UMKC with its national Chapter of the Year award for the third time in the last nine years.

The ACCP competition started in early September with 109 teams across the country taking part. UMKC’s team of Brooke Jacobson, Kathryn Rechenberg and Jamie Sullivan made its way through six rounds of online competition to reach the finals on Oct. 16.

The challenge pits teams of three students against one another in a “quiz bowl”–type format. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the final rounds, typically head-to-head duels held during the ACCP’s annual meeting, took place in a virtual format. Members of the UMKC team agreed that the online competition helped them improve their ability to communicate in a virtual format while also challenging their clinical skills in pediatrics, infectious diseases and cardiology.

“I think this was a really great tool to test the knowledge that we had learned from our didactic coursework and on rotations,” Jacobson said. “We learned that we are very well prepared for our rotations and for practice after (graduating from) school. We’re very thankful for the great faculty that taught us every section. This was a really great tool to measure that.”

Each round of the competition consisted of questions posed in three distinct segments: a trivia section of true-false and multiple-choice queries, followed by a set of questions based on a clinical case, then a final Jeopardy-style segment.

“Some rounds were more relaxed than others,” Sullivan said. “It got to be high stress, high tension at times but I think we used that to work together and achieve our goal of winning the competition.”

This is the 11th year for the ACCP competition. Questions for the contest were written and reviewed by an expert panel of ACCP members.

School of Pharmacy faculty members Elizabeth Englin, Andrew J. Smith, Sarah Billings and Jamie Hall, Pharm.D., BCPS, served as the team’s faculty advisers throughout the competition.

“Brooke, Jamie and Kathyrn did an amazing job throughout the competition and are well deserving of this accomplishment because of all the hard work they put in, not only for this competition but also their careers as student pharmacists,” Englin said. “All School of Pharmacy faculty and staff are extremely proud and happy for them. The team represented the UMKC School of Pharmacy well and their win demonstrates the strength of our program and how we are able to help prepare students for success including these types of competitions, but more importantly as future pharmacists within our communities.”

Rechenberg commended the school’s faculty in preparing the team for the competition.

“We want to give a special thank you to the wonderful faculty that supported us along the way and taught us the knowledge we were able to showcase during this competition,” Rechenberg said.

Learn more about School of Pharmacy

Published: Oct 29, 2020

Top Stories