Clinical Skills Competition

Two pharmacy students counseling patient

The purpose of the Clinical Skills Competition is to increase pharmacy students' awareness of the importance of the pharmacist's role in direct patient care. In the competition, students work on case studies in self-selected teams of two.

Teams compete by demonstrating their skills in assessing patient information and current therapy, identifying and prioritizing drug therapy problems, identifying treatment goals, and recommending a pharmacy care plan. A panel of evaluators determines the winners of the competition using the criteria provided.

Each year SSHP holds a schoolwide Clinical Skills Competition (CSC) which is open to all students. Yes, first-years can compete. Winners of the school-wide competition will receive complimentary registration at the Midyear Clinical Meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada, and compete at the national level.

During the competition, each team will have two hours to complete the written materials. Teams may not take anything from or bring anything into the room during that time. Resources will be provided. Upon completion of the written portion, teams will give a 5-minute oral presentation justifying their care plan recommendations. At the national level, there will be an additional 5-minute question-and-answer period.

Case presentations are evaluated on the thoroughness of the recommendations, accuracy of the presented material and overall communication skills. A winning team is declared based on the combined score of the written submissions and the oral presentation. 

The National Competition

The National Competition is held annually during the Midyear Clinical Meeting. It is a two-day event, completed in two phases. Eligibility requirements of the national competition include the requirements for the school competition. Only teams who have qualified at the school level are eligible to participate in the national competition. Cases used in the national competition use the same format as the school competition, but have an advanced level of difficulty.

Preliminary Round

The preliminary round consists of the written case work-up only. Each school's winning team will compete in the preliminary round, but only the 10 highest-scoring teams advance to a final round to give their oral presentations. The preliminary round is a closed session and open only to participants. The top10 finalist teams will be announced during the student programming on Sunday morning.

Final Round

The final round consists of oral presentations. Meeting attendees may observe the oral presentations during the final round of competition. Winners of the National Clinical Skills Competition will be announced at the Student and New Practitioner Reception on Sunday evening.


Prizes for the national competition consist of a $100 ASHP gift certificate and a copy of ASHP's PharmPrep, a CD-ROM-based board exam preparatory tool, that will be given to each team member of the10 finalist teams. The winning team will also receive a cash award of $500 each.

Originally posted: August 27, 2013
Last updated: September 4, 2014
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