Cedarville University pharmacy students Sarah Berman and Micah Bernard.

Pharmacy Students Testing Skills in National Contest

by Natalia Kirychuk, Student Public Relations Writer

Two Doctor of Pharmacy students will represent Cedarville University at the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) clinical skills competition in Anaheim, California. The competition, held December 1, puts pharmacy skills to the test and gauges the abilities of a pair of students to accurately assess and provide care for a patient.

Sarah Berman, third-year professional pharmacy student from Mooresville, Indiana, and Micah Bernard, fourth-year professional pharmacy student from Katy, Texas, won the Cedarville University competition on October 12 against their fellow students and went on to win the Ohio Society of Health-System Pharmacists (OSHP) competition on October 27.

“Sarah and Micah clearly demonstrated an ability to provide evidence-based, high-quality patient care at the OSHP Clinical Skills Competition,” said Dr. Justin Cole, vice chair of pharmacy practice. “This recognition from among other talented students in Ohio demonstrates how Cedarville's student pharmacists are well prepared for vocational distinction in our profession. I have no doubt that they will represent Cedarville with excellence.”

At the beginning of the competition, each team is given a medical case and the duo must decide on a treatment plan and present it to a panel of judges. At the local and national competitions, each team has two hours to go over the case study and prepare, two minutes to present their case, followed by a time of questions from the judge panel. The state competition granted each team only 45 minutes to prepare. The judge panel consists of pharmacists completing their residencies and clinical preceptors.

Berman and Bernard have competed together in other research and clinical challenges throughout graduate school. To prepare, they studied and wrote basic treatment plans for major diseases. They eventually developed a thorough spreadsheet with a plan for each health issue.

“This competition allows you to build on skills you have learned in pharmacy school and show how they will be used in your career,” said Berman. “Cedarville has such a unique pharmacy curriculum with a lot of team-based learning and application exercises. We learn about real patient cases and how to apply them instead of just listening to a lecture.”

After graduating in 2020 with a doctorate in pharmacy, Berman hopes to work in ambulatory care, working closely with doctors in a community environment. She is looking forward to her pharmacy residency in primary care disease management.

“Competing in challenges is a good way to motivate myself to study harder,” said Bernard. “Cedarville really encourages and develops critical thinking skills. From team-based learning to interactive exercises to self-directed learning, Cedarville has prepared me for my current rotation and future career.” Bernard is currently completing clinical rotations at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. After graduation in May 2019, she will complete one or two years of a pharmacy residency and then hopes to work in a hospital as a clinical pharmacist.

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 4,193 undergraduate, graduate and online students in more than 150 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and leading student satisfaction ratings. For more information about the University, visit www.cedarville.edu.