22-24 April 2016 – An IMU team took second place at the 2016 National Clinical Pharmacy Challenge was held at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM). The IMU pharmacy student teams which contested the 2016 National Clinical Pharmacy Challenge were led by Jordy Wong Der Yuan (front row, extreme left in the main photo), a Bachelor of Pharmacy fourth year student, expected to graduate in June 2016. The teams comprised 10 students and were advised by Mr Rohit Kumar Verma of the Department of Pharmacy Practice of the IMU School of Pharmacy. The first National Clinical Pharmacy Challenge (NCPC) 2014 was held at Universiti Kebangsaan, Malaysia, also the organiser of this second NCPC. This year’s Challenge was contested by 16 teams from 12 universities, namely the International Medical University (IMU), Taylor’s University, SEGi University, UCSI, Cyberjaya University College of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, the International Islamic University of Malaya, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, MAHSA, Universiti Malaya, MARA – University of Technology and University of Kuala Lumpur.
Jordy said “I am really honoured to have this golden opportunity to represent IMU in this competition before I graduate. I have always been interested in clinical pharmacy, which is a specific area covered in the IMU Bachelor of Pharmacy programme. During my final semester, the placement experience at Hospital Kuala Lumpur definitely gave me a booster dose of clinical pharmacy knowledge and further stimulated my interest in this area.”
“When I knew that IMU had been invited to take part in this competition, I didn’t hesitate for a second. I immediately asked the person-in-charge for more details and then joined as a member of IMU Team 1. We were allowed two teams. However, only eight fourth year students responded and hence two third year students were asked to join the teams. Finding out that IMU won the second prize in the NCPC two years ago really stressed us. We got really worried that the third year students might drag us down and we tried to help both third year students improve their knowledge.” As it turned out, instead of seniors helping the juniors, the juniors actually refreshed the seniors’ memories, particularly on musculoskeletal system, chemotherapy and diabetes management. The juniors were just so fantastic! Initially, the fourth year seniors thought that the two third year students had been forced to join the team, but they discovered that the juniors had volunteered, out of enthusiasm for clinical pharmacy. The students’ preparation included brainstorming possible questions and how to respond to them. In the preliminary round of high-level multiple choice questions (MCQs) and moderate-level short answer questions (SAQs), both IMU teams were placed in the top three positions. Mr Rohit and all the fourth year students were really impressed with our third year students’ performance! They were well-equipped with fresh clinical knowledge since they also had clinical pharmacy in the third year although they didn’t have the experience of an actual hospital placement. The preliminary stage knocked out 8 teams, but both IMU teams went through to the semi-final round, consisting of an Objective Structured Pharmacy Examination (OSPHE). This is similar to the Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs) the students experienced in the IMU pharmacy programme, but is more extensive and covers more elements in each station. Unfortunately, IMU Team Two did not make it into Final Round 1. IMU Team One won their tie-break against USM Team One, and got into Final Round 1 with USM Team 2, Taylor’s University and SEGI University. In this Round, all participating teams used the online platform Kahoot! to respond to high-level MCQs, going against the clock. IMU Team 1 achieved the highest points in Final Round 1 and entered Final Round 2 against USM Team 2. Final Round 2 was about pharmaceutical care planning for a patient with chronic co-morbidities, with the aim of optimising medication use in terms of safety and effectiveness. Each team was given one hour to prepare a presentation of their pharmaceutical care plan. “I was chosen by my team to present the pharmaceutical care plan, given my record as the pharmacy representative in the IMU Inter-professional learning forum for the past 3 years. During the presentation, I was quite nervous at first but soon settled down. I’m sure this is because IMU pharmacy students are required to give many presentations throughout their degree studies. Due to the fact that I am an interactive type of speaker, other participants and the judges really enjoyed my presentation,” added Jordy. “The response-to-questions session was as scary as ever and definitely gave all of us an adrenaline rush. Two of the judges are clinical pharmacists in cardiology at Hospital Kuala Lumpur. Responding to their questions again proved how good our team was in terms of teamwork and knowledge, because we had discussed most of the potential questions during our preparations.” The judges were simply impressed with our performance and gave us 2 big thumbs up and big smiles!
“IMU Team 1 was awarded the second prize. Although we did not manage to get the first prize, we were really happy about our performance because we had worked well together and tried our very best!”
“It is nice to be in first place, but just because you are not on a winner, does not mean you are a loser.”
In this competition, I gained something far more important and precious than the first prize! Although I am not a competitive person, I had challenged myself to step outside my comfort zone into a competition Besides this, I made friends from other universities- Taylor’s, SEGI and UKM. The pharmacy students from these universities are a bunch of lovely people who are nice to approach and talk with.