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Counseling Champ

UHCOP Chapter Names Sara Mirjamali as Winner of Local Patient Counseling Competition, College Representative in National Event

Third-year Pharm.D. student Sara Mirjamali beat out more than 60 fellow students to capture the crown in the 2017-18 UH College of Pharmacy Chapter of the American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists Patient Counseling Competition. 

Mirjamali, who took third place in the local competition last year and fifth place in her first year at the college, will now represent UHCOP in the National Patient Counseling Competition at the 2018 APhA/APhA-ASP Annual Meeting & Exposition March 16-19 in Nashville, Tenn.

Within the competition, the students are given a prescription and patient profile that informs the student of their patient’s medical history. The students are then given five minutes to review the information, along with research materials that educate them on the drug and its symptoms.

The judges in the competition include both pharmacists and professionals from other industries to give a more comprehensive approach to the students’ evaluation. The competition is broken up into two rounds and video recorded for judging and future playback as an educational tool.

Kroger Pharmacy, which has sponsored the local competition for more than two decades, will cover Mirjamali’s expenses to attend the national meeting.

"Patient counseling has been something I’ve been passionate about since before I even entered pharmacy school," Mirjamali said. "The idea of being a member of the community that people trusted enough to tell them how to properly take their medications was something that excited me, and still excites me today.

"I’m thankful for the opportunity APhA-ASP provides to our students through the Patient Counseling Competition, as it allows us to practice and improve on these important skills we need as future pharmacists. I am honored to be able to represent our college on a national level in Nashville this year!"

The top four finalists were Lauren Goldberg, second place; Sara's sister, Melissa Mirjamali, third place; Erica Morales, fourth place; and Sabrina Ali, fifth place. Rounding out the top 10 were, in alphabetical order, were Phillip Ngo, Sannya Salim, Rhea Soltau, Ryan Winslow and Abigail Wright.