Vivian Ly wants to prioritize patient conversations when she’s a pharmacist.
Ly turned that desire into a skill she used to finish first runner-up in a national patient counseling competition for pharmacy students. Her feat was even more impressive because she did so during her first year at Chapman University’s School of Pharmacy.
The competition was arranged by the American Pharmacists Association (APhA). Ly reached the national semifinals in March with 119 others – including second-, third- and fourth-year students – at APhA’s national conference in San Antonio. She was one of 10 finalists.
“We are incredibly proud of Vivian,” says School of Pharmacy Interim Dean Rennolds Ostrom. “Each school of pharmacy in the nation sent their top student for this competition. With more than 140 pharmacy schools in the U.S., finishing second is an incredible feat for any student, but especially one still in their first year. Patient counseling is one of the most important skills of a pharmacist so this is a testament to Vivian’s bright future as a clinician.”
During the competition, each student had five minutes to talk with an actor portraying a patient about a prescription. In the APhA semifinals and finals, the students’ interactions were recorded on video for judges to watch.
“What they were looking for is communication – how well can you communicate with your patient?” Ly says. “The pharmacist bridges the gap. They make sure you make the most out of the medication when you take it.”
Part of the scoring rubric is technical, but primarily focuses on building a connection with the patient and showing compassion.
“My duty is to make sure they’re leaving with the proper treatment in their hands,” she says. “Once they get the diagnosis, seeing them live a healthier life is pretty rewarding. It’s always a collaboration between us, the patient and the doctor.”
About Chapman University
Founded in 1861, Chapman University is a nationally ranked private university located in Southern California. Chapman is categorized by the Carnegie Classification as an R2 “high research activity” institution and offers personalized education to more than 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The campus has produced a Rhodes Scholar, been named a top producer of Fulbright Scholars, and hosts a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honor society. Based in the city of Orange, Chapman also includes the Harry and Diane Rinker Health Science Campus in Irvine. In 2019, the university opened its 11th college, Fowler School of Engineering, in its newest facility, Keck Center for Science and Engineering. Learn more about Chapman University: www.chapman.edu.
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Chapman University School of Pharmacy student Vivian Ly is first runner-up in the American Pharmacists Association national patient counseling competition for pharmacy students in her first year studying pharmacy.