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Annual Meeting Highlight - Clinical Pharmacy Challenge Winners

ACCP CPC 2023 Winners – University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Pharmacy


Meet the Winners of the 2023 Clinical Pharmacy Challenge (Left to Right: Claire Vogl, Hannah Kempker, and Rylee Pitts)
Meet the Winners of the 2023 Clinical Pharmacy Challenge
(Left to Right: Claire Vogl, Hannah Kempker, and Rylee Pitts)

This year, Claire Vogl, Hannah Kempker, and Rylee Pitts from the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) School of Pharmacy earned the title of ACCP’s 2023 Clinical Pharmacy Challenge champions at the Annual Meeting in Dallas, Texas.

Hannah is a fourth-year student from Jefferson City, Missouri, who went to UMKC for 2 years of undergraduate study before entering pharmacy school. She plans to complete a PGY1 residency and has always liked the idea of being a good generalist, where she can be fluid in different roles. Through this year of APPE rotations, her interests are currently in transplant, cardiology, and ambulatory care. Rylee is a fourth-year student from the Kansas City area who also attended UMKC for undergraduate study. He currently plans to complete a PGY1 residency and has interests in psychiatry, emergency medicine, and critical care that he is excited to further explore. Claire is a fourth-year student who grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, and attended Iowa State University for her undergraduate degree before attending UMKC for pharmacy school. She plans to complete a PGY1 residency; she is undecided on what area she would like to practice in but has interests in ambulatory care and internal medicine. She also has goals to continue gaining exposure to medical writing because it has always been one of her personal interests. This year, she was even able to have two manuscripts accepted for publication! After their victory, the ACCP National Student Network Advisory Committee chair (Kaely Miller) and vice chair (Ryan Kreill) asked the team a few questions:


Why did you choose pharmacy?

  • Hannah: I have always found the way medications work in the body to be very fascinating, so I started working at a pharmacy at a grocery store in high school. I loved how much I learned every day and decided that pharmacy was the career I wanted to pursue.
  • Rylee: I knew I wanted a career where I could make a direct impact on people’s lives. The medical field and physiology have always been fascinating to me. I felt pharmacy gave me the best opportunity to combine my desire to impact others with a career that aligned with my personal interests and curiosity.
  • Claire: I’ve always loved the sciences and decided to get my undergraduate degree in biochemistry because of my interest in metabolic pathways. When looking toward a career option, pharmacy was the perfect blend between patient care and science for myself.

How did you choose to work together on this team?

  • We’ve been friends since our first year of pharmacy school, so we were all aware of each other’s tendencies and hesitations when it came to areas of interest and weaknesses. This was helpful in knowing who might know more about specific categories in Jeopardy. Because we are all close, we also know each other’s tendencies and hesitations, which helped when we moved into the live buzzer rounds. One person might buzz for the other because we knew they might be more hesitant.

What did you do to prepare?

  • Generally, we looked through the ACCP pocket guide, the APhA review book, and our old pharmacotherapy notes. We also tried to look at specific Jeopardy categories as the rounds progressed, focusing on categories we hadn’t seen yet to prepare for the next round.
  • Additionally, we tried to focus on disease states that none of us were very familiar with, such as rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and hematology/oncology. I think the biggest thing we did to prepare was to talk aloud our strategy.

What tips or tricks do you have for future competitors?

  • Our mantra for the in-person rounds was to give it our all – with the new addition of the buzzer, it doesn’t allow for the ability to be hesitant if you want the points. Our strategy was to answer – whether it be right or wrong – if we had the hunch.
  • Online versus in-person rounds are a different game. In online rounds, you have more time to think critically and reason through a question. In person, you have to rely on all knowledge from didactic coursework and rotations to quickly come up with an answer and stick with it!

In hindsight, is there anything you would have done differently to prepare?

  • Claire personally didn’t feel like she would have done anything different to prepare. Because of the wide range of topics, it’s extremely difficult to predict what specific topics will be addressed. We all relied on our knowledge learned throughout our didactic years and our experiential rotations and trusted our gut instinct.

Did you have a specific plan for choosing the questions in the Jeopardy round?

  • We decided to choose the 100-point question in the category we were most comfortable with to help “ease” ourselves into the Jeopardy round and then continue in that category, if able. Historically, we felt that the 300-point questions in this round were the most difficult of all the rounds, so we wanted to save those until we were warmed up to the category.
  • Hannah thinks they gravitated to the categories they had the most experience with and left the others for last. For example, they tended to start with infectious disease, critical care, or cardiology and left hematology/oncology or biostatistics for the last category.

Who was your most influential mentor?

  • Hannah: I do not think I can choose one specific mentor. I have had experiences with so many great mentors and pharmacists throughout my pharmacy journey who have helped shape me into the student and person I am today. I feel like I have taken a piece of advice from each individual.
  • Rylee: My most influential mentor is Dr. Patrick Kelly, one of my APPE preceptors. Patrick is an extremely passionate and dedicated preceptor and pharmacist. He pushed me to learn and grow while providing a safe space for me to be inquisitive and think outside the box. He is selfless with his time and committed to helping me in any way he can. His dedication to advocating for his patients, who are often overlooked, is highly commendable. Patrick exhibits many characteristics I strive to instill in myself and is a great role model and mentor.
  • Claire: My most influential mentor is a professor I had last year during a longitudinal rotation, Dr. Eric Wombwell. He helped instill key concepts such as pathophysiology and mechanism of action that help me every day and played a role in the success of our team. Additionally, he showed me what it looks like to live a life of faith while also working as a pharmacist, which I hope to bring into my own practice in the future.

What was your favorite part of the 2023 ACCP Annual Meeting?

  • Hannah: Competing and meeting with the other brilliant teams!
  • Rylee: Making connections with the other teams. It was awesome to meet so many talented and like-minded individuals that we likely would have never met without this opportunity.
  • Claire: My favorite part of the conference was meeting students from the other teams! It was awesome to get to see people from other areas of the country and learn from them.

Interviewees: Hannah Kempker, Rylee Pitts, and Claire Vogl

Interviewers: Kaely Miller (SNAC chair) and Ryan Kreill (SNAC vice chair)