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"Know Pain Know Gain" Competition



Supported by PPA's Educational Foundation, the Know Pain Know Gain Pharmacy Patient Counseling Competition is held during the PPA Mid Year Conference.  Students may sign up to participate and a chance to win a cash prize. The winner will receive $75 and the other two finalists will each receive $25!


Informational Flyer


Information & Advice for Potential Competitors

Competition Details and Rules


Sample Questions


Topics Covered:
  • Palliative Care
  • Acute Care
  • Methadone
  • Geriatric Issues
  • LTC Issues
  • Chronic Pain
  • Outpatient Assessment
  • Non-opioid Based Drugs
  • Suboxone
  • Abuse & Overdose
  • Laws & Regulations
  • Adverse Events
Advice for Patient Counseling

Following a rapid-fire elimination round that will bring the number of contestants from 10 to 3, finalists will participate in a mock patient counseling session. Judges have developed a patient case, and a mock patient will interact with each finalist for up to seven minutes. The patient will be complex and have personality issues commonly seen in a chronic pain patient. Finalists should be aware of ALL of the medication the patient is taking, including over the counter medication. The session will test finalists’ pharmacy knowledge as well as communication skills and bedside manner.


The concepts of the case are simple; there just may be a few of them.  This is all clouded by the patient’s personality.  Look past the patient presentation to the basics of the case.  Keep a focused approach and remain in control of the conversation.  Adjust your speaking to the patient, but have a standardized approach to solving basic medication issues.


The ability to think on the spot and adapt to the patient and situation will be very helpful during the session. Judges evaluate finalists on verbal and non-verbal communication during counseling; coherent and logical assessment, plan, monitoring and counseling; and overall presentation for responses to the case. While co-morbid conditions are important in assessing and developing a treatment plan for pain, due to time constraints, keep the focus of the your plan on the pain management aspect.


2016 Winners and Finalists:


(2016 Finalists pictured left to right: Matthew Forman, Alvina Tran, and Mariah Corso)


2016 Winner: Alvina Tran, Duquesne University (2017)

Matthew Forman, Philadelphia College of Pharmacy (2016) and Mariah Corso, Duquesne University (2017)





Past Years' Winners and Finalists:


(2015 Finalists pictured left to right: Stephani Strasburger, Alysha Lopez, and Matthew Forman)



2015 Winner: Alysha Lopez, Wilkes University Nesbitt College of Pharmacy (2015)

Stephani Strasburger, Temple University School of Pharmacy (2016) and Matthew Forman, Philadelphia College of Pharmacy (2016)



(2014 Finalists pictured left to right; Colleen Herman, Benjamin Andrick, and Kyle McGrath)



2014 Winner: Colleen Herman, Wilkes University Nesbitt College of Pharmacy (2014)

Benjamin Andrick, Duquesne University Mylan School of Pharmacy (2015) and Kyle McGrath, PharmD, University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy (2015)


(2013 Finalists pictured left to right; Victoria Hart, Gale Garmong, and Tyler Chanas)



2013 Winner: Gale Garmong, LECOM (2014)

Tyler Chanas, University of Pittsburgh (2015) and Victoria Hart, Philadelphia College of Pharmacy (201)




(2012 Finalists pictured left to right; Alicia Lichvar, Brian Catton, and Justin Balint)

2012 Winner: Brian Catton, PharmD (New Practitioner, graduated in 2010)

Justin Balint, PharmD and Alicia Lichvar, PharmD

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