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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!


Information & Advice for Potential Competitors



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.


2020 Winners and Finalists:


(2020 Finalists pictured left to right: Dylan Fox, Harrison Ferro, Kaitlyn Gaynor)



2020 Winner: Harrison Ferro, Wilkes University (2021)

Dylan Fox, Wilkes University (2020) and Kaitlyn Gaynor, PCP (2021)



Past Years' Winners and Finalists:

Year Winner Finalists
 2019 Jacquelyn Madler, Duquesne University (2020)

Kevin Kachurak, Wilkes University (2020)

Nicholas Field, PCP (2020)

 2018   Kayla Bardzel, Wilkes University (2018)

 Dylan Fox, Wilkes University (2020)

 Ashley Barlow, Jefferson (2019)

 2017  Colleen D'Amico, PCP (2018)

 Ashley Robold, Wilkes University (2017)

 Terra Landis, Wilkes University
 2016  Alvina Tran, Duquesne University (2017)

 Matthew Forman, Philadelphia College of Pharmacy  (2016)

 Mariah Corso, Duquesne University (2017)

 2015  Alysha Lopez, Wilkes University (2015)

 Stephani Strasburger, Temple University School of  Pharmacy (2016)

 Matthew Forman, Philadelphia College of Pharmacy (2016)

 2014  Colleen Herman, Wilkes University (2014)

 Benjamin Andrick, Duquesne University Mylan School of  Pharmacy (2015)

 Kyle McGrath, PharmD, University of Pittsburgh School  of Pharmacy (2015)

 2013  Gale Garmong, LECOM (2014)

 Tyler Chanas, University of Pittsburgh (2015)

 Victoria Hart, Philadelphia College of Pharmacy (2015)

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

 Justin Balint, PharmD

 Alicia Lichvar, PharmD



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