News

Sarah Lawes named as the 2011 Pharmacy Student of the Year


6 June 2011

Final year student Sarah Lawes has won the University of Sydney 2011 Pharmacy Student of the Year (PSOTY) competition. Organised by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, this national competition is open to all final year pharmacy students.

This year the PSOTY final was held on Wednesday 18th of May and the focus of the competition was on determining the student who excelled in clinical knowledge and communication skills.

Dr Rebekah Moles and Associate Lecturer Claire O'Reilly of the Faculty of Pharmacy coordinated and ran the event. Dr Moles said: "The theme this year was selected because clinical knowledge is obviously essential to a pharmaceutical career. However, we see strong communication and people skills to be equally important when it comes to being a best practice pharmacist." Prior to the final round, 11 students participated in the heats and role-played a scenario including helping a customer who wanted to quit smoking and was seeking advice on a respiratory condition.

Following the heats, four students went through to the final round: Sarah Lawes, Kelvin Cao, Bradley Ryan and Nicole Cerruto. Each person was given five minutes per scenario; they completed two each, and had to demonstrate their clinical knowledge and communication skills in assessing a customer's needs and recommending the best course of action. A supportive and enthusiastic audience consisting of fellow students, representatives from PSA and SHPA and academic staff, cheered them on.

Ms O'Reilly, one of the judges said: "Similar to previous years, it was a difficult judging the winner, as all four candidates performed extremely well. Each year the calibre of our students increases. Sarah was selected as the winner because she demonstrated a high level of clinical knowledge with good clear communication skills. She was able to easily interact with the customers and quickly determine a solution to the problem."

Sarah will go on to represent the university in the NSW final, which will be held in June at the Pharmacy Expo, and if she is successful she could go on to represent NSW at the national final at Pharmacy Australia Congress (PAC) in Melbourne in October. The winner of the national competition receives an opportunity to attend an international conference, courtesy of sponsors Alphapharm.

Sarah said: "I am excited about winning the finals and look forward to the prospect of representing the faculty and university at the next stage of competition. I hope to be successful and progress to the national final in Melbourne in October."

The judges and organisers of the event would like to thank SUPA for their contribution of hosting and catering the networking function held after the event.

Finalists of the Pharmacy Student of the Year competition - (L-R) Associate Lecturer Claire O'Reilly (judge), Dr Rebekah Moles (judge), Kelvin Cao, Nicole Cerruto, Bradley Ryan and Sarah Lawes.
Finalists of the Pharmacy Student of the Year competition - (L-R) Associate Lecturer Claire O'Reilly (judge), Dr Rebekah Moles (judge), Kelvin Cao, Nicole Cerruto, Bradley Ryan and Sarah Lawes.

Sarah Lawes, the 2011 Pharmacy Student of the Year
Sarah Lawes, the 2011 Pharmacy Student of the Year


Contact: Kate Sanday

Phone: 02 9351 2311

Email: 090b513a1e074c386827261d082d1350142a221f3c0008112143032d4446100f