Who was the 2018 Pharmacy Student of the Year?


The Pharmacy Student of the Year finalists.
The Pharmacy Student of the Year finalists.

ACT student Ben Coghlan has won both the 2018 PSOTY Award and the People’s Choice Award, announced at the PSA18 Gala Dinner in Sydney

Ben Coghlan, from the ACT, scored both Pharmacy Student of the Year and the People’s Choice Award at this year’s PSA conference.

Mr Coghlan was chosen amongst a group of eight finalists from across Australia.

“It’s pretty surreal,” he told AJP of the wins.

“I was just going in to get some counselling practice initially and working with our lecturers over that period of time just solidified the knowledge.

“I was lucky enough that I knew the topic on the day and the drugs.”

Mr Coghlan is studying a Master of Pharmacy at the University of Canberra, and has one semester left before he finishes his degree.

His first qualification was a Bachelor of Science at ANU.

Where does he hope his training will take him?

“I’d like to go into hospital pharmacy, we’ll see where that leads, but right now I am working in community pharmacy and I enjoy that [too].”

As the winner, Mr Coghlan receives the National Travel Prize for an expenses-paid trip to an international pharmacy conference.

Mylan Strategic Program Lead Charbel Azzi, PSOTY winner Ben Coghlan, ECP Director Lauren Burton and PSA president Dr Shane Jackson
Mylan Strategic Program Lead Charbel Azzi, PSOTY winner Ben Coghlan, ECP Director Lauren Burton and PSA president Dr Shane Jackson

The remaining PSOTY contestants, who were all chosen as Pharmacy Student of the Year in their respective states/territories, included:

  • Vanessa Koumi, University of South Australia (SA/NT)
  • Rhiannon Froude, Monash University (VIC)
  • Irini Moutsatsos, University of Tasmania (TAS)
  • Stephanie Figgins, Griffith University (QLD)
  • Charlotte (Rosie) Earl, Curtin University of Technology (WA)
  • Katherine Pollard, University of New England (NSW)
  • NAPSA Wildcard – Gabrielle Wilson, La Trobe University (VIC)

The PSOTY Grand Final, held as a session on the first day of the PSA conference, sees the student contestants enter a scenario where they have to counsel a patient on a clinical condition.

They are not informed of the condition beforehand.

Contestant in action at the PSOTY Grand Final.
Contestant in action at the PSOTY Grand Final.

“The PSOTY Award gives outstanding pharmacy students the chance to showcase their counselling skills to their peers and the wider profession,” said PSA National President Dr Shane Jackson.

“We saw many rising stars of pharmacy apply their clinical knowledge and communication skills in this year’s competition.”

Mylan Strategic Program Lead Charbel Azzi said: “All the finalists displayed well-rounded knowledge and the ability to apply it in a tightly fought competition.

“It fills me with confidence and reassurance to know the future of the profession and the industry will be in great hands.”

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