By: Marie Huang
As the studio lights dimmed and the dynamic music played in the background, many students gathered in St. Albert Hall B75 in anticipation of who will be crowned the game’s next “PharmD.” A competitive air dangled, but the crowd chattered excitedly as a generous lunch was provided. Four seats lined the front of the amphitheatre – three for team members and one designated for Mohammad A. Rattu, our returning game show host. Mr. Rattu discussed the rules of this year’s game, as well as the three lifelines: ask the audience, consult a pharmacist (Dr. Maidhof or Dr. Patel), or use the textbook (“Applied Therapeutics: The Clinical Use of Drugs” by Koda-Kimble or the “Drug Information Handbook” by LexiComp).
All questions and participating teams were randomly selected. The first team to step up to the plate was Chak de India (Marina Chamakala, Stanley Saji, and Shawn Varghese), who struck out after five questions on a question regarding α2-adrenergic receptor agonism of brimonidine, thus sealing their places as “first semester aces.” It was then Team Weapon Rx’s (Gokul Kalla, Jonathan Chan, and Jay Chadderwala) turn to play their luck on the board. When asked, “Which medication does not usually induce hypokalemia?” they sought the audience’s advice. Indeed, digoxin was the answer! After speeding their way to the tenth question, Team Weapon Rx encountered their most challenging question yet: “Which of the following may cause up to a 20% increase in cholesterol within a few months of initiating therapy?” Upon choosing “methylprednisolone” as their (incorrect) final answer, they left the hot seat with great dignity.
Next came Team Roflcoxib (Albert Bergagnini and Nicholas Caselli), two of the three 6th year PharmD candidates who were first place winners in last year’s over-the-counter-themed version of the game. When asked, “Which of the following drugs exhibits Michaelis-Menten Kinetics?” they were lucky to be sitting in a room half full of 5th years who just recently took their second advanced pharmacokinetics exam. Mr. Bergagnini and Mr. Caselli cruised through 11 questions while wisely using up the three lifelines they were provided. Unfortunately, the initial replacement dose of nicotine that should be given to a patient who smokes more than 10 cigarettes per day is 21mg, not 14mg. Team Roflcoxib then returned as the highest scoring team thus far.
The lottery selected Team MR.N (Mickey Aggarwal, Raymond Wu, and Neal Shah) to take the hot seat next. Six questions in and no lifeline exploited, Dr. Maidhof was eventually prompted with the question, “Which of the following does not increase INR when taken with warfarin?” A tricky question like this stumped our pharmacist lifeline and even the whole crowd as the correct answer, “green tea” (instead of “melatonin”), flashed on the screen.
Team 3.14 (Feroze Karanjia, Jena Marion, and Rane Jabonillo) soon asked Dr. Maidhof, “Which of the following is not a notable side effect of amphotericin B?” and correctly responded with “hepatitis.” Unfortunately, the group claimed their place as “second semester aces” after using the audience lifeline for “Which of the following is a second-generation protease inhibitor?” – a question that barely anyone in the room knew the answer to.
The second round of “Who Wants to be a PharmD?” took place one week later in order to break a tie and to give the two remaining teams the opportunity to play. Group A (Marina Ermolaeva, Alex Martinez, and Nick Scapelito) stepped up first to the plate. Six questions in, they consulted Dr. Patel when asked, “What is the recommend elemental iron intake (mg/day) required for treating iron deficiency anemia?” Their final answer turned out to be incorrect when 200mg appeared on the screen. Next, it was Team Vitamin M’s (Sharon Janak, Yi Liu, and Lauren Kaveski) turn to have a shot at the questions. With ease, they breezed through nine stages and were faced with a stumper: “Which of the following is an anaerobic, infectious organism?” Confidently, Vitamin M chose “Pseudomonas,” but it was incorrect.
To conclude the game show, Team 3.14 and Vitamin M competed in a tie breaker. After six extremely perplexing questions and many held breaths, the members of Team Vitamin M sealed their spot as 3rd place winners!
THE FINAL SCOREBOARD:
1st Place: Roflcoxib (11 points) – receiving $35 Macy’s gift cards
2nd Place: Weapon Rx (10 points) – receiving $25 Amazon.com gift cards
3rd Place: Vitamin M (9 points) – receiving $15 Dunkin’ Donuts gift cards
4th Place: Team 3.14 (9 points)
5th Place: MR.N (6 points)
6th Place: Group A (6 points)
7th Place: Chak de India (5 points)
Congratulations to all the winners, participants, and others who attended this riveting event! Many thanks to the faculty members and students who made this event possible.
Tune in next year to see who will be crowned the next “PharmD” of the game!