First-Year Pharmacy Student at UTHSC Wins $32,318 in Cash, Prizes on ‘The Price Is Right’

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A student at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) went to a pharmacy convention in California and came home with a new car, a motorcycle, cash and more. Shrikant Patel was the only first-year UTHSC pharmacy student who joined a group of 29 second-year pharmacy students recently to attend the annual meeting of the American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) in Los Angeles. Before coming back to Memphis, the group decided to attend a taping of the TV show “The Price is Right,” forming a block of UT orange T-shirts in the show’s audience.

Originally from Dickson, Tenn., Patel not only guessed the price of a 2013 Honda dirt bike, getting him up onstage with host Drew Carey, he guessed the exact amount, earning him an additional $500 cash.

“I want to thank those 29 fellow students who were there to support me and be my cheerleaders throughout the show,” Patel said. “They were the ones who gave me energy to make it as far as I could.”

Patel’s winning streak continued straight through to the Showcase Showdown at the end of the episode. His entire prize package included: a 2013 Honda “CRF 110F” off-road motorcycle worth $1,999, $500 cash, a Samsung “Chromebook” laptop computer worth $249, an Elmira Stove Works “Northstar” electric range worth $4,195, and a 2013 Dodge Avenger SXT worth $25,375.

Sworn to secrecy by the game show’s staff, Marie Chisholm-Burns, dean of the UT College of Pharmacy, decided to invite the entire college to watch the show when it aired in mid-April. Students, faculty, staff and administrators in both College of Pharmacy locations — Memphis and Knoxville — were invited to “Come on Over” – paraphrasing “The Price Is Right” lingo – for a watch party and BYOD (Bring Your Own Drink). The college supplied the pizza and Patel supplied the excitement, reliving the big win in front of a UTHSC audience of about 400, counting the two east and west Tennessee College of Pharmacy sites.

“I also want to thank Dean Chisholm-Burns and all the faculty members for working around the schedule, canceling classes and allowing us to watch ‘The Price Is Right’ as a part of a big UT family, which meant a lot to me,” Patel said. “It was a huge moment in my life that I will never forget.”

Above all, the lucky student wanted to thank David K. Solomon, PharmD, a professor who interviewed Patel when he was a candidate for the Class of 2016. “If it wasn’t for Dr. Solomon, the UT College of Pharmacy, and for the APhA-ASP, I wouldn’t have been on ‘The Price is Right,’ ” Patel said.

Ranked 17th among 129 colleges and schools of pharmacy in the United States by U.S. News & World Report, the UT College of Pharmacy provides the only ranked pharmacy program in the state of Tennessee. The college offers both PharmD and PhD degrees with the opportunity for students to also pursue dual degrees — PharmD/PhD and PharmD/MBA. Overall, the college enrolls approximately 620 professional degree students and 60 graduate students. The PharmD program maintains an on-time graduation rate that exceeds 94%, and a first-time board pass rate exceeding 98%. UT Pharmacy graduates continue to have a powerful edge in a competitive market for residency and job placement.