29 March 2017
It’s been quite awhile since you’ve heard from me but I’ve been very busy behind the scenes developing great plans for my upcoming trip to Uganda. This will be my 11th and every experience seems to build upon the last. This journey will be no exception. We leave in 2 days and although we will be gone just 3 weeks, they will be jam packed with roughly spending 1 week in each of three cities. We will begin with Mbarara. This city is is in the southwest part of Uganda and we will be again working with the Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) School of Pharmacy to provide a 3-day Pharmaceutical Care (PC) Workshop that build on the knowledge and skills the students learned during the September 2016 program. My team and I are thrilled to have been invited back and it is especially nice that we will work with the same students. I’ve actually been in touch all winter with a couple of the student leaders. They text me (WhatsApp) from time to time to let me know of the interesting endeavors they are involved in or to tell me about how they are using the PC skills when going to the hospital. I’m also impressed with their commitment to improving health in their community and surrounding areas. I will introduce some of the students in an upcoming blog.
I will also be back in Kampala working with students and faculty from Makerere University and with pharmacists at the Pharmaceutical Society of Uganda (PSU). We will be delivering a 1-day PC training workshop for Pharmacists who want to initiate clinical service in the local hospitals on a volunteer basis. How impressive is their commitment to volunteer to use their skills to develop new ways to improve patient care!
Finally we will spend a week in Masindi with the Masindi-Kitara Medical Center, in rural northwestern Uganda. This small clinic and hospital provides an entirely different view of healthcare for the US pharmacy students and I am always really eager to see all my friends again. Since this facility doesn’t have a pharmacist, we can help teach the staff about how to inprove safe medication use or research questions for them.
I also have some extra guests on this trip. I will introduce them along the way but first I’d like to share information about the Wilkes University Pharmacy Students going on this trip.
My name is Becky and I am in my last year of Pharmacy school at Wilkes. When I graduate in May I hope to get a job in the military or public health. I do not have much international experience, I have traveled out of the country to Canada, Saint Martin, Jamaica, Mexico, and a few other tropical areas on cruise ships. I am participating in this Global Health Experience because I like to travel and would like to take every opportunity I can to explore different areas of the world.
I am from Connecticut and I have one sister and two dogs. I enjoy being active and like to bike, swim, and hike. In my spare time I also like to read and learn new things. I am excited to go to a new place and meet new people.
Hello! My name is Jessica and I am currently a P4 pharmacy student at Wilkes University. I currently work as an intern at Walgreens. When I am not busy with school or working at Walgreens I enjoy watching TV series or movies, crafting and baking, and sleeping. Most recently I have been going to the gym which has been going well so I’m going to try and continue with that.
My professional goals include actively being involved with community outreach programs sponsored by Walgreens, displaying empathy and concern for difficult patients, trying to stay calm and maintain patience when the pharmacy gets hectic, and determine a plan for after graduation.
I have relatives in England so when I was younger my family and I traveled there to visit them on two different occasions. Then when I graduated from high school I traveled to England and France. It was a two-week trip and we explored several different surrounding areas such as Normandy and Nice. I have also been to Canada a couple of times with my family as well.
I am participating in the Global Health experience in Uganda for a couple of different reasons. I believe that if an experience comes up then one should take it. Never in a million years did I think that I would be going to Uganda, Africa, but I want to experience the culture and the medical field. It’s a once in a life time opportunity that I could not pass up. As stated, I cannot wait to see how the pharmacy field operates in Uganda. From what I have heard, it is completely different and I can’t wait to watch and learn from the Ugandan students and people. I think that I can teach them as well. Both parties will be able to take away something from the trip whether it is educational or cultural. Lastly, I think that this experience will allow me to step out of my comfort zone and gain a different perspective of life and pharmacy practice as a whole which will help me to excel in my future endeavors as a licensed pharmacist.
I am pleased to begin this month long upcoming journey into the heart of Africa. I first heard about this experience during my sophomore year of college and was immediately impressed. I am thankful that my school, Wilkes University, has continued to offer this trip for pharmacy students year after year.
My family and I have a longstanding passion for traveling. I grew up traveling to Europe at a young age but later traveled more around North America as I got older. Canada is currently my favorite destination outside the United States.
I am currently a fourth-year pharmacy student on my way to completing a doctor of pharmacy degree. The fourth year consists of rotations or internships that allow me to experience different areas of pharmacy practice to determine which setting suits my interests. Right now, I am at Geisinger Health Plan completing a managed care rotation. My previous rotation back in June was at a community pharmacy Medicine Shoppe in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
In terms of professional goals, I first hope to graduate from pharmacy school. Secondly, I plan to apply, and complete a residency program. This will give me further training and polish my skills as a pharmacist before fully entering the work force. Over the next year, I plan to conduct a research project that would most likely happen during a residency program. Otherwise I plan to stay involved in the following professional organizations: CPFI (Christian Pharmacists Fellowship International), APhA (American Pharmacists Association), ASHP (American Society of Health Systems Pharmacists), and AMCP (Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy).
I have a number of reasons for which I am participating in the Uganda trip. The most important reason is to serve Christ and the world through pharmacy. My faith in God is the top priority in my life. As much as pharmacy and medical advancements have helped and healed so many people, it can’t compare to the eternal healing that we have in Jesus Christ. As I like to say, physical healing is temporary, but spiritual healing is forever. Another reason I am doing the Uganda trip is to determine how I feel about medical/pharmacy missions (i.e. is it something I want to do again?). This trip is typically longer than most short term mission’s trips. Hopefully, this will cause me to think about long term mission’s opportunities. Others goals that I have include gaining a better understanding of the culture, church, and religious/spiritual state of Uganda. I’m also looking to improve my clinical and drug information skills particularly in ambulatory care and infectious disease. Lastly, I plan to reconnect with old acquaintances (e.g. Pamela Blessed) and even build newer relationships with the people of Uganda. Here’s looking forward to another great adventure!