Reflection #1: Mary Youssef, PharmD Candidate 2021
I attended the talk given by Dr. Pon called Pharmacy aboard- medical mission trips on September 20, 2017. During this talk I learned about what goes into a medical mission trip, types of procedures performed during medical mission trips, and the pharmacist’s role in all of this. We saw pictures of the different types of medical problems that are encountered, such as cleft lips and tumors that required surgery. We also saw pictures of the pharmacy and learned about some of the things that they do. They do typical pharmacy stuff, like prescribe vitamins and not so typical stuff, like teach patients to use a water bottle as a spacer for an inhaler. I actually really enjoyed this talk and I am considering going on a medical mission trip. I have always been interesting in going on a medical mission trip, but this talk really inspired me to do so. I think it is a great and practical way to help others in need, which is something I really want to incorporate into my career.
Reflection #2: Tina Vu, PharmD Candidate 2021
Dr. Pon shared her experiences about her medical mission trips to Haiti and Guatemala. During her trips, she was in charge of the pharmacy aspect, she and her team showed patients how to take certain drugs and how to use their inhalers. They also provided vitamins for children and dispensed drugs following the doctors’ orders. Dr. Pon’s presentation sparked an interest in me to give back to those in need in underdeveloped countries. I was touched by the images and stories that she shared, from the way the people had to gather wood for cooking and loading it onto their backs, to the image of the ambulance in Haiti that was actually meant to be for the morgue. These stories made me realize how much help the people of these countries need and that there are many things we take for granted in the United States. Dr. Pon’s stories made me think of my home country, Vietnam and how much medical help is also needed there.