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College News

Pharmacy Students Head to El Salvador


Students, faculty, and alumni from the Wegmans School of Pharmacy served on the School’s El Salvador Medical Mission Team over the summer, and returned in late July after eight days of service to underserved patients in communities throughout the country.

Dr. Alex DeLucenay, Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice and graduate of the School of Pharmacy, led the group as the faculty team leader. He participated in the trip twice while he was a student at the College.

The Fisher group joined a larger group of 47, including interdisciplinary and non-medical professionals and students from as far as California to North Carolina. According to DeLucenay, this was the largest pharmacy team to serve on the trip since it began six years ago.

DeLucenay said the group practiced out of a local church school in San Miguel, where they saw about 1,900 patients over the course of eight days. They treated mostly bacterial, parasitic, and fungal infections, and saw many patients who needed help with pain management.

Thomas Major, a P2 student, was one of the students who served on the mission trip. But it was not his first medical mission trip. Major had traveled to Senegal with his church in 2004 for three weeks, and helped run a similar clinic.

While in El Salvador, Major was given a leadership role in the clinic, often times having to answer questions from other pharmacy students and make clinical decisions on his own because it was so busy.

“My classmates and I had a sharp learning curve, and had to quickly learn which drugs could be used for which infections when it came to antibiotic dosing, since it’s not taught until our third year. It certainly tested our leadership abilities,” said Major.

He recommends to any pharmacy students thinking about serving on a medical mission trip that they go.

“I would certainly go again. The team camaraderie and adventure alone were very enjoyable. And it’s a great clinical learning experience,” he said.

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