Instead of taking some time off between his second and third-year, CU Pharmacy student Pulkit Jain turned his summer vacation into a learning opportunity. He volunteered in Cambodia, assisting medical teams under the supervision of physicians. He received the opportunity through his cousin, who is a physician and the founder of an organization called Save Each One, which provides care to rural, underserved areas. The locations were so remote, Jain and the other volunteers would travel up to 14 hours per day just to reach patients, “From the day I landed and the first day I got to a site, the first thing that came to my mind was, we are really fortunate to be living in a country where we don’t have to walk several miles to get medical treatment,” he said.
Jain was the only pharmacy student in the group, during his time there he said he observed a health care system that is in need of some reform, specifically when it comes to medications, “A lot of the doctors were prescribing antibiotics, they weren’t even checking signs and symptoms or if they had an infection.” He worked with physicians to set up a better process to determine what a patient really needs.
Jain says the communication skills he’s learned as a student at CU Pharmacy came in handy during his work in Cambodia, “One of the things I was able to do there was improve how doctors interact with patients. A lot of them we were able to diagnose that they had chronic diabetes or hypertension and they didn’t know about it. ”
Even though Jain was there for only two weeks, he still feels like he made an impact, “I think I did make a difference. The doctors were definitely very appreciative of my help, and I felt like I definitely helped them out.”
Jain adds that he feels the difference he made was short term and he would like to go back and continue to help educate both patients and physicians.