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Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy

East Tennessee State University

Shannon Schreiner experiences interdisciplinary care in Guatemala


Shannon Schreiner (right) with Betty Dumas

“Pandemonium” was the word Shannon Schreiner, class of 2019, used when reflecting on her first day at the clinic in Guatemala last summer.  However, she also noted that after seeing around 350 patients, the medical, dental and pharmacy professionals “quickly managed to streamline the process, and in doing so, provided interdisciplinary care.”  Shannon described the interdisciplinary team approach in Providing Remote Care, her essay published in the APhA September/October 2017 edition of Student Pharmacist’s (Volume 14, Number 1, page 20): “A medical student, their high school-aged translator, and a student pharmacist triaged the visits, which typically occurred in family groups of more than three people.  Diagnoses would be made and confirmed with the attending physicians, a student pharmacist would recommend an optimal medication regimen based off our limited formulary, and then pharmacist verification would be obtained, while any pediatric weight-based calculations were being performed and medications filled.  The student pharmacist would take the mediation back to the patient and medical student, and provide the necessary counseling.”

Shannon accompanied Gatton College of Pharmacy Experiential Education Director Dr. Susie Crowe and Mervin Jacob (Class of 2017) on the five-day collaborative mission trip organized by Central Baptist Church of Johnson City, TN, and Clubhouse Guatemala.  During their time at the rural site near Volcan Pacaya in Guatemala, they worked closely with two physicians, four medical students, and a dental team to provide care to more than 850 patients.

According to Shannon, the clinic days were long and hectic, however, they also found time for activities outside the clinic.  One such activity was prompted by the birthday of group member Betty Dumas, a retired nurse. Miss Dumas wanted to celebrate her 85th birthday by climbing up a mountain to get a better view of an active volcano near their compound.  In recounting the day, Shannon quipped, “I hope that I’m half that plucky when I’m her age.”

Overall, Shannon said the trip “allowed me to broaden my horizons to other roles that pharmacists have, strengthen my interprofessional skills and also solidify my desire to pursue global health upon graduation – I highly recommend the experience!”


Shannon Schreiner, Dr. Susie Crowe, Mervin Jacobs

Shannon Schreiner, Dr. Susie Crowe, Mervin Jacobs

View of volcano near the compound in Guatemala.

View of volcano near the compound in Guatemala.

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