Pharmacy Students in Hawaii Hope to Use Culturally Competent Care in Their Future Careers

Thanks to its diverse patient population and unique culture, studying pharmacy in Hawaii provides interesting experiences with culturally competent care.

In an interview with Pharmacy Times, students from the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy at the University of Hawaii at Hilo discussed their unique experiences. Thanks to its diverse patient population and unique culture, studying pharmacy in Hawaii provides interesting experiences with culturally competent care.

Taylor Eleola, second-year pharmacy student: I personally am hoping to work and serve my home community in the future. Hawaii is a very culturally diverse state that continues to grow and expand, and for these reasons, culturally competent care is something I hope to continue to learn and refine my skills in, in order to better serve my community and all the cultures that it encompasses.

Analeslie Martinez, fourth-year pharmacy student: So, the reason I actually became interested in health care in general was because I grew up in an underserved community. I grew up seeing and experiencing the holes in health care, and how many [people in] my community fell through those cracks. My family and I didn't know much about OTC medications or conditions that we were susceptible to, and how to prevent them. I saw a huge disconnect between the health care team and our community. But I do remember seeing mobile clinics come through and how helpful that was to my community. So, this is why culture and health care is so very important to me. I want to be able to bridge the pharmacy world to communities that may have reservations, you know, that may not necessarily trust us in the beginning. So, this is why having those firsthand experiences here in Hawaii, with so many different types of communities around the island, across the mainland, and also abroad, has been such a great experience.

Andrew Schuler, fourth-year pharmacy student: I will develop culturally sensitive questions and also listen to what the patient is telling me. I will acknowledge their views and opinions, even if there are some differences, and I will also share my suggestions. By doing this I will hopefully create trust and the needed attention from the patient. Doing so I will then be able to develop the right plan of care for them.