Get To Know: Preceptor Kristine Schwandt

June 10, 2019

Kristine Schwandt, RPh, an ambulatory pharmacist at Rochester Regional Health, has served as a preceptor for the Wegmans School of Pharmacy for the last year. She has also engaged in five medical missions with the School, and this summer, she will lead a team of students to El Salvador on her sixth mission.

Kristine Schwandt poses with a community member while on a medical mission trip.

In the Know caught up with Dr. Schwandt to find out what she loves about Fisher students and why medical missions have become her passion.

ITK: What do you find most fulfilling about working as a pharmacist?

KS: I chose the profession of pharmacy because I truly wanted to help people and I find that still holds true and is the most fulfilling aspect of my job. In my current role, I have minimal direct contact with the patients, but I do assist other health care professionals in their pursuit to provide the safest and highest quality care every day.

ITK: What do you enjoy most about being a preceptor for pharmacy students? 

KS: I enjoy serving as a preceptor for pharmacy students who choose a mission-focused international rotation because I highly value the cross-cultural experience they receive by serving at a medical clinic in another country.

ITK: What is one piece of advice you give students entering the pharmacy profession?

KS: One piece of advice that I give to pharmacy students is to keep an open mind and explore every opportunity possible within the profession because there are currently so many career options for us. Pharmacy has evolved over recent years to include so much more than the standard drug store practice.

ITK: If you could describe Fisher pharmacy students in three words, what would they be? Why?

KS: The three words that I would use to describe Fisher pharmacy students are: professional, equipped, and ambitious. The pharmacy program attracts students who are looking for more than just an education; they are also looking for an experience that will prepare them for whatever aspect of the pharmacy profession that they choose to pursue after graduation.

ITK: This summer, you are traveling to El Salvador with pharmacy students, faculty, and residents. Why are international medical missions a beneficial experience for students?

KS: This has become a passion of mine because I had to wait until I graduated and was established in my career to have the opportunity to serve others and explore diverse cultures, so I find it exciting that my students are able to have these life-changing experiences so early.

International medical mission trips are beneficial for students because they are forced to focus on individuals and needs outside of themselves, which is very counter cultural in the American society that we currently live in. Loving and serving others gives them personal satisfaction as well as an appreciation for all that they have been blessed.