Rijo Jose loves being a pharmacy student. She gets up at 5 am to study and goes to bed with a 4.O GPA. In her spare time, she enjoys mixing ointments and preparing capsules. So it was no surprise she was selected to be part of Monroe’s elite Study Abroad Team in the Dominican Republic.
But the scale of poverty did surprise her and that’s when she learned a very valuable lesson - medicines treat the symptoms of illness, but rarely the cause. Instead of counting tablets, Rijo was sent door to door in poor villages to count sick children and take notes on the sanitary conditions within each home.
When those same families came to the clinic the following day, her careful observations made diagnosis easier and treatment more effective. As an unlicensed student Rijo wasn’t allowed to hand out the pharmaceuticals.
She did, however, dispense plenty of hugs and compassion to grateful parents. Good medicine, it turns out, doesn’t come from a bottle. It comes from the heart.