Doctor of Pharmacy Student Finds Her
Calling Helping the Indigent
“I was a completely different person a year ago,” said Jennifer S.
Bhuiyian’11P. That’s when she began her first direct patient-care
pharmacy practice clerkship.
John Conry, Pharm. D., Associate Clinical Professor, Clinical
Pharmacy Practice and Assistant Dean for Service Programs, Jennifer
was part of a mobile medical van
(Med Van) team that delivered healthcare services to the City’s
homeless — on the streets, in shelters and soup kitchens. “The
experience had a profound impact on me,” she said.
Jennifer’s responsibilities included taking patient histories,
educating them about their medical conditions and monitoring their
medications. Dr. Conry supervises pharmacy on the Med Van, which is
sponsored by Project
Renewal, a nonprofit committed to helping the underserved. “No
one,” she added, “has been more crucial to my development as a
compassionate healthcare provider than Dr. Conry. His passion for
making a difference has helped shape my personal and professional
“It has been an honor to have Jennifer as a student,” said Dr.
Conry. “She is an exceptionally intelligent, enthusiastic and
dedicated student pharmacist. I was particularly struck by her
commitment to providing compassionate care to the
“The homeless can be truly inspiring,” Jennifer said. “No matter
how much disarray their lives were in, they never missed a medical
appointment. I was overwhelmed by how grateful they were to us for
the one-on-one care we gave them.” This service showed her
that pharmacists can play a critical role in the lives of people
with limited access to healthcare.
Jennifer has also worked with HIV/AIDS patients and is currently
part of an educational outreach project — spearheaded by Dr. Conry
— helping uninsured diabetic patients. “Our goal is to
improve overall diabetes care for this sector,” Jennifer said. “We
counsel them about the use of blood sugar self-testing tools,
diet and disease management.”
The daughter of Bangladeshi parents, Jennifer grew up knowing about
the existence of third-world social injustices. But, serving the
homeless and other marginalized communities made her realize that
these injustices exist in the U.S. as well.
When she chose St. John’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Jennifer was
influenced by its first-rate reputation and emphasis on
service and the diversity of its student body. “I find it enriching
and educational to surround myself with people from different
backgrounds,” she explained. The College of Pharmacy and Allied
Health Services offers Master of Science, Ph.D. and Doctor of
Pharmacy degree programs.
She is currently applying for two sequential one-year residencies
— the first in general pharmacy practice and the second in
ambulatory care. A residency is a prerequisite for getting a
faculty position with a pharmacy school. Ultimately, Jennifer hopes
to combine an ambulatory care practice helping the indigent with
a faculty position at a pharmacy school like St. John’s. The
similarity of her goals with those of her role model, Dr. Conry, is
not lost on her.
“I am grateful to St. John’s, my mentor and others here who have
prepared me to be able to follow my passion to help the
underserved,” she said.