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The Language of Care


One of the ways that the College of Pharmacy at MBKU distinguishes itself among many pharmacy schools is by offering unique competitive advantages that will set graduates apart in the field from the very beginning. The collaborative, interprofessional nature of their education is one such advantage; another is the medical Spanish course that every student will take prior to graduation. Assistant Professor Michal Mingura, PharmD, FSVHP, teaches this course and she believes very strongly that medical Spanish is a tool students will come to value highly. “The Hispanic population in California is over 15 million and rising,” she says. “They have health care needs just like everyone else, and when you’re a provider you need to be able to provide health care to everyone, not just those who speak your language.

My goal is for students to, at a minimum, have the resources to greet their patients, and communicate the basics of their medication. Those that have experience already with Spanish can go even further, counseling, helping to translate directions and checking their technicians’ work.”

The course combines two of Dr. Mingura’s great passions: teaching and Spanish. Throughout a varied career journey that included theater production manager, emergency veterinary medicine and culminated with pharmacy, Dr. Mingura has always worked with Spanish-speaking populations, and she has always enjoyed any opportunity she has had to teach.

A Unique Giving Opportunity

One of the specific things Dr. Mingura loves about MBKU is how the institution’s dedication to serving the community often connects her and her students to Spanish-speaking populations. In fact, for those who are looking to support the College of Pharmacy financially, there is an area of need that benefits both MBKU students and community members. “One of the most important areas where Spanish is necessary is with the underserved population,” she says. “Those who only speak Spanish are the ones we see when our student organizations go out and do our local health fairs and outreach events, like screenings for blood pressure, diabetes or cholesterol. In order for our students to provide these services to the underserved in our community, they need supplies. We would love to create a fund for student organizations to use in these health fairs and screening events. The goal of these screenings is to get people preventative care and keep them out of the emergency room. By being able to do these outreach events, we’re saving the system money as well as making people healthier – and very often students get to use their medical Spanish and directly serve these patients in their own language.”