Clarkson University Physician Assistant Students Complete Medical Mission Trip to Nicaragua

May 15, 2024

A group of 19 second- and third-year Physician Assistant Studies students from Clarkson University, along with a group of local medical professionals, completed a medical mission trip to Nicaragua from March 16 to 23.

A group of students and medical professionals stand in three rows, touching their knees as they pose for a photo wearing scrubs on the steps of a wooden gazebo.

The trip was led by Camryn Peets, third year physician assistant student and president of Clarkson University’s PA Students Without Borders (SWOB), under the guidance of Tushar Sirsat, faculty advisor and assistant professor for the Lewis School of Health Sciences.

“Our medical mission trip presents a unique chance for students and future medical providers to gain invaluable hands-on experience in healthcare,” Peets said. “By participating in this mission, we’ve been able to deepen our understanding of rural medicine and address the pressing needs of medically underserved communities, including our own. These experiences have not only enriched our clinical skills but have also touched our hearts in ways we could never have imagined.”

The team consisted of Clarkson PA students Camryn Peets ‘24, Cathy Phan ‘25, Chase Perkins ‘24, Faryal Choudhary ‘25, Grace DeYoung ‘25, Hannah Whitehead ‘24, Isabella May ‘24, Kacee French ‘25, Kylie George ‘25, Liam Cummings ‘25, Marissa Needleman ‘25, Nicole Stone ‘25, Rachel Bradley ‘25, Sarah Dimick ‘25, Shea Pitoy ‘25, Simone Gibeau ‘25, Sydney Lancaster ‘24, Taylor Hinson ‘24, and Theresa Eamer ‘25.

The team was accompanied by medical professionals Dr. Kiri Brandy, general surgeon at St. Lawrence Health, Sara Mohaddes, PA-C a hospitalist for the intensive care unit at St. Lawrence Health, and Sirsat as faculty advisor.

“This trip was not for the weak and everyone on it grew a little stronger in heart and soul,” Brandy said. “I watched third-year students flourish and develop into leaders and I watched the second year students start off with apprehension in their eyes but in the end I think they developed the most by being thrown out of their comfort zones! It truly is a blessing to be in medicine if you find the correct mindset and vision for the journey.”

Throughout their mission, students provided essential care to approximately 500 patients, addressing a wide range of medical needs and fostering improved health outcomes within the community. The mission provided an opportunity for students to develop essential clinical skills. From conducting fingerstick glucose checks to interpreting urine dipsticks, students were actively involved in various aspects of patient care, under the guidance of experienced medical professionals.

Moreover, students had the opportunity to perform injections, demonstrating their proficiency in administering treatments and medications with precision and care. Additionally, the utilization of an ultrasound device enabled students to further assess and evaluate their patients, enhancing their diagnostic capabilities and expanding their medical expertise.

This immersive experience not only bolstered students' clinical proficiency but also fostered confidence in their ability to deliver quality healthcare services. Through their active participation in diverse medical procedures, students emerged from the mission with a deeper understanding of patient care and a heightened sense of professional readiness to serve communities in need.

For more information on Clarkson’s Physician Assistant Studies Program, visit

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