Today’s healthcare is provided by teams of Interprofessional healthcare providers. To prepare graduate students in pharmacy, physical therapy, communication sciences and disorders and physician assistant studies to work in collaborative teams, Crean College and the School of Pharmacy provide students with several experiences each year to work as collaborative teams. The most recent IPE event began with a thought-provoking presentation by Paul Schneider, M.D. FACP, to speak on “Moral Courage of Healthcare Providers.” Following the presentation, student met in interprofessional teams to discuss how his message would be translated into collaborative practice. They applied the contents of his message to a case study requiring each team to perform a clinical assessment of patients and an all-encompassing treatment plan. Dr. Schneider is a Clinical Professor of Medicine at UCLA and head of bioethics at the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare Center. His expertise focuses on ethical aspects of caring for patients with medical and psychiatric problems, decision-making capacity and competence, end of life care, advanced directives and ethical mediation of clinical conflicts.
Dr. Michelle Cleary, Associate Dean of Graduate Programs in Crean College and Director of IPE at the Rinker Health Science Campus discussed the importance of having frequent IPE events when she stated “The IPE events are a way for the students to get a reality check and see what it will be like to work in the health professional field. It challenges the students to look up from their books and realize that being a health professional requires more than academics, but requires team work, communication skills, and to be open to new suggestions outside of their field of work.” Faculty members, such as DPT Clinical Assistant Professor Dr. Catherine Lesnick, agree that “it is essential for healthcare professional to learn to communicate across their individual disciplines so that patients receive the most effective coordinated care.”
While faculty and administration understand the importance of holding IPE events in the graduate programs here at Rinker Campus it is the students who have the most enthusiasm when discussing the IPE events. First year PA student Taryn Wainstein noted that she had heard of interprofessional education, but had never heard of the specific IPE events. When she attended she said it “makes our campus feel a little bit more like home; we are a small, intimate campus so it is nice to get to know some other familiar faces that are always around.” CSD student Albert Roman also mentioned that the IPE events help students “allow us to get to know other students on a personal level, to build friendships, and to learn how we can collaborate in the future and help each other.”
IPE events are an example of the Chapman University vision of educating the health care professionals of the future. It is a priority that these students are not only prepared in an academic setting, but are given the unique opportunity to see what it will be like to work in the professional field when they graduate. The
IPE events are one way in which students are able to test their critical thinking skills, work in group settings and perform exceptionally as a team, while preparing them for the health field.