Blog | Monday, May 14, 2012

Interprofessional education, and how to do and teach it


Last week I had the incredible privilege of attending a workshop on interprofessional education (IPE). Although I believe that I have been inclusive of the views of other health care professionals, this workshop opened my eyes to new possibilities for how we educate the future health care professionals in all areas.

First of all: kudos to the absolutely amazing people from the Centre (note Canadian spelling here, eh?) for Interprofessional Education at the University of Toronto. Ivy, Mandy, Lynn and Belinda were just wonderful people to get to know (absolutely some of the friendliest people I’ve ever met). They truly embody what the world of working together with other backgrounds can and should entail. Their work is truly inspiring, and is all the more impressive given the limited amount of dedicated time that they have to do it.

Second, it opened my eyes to some awesome people who are already here working for my own institution (Indiana University), whom I had not yet met. It is fascinating when people work so hard in their own arena and do not know that others with like-minded interests are sometimes literally right around the corner.

Third, it reinforced the belief that no matter what health care field one may work, it is still all about the patient! I am reminded of this every day in my work, and this workshop cemented that even more.

Fourth, it is exciting to see that my own institution has a plan for how to embed IPE into the curricula of the medical school, the nursing school, the school of social work, the dental school, the school of optometry, the school of rehabilitation sciences, and others (we do not have a school of pharmacy). There is much work to be done, but we are well on our way.

I was not originally scheduled to go to this, but had the privilege of attending portions of the workshop. I am so glad that I did, even if I missed some of the sessions for patient care duties. It has invigorated my interest in what I do in medical education. And isn't it great to be invigorated every once in a while?

Here are two links on IPE in medical education:
University of Toronto Centre for Interprofessional Education
AAMC Core Competencies for interprofessional collaborative practice

Alexander M. Djuricich, MD, FACP, is Associate Dean for Continuing Medical Education and a Program Director in Medicine-Pediatrics at the Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis. This post originally appeared at Mired in MedEd, where he blogs about medical education.