September 4, 2015

Students Receive Interactive Welcome to Interprofessional Education

Shortly after classes began for the fall 2015 semester at UAMS, the Office of Interprofessional Education hosted 4 workshops for over 750 of the incoming students to introduce them to interprofessional education.Exposure7

The new students, from all five UAMS colleges and the graduate school, received a first exposure to a focus on collaboration across professions. This is so important that it is now a graduation requirement for incoming students.

The initial workshop, which included multiple Ted-style talks and team-based activities, offered the opportunity for students to learn how to work collaboratively in teams. Team-based collaboration is essential for an outcome-focused transformation of health care.

Lee Wilbur, M.D., professor and vice chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine in the UAMS College of Medicine and director of the Office of Interprofessional Education, asserts that collaboration in health care is critical. Collaboration is necessary regardless of profession and whether it’s at the Exposure6patient’s bedside, in the lab or in the classroom.

“The workshop allowed these new UAMS students to learn from, about, and with one another so that they model a culture of collaboration very early in their education,” Wilbur said. “Improving collaboration among health care professionals starts with interprofessional education and benefits our patients, their families and the communities we serve by providing the highest quality care possible.”

The workshop was phase one of a three-phase curriculum that connects interprofessional education to the Triple Aim — improving the patient experience, improving the health of the population and decreasing the cost of care. Each college has a road map for completing the curriculum and can choose the timing and implementation for students.

Wilbur said the curriculum will first expose students to the concepts of interprofessional care — its benefits and the processes involved. As students continue to learn together and expand their interprofessional understanding, they will participate in activities that promote stronger collaboration.Exposure2