Students sitting at tables in a room.
Interprofessional Education | 3/26/2024

Book Club Teaches Cultural Humility and Interprofessional Collaboration

By Jennifer Persons

Students at MCPHS Manchester participate in CIPE Book Club.

Students sitting at tables in a room.
Students at MCPHS Manchester participate in CIPE Book Club.

Students across two campuses came together to consider how they can be inclusive and collaborative providers.

An annual activity at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (MCPHS) got a refresh as the Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education (CIPE) selected a new book for its Book Club seminar, “Medicine in Translation: Journeys with My Patients” by Dr. Danielle Ofri.

“I enjoyed how honest the author was,” said Kianna Gauthier, MSOT ’25. “Her tone was accessible, but she did not shy away from the details or acknowledging her own personal biases.”

Gauthier was one of more than 430 of students across the Worcester and Manchester campuses to participate in a live book discussion about “Medicine in Translation.” The CIPE hosts Book Club every spring, bringing together students from several programs to discuss how the book changed their perspectives as healthcare providers.

The book is written as a memoir as Dr. Ofri shares stories about her interactions with several patients. She treated many of them at Bellevue Hospital in New York City, the oldest public hospital in the country, where she experienced all the world’s cultures in one place.

“The beginning was really compelling,” said Bailey Pate, MPAS ’25. “Then, the same patients kept coming up throughout the book. You could see her developing relationships and trust with them.”

During the activity, students discussed Dr. Ofri’s example of cultural humility. For many of them, it was also the first time they’d had full discussions with students in other programs.

“Sometimes we can all be in our own little worlds, so it was nice to get other people’s perspectives, hear what they’re passionate about, and learn the best ways to communicate with different professions,” Gauthier added. “When we’re in the field, we’re going to need to break down those barriers and work together for our patients.”

Students sitting at tables in a room.
Students on the Worcester campus discussing "Medicine in Translation" during CIPE Book Club.

In Worcester, students from programs including acupuncture, dental hygiene, diagnostic medical sonography, nursing, occupational therapy, pharmacy, physician assistant studies, and physical therapy attended. Meanwhile, in Manchester, students from nursing, occupational therapy, pharmacy, and physician assistant studies took part.

“We’re going to be working together in the field, so I’m glad we’re learning about how we can work with other disciplines now,” Pate said. “This kind of collaboration will help us all improve patient care.”

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