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Interprofessional Practice and Education

Curricular Events

MCPHS is home to a diverse mix of students in more than 100 academic programs. This qualifies us to be one of the few schools in the world to offer interprofessional education programs and events that not only span the health sciences, but also engage first-year students.

Because of the diverse set of academic offerings, students interact both in and out of the classroom with peers pursuing other health professions. Our interprofessional curriculum brings together students and faculty from different disciplines and schools to teach and learn from one another. In the process, students broaden their own perspectives and discover new ways to address the various challenges in their respective fields.

As part of our interprofessional education model, curricular events are held on a cadenced basis to expose students to four core interprofessional experiences:

Roles and Responsibilities Inventory

Term: Fall
Programs: Acupuncture, Dental Hygiene, Optometry, Occupational Therapy, Nursing, Physician Assistant Studies, Physical Therapy, Pharmacy

Roles and Responsibilities Inventory is considered the introductory interprofessional education activity for students. Students work individually, and then in interprofessional teams, to complete a checklist of professional activities. They are asked to clearly communicate their own roles and responsibilities with one another, as well as with simulated patients and families. Through this activity, they also become equipped to explain the responsibilities of other care provides, describe how the team works together to provide care, and actively listen to patients and fellow team members.

Cross-Cultural Simulation

Term: Spring
Programs: Acupuncture, Dental Hygiene, Optometry, Occupational Therapy, Nursing, Physician Assistant Studies, Physical Therapy, Pharmacy

During the Cross-Cultural Simulation, students explore the characteristics of two cultures—alpha and beta. Student pairs "visit" the other culture to observe and attempt to learn their traits through various interactions. Through this activity, students learn to respect the expertise of other health professions, as well as manage ethical dilemmas and embrace the cultural and individual differences that characterize patients and the healthcare team.

Interprofessional Education Book Club

Term: Spring
Programs: Acupuncture, Diagnostic Medical Sonography, Nursing, Physician Assistant Studies, Physical Therapy, Pharmacy

The Interprofessional Education Book Club calls upon students to collaboratively discuss and reflect on a book called The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down. Through this interprofessional opportunity, students learn how to connect with other members of the healthcare team as they embrace and respect their collective differences—all with the goal of instilling the importance of "patient-first" care delivery in these future healthcare leaders. This activity also provides a venue to practice active listening and managing ethical dilemmas.

Interprofessional Education Day

Term: Summer
Programs: Acupuncture, Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Optometry, Physician Assistant Studies, Physical Therapy, Pharmacy

During MCPHS's annual Interprofessional Education (IPE) Day, individuals spanning the healthcare spectrum collaboratively discuss a topic applicable to all academic programs. This event allows students to better educate themselves (from a collaborative perspective) on issues relevant to the current state of healthcare.

Extracurricular Events

Through active practice in their classrooms, labs, clinicals, and extracurriculars, our healthcare students become adept at collaborating and communicating with interdisciplinary members of a care team. This practice not only teaches them treatment-planning with a holistic, patient-centered approach, but it also prepares them to become leaders who improve efficiency and delivery on their future integrative health team. Through participation in extracurricular programs, students have the opportunity to observe, research, and practice interprofessional explorations, as well as a chance to learn alongside community members and students from different programs.

In addition to gaining an interprofessional education through their curriculum, students benefit from interprofessional practice via extracurricular programs hosted across all campuses throughout the year.

Schwartz Center Educational Rounds

MCPHS was one of the first universities to host Schwartz Rounds including undergraduate students. The events, such as speaker series, aim to educate the entire MCPHS Community on how to empathetically and compassionately interact with patients and deliver collaborative healthcare. Programming is also designed to help health professionals better understand the needs and hopes of patients from different cultures and backgrounds. At one recent Schwartz Center event, three panelists offered insight on how to deliver empathetic care to an aging population. At another event, guest speaker, William Lautzenheiser, shared his physical and psychological experiences as a sepsis survivor and double-arm transplant recipient. Events are hosted annually and curated thoughtfully in relevance to current health topics.

Interprofessional Case Conference

Our Interprofessional Case Conferences are events in which students, faculty members, and thought leaders from prestigious Boston-area healthcare organizations discuss a relevant healthcare topic on interdisciplinary teams.

Dementia Awareness Training Workshops

These interdisciplinary workshops train students on how to empathetically care for patients with dementia.

Interactive Simulations

Students work in interprofessional teams to treat patients requiring urgent care.