Five-Year Program Promises to Transform Health Professions Education

Seven health science schools have embarked on a five-year program to transform the way University of Michigan faculty teach more than 4,000 health professional students.The ultimate goal is to impact the patient experience, population health and the cost of health care.

The project seeks to break down existing silos of learning within the seven health science schools at U-M: the College of Pharmacy, School of Dentistry, Medical School, School of Public Health, School of Social Work, School of Nursing and School of Kinesiology. “Current practice is that we train our students within our own school’s walls, and then after graduation we tell them to work with other health care professionals as a team without them ever having interacted with those professionals as students,” says Bruce Mueller, associate dean for academic affairs, Pharmacy.

The project calls for a transformative change in the teaching culture of U-M’s health science schools which will be managed initially by a central entity endorsed by the health science Deans: the Michigan Center for Interprofessional Education. The center plans to initially focus on faculty development as the primary way to transform the culture of health education at U-M into one in which interprofessional course work is commonplace. “Our students’ learning will be enriched by the diversity of perspectives they will experience as part of interprofessional teams of students being taught by interprofessional teams of faculty,” explains Carol Anne Murdoch-Kinch, associate dean for academic affairs, Dentistry.

“The students will have a greater opportunity to interact with each other and learn their strengths. Not only will this result in a broader perspective for caring for patients, but it will make them better members of the collaborative care teams of the future,” explains Frank Ascione, former dean of Pharmacy who is directing the program. Read more.