Students Engage During Interprofessional Town Hall

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On October 22, students from across the health science schools met with faculty leaders to discuss future directions for interprofessional education at the University of Michigan. 

Over 100 students, faculty and staff participated in the event, with representation from the School of Dentistry, School of Kinesiology, Medical School, School of Nursing, College of Pharmacy, School of Public Health, School of Social Work, and School of Health Professions and Studies (Flint).

The event was organized by the Michigan Center for Interprofessional Education in collaboration with the Interprofessional Health Student Organization, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement – Open School, and the School of Social Work Curtis Center Program Evaluation Group. The first-of-its-kind event was held at the newly-opened Munger Graduate Residences.

Attendees were welcomed by student interprofessional group leaders Michelle Kappy and Pauline Do. “Two years ago, a group of students identified the need for an organization that would allow them to incorporate more interprofessional interactions into their health-driven lives,” said Kappy, board member of the Interprofessional Health Student Organization. “We are so pleased to see that the schools have now come together to make interprofessional education an official part of the curricula.”

Provost Martha Pollack praised the students for engaging in conversations that could help shape not only the future of health professions education, but the future of our complex healthcare system.

The Director of the Center for Interprofessional Education, Frank Ascione, rounded out the welcome and then asked students to move into small discussion groups led by faculty from the health science schools.

”It was a very unique experience to witness the gathering of such a diverse group of health science students in the incredibly beautiful Munger Residence Hall,” said Dr. Ascione. We have a great start to involving our students in our efforts to implement interprofessional education at U-M. They will become a strong force for change.”

Staff and students from the Curtis Center will analyze themes from the event and develop a report to be shared with stakeholders, including students who attended the event, as well members of the newly-formed Interprofessional Curriculum Workgroup.

“It is imperative that students are involved with the IPE movement as we are the ones who will be affected by the decisions being made,” remarked Pauline Do, president of the U-M chapter of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement – Open School. “The Town Hall was a great opportunity for our voices to be heard and empowered students to take charge of the future of their education.”