Health Schools Form Interprofessional Curriculum Workgroup

Seventeen faculty, staff and students from across the health science schools have been appointed to the newly-formed Interprofessional Curriculum Workgroup. The workgroup is charged with examining the curricula and accreditation standards for each of the professions and developing a curricular map for interprofessional education (IPE) across the health science schools.

The workgroup was created by the recently-funded Michigan Center for Interprofessional Education and includes 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) and two student representatives. It is expected that U-M Dearborn will name representatives in the near future.

“This workgroup is focused on building a set of principles to guide the development of courses and experiences that cross health disciplines,” says Mary Ruffolo, co-chair of the workgroup and professor at the School of Social Work. “Integrating the education of all health professionals, especially around core interprofessional competencies, is critical.”

One of the key challenges facing the IPE Curriculum Workgroup is the lack of common time in students’ schedules across programs. The first item of business was to engage the IPE Executive Committee in finding a window of time when students’ schedules could be aligned so they will be available to take courses with colleagues from across the health disciplines.

“The creation of a common time in students’ schedules will be instrumental in allowing the workgroup to move forward in creating effective, integrated educational opportunities for our students,” says Mark Fitzgerald, co-chair of the workgroup and associate professor at the School of Dentistry. “Currently, we are focusing on creating opportunities that will expose our students to IPE and better prepare them for more immersive and experiential interactions in the future.”

“I am very pleased,” adds Frank Ascione, director of the center, “to see individuals from so many schools collaborating effectively to plan our future IPE curriculum.  I look forward to the wonderful ideas they will generate on how to best educate our students.”