Students in Team-Based Clinical Decision Making course host first interprofessional trivia social

Students from medicine, nursing, dentistry, social work and pharmacy recently came together in person to connect with their peers and improve teamwork across disciplines.

Over the course of the past few years, virtual meeting tools like Zoom have helped people connect when meeting in person was not an option. In the case of Team-Based Clinical Decision Making, a required course for students in several health science schools, meeting in a virtual classroom has helped accommodate the 500+ students when a large physical space in a convenient location was hard to come by. But making connections in these spaces is limited by time and technology, so two medical students looked to change that.

Ailish Dougherty and Jacie Lemos, two first-year medical students, proposed hosting an interprofessional social mixer during a meeting of the Michigan Center for Interprofessional Education’s (C-IPE) Student Advisory Committee. They pitched an event that would help foster relationship building, teamwork and collaboration between students from different health schools. Their peers from the different schools agreed and the IPE Trivia Social was born.

On a weekend in March, students gathered at the Michigan Union for some friendly rounds of trivia. The competition was on and students had a blast working together to answer questions while enjoying snacks and conversation.

“The event went really well! There were a few teams mixed up with students from across different schools. I was most excited that there were multiple people who came on their own without knowing anyone there!” expressed Dougherty. “That, to me, showed that people are eager to build social connections with new groups. Having a structured goal was helpful in facilitating conversation and bonding, and people got super competitive and silly!”

Dougherty hopes that events like this will become a regular thing. Since that night, she has made friends with students from the School of Social Work and attended other social events that have allowed interaction with students from different health science schools. For the future, she suggested planning an event like this with students in Team-Based Clinical Decision Making even earlier in the academic year to allow those connections to grow throughout the course meetings.

“The students did a wonderful job of identifying a gap and finding ways to solve it. The work they did went beyond organizing a social event for their peers; it demonstrated leadership in fostering teams,” stated Vani Patterson, administrative director of C-IPE. “Relationship building is critical to becoming a high functioning team and these students stepped in to lead that work. I hope this momentum continues for years to come.”