Learning together

UF’s interprofessional health education program expands

By Melanie Stawicki Azam

UF held the first Interprofessional Learning in Healthcare session Oct. 30 in the Reitz Union./Photo by Maria Belen Farias

Second-year students from five Health Science Center colleges are learning how to work together better, thanks to an extension of the Interdisciplinary Family Health program.

Launched this fall, the new Interprofessional Learning in Healthcare program involves three team-based, half-day learning sessions conducted at the Reitz Union with more than 670 students from the colleges of Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy and Public Health and Health Professions.

“It is good now to start practicing the teamwork aspect of caring for a patient,” said Morgan Naylor, a second-year nursing student. “It kind of reinforces what we learn.”

Held Oct. 30, the first session dealt with patient safety, while subsequent sessions in January and February will cover professional ethics and the organization of health systems, said Richard A. Davidson, M.D., M.P.H., associate vice president for health affairs for interprofessional education.

Some students had worked together before during the Interdisciplinary Family Health program, which assigns teams of first-year students from the health science colleges to work collaboratively with assigned families in the community.

“Because health care is delivered in teams, it makes sense to have students working in teams,” said Erik W. Black, Ph.D., an assistant professor of pediatrics and educational technology.

Michael Yuan, a second-year dental student who participated in the Oct. 30 session, said the experience was helpful.

“You can easily get tunnel vision working in one profession,” he said.

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