Quotes from Students about Interprofessional Education
In the fall of 2018, Quillen College of Medicine incorporated Interprofessional Education (IPE) into the M1 curriculum for every entering medical student. The IPE curriculum brings health care professional students across various disciplines—medical, nursing, pharmacy, social work, and audiology—with the goal of preparing students for collaborative work in the clinical setting. Each student is placed within an inter professional team of students with whom they will learn how to communicate with patients through standardized patient simulations—both individually and with a team-based approach. The students also work on their communication and teamwork skills within their own interprofessional health care team.
"At different points in the semesters, students were able to visit community sites where interprofessional health care is put into action. The sites included ETSU Pediatrics, the Center of Excellence for Infectious Disease, and the Crumley House." -Nancy Claire Smith, M1
Margaret Smith is a current M3 medical student at Quillen. She was selected to participate in a previous IPE curriculum during her first year of medical school and now serves as a graduate assistant while getting her Masters in Public Health. She has seen how IPE helped her during her even during her clinical rotations.
“As a third-year clinical student, I was more acutely aware of the other team members who worked on each service. You'll see IPE practice in real life on several of your rotations, and you'll hear about the value it adds to the practice. I felt more comfortable reaching out to different team members for guidance while on rotations, and I believe I had a more positive experience because of my communication skills.” -Margaret Smith, M3
Kaitlyn Lay, a nursing student says, “My most memorable IPE experience was being given the opportunity to develop relationships with many future health care providers. Seeing our different personalities and skills come together to complete tasks and challenges was an alluring concept… Amongst the different health care professions, there are different personalities, perspective, and scopes of care. IPE made me realize how essential it is for us as health care professionals to respect one another as well as respecting each other’s professions. In order to provide the highest level of care, members of an interprofessional team must work together and have an unprejudiced mentality.”
Izabella Gomez, M1 medical student-- “Set up throughout the semester, IPE sessions focus on current issues in patient care and exposes students to clinical settings where interprofessional relationships are critical to successfully coordinating treatment options for patients. Working alongside students from other programs such as Pharmacy and Nursing, we are made familiar with this approach to patient care through standardized patient simulations. Working in teams, we are given a patient scenario and must coordinate with team members on topics to discuss during a 'patient visit.' On some occasions, the scenario runs smoothly and we effectively meet the goals of the patient during their visit. On others, we stumble a bit to achieve the same goal.
But, how do we even learn what questions to ask a patient, or find out what is important to the patient at the time of their visit? The Communications course aims to answer those questions, and works alongside the IPE sessions throughout the first semester of the M1 year.
From my experience so far, I felt that the Communications course was the most impactful of the Doctoring I courses. While diagnosing and treating patients is an integral component of a physician’s job, the steps to reaching that end are just as critical. The patient’s “story,” as many in Quillen call it, is something that informs physician’s about a patient’s life—their habits, their work-life, their struggles—and influences their health decisions. Learning their story and addressing their concerns is half the battle, and were at the core of this course.”
ETSU Pediatrics is one of the sites students in the IPE course visit. Dr. Jennifer Gibson, Quillen alum, faculty, pediatrician, and site leader at ETSU Pediatrics says, “ETSU Pediatrics is an integrated clinic with behavioral health (psychology) and social work in-house coverage 5 days per week. We also have a nutritionist who works a few days per week and a multi-disciplinary neonatology follow-up clinic which includes therapy services, audiology, and nutrition as well as a neonatologist working together on each patient. Our clinic was certified as a Patient-Centered Medical Home in 2018 with a Distinction in Behavioral Health Integration—we are the first pediatric office in Tennessee to receive this Distinction! The structured IPE curriculum does a great job of letting the students see integrated care models in action in the “real world”; as a Quillen alum, I am very proud of our clinic and to have had the opportunity to “practice what we preach” for the IPE students.”
The Ryan White HIV Center of Excellence (COE), the clinical arm of the Center of Excellence for Inflammation, Infectious Disease, and Immunity at Quillen College of Medicine is another community site. Joy Bohannon is the community site leader for the COE, and she was one of the “Kellogg” students in ETSU's College of Public Health, a forerunner of the modern interprofessional education program.
She says, "We really are so fortunate to be at an epicenter of both interprofessional education and interprofessional healthcare within our University’s Academic Health Sciences Center and ETSU Health. I call the IPE students the “torch-bearers.” The students get all this wonderful interdisciplinary exposure and training, and then they have the opportunity to go forth and make change happen no matter where they land. They are the future of our healthcare and can also have future leadership roles … I pretty much think that they are going to change the world someday! "