January 2015 - June 2020
The seven health science schools at the University of Mich igan have cooperated in this submission to outline a program to transform how we teach our health professions students. Currently, the >4,000 students from our schools are taught almost exclusively by faculty from their own units; very rarely do they learn alongside their peers from the other health science schools. Dental, Medical, Pharmacy, Nursing, Social Work, Kinesiology, and Public Health students learning in these educational silos are expected to work in collaborative teams after graduation to provide quality patient care. Not surprisingly, this suboptimal educational approach has been criticized by the major health organizations (World Health Organization, Institute of Medicine,Institute of Healthcare Improvement, etc.) as an ineffective model for positively influencing the “Triple Aims” of health care: improving 1) patient experience of care; 2) population health; 3) cost of health care. The accreditation bodies for our health schools have responded to these criticisms by requiring increased implementation of interprofessional education (IPE) methods as a means to improve the development of more effective collaborative care models. Implementing more IPE experiences seems to be an obvious strategy, but thus far, the barriers to coordinating IPE between seven units have limited Michigan’s IPE offerings to small pilot projects led by individual faculty champions.