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UMB Embraces Interprofessional Education

Interprofessional education (IPE), a priority at UMB since the arrival of Jay A. Perman, MD, as president, reached new heights in 2013 with the formation of the Center for Interprofessional Education and the launch of UMB’s first IPE Day (see the video).

The center “will serve as a resource and as a connector” for IPE initiatives across UMB, says Jane M. Kirschling, PhD, RN, FAAN, who, in addition to being the center’s director and University director of IPE, is dean of the University of Maryland School of Nursing. The center will advance Perman’s vision for preparing all UMB students to providehigh-quality, affordable health care and human services within a team-based model. Kirschling’s co-directors include Heather Congdon, PharmD, CACP, CDE, assistant dean for the School of Pharmacy at the Universities at Shady Grove; David Mallott, MD, associate dean for medical education, School of Medicine; and Edward Pecukonis, PhD, MSW, associate professor, School of Social Work.

Formation of the center was announced at IPE Day in April 2013 (see the video), when 309 health and human services students and 114 faculty gathered to form multidisciplinary teams to tackle complex scenarios such as “Crossing the Line,” a case staged at the School of Dentistry in which a child’s broken teeth may be a clue to child abuse. When the overall group reconvened at the end of the day, compliments flow ed about team members from other schools, including “pharmacy students knew everything.”

IPE Day was planned by members of an IPE task force formed by Perman in December 2010 when he and Elsie Stines, MS, CPNP, explained the concept at a campuswide presentation titled “ ‘We’: Interprofessionalism in Healthcare Education and Delivery.” The task force, which grew to include 15 leaders from across UMB and now has been folded into the Center for IPE, did yeoman’s work exploring IPE on campus and preparing recommendations for Perman. In addition, faculty and students from across the University are engaged in IPE initiatives that support health profession, social work, and law students learning “about, from, and with each other to enable effective collaboration and improve health outcomes,” says Kirschling, quoting the World Health Organization.

Health fairs and interprofessional Critical Care Simulation exercises have emerged, as well as an annual Interprofessional Patient Management Competition, where teams of students representing UMB’s schools pool their knowledge to devise a treatment strategy for a hypothetical patient whose case presents complex medical as well as legal issues. Perman, a pediatric gastroenterologist, was the catalyst for the IPE program with his President’s Clinic, which grew out of the Dean’s Clinic he held previously as head of the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. He and Stines, a pediatric nurse practitioner, join rotating groups of students selected to represent all the schools each week to personally demonstrate team based care while treating young University of Maryland Medical Center patients.