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Students Across UTHSC Programs Learn Together at Interprofessional Education Day

Students on UTHSC’s campuses in Memphis, Nashville, and Knoxville participated in the first Interprofessional Education (IPE) Day March 3.

Earlier this month, 836 first- and second-year students from several of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center’s campuses across the state had the opportunity to learn and train together during UTHSC’s first Interprofessional Education (IPE) Day.

Students from Memphis, Nashville, and Knoxville participated in IPE Day, taking part in a variety of in-person and virtual activities that promoted cooperation across disciplines. The featured speaker was Joseph Zorek, PharmD, from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, who was instrumental in developing its interprofessional education program. 

Dr. Zorek highlighted the importance of interprofessional education for students and its relationship to their future careers, saying, “Practicing inside of a team-based model here directly improves provider work life and satisfaction with their jobs.”

The activities at IPE Day allowed students across programs to learn about, from, and with one another in an effort to set a strong foundation to enable effective collaboration and improve health outcomes.

During UTHSC’s first IPE Day March 3, students participated in activities focused on improving cross-disciplinary cooperation. These included “Build-a-Sim,” in which students worked to build a health care simulation scenario; “Friday night at the E.R.,” in which students from varying academic programs had to work together to manage a busy simulated hospital; and “Lessons in Intercultural Communication,” a simulation game in which students re-evaluated their cultural assumptions.

 “Medications for Opioid Use Disorder” allowed students to discuss medications for opioid use disorders, a poverty simulation depicted the experience of lack of funds and abundance of stress experienced by many patients, and standardized patient case allowed cross-disciplinary groups of students to provide health care to a simulated patient. The day also included a survival simulation, escape rooms, team-building blocks, and team competitions.

IPE Day organizer Liz Hall, PharmD, said, “Our first Interprofessional Education Day at UTHSC was a great success, and we look forward to building upon this success in future years.”