Nursing has long led the charge in advocating for interprofessional and collaborative practice and, in follow-up to the Lancet Commission report, the University of Pennsylvania’s schools of Nursing and Medicine recently hosted a symposium to continue the conversation. At “Partners in Education and Practice: Stronger Teams, Better Health” on 17 April 2012, participants examined highly-functioning interprofessional teams who are already transforming healthcare delivery as a means for building future education models.
The day began and ended with comments from academicians who also had served on the Commission that produced the Lancet report. The keynote address on bridging disciplinary gaps was presented by Jordan J. Cohen, MD, former president of the Association of American Medical Colleges and professor of medicine and public health at George Washington University. “While interprofessional education is not a substitute for traditional, in-depth, discipline-specific education,” said Dr. Cohen, “there is brewing enthusiasm for interprofessional education as a gateway to team care. . . . We need to learn to convert our learning venues from crucibles of individualism to cradles of interprofessionalism.”
Dean of UPenn’s School of Nursing, Afaf Meleis, PhD, summarized key points and facilitated audience dialogue at the end. “We cannot have business as usual anymore,” she said. “We need leadership from the top to make interprofessionalism a reality.”
Practice team models were presented throughout the day, including insights from a multi-specialty acute care unit at UPenn and discussion of a graduate requirement that expands the interprofessional service model at East Tennessee State University. An education team from the University of Washington (Brian Ross, PhD, MD and Brenda Zierler, PhD, RN) presented on the use of simulation to fascilitate interprofessional education and practice and Jennifer Adams, MD and Terry Flumer, PHD, RN from New York University discussed revolutionizing health professional education one team meeting at a time.
Drs. Meleis and Cohen co-chair the Institute of Medicine’s Global Forum on Innovation in Health Professional Education, which has been formed to cultivate innovative ideas and strategies.
“Education of Health Professional for the 21st Century and Its Significance for Nursing” by Afaf Meleis, PhD (pdf of Nursing & Midwifery, publication of the Global Network of WHO’s Collaborating Centres for Nursing and Midwifery Development)