Interprofessional Health Team Development (INT D 410), a course created in collaboration between the Health Science Education and Research Commons (HSERC) and the health science faculties, offers students the opportunity to develop the collaborative practice skills that will prepare them to meet the challenges of their future work environments. Inspired into action two students, Meghan Chow and Michael Wong, approached HSERC with an idea for a new course stream. They shared an interest in focusing on Community Health while building skills in leadership and teaching. Elaine Chiu, a former dietitian who facilitated INTD 410 prior to returning to school enrolled in an elective IPE course in which the stream curriculum development was integrated as project-based coursework. Together these three Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry students, working closely with HSERC, faculty and community partners, adapted existing curriculum into the Community Health stream for INT D 410.
Following completion of the course these students had the opportunity to co-present with HSERC staff on a panel at the 2014 All Together Better Health (ATBH) conference in Pittsburgh, PA. ATBH is the leading global interprofessional practice and education conference that brings together providers, health system executives, educators, policymakers, and healthcare industry leaders to advance interprofessionalism locally, regionally and worldwide. The presentation Authentic engagement of student stakeholders in interprofessional education initiatives featured perspectives of HSERC members Sharla King, Tara Hatch, JoAnne Davies and students Meghan Chow, Michael Wong, Elaine Chiu on student engagement within interprofessional initiatives at the University of Alberta broadly and the INT D 410 stream led by the three students in particular. The student portion covered motivations for developing a student-led IPE initiative, evolving team practices and recommendations for future student engagement in design and delivery of IPE curricula.
The standing room only presentation was enthusiastically received, supporting the importance of featuring student ambassadors for the University of Alberta at conferences and events like ATBH. Great thanks to the Health Science Council, The Division of Community Engagement in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, and Green and Gold Student Leadership and Professional Development Grant who provided funding for the students to travel to the conference.
Registration is currently underway for the INT D 410 stream in Vulnerable Populations, which will be offered again this winter. Visit www.hserc.ualberta.ca for more information on this program.
Top image caption: HSERC staff Sharla King, JoAnne Davies, and Tara Hatch (L-R, back row) with INT D 410 students Michael Wong, Elaine Chiu, and Meghan Chow (L-R, front row).
Bottom image caption: Michael Wong and Meghan Chow following the presentation at the University of Pittsburgh