Students across western Oregon are coming together to learn how to work as a team and better understand and respect each other’s roles in healthcare delivery through an interprofessional education (IPE) program hosted by area colleges and universities, including OSU.
PHHS students, along with those from OSU’s colleges of pharmacy and veterinary medicine, Western University of Health Sciences and its College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific-Northwest (COMP Northwest) in Lebanon, and Linn- Benton Community College (LBCC) in Albany came together last fall for the first of many sharing and working sessions to determine how best to work together in the interest of patients.
Organizers believe this is the first comprehensive inter-institutional IPE program in the country, if not the world. And that students – and patients – are those who will benefit most.
For their first collaboration, public health and human sciences, pharmacy, veterinary medicine, osteopathic medicine, nursing, diagnostic imaging and occupational therapy students worked together in small groups on a case involving a young patient whose visit to the dentist eventually led to a diagnosis of cystic fibrosis.
“It was an interesting experience because it allowed me to see the different approaches different disciplines take when it comes to patient care, as well as differences in what facts or issues people choose to focus on,” says Public Health graduate student Jessica Zurwell. “I feel that as the course progresses it will integrate public health into more of the cases and provide an opportunity for practice negotiating issues that may present themselves in the real world.”
“We have to do all things together so that the one health concept is not within one campus but within one region … using pharmacy, vet med, osteopathic medicine, public health and prevention all together,” says PHHS Dean Tammy Bray.