Four Projects Receive Grants for Interprofessional Education

Group of UCSF students

A group of students from different professional schools work together during an activity during a past interprofessional education day at UCSF.

Four proposals for a total of $60,990 were recently awarded funding to further interprofessional education on campus, part of UCSF’s ongoing commitment to creating a culture of collaboration between health sciences professions.

The Instructional Grants Program was designed to provide funding for innovations in education, traditionally concentrating on technology-based proposals. In 2009, the program began focusing on projects that promote interprofessional education as UCSF emphasizes the importance of training the next generation of leaders in the health sciences to work as a team.

Fostering innovation and collaboration is among the key priorities in UCSF's 2007 strategic plan, which states that it is "imperative that health sciences professionals interact with and draw upon the skills and knowledge base of experts in many disciplines."

The grant program is partially funded by UCSF's new Center for Excellence in Interprofessional Health Education, which envisions "UCSF graduates will be able to work collaboratively and interprofessionally to advance patient care, public service and research."

Nine proposals were submitted this year and four received funding after being evaluated by a selection committee made up of representatives from across UCSF’s four professional schools.

“These funded projects can serve as demonstration to help all of us really learn what does it take to implement an interprofessional activity at UCSF,” said Gail Persily, who acted as the awards officer for the grants. “Figuring out how to fit something into multiple curricula is really hard and through these grants we can experience seeing how others do it and what it takes to make it possible.”

Funded Proposals for 2011-2010

An Interprofessional Standardized Patient Case to Teach the Musculoskeletal Exam: Submitted by R. Krishna Chaganti, MD, MS, assistant clinical professor, rheumatology, UCSF School of Medicine, this project will involve faculty from three professional schools who will develop a standardized patient (SP) for pilot trainees to teach a musculoskeletal (MSK) exam. An interprofessional team of learners will clinically assess the SP and develop a treatment plan. The workshop goal is to improve the care of patients by fostering a collaborative approach to MSK problems.

Introduction to the Care of Adolescents & Adults with Developmental Disabilities: Submitted by Sophia Saeed, DMD, assistant clinical professor, Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, UCSF School of Dentistry, this project will address the fact that adolescents and adults with developmental disabilities face disproportionate barriers in accessing health care. One such barrier is the lack of health care professionals who are adequately trained to meet their needs. This project exposes health professional students to the concept of multidisciplinary team management of this vulnerable population.

Case-Based Teaching in Occupational and Environmental Medicine and Nursing: Submitted by Dennis Shusterman, MD, MPH, professor of Clinical Medicine, eEmeritus, Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, San Francisco General Hospital, UCSF School of Medicine, this project will teach occupational and environmental health (OEH), which blends toxicology, industrial hygiene, and medico-legal issues with core skills in medicine and nursing. This project will develop case-based, web-platform, interdisciplinary OEH teaching modules to provide an interactive learning opportunity for students, residents and fellows in nursing and medicine.

An Interprofessional Day Activity: Interdisciplinary Training in Disaster Response: Submitted by Chris Stewart, MD, assistant clinical professor of Pediatrics at the UCSF School of Medicine, this project will involve a team of faculty and learners to produce an interactive, interprofessional curricular experience by developing a learning activity focused on disaster response for interprofessional day. The activity will showcase elements of the four UCSF professional schools, as well as introduce core learning principles or skills from five Pathways to Discovery.