Impact of Interprofessional Education During Pediatrics Clerkship
Introduction: Interprofessional Education (IPE) is a critical component of medical education as it prepares students to collaborate effectively on healthcare teams. Students are introduced to the core IPE competencies during the pre-clinical years, but there are few intentional IPE activities during clinical rotations. In Fall 2020, we developed an IPE session to incorporate IPE into the Pediatrics Clerkship. These sessions aimed to highlight the importance of interprofessional communication in team-based hospital practice.
Study Objectives: The objectives of this study are: to assess students’ self-assessment of competency objectives for the session; to evaluate students’ satisfaction with the IPE session; and the determine the impact of the session on students’ interactions with healthcare team members during the inpatient component of their Pediatrics Clerkship.
Methods: The IPE session involves a small group, interactive activity with nursing, pharmacy, and third-year medical students. After the session, medical students completed an anonymous retrospective pre/post self-assessment of the session’s objectives and program evaluation survey. After the pediatrics clerkship, medical students participated in optional, focused interviews to follow up on the impact of the IPE session. Surveys were analyzed using Wilcoxon Signed-Rank Test, and interviews were analyzed using content analysis.
Results: Post-session surveys from 30 third-year medical students revealed a significant increase in students’ self-assessed abilities to communicate, collaboratively problem solve, and reflect on individual and team performance for improvement. Follow-up interviews were conducted with 23 of the medical students, during which several themes emerged. The most common themes included: (1) the activity solidified students’ understanding of roles and responsibilities on the healthcare team; (2) the case-based format was engaging, encouraged collaboration, and provided a patient-focused context to IPE; (3) the virtual format detracted from student learning; and (4) the activity allowed students to practice communication skills in a way that was applicable in clinical settings.
Discussion and Conclusion: The IPE session during the Pediatrics Clerkship appears to have improved students’ abilities to meet several IPE competencies. Although many students felt the session would be more impactful if held in-person, student interviews revealed that the session was beneficial to their experiences during their pediatrics clerkship. The IPE session can be improved by enhancing the virtual environment and fostering more subjective conversations within groups.