Individuals with complex medical and social needs are acutely vulnerable to the fragmented healthcare system. Social and economic factors, physical environments, and structural racism can further compound health and healthcare inequities. Prior experiences of bias due to race, nativity, gender, sexuality, socioeconomic status, health literacy, and disability may influence current interactions with systems and providers, leading to missed care, poor experiences, and adverse outcomes. The next generation of healthcare professionals must be prepared to care for individuals with complex social and health needs, and that requires authentic partnerships.
In this Lightning Talk, we will present curricular efforts designed to address the intersection of complex patients and populations, interprofessional teams, and complicated healthcare systems. We leveraged community, clinical, and academic partnerships to design and implement curricular changes in an established interprofessional education program. Healthcare student teams and patients with complex needs collaborate on patient-driven goals and meaningful interventions. Informed by stakeholders, we convened a series of workshops to engage interprofessional learners with the knowledge and skills to develop authentic partnerships with patients grounded in trust and empathy. Expert community and clinical partners taught workshops focused on 1) motivational interviewing, 2) trauma-informed care, and 3) harm reduction. Community partners included behavior health clinicians who provided a curriculum on motivational interviewing; Social workers from Housing First University provided training on Housing First philosophy and harm reduction strategies, and a psychologist provided seminars on trauma-informed care. Population health academic partners consulted on embedding social determinants of health throughout the curriculum. The knowledge and skills gained in these programs will support achieving Quadruple Aim outcomes enhancing the patient experience and improving population health. The collaboration of community, clinical, and academic partners provides interprofessional students with strategies to authentically engage with individuals and build bridges.