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Collaboration: Preparation for the Future

By Alex Krengel and Evan Gooberman


December 3, 2014

Collaboration is no easy enterprise, especially in our current academic environment, but its importance and inevitability are increasingly impossible to deny. Learning to collaborate must begin early on, and too often it doesn’t occur until necessitated by the work environment. If not earlier, it should at least begin during each health professionals’ formal training and course of study.

As they say, “there’s no better time than the present,” which is why on Saturday, October 25th of this year students, faculty and staff from Drexel University’s graduate and professional programs in public health, law, health informatics and medicine attended a full-day workshop at the College of Medicine Simulation Center.

Public Health students Alex Krengel and Evan Gooberman worked closely with DUCOM faculty member Dr. Kathleen Ryan to plan this first-of-its-kind event.

15 students and three student facilitators arrived at Queen Lane campus early on a Saturday morning and were randomized into groups representative of the attending programs. These groups ran through six different scenarios: Three clinical scenarios included a pediatric trauma, a myocardial infarction, and a patient who was unable to consent. Three non-clinical scenarios included a hospital bankruptcy and closure, a child with cystic fibrosis, and an acutely epidemic “zombie apocalypse.”  

Throughout the scenarios, the participants worked with each other to address the issues and difficulties raised by each scenario, sharing novel input and perspective and jointly navigating challenging tasks toward higher-ground, not compromise.

Pre- and post-event surveys were completed by the participants, which identified significant changes in attitudes about collaboration and improvements in perception and knowledge of health services in accordance with competencies highlighted by the Interprofessional Education Collaborative.*

One participant said, “The clinical scenarios were huge learning experiences for me as a non-clinical MPH student.” Another said, “I think both clinical and discussion [based scenarios] helped me learn a lot. I learned more about medicine, ethics and medical terminology.”

It was a very successful first event and SGO hopes to reiterate the program in the near future.
Check out the SGO Facebook page for additional photos.

* Based on an IPEC report on core competencies. IPEC is a joint enterprise of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, American Dental Education Association, American Association of Medical Colleges & Association of School of Public Health