Every January at MUSC, over 1500 students, faculty, and staff come together to participate in an annual event for all first and second year students. The event is called Inteprofessional Day and is designed to further develop a culture of collaborative teamwork and improve patient care and safety. This event began in 2006 under the leadership of Dr. Valerie West, Associate Provost for Education and Student life at that time, and the idea was initiated by Dr. David Garr, Executive Director of the SC AHEC and Associate Dean for Community Medicine. Although the size and scope of Interprofessional Day has doubled since its inception, the purpose remains the same: to provide students with a rare, valuable opportunity to engage in team-based activities that promote learning about, from and with students enrolled in all six colleges.
The Interprofessional Day event has a similar format for both morning and afternoon sessions with a speaker who, through sharing professional or personal experiences, reinforces the link between collaborative teamwork and improved patient care and safety.
Students break into 30-40 pre-assigned interprofessional student groups that meet in locations across campus. In those smaller breakout sessions, faculty and staff volunteers work with students to facilitate specific activities. The year-one students participate in an activity that fosters awareness of the other professions and the value of interprofessional teamwork and communication, and second-year students participate in an activity that emphasizes the importance of teamwork when facing a difficult situation.
The entire Interprofessional Day experience pulls from all corners of campus; from logistics of coordinating technology and assignment of rooms to accommodate close to 1300 students, to the participation of many faculty, staff, and students who volunteer as facilitators, actors, and with logistical support for the day to ensure the success of this event. The teamwork needed to provide this effective university-wide experience serves as an excellent model for the role of an interprofessional team in providing an important, rewarding and enlightening educational experience for students.