Development of an Interprofessional Education Curriculum to Prepare Medical Students for Residency

Development of an Interprofessional Education Curriculum to Prepare Medical Students for Residency

Academic Year:
2017 - 2018 (June 1, 2017 through May 31, 2018)
Funding Requested:
Project Dates:
Overview of the Project:
Interprofessional education (IPE) is an important aspect of medical education, teaching learners how to collaborate in multidisciplinary teams and more effectively provide care in our complex medical environment. In medical school, students are taught the intricacies of pathophysiology, medical decision making, and patient care, but less focus is placed on how to best work in the interdisciplinary team as they advance through clinical education. Students who do not understand the importance of and utilize interprofessional collaboration may struggle when they transition to residency, as this is a time when relying on the entire team of healthcare professionals becomes of utmost importance in order to provide safe, efficient, and effective patient care. This project aims to formally assess the needs for interprofessional education and develop an IPE curriculum for senior medical students as they prepare for the transition from student to resident physician. Innovative curricular changes such as simulated patient care experiences, team-based problem solving, and education on interdisciplinary communication incorporating students and providers from different professions will be implemented, guided by the information gained from a formal needs assessment. This needs assessment will be done by conducting focus groups of healthcare professionals, interviewing recent medical school graduates, and interviewing residency program directors to delineate needs for IPE within specific areas of medicine. Once this assessment is completed, this IPE curriculum will be implemented within the 8-week long senior medical student residency preparatory courses in which all University of Michigan medical students will participate.
Final Report Fields
Project Objectives:

We propose a study to evaluate the needs of graduating senior medical students in advancing their interprofessional education in preparation for entering residency. This will be used to further inform the development of an IPE curriculum in the University of Michigan Medical School Residency Preparatory Courses.

Aim 1: To explore, through focus groups with key medical professionals, opportunities to develop IPE content within their health care field.

Aim 2: To identify, through close‐ended surveys, gaps where our curriculum could better advance their IPE knowledge and skills with regard to their role as a resident physician.

Aim 3: To determine residency program directors’ expectations of their residents and performance gaps with regard to IPE.

Project Achievements:

This project has helped better define the needs of incoming interns with regard to interprofessional education. Through surveys of recent graduates, we learned that incoming interns felt neutral with regards to their understanding of other providers’ roles and in conflict management with patient and other providers. Many difficulties described related to conflict management were rooted in miscommunication, lack of understanding of others’ roles, and inappropriate handling of stress. These issues were also discussed in interviews with program directors and focus groups of healthcare professionals.

This project has helped guide further curriculum development within the medical school’s residency preparatory courses for our graduating medical students. We have expanded clinical experiences with other professionals to help learners better understand roles. In addition, as conflict management and interprofessional communication were highlighted areas in our needs assessment, a curriculum on interprofessional conflict management and communication was developed and piloted in the 2020 Pediatrics and OB/GYN Residency Prep Courses. This curriculum was based on a Conflict Resolution curriculum published by Wolfe, Hoang, and Denniston in MedEdPortal, which teaches the GRPI Conflict Resolution tool, describes various conflict resolution styles, and touches on non-verbal communication in conflict management. We also gave our students the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument and allowed for self-study in their own conflict resolution styles. Interdisciplinary education was also incorporated by including nursing and midwifery staff in discussions of various conflict scenarios. Evaluation of this curriculum is currently underway, and we plan to expand it to other Residency Prep Courses for the 2021 cohort and beyond.

b. How many students were impacted by this project?

Undergraduate students: N/A

Graduate students: 30 (will increase to approximately 180 in subsequent years as the curriculum is expanded to other specialty-based Residency Prep Courses)

c. How many courses were impacted by this project? Two (2) the Pediatric and OB/GYN Residency Prep Courses.  It will be expanded to all 6 course in the coming years.

This project will continue beyond the grant period. The conflict management curriculum will continue annually in our Residency Prep Courses and will be expanded from the pilot done in 2020 in the Pediatrics and OB/GYN courses. Specialty-specific interprofessional clinical experiences will also continue in our courses annually.
Initial data has been presented at various conferences, including the 2019 Central Group on Education Affairs Conference through the Association of American Medical Colleges and the 2019 University of Michigan Health Professions Education Day. Further dissemination of the completed project is intended for other educational conferences as well. We also intend to publish these data in a peer-reviewed journal.