IPE Curriculum Committee

The IPE Curriculum Committee is the central steering committee for IPE at UNMC. Membership consists of at least two members from each college or school, and a student representative.

The committee meets twice monthly, and receives input from the Evaluation and Student subcommittees. It is responsible for the design and implementation of the spring and fall campus IPE days, which serve to introduce IPE to first-year students from all colleges.

The fall IPE day, scheduled during orientation week, begins with a panel discussion of a clinical case. Physician, pharmacy, nursing, laboratory, hospital administration, and public relations representatives discuss an actual adverse outcome that resulted from a series of breakdowns in communication between care team members. Students ask questions of the panel, and the session serves to emphasize the real-world importance of interprofessional teamwork. After the panel session, students attend a faculty-facilitated small group with 10-12 other first-year students from a variety of professions. During the two-hour small group, students work through a series of exercises to illustrate the challenges of group communication and teamwork. Both the large- and small-group sessions are intended to help students appreciate the tension between seemingly obvious goals (e.g. “We should all work together in effective teams”) and the realities of modern health care (e.g. time pressures, handoffs, complexity of care delivery).

During the Spring IPE day, students are re-united with their small groups and challenged to collaborate in the development of a code of ethics to guide their future practice. Students generate a list of commonly-held assumptions about the different health care professions, and then conduct one-on-one interviews of other group members in which they explore backgrounds, educational histories, and personal and professional goals. Following the interviews, the list of assumptions is re-examined in light of what the group members have learned about each other, and students are asked to consider whether they still feel the assumptions are valid. Next, the students develop a code of ethics by identifying key concepts describing professional behavior, expanding the concepts into statements, and building the statements into a code. They are then asked to review several cases that include ethical dilemmas, and to attempt to apply their code to the situations described. After completing any necessary revisions to their code suggested by the cases, they submit their completed version which is shared with the other participating groups.

In addition to overseeing the campus IPE days, the IPE Curriculum Committee is also responsible for the development of new IPE initiatives, review of current initiatives, and overall direction of UNMC’s IPE program. Current priorities include:

  • Expansion of IPE opportunities in the later years of student training
  • Development of a campus database of IPE activities
  • Establishment of college-specific IPE requirements
  • Exploring the possibility of on-line IPE curriculum





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