Building Bridges across Health Related Disciplines


Health Systems Administration students Marta Lema, Beth Shields, and Caitlin Crooks (from left to right) attend IDEE

The World Health Organization describes interprofessional education as the process that occurs when two or more professionals learn about, from, and with each other to enable effective collaboration and improve health outcomes. On Friday, January 17th, over 350 medical, nursing, and health administration students gathered on Georgetown’s campus to put into practice the ideals of interprofessional/interdisciplinary education.

Over the course of the day, students shared their positive and negative thoughts on the various roles in the healthcare system. This exposed the learners to the biases and perceptions that are at play every day in the healthcare world. While listening to safety stories, completing a risk cause analysis of a healthcare event, and analyzing real life hospital cases, the students were able to realize the importance of having professionals with a variety of perspectives working together to solve a problem and improve health outcomes.

What do health administrators even do?

This question was asked more than once during Interdisciplinary Educational Experience (IDEE) and clearly demonstrates the need for better understanding among the various players in the healthcare field. Student, Caitlin Crooks (G’15) showed great appreciation for the chance to work in a diverse setting and stated, “…taking an interdisciplinary approach may very well be the key to successful healthcare outcomes.” The professors and instructors leading the students through this interprofessional experience agreed.

Interdisciplinary approach for a complex system

During the wrap-up of the day’s events, one of the hosts, Dr. Bhumika Ghandi, MD, was quoted saying, “It is just as important to learn about interdisciplinary education as it is to learn how to read a lab report…Because of the collaboration and complexity of today’s healthcare system we can and should learn from each other.”

Students graduating from Georgetown University will benefit from the interdisciplinary approach the various health related programs are taking. Learning how to navigate the complex world of healthcare effectively can be accomplished by learning from workers at every level of care, from the C-suite to the operating room.