I participated in the interdisciplinary care elective during my 1st and 2nd year of medical school. It was a very eye opening experience, as it was the first time I was exposed to working as a team in a health-care environment. The course involved working with pharmacy students, nursing students, RT, social work. It was very interesting learning the different perspectives that each specialty brings. We also had clinical scenrios and I was very surprised how much I was relying on my colleagues to come up with the best plan for the patients. The course was very valuable in teaching me how to work with different medical professionals. It really helped me with I was working with them during my 3rd and 4th year of medical school.
Part of the experience was shadowing a nurse during a shift. This was an extremely valuable experience as now I know how much stuff a nurse has to deal with on a daily basis. Too often, do I see one of my residents bad mouthing the nursing staff during 3rd year. I believe it is because they did not have the experience I did during medical school. I now know that the nurses might be overworked, or have an extremely tough patient. They might be just having a bad day. They have an extremely difficult job that physicians do not always see. I am now very understanding when working with nurses and i believe it really does help the team morale and function.
Another part of the course, we did a simulation with other health-professional students. I was the physician in the simulation, with members from nursing, pharmacy, and RT helping out. It was the first time that I was in the center of attention, giving orders for patient care. It was fun and educational, and I was surprised how much I relied on my fellow healthcare team. They also equally relied on me to give guidance. The interprofessional communication with everyone sharing their expertise really helped us come up with a good plan for our patients. It is more important than ever to work with the medical staff. Gone are the days where the physician has to know every thing and the only person involved with the care of the patient.
I believe this meets the requirements for LSI’s interprofessional communication. The course really taught me how to communicate with my fellow medical professionals. These communication skills have served me well during 3rd year and will continue during residency.