Assessing Student Attitudes as a Result of Participating in an Interprofessional Healthcare Elective Associated with a Student-Run Free Clinic

Sarah Shrader, Amy Thompson, Wanda Gonsalves

Abstract


Background: An interprofessional elective using a student-run clinic can introduce students to professional roles, collaborative patient care, and health disparities. Methods and Findings: Students from four professions (pharmacy, medicine, physician assistant, and physical therapy) participated in a service-learning elective where they received weekly didactic lectures and provided healthcare in a student-run free clinic. Additional interprofessional activities included a quality improvement project and a case presentation. Students were administered anonymous surveys before and after the elective to assess changes in their attitudes toward interprofessional teamwork. A total of 93 and 74 students completed the pre-survey and post-survey, respectively. After participating in the elective, significantly more students reported working in interprofessional teams and understood the role of physician assistants. The majority of other attitudes about interprofessional collaboration and professional roles were sustained or improved after the elective.
Conclusion: An interprofessional service-learning elective using didactic and experiential learning in an interprofessional, student-run free clinic sustained or improved student attitudes toward interprofessional teamwork. The elective had a significant impact on increased student experience working in interprofessional healthcare teams and increased understanding of health professions’ roles. Continued assessment of the impact on student behaviours and patient outcomes is warranted.

Keywords


Interprofessional; Service-learning; Student-run free clinic; Attitudes; Didactic

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.22230/jripe.2010v1n3a23