Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science: Interweaving the IP Approach

Orientation Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science
The second day of New Student Orientation at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science

Unique Characteristics of Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science

Consistent with our university and program’s mission/vision statements, the interprofessional (IP) approach is interwoven into every aspect of our curriculum. Matriculated PA students become enculturated in IP immediately, beginning with a university-wide orientation providing teamwork tools (TeamSTEPPS). Students are offered the opportunity to join 80+ IP-based organizations and co-curricular activities including a pro bono interprofessional community clinic. Courses such as Anatomy and Foundations for Interprofessional Practice reach across eight health professions, with IP interwoven throughout the rest of the didactic year. Students learn about, from, and with each other to collaborate effectively as they enter their clinical year, with the goal of improving patient care.

Our Program’s Impact

There is ample evidence that interprofessional education (IPE) needs to be a part of every PA program’s curriculum. Depending on the existing infrastructure and available institutional resources, starting small and exposing students to even one additional health profession to teach and model collaborative care delivery is recommended. Logistical barriers can often be overcome with the now ubiquitous remote learning tools. With three RFU PA program faculty PhDs trained in IP Healthcare Studies as well as resources from the DeWitt C. Baldwin Institute for Interprofessional Education, we are ready to serve as a resource for effective IPE delivery and research.

Our Surrounding Community

Lake County, Illinois can be considered both the richest and the poorest county in the Chicago metropolitan area, with wide disparities in wealth, education, and disease. Lack of access to primary healthcare due to lack of insurance, underinsurance, and/or lack of available providers offers students numerous opportunities to become patient advocates at matriculation

Fun Fact

The university is next to the Naval Station Great Lakes (NSGL), the Navy’s largest training installation and the home of the Navy’s only boot camp. Located on over 1,600 acres overlooking Lake Michigan, the installation includes 1,153 buildings with 39 on the National Register of Historic Places.

This article is part of PAEA’s Program Showcases, which also includes webinars. Learn more about the series here.