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  • 2022
  • Ask the Professor: What is interprofessional education, and what is IPE and Collaborative Practice Week?
A photo of three SCU professors examining the Syndaver in the Anatomy Lab.
From left to right, Dr. Preetideep Singh, M.D., Associate Professor, Assistant Dean, IPE; Dr. TrungHung Tho Bui, DC, FHS Instructor; and Dr. Jonathan Carlos, M.D., FHS Associate Professor, collaborate on interprofessional education and incorporating the new syndaver (synthetic cadaver) in the newly renovated anatomy lab (Room M90) as it reopened for the Summer 2022 Term.

Ask the Professor: What is interprofessional education, and what is IPE and Collaborative Practice Week?

To fully meet the complex healthcare needs of patients, a broad range of different perspectives, expertise and education is required. Interprofessional care ranges from clinical and community providers, from family caregivers to case managers, primary care physicians to physician assistants, advance practice nurses, to specialists such as chiropractors and acupuncturists, to social workers, pharmacists, psychologists, and long-term care providers.

“At SCU, we like to look at healthcare education a little differently where we challenge convention, embrace collaboration and unite modern medicine with ancient and traditional healing arts to create an environment of experiential learning,” says Preetideep Singh, M.D., Associate Professor and Assistant Dean for the Interprofessional Education Department at SCU. “With improved interprofessional training, patient outcomes will improve.”

SCU will be celebrating its groundbreaking Interprofessional Education (IPE) model with its first annual IPE and Collaborative Practice Week, June 13 – 17, to honor the ways we share knowledge, build skills, and improve patient outcomes by bridging academic and clinical communities.

We sat down with Dr. Singh for a Q&A to learn more about IPE and the week-long events that are hosted by the IPE Department, IPE Council, Faculty, and Student Services.



What is IPE and how does it set SCU apart from other health sciences universities?

Healthcare is continuously changing and adapting, today, more than ever. Our current and future healthcare professionals need to be prepared to adapt to continuous change, as well as be prepared in interprofessional experiences for the transforming healthcare environment.

Interprofessional Education fills the void which often exists in healthcare education delivery systems. IPE occurs when students from two or more professions to learn with, from and about each other to improve patient and population outcomes. SCU’s IPE model is a unique combination of medical and complementary health models, where western medicine meets traditional medicine. It challenges convention and strives students to Go Beyond and become holistic integrative healthcare professionals.

How long has SCU been delivering this interprofessional education model?

In the Fall Term of 2020 we launched our unique IPE model based upon industry standard guidelines to improve education for our students and future health professionals to better align with the needs of today’s healthcare system. State and national health reforms require health professionals to collaborate in teams, across different specialties and between different healthcare organizations.

Since the launch of IPE model in 2020, our SCU students are enhancing the skills needed for success in interprofessional collaborative practice. At SCU, we challenge our students throughout their academic careers to understand and value the importance of teamwork, communication, and collaborative care as they grow into their roles as health professionals.

Why is an entire week being dedicated to IPE? Will this be an annual event?

IPE and Collaborative Practice Week is a key part of the co-curricular component of the IPE model. Events during this first annual event will provide students opportunities to work with each other in a collaborative environment and focus on integrative whole person health. Activities are aimed at bringing didactic and clinical components together and focus on building dual identity, team building and conflict resolution. There is emphasis on wellness activities in a fun filled environment.

Which event, or what are you looking forward to the most, during IPE Week?

All events during the IPE week are planned with holistic whole person health and collaborative practice in mind. I’m looking forward to seeing students work together in a fun-filled environment.

The schedule of exciting events includes several competitions with cash prizes from $200, up to $1,000 for the Case Competition, Poster Presentation, Anatomy Body Painting and Play Doh Anatomical Sculpting Competitions! Please register in advance for the competitions, via the online sign up form.

For more information on Interprofessional Education Department at SCU, visit the IPE page.

And for questions about IPE Week, contact Dr. Singh, at IPEADean@scuhs.edu.

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