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  • Interprofessional Education Model Builds Bridges Between Academic and Clinical Communities, Students and Faculty

Interprofessional Education Model Builds Bridges Between Academic and Clinical Communities, Students and Faculty

Southern California University (SCU)’s groundbreaking Interprofessional Education (IPE) model combines curriculum, clinic, community, and clubs to help students develop a broader base of knowledge and gain a deeper appreciation for different perspectives on care. To celebrate this innovative model and honor the ways we share knowledge, build skills, and improve patient outcomes by bridging academic and clinical communities, SCU launched the IPE and Collaborative Practice Week in June 2022.

Now, having completed its second year, the IPE and Collaborative Practice Week is well on its way to cementing itself as an annual, university-wide tradition.

“Student feedback was very positive,” Dr. Preetideep Singh, Assistant Dean and Associate Professor for the Interprofessional Education Department, said. “Through the IPE events they had the opportunity to learn from, with, and about each other.”


IPE fills the void that often exists in healthcare education delivery systems. 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 to community providers, family caregivers to case managers, primary care physicians to physician assistants, specialists such as chiropractors and acupuncturists, and social workers, pharmacists, psychologists, and long-term care providers.

From left to right, SCU faculty Anupama Kizhakkeveettil BAMS, MAOM, L.Ac, PhD, and Preetideep Singh, MD, MBBS, participate in the Wellness Modalities event.

IPE at SCU is a University-wide model that includes curriculum, clinicals, community, and clubs, providing a seamless transition from student to practitioner. In the IPE model, students from two or more professions learn with, from, and about each other to improve patient and population outcomes.

SCU also provides a unique combination of medical and complementary health models, preparing students to become transformational leaders in healthcare.


As SCU’s 2nd year hosting the IPE and Collaborative Practice Week, IPE efforts across the university have continued to grow, increasing both visibility and student participation. “We did a modalities event this year where faculty and students from all clinical programs showcased some of their modalities of treatment. It was a great opportunity for students to engage with each other and learn about different disciplines,” Dr. Singh said.

Students show off their submission to the body painting competition.

This year’s event also included a virtual collaborative case competition, where students from different professions and programs collaborated to solve clinical cases together. This tested their basic science knowledge, clinical knowledge, problem-solving skills, and teamwork abilities.

“The virtual collaborative case competition was a true IPE experience from creation to implementation involving faculty and students from various programs,” Dr. Singh said.

Another featured event was the anatomy body painting and Play-Doh competition, where students were required to paint or construct anatomical structures in detail involving a specific region. This experiential learning served as a tool for learning surface anatomy and associated clinical skills in a team-based environment.


The IPE model also supports SCU’s core value of integrative, whole-person health, in which we teach, learn, collaborate, and lead by creating an open environment for multiple disciplines and professionals to bring their shared and unique skills together for the benefit of patients and students.

Dr. Singh elaborates, “The IPE model equips healthcare professional students with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary for collaborative, patient-centered, and evidence-based care that addresses the full spectrum of whole health involving conventional and complementary practices.”

“All the events were tied to achievement of certain interprofessional education competencies.” – Dr. Preetideep Singh, Assistant Dean and Associate Professor for the Interprofessional Education Department

At SCU, interprofessional education and integrative, whole person health go hand in hand. As part of our mission to educate students as competent, caring, and successful integrative healthcare practitioners and professionals, we openly, skillfully, and productively address tensions between our professions and departments in the pursuit of transforming health and healthcare education.

We look forward to celebrating future IPE and Collaborative Practice Weeks at SCU to bring further visibility to IPE and help prepare students to one day serve as a vital part of an interprofessional care team.

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

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