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Interprofessional Education for 21st Century Care

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About This Course

Physician trainees are put into clinical multidisciplinary teams with little knowledge of their non-MD colleagues. They are often unaware of the specialized expertise these other team members possess and they have no framework for understanding the complex interdisciplinary team environment. This lack of understanding results in confusion and missteps that can lead to patient care errors, potentially hostile working conditions, and decreased job satisfaction. With this curriculum we hope to give you a basic understanding of the roles and backgrounds of some core members of the interdisciplinary team as well as insight into these professionals views of the types of common misunderstandings and miscommunication that can derail interprofessional collaboration.

This curriculum has been developed from focus groups and interviews with non-physician healthcare professionals at one academic medical center. Most focus group participants worked in inpatient acute care: as such, the curriculum is focused primarily on acute inpatient care.



Course Staff

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Mariposa Garth-Pelly

Mariposa Garth-Pelly is a 2nd year medical student at Stanford University. Prior to medical school she worked as a nurse in an Intermediate ICU at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. In addition to a B.S.N. from Inter American University of Puerto Rico, Mariposa holds a B.A. in Urban Studies from Brown University. Her research interests are in healthcare team dynamics and interprofessional collaboration.

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David Svec

David Svec M.D., M.B.A. is a Clinical Assistant Professor at Stanford School of Medicine. He completed his joint M.D./M.B.A. degree at Case Western Reserve University and then completed his Internship and Residency at Stanford. He has been an academic hospitalist at Stanford since 2012. He is the Section Chief of the Stanford ValleyCare Hospitalist team, the Director of the Stanford Medicine Consult and Procedure Team, and a Core Residency Faculty Member. He has been recognized for his teaching, receiving the David A Rytand Clinical Teaching Award, the Arthur L Bloomfield Award for Excellence in Clinical Teaching and the Lawrence Mathers Award for exceptional commitment to teaching in Medical Student education. He has mentored multiple quality improvement projects of the Stanford Healthcare Consulting Group and his research focuses on high value care.

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Alistair Aaronson

Alistair Aaronson M.D. is a Clinical Assistant Professor at Stanford School of Medicine. He received his B.S. in Molecular Biology from Johns Hopkins University and his M.D. from the Medical University of South Carolina. He then completed his Internship and Residency at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California. He has been a surgical co-management hospitalist at Stanford since 2013. He is a member of numerous hospital committees related to patient safety and quality improvement, and his research focuses on care coordination, patient engagement, and the use of technology to optimize clinical care.

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Sara Stafford

Sara is a Progressive Care Certified Nurse and holds a B.S.N. from the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith. She has been a nurse for six years and is currently a Clinical Nurse IV as well as the Unit Educator for the float pool at Stanford hospital. Prior to coming to Stanford, she worked at a community hospital in Northwest Arkansas. This unique perspective has highlighted the challenges of the healthcare environment and ignited Sara’s passion for improving collaboration between professionals. In addition to her hospital commitment, she is also the Interprofessional Experience Theme Lead at Stanford University Medical School. Her work entails curriculum development and recruitment of interprofessionals to facilitate the shadowing experience for medical students. Sara is currently attending Sacred Heart University to obtain her M.S.N. with an anticipating graduation date in October of 2017.

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Emmy Shearer

Emmy Shearer is a first-year medical student at Stanford University. In addition to her interests in interprofessional education, Emmy's research interests include how national- and state-level health policies affect healthcare delivery, costs and access. Her work on these topics has been published in the Harvard Health Policy Review and the Pan European Networks journal, among other places. Prior to coming to Stanford, Emmy attended Cornell University, where she graduated with degrees in Biology and Government and a minor in Health Policy. She then went on to study as a Marshall Scholar in the UK, where she obtained an MPP from the University of Cambridge and an MSc in Health Policy, Planning and Financing from the London School of Economics and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to purchase a textbook?


Can I access course materials, even if I can't take the course?

Yes. This is an open access course.

Will I receive a Statement of Accomplishment in this course?

No. A statement of accomplishment is not offered.

Course Credits

Interprofessional Education for 21st Century developed from a project started in the Stanford Healthcare Innovations and Experiential Learning Directive (SHIELD) program. We would like to acknowledge and thank RJ Sánchez who led creative and technical production, Jotham Porzio who created the original art and animation, and Prakarn Nisarat who designed the handouts and layout of web content. We would also like to recognize the VPTL media production staff who worked on the videos: Adam Lopiccolo, Greg Maximov, and Adam Storek. We gratefully acknowledge the financial support and guidance we received from the office of the Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning, and specifically guidance from Alison Brauneis. We would also like to thank all the healthcare professionals who participated in focus groups, being shadowed, providing feedback on the curriculum, and who appeared on-camera.

By exploring the course, you are agreeing to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Please read them carefully.