Common Reading Program

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi is a pre-assigned book that all matriculating IHP students, regardless of discipline, are asked to read prior to your scheduled orientation.

This first-person narrative centers on Paul Kalanithi, a neurosurgeon resident in his mid-thirties who is diagnosed with terminal lung cancer during his last year of training. The story highlights his experience as a patient and the impact on his family as they grapple with the illness and his subsequent decline.

We want you to be not only evidence-based clinicians, but also high-performing members of healthcare teams. Each program builds a one-hour session into their orientation schedule to discuss the book through the lens of interprofessional collaborative practice and justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion, thereby introducing new students to two important core values of the IHP. These sessions are typically facilitated by two interprofessional faculty members.

About a month before orientation, you will receive a direct link through your school e-mail address that will allow you to access an electronic version of When Breath Becomes Air. If you do not receive an email with the link, please ymendezrainey [at] (email Yolanda Mendez Rainey).

Interprofessional Dedicated Education Units

As a student at the Institute, you will be able to participate in a unique clinical education experience at Massachusetts General Hospital, focusing on collaborative practice and team-based, patient-centered care in the acute care setting. Together with students from Harvard Medical School, you will interact with clinicians from various professions to learn firsthand about the importance of interprofessional practice.

These experiences take place over two mornings on one of three Interprofessional Dedicated Education Units (IPDEUs). You will work one time with a nurse instructor and the other with an instructor from a rehabilitation profession. Each morning concludes with a facilitated debriefing session during which all students on that service reflect on what they observed and discuss the implications for their practice.

The IPDEU experience provides real-world exposure to the essential and often unexpected aspects of working in interprofessional teams, preparing you to apply these principles as you go through your professional curriculum.

Crimson Care Collaborative

In partnership with Harvard Medical School and several neighborhood clinics, the Crimson Care Collaborative (CCC) pairs IHP students from nursing and physician assistant studies with Harvard’s medical students, overseen by faculty clinicians from both schools, linking the allied health and medical worlds – a gap cited by reports from the Institute on Medicine.

The program operates in community-based clinical sites providing care to underserved populations. The CCC sites receive patients one evening a week to offer urgent care, as well as establish and/or provide primary care for patients needing these services. Physician, physician assistant, and nurse practitioner preceptors supervise student clinicians and facilitate teaching rounds.

The community-based clinical sites are:

Child Development Day

More than 350 students in Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Physician Assistant Studies, and Speech-Language Pathology, observe children's normal development and talk with caregivers, both virtually and at our on-campus IMPACT Practice Center.

Faculty members and students love little children, especially alumni children. If you have a child under 3 years, consider volunteering for Infant Development Day. During a one hour session, current students will play with and observe your child to learn about typically developing children.