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Jul 17, 2018
Susan
Farrell
, MD, EdM
Photo of Dr. Susan E. Farrell

"Professional Identity" and Interprofessional Collaboration

It’s graduation season and after years of training, clinical assessments, and final exams, we have celebrated the passage of another group of health professionals’ entries into the next phase of their clinical growth and development as care providers and patient advocates; the various regalia colors: apricot, light blue, teal, hunter green, all symbols of the chosen professions into which these graduates are entering.

Recently, I have been thinking more about the concept of profession and professional identity.  How does professional identity relate to our educational and clinical development as healthcare teams composed of experts who come together across professions? How does interprofessional collaboration relate to “professional identity”? Can they coexist and if so, how?  What would that be called?  What would it look like to us and our patients and clients?

Khalili et al [Journal of Interprofessional Care; 2013;27(6)] reflects on the traditional definition of a...Read more

Jul 17, 2018
Susan
Farrell
, MD, EdM
Photo of Dr. Susan E. Farrell

Reflections on the HEAVY LIFTING of Team Development

Imagine 80° temperatures, high humidity, five IHP health professions students and their faculty preceptor, squeezed into an Uber, along with rakes, brooms, work gloves, and yard bags:  for 45 minutes in heavy Boston traffic.

Topics of discussion: Boston traffic, living in Boston, commuting to IHP, college and work experiences, professional interests that brought them to their individual programs, shared fun interests, future plans! What a way to learn about each other!

That Uber ride was an introduction that bonded students in some hot and dirty work:  pruning, raking, sanding, painting and spreading VERY HEAVY bags of black mulch during their community service activity.  The end result, (and the beginning!):  a newly formed group, becoming friends, emerging as a novice team, ready to continue to grow.

Two weeks ago, the 2017-2018 IMPACT® cohort teams met for the first time: through early online introductions, table-based team...Read more

Jul 17, 2018
Susan
Farrell
, MD, EdM
Photo of Dr. Susan E. Farrell

There is nothing like sitting at the foot of a family member’s hospital bed and watching everyone and everything that happens around your family member to bring into sharp focus the complexity of our healthcare system and the reality of a multi-professional healthcare workforce:  physicians, nursing staff, IV nurses, nursing assistants, nurse practitioners, case managers, physical therapists, occupational therapists, dieticians:  and that’s in the span of five days. 

Through the eyes of a health professions educator, multi-professional does not equate with interprofessional.

As we launch this semester of IMPACT Practice and celebrate the team-based learning that carries IHP and HMS students into the spring, the anxious experience of ‘living’ our healthcare system is a window into the continuing work to optimize our patients’ health and their safety and security when they are ill.

It is not sufficient to teach our students about each other, or the importance of talking to each other.  Interprofessional practice...Read more

Jul 16, 2018
Alex
Johnson
PhD, CCC-SLP
Photo of Alex Johnson, PhD, CCC-SLP

February 15, 2018

What disease process has escalated in the past six months? 
What condition will cause more loss of life than occurred in the Vietnam war?
What known cause of life and limb has prohibitions against being studied or has seen a reduction in health financing?
What is a major cause of death and disability for the youngest Americans?
What condition produces death at a rate of about 4 persons per 100,000 in this country?

You know the answers. 

If you were watching the news on Wednesday February 14 (Valentine’s Day), you saw the results of this condition.  The answer to the health quiz above is mass shooting and gun violence.  Another 16 innocent kids and a beloved teacher are dead in Florida.  The teacher was their football coach.  The people who were shot all have families and friends who will struggle with this situation...Read more

Jul 16, 2018
Alex
Johnson
PhD, CCC-SLP
Photo of Alex Johnson, PhD, CCC-SLP

February 27, 2018

Recently, I invited two members of our community – a faculty member and a staff member – to make a post on my blog regarding their views on the recent shootings in Parkland, Florida. The first guest post, which follows, comes from our colleague Professor Inge Corless (School of Nursing). Inge has chosen to focus on the topic of the United States Constitution and Public Health. I hope you will take a moment to read this contribution. Look for another post soon! – Alex Johnson, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."
 – Preamble to the United States Constitution (Archives.gov)

...Read more

Jul 16, 2018
Alex
Johnson
PhD, CCC-SLP
Photo of Alex Johnson, PhD, CCC-SLP

March 1, 2018

As promised, here is the second invited blog post. This one is from Rachel Harshaw, an administrative staff member in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. Rachel addresses the issue of consent and asks us to think about our own action vs. inaction. Thanks to Rachel for her thoughtful contribution! — Alex Johnson, Provost

“All too often, when we see injustices, both great and small, we think, ‘That’s terrible,’ but we do nothing. We say nothing. We let other people fight their own battles. We remain silent because silence is easier. Qui tacet consentire videtur is Latin for ‘Silence gives consent.’ When we say nothing, when we do nothing, we are consenting to these trespasses against us.” – Roxane Gay, Bad Feministi 

I was at home in Connecticut when I heard about Sandy Hook. My mother and I sat, eyes fixed on the TV screen, where bewildered anchors repeated themselves over and over...Read more

Jul 16, 2018
Alex
Johnson
PhD, CCC-SLP
Photo of Alex Johnson, PhD, CCC-SLP

June 9, 2018

At the Institute, there are many great days every year. Today was one of those days for me. It was a home run kind of day. On one of the first really beautiful Saturdays of this spring, there was intense activity inside the IHP. The third floor of the Shouse Building was almost vibrating with learning. In each case the learning was voluntary (not required) and was collaborative.  

Walking down the hallway I bumped into some of our students who are enrolled in a voluntary medical Spanish course. This is not part of their curriculum, but something they have taken on at their own expense so that they can reach out and serve the large group of individuals who are non-English speakers.  I admire these students for their dedication and for the leadership that they model for all of us.  They inspire me.

Continuing down the hallway, I strolled (by...Read more

Jul 16, 2018
Alex
Johnson
PhD, CCC-SLP
Photo of Alex Johnson, PhD, CCC-SLP

June 18, 2018

Children, minors under age 18, are the most precious resource available to our own culture and to all the world. They represent all the hope and all the future possibilities available to everyone, everywhere. This hopeful preciousness is agnostic to their national origin, their parents’ status in social strata, their health or physical status, their religious background, or their race or ethnicity. Dependent on the adults “in the room,” their lives are precious, and they must hold special status in every aspect of society, and everywhere in the world. In the United States we have a long history of protecting children (at least trying to), and our laws attempt to provide access to health and education and assure quality of life to the fullest extent possible. When we consider violence or other inhumane acts against children we are outraged. 

 Recall the media coverage, the marches and protests...Read more

Jul 16, 2018
Alex
Johnson
PhD, CCC-SLP
Photo of Alex Johnson, PhD, CCC-SLP

June 25, 2018

I have felt as concerned as many of you about what we can do to be helpful with the current situation regarding detained families and separation of children from their parents. As of yesterday, June 20, President Trump has signed a new policy that prevents separation of children from parents at the borders. However, there is no clear plan for detainees currently in custody. Over 2000 infants, toddlers, children, and adolescents are currently being held in residential arrangements of various types.

The political discussion about responsibility for this mess goes on and on. As always, the politics are debatable and inconclusive. The political debate appears to offer no immediate solution for these children or their families. What I do know is that this problem of detention, congregate living, and separation presents a host of health issues unfamiliar to many of us.

Thus, I have reached out to several colleagues from around the IHP...Read more

Jul 16, 2018
Alex
Johnson
PhD, CCC-SLP
Photo of Alex Johnson, PhD, CCC-SLP

This is part 3 in the continuing discussion of childhood detainees and its effect on their development. One question that can be asked is "why are these people bringing their children to the U.S?" What motivates immigration in this way.

In today's contribution , Professor Antonia Makosky (School of Nursing) describes her experience in dealing with a woman and her children in the Congo, while serving with Doctor Without Borders. Antonia draws an important parallel to the current crisis in the US, citing the United Nations High Commission for Refugees' position on family unity. I found the statement to be an important beacon in this discussion. Thanks to Antonia for sharing this important message and for her service in the Congo.

From Antonia Makosky, DNP, MSN, MPH, ANP-BC, Assistant Professor, School of Nursing

In my last trip to the Eastern Congo with Doctors without Borders I was posted in an area where the war had just recently...Read more