Original Publication
Open Access

Improving Interprofessional Understanding via Interprofessional Case Conferences

Published: November 21, 2011 | 10.15766/mep_2374-8265.8437

Included in this publication:

  • Participant Guide Jill Winters.docx
  • Case Study Jill Winters.docx
  • Instructor's Guide Jill Winters.docx

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Editor's Note: This publication predates our implementation of the Educational Summary Report in 2016 and thus displays a different format than newer publications.


Introduction: Using a case study format with standardized patients, Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT), Medical Doctor (MD), nursing (N), Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm D) and physician assistant (PA) learners work as collaborative, interprofessional teams to solve a "medical mystery" regarding their standardized patient. Methods: Under the direction of interprofessional pairs of DPT, MD, N, Pharm D and PA facilitators, learners receive minimal information about their "patient" and then must rely on each other to develop and execute an interview strategy to obtain appropriate information from their standardized patient to find out why that patient has come to see them. Learners also develop an evaluation strategy and assess the patient's subjective and objective findings in order to develop a plan of care. Students then work as a team to counsel the standardized patient on the best manner to treat their specific complaints. Facilitators guide the learners through this process. Once all groups complete their counseling sessions, all participants meet for a wrap up session to discuss what the patient had and the key points of interprofessional care to best treat the patients concerns and diagnoses. Results: Learner evaluations and feedback indicate a high degree of satisfaction with the Interprofessional Case Conference (ICC). Some selected comments received from evaluation forms are: "We need more of these...”, “I had no idea what other providers did...”, and “I learned so much. I'll be back." Mean overall evaluations of the experience are 4.7 on a 5-point Likert scale. Through the ICC learners experience what it is like to be a team in providing care to a patient. They also gain an appreciation, in a safe environment, of the role of other health care providers in providing best-practice care. Discussion: The current trajectory of systems for delivery of health care in America is unsustainable. In the future, health care must be more patient-focused, community-based, and delivered by collaborative, interprofessional teams of providers. To prepare the next generation of providers for new models of care delivery, it is essential that providers learn to work effectively in an interprofessional team. The ICC provides an experience for learners from different health disciplines to better understand the roles of other disciplines in the care of a standardized patient.

Educational Objectives

By the end of the module, the learner will be able to:

  1. Collaborate with other health professionals to develop a care plan.
  2. Discuss the contributions of different health care providers in the care of patients.
  3. Identify at least three contributing factors to insomnia in an adult patient.
  4. Describe the typical presentation and initial therapy for carpal tunnel syndrome.
  5. Discuss the potential impact of nutritional factors and over-the-counter medications on a patient.
  6. Assess the efficacy of the interprofessional team approach to providing care to a specific patient.

Author Information

  • Daniel Erb, PhD, PT: High Point University
  • Victoria Kaprielian, MD: Duke University
  • Patricia Dieter, PA-C: Duke University
  • Brenda Nevidjon, RN, MSN, FAAN: Duke University
  • Barbara Eldredge, PhD: Duke University
  • Randa McNamara, AFM: Duke University

None to report.

None to report.

Prior Presentations
Dieter P, Kaprielian V, Nevidjon  B, Erb D, and Simmons T. “Introducing Interprofessionalism to Students at a Research Focused Institution,” Published Abstracts of the Collaborating Across Borders II Conference, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, May 2009. http://www.cabhalifax2009.dal.ca/Files/All_Poster_Abstracts.pdf, accessed June 11, 2009.

Kaprielian VS, Copeland J, Dieter PM, Nevidjon B, Erb D.  Interprofessional Case Conferences:  A Strategy for Team Training. Poster presented at: Society of Teachers of Family Medicine Predoctoral Education Conference; January 28-31, 2010; Jacksonville, FL.

Kaprielian VS, Grochowski CO. Facilitating Case-Based Interprofessional Education. Workshop presented at: AAMC Annual Meeting; November 10, 2010; Washington, DC.


Erb D, Kaprielian V, Dieter P, Nevidjon B, Eldredge B, McNamara R. Improving interprofessional understanding via interprofessional case conferences. MedEdPORTAL. 2011;7:8437. https://doi.org/10.15766/mep_2374-8265.8437