Pharmacy, Medical Schools Gather for First Interprofessional Class

April 14, 2015
Meghan Ross, Associate Editor

New York's Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine and Touro College of Pharmacy recently came together for the first time for an interprofessional education (IPE) class on Cultural Competence in Health Care.

New York’s Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine and Touro College of Pharmacy recently came together for the first time for an interprofessional education (IPE) class on Cultural Competence in Health Care.

The class, which tackles challenges in understanding cultural diversity in health care, was only available to Touro’s medical students in the past, according to the school.

“By combining the pharmacy and medical students in 1 lecture hall, students from both schools are taking the course together in an attempt to address one of the components of the [World Health Organization] definition of IPE, by learning ‘with’ one another,” a school press release stated.

Students were asked to write term papers addressing how pharmacy and medical students can collaborate in providing “culturally sensitive treatment,” the school noted. Students from the 2 colleges also participated in interprofessional group exercises.

Course Director Jeffrey Gardere, PhD, described the IPE class as “new and historic.”

“The only way we truly think is when we come out of our comfort zone,” Dr. Gardere said in the press release. “We know that when our physicians and pharmacists work together, the outcome is always better.”

Cara Rabin, a Touro student who is pursuing a career as an osteopathic physician, pointed out that camaraderie and error prevention were 2 benefits of collaboration between pharmacists and doctors.

“I have never worked with pharmacists before, but I think there can only be value in adding pharmacy students, as they are a critical part of inpatient and outpatient clinical care,” Rabin said in the press release.