Posted: May 7, 2013

Interprofessional Teams and Culture in Health Care


Rosalind Franklin University is home to five health related colleges including The Chicago Medical School and offers a total of eleven on-campus graduate level degree options. The university's mission is "to serve the nation through the interprofessional education of health and biomedical professionals and the discovery of knowledge dedicated to improving the health of its people". This includes promoting, educating and providing cultural and interprofessional experiences to our students. To this end, all on-campus clinical students are required to complete the course Interprofessional Teams and Culture in Health Care during their first year at the university.

The course is offered through the Interprofessional Healthcare Studies department and is designed to allow students from all programs to learn from and with one another for the purpose of preparing them to provide effective team-based, culturally sensitive, patient-centered care. One course objective is for students to demonstrate sensitivity to other people's cultures. The Office of Multicultural Services and the Interprofessional Healthcare Studies department have collaborated to achieve a foundation of cultural experiences designed to help achieve this outcome. The experiences include events such as movies, lectures and cultural events with topics that consist of gender identity in health care, LGBT Ally Training, serving non-English speaking patients, sensitive sexual history taking techniques, international health care and race relations, to name a few. These topics are not traditionally addressed in the classroom, therefore students, faculty and staff are eager to attend these sessions.

These sessions provide a holistic approach to educating future practitioners as well as promoting diversity and inclusion within the workplace. Events are planned on a quarterly basis and are held during the lunch hour in order to promote attendance. Students are allowed to choose which events they would like to attend. To tie the event to the course objective, students are asked to complete a reflection assignment. Reflection questions are designed to encourage students to consider how the cultural event experience relates to their future role as a health care provider, as they prepare to serve people of diverse cultures. Suggestions for how to implement this type of program, attendance statistics, and learning outcomes samples will be provided.

*Presented at 2013 GDI Professional Development Conference


Interprofessional, Health Equity Research, Quality Improvement, Diversity, Patient-Centered Care, Interdisciplinary Teams, Evidence-Based Practice, Culture, Multidisciplinary Teams, GDI


Cilvia Henderson, MS, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science

Susan Tappert, PT, DPT, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science