Unity in Medicine: An Interprofessional Student Dialogue Focused on Diversity in Healthcare
Tuesday, August 20, 2019, 9:45 am - 11:15 am
Theme: Optimizing the Interprofessional Clinical Learning Environment
Our campus community, similar to others, is challenged with providing ample voice to the rich diversity represented among our faculty, staff, and students. Unity in Medicine is a student-led program that showcases the diversity represented among students at our comprehensive academic health center. This event enhances diversity and interdisciplinary education by showcasing students with different cultures, backgrounds, and experiences. In order to better demonstrate the rich diversity that is present in the healthcare system, the students discussing these topics are representatives of seven different health care professions. This project aims to demonstrate the importance of diversity within the different spectrum of health care and showcase barriers that impact students in healthcare based on their visible and invisible identities.
To achieve this, an interdisciplinary student committee was created and tasked with identifying the perspectives represented in this event based on the needs of our campus. Next, one student was selected from each college (Graduate College, Allied Health, Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Public Health) with a unique perspective. Subsequently, they were invited to be on a student panel at the event. Students, faculty, and staff were invited from across the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. After the event, the student attendees were given an optional and anonymous online survey regarding their experience.
Over 110 students attended the event and 61 responded to the survey. The majority of the student respondents (60 of 61) felt that they had a better understanding of the population they will be serving within their field and 59 of the respondents believed that there is an added benefit to hearing from a student perspective when compared to a lecture setting.
Programming like this is effective in promoting interdisciplinary cultural competency education as the students favor this personal approach to such topics. After the event, the students felt that they were more aware of the challenges their peers face in the healthcare field. This broadens the ability of those students to work effectively in diverse, interdisciplinary teams and is especially important due to the high demand for coordinated patient care in modern medicine.