Introducing the Interdisciplinary Nature of Health Care Through Case Study Models

Kathryn T. Newton, Aaron Ashley


Interprofessional education (IPE) is a critical area needed to improve the quality of healthcare. Stereotypes of other disciplines persist by healthcare workers, limiting the ability to work as a team. Knowledge of roles of healthcare professions is a key competency of IPE. An online, 12-week course was developed to introduce students to the interdisciplinary nature of healthcare through case study models. Through built-in links, students explore medical terminology, diagnostic testing, pathophysiology, treatment, and health professionals who work as a team to diagnose and treat the patient. A 24-question survey was administered to a convenience sample of 582 high school students. Results of paired-samples t-tests showed significant increases pre-training to post-training in: 1) knowledge of the different roles of health professionals, (n = 338, M = .71, SEM = .01) to post-training (M = .82, SEM = .01), t(337) = 11.08, p<.001, 2 = .203, 2) and self-reported knowledge of roles of different health professions, pre-training (n = 338, M = 2.73, SEM = .30) to post-training (M = 3.60, SEM = .039), t(337) = 20.02, p < .001, 2 = .543. Interestingly, students’ likelihood in a career in healthcare professions decreased significantly pre-training (n = 338, M = 4.30, SEM = .043) to post-training (M = 4.20, SEM = .06), t(337) = 2.21, p = .028, 2 = .016. Introducing knowledge of health professions to this population may be critical in avoiding stereotypes before a student enters a chosen career path, increasing the likelihood of participation in interdisciplinary teams.

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Journal of Education and Training Studies  ISSN 2324-805X (Print)   ISSN 2324-8068 (Online)

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