February 22, 2012 brought the third annual Interdisciplinary Clinical Case Competition (ICCC )sponsored by the Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance. This years winners are the “Interdisciplinary Titans” pictured at right.
The competition, based on the University of Texas Houston model, promotes an interdisciplinary learning experience where students learn to appreciate the value of various team members involved in reaching optimal patient outcomes.
This year our competition included ten disciplines, Meharry Medical College – School of Medicine and School of Dentistry; Vanderbilt – School of Medicine, School of Nursing(Nurse Practitioner Program), School of Law, Dietetic Internship Program, Divinity School, and Speech and Hearing Pathology; the University of Tennessee – College of Pharmacy, College of Graduate Social Work; and Belmont University – School of Pharmacy and School of Nursing (RN Program).
There are three interdisciplinary student teams with eleven student participants. Each team had students representing each of the disciplines mentioned above. Students are chosen to represent their school or program by their dean or program director, based on the student’s openness to the value of an interdisciplinary approach and the student’s ability to function on a team. The student must be in the final year of training. The overall competition takes about 6 weeks from orientation to public competition.
A team of interdisciplinary faculty from Meharry, Vanderbilt, U.T., and Belmont work together for several months to develop details of a clinical case that will provide meaningful opportunities to highlight teamwork and also the importance and value of each discipline. The case details, scoring, and competition process are developed with great focus and attention by each faculty participant to assure that the benefits of the competition to students will be realized.
During orientation, students are given most details of the case, a list of instructions and guidelines by discipline, and some verifying paperwork. At Orientation, the students learn what other students are on their team. The students determine a leader and give themselves a team name. At each step of the competition, the work of the team will be reviewed and scored by faculty from each discipline.
On February 16, there was an important event at the Vanderbilt Center for Experiential Learning and Assessment (CELA). Patient actors were trained by the CELA staff to represent the details of the patient(s) in the case. Members of each team selected representatives to interview the persons while the remainder of the team observed via real time video. Faculty jurors also observed and judged the interview and team collaboration process.
The final round of the competition was held at the Learning Resource Center at Meharry Medical College in front of an audience. Each team presented their summation of the case and assembled in front of the audience for college bowl-type questions. At the end of the question sessions, final scores were tabulated and the winning team was announced.
The competition involves much work on the part of the faculty and student teams but the value of the experience is worth all the effort and time spent. The experience has the potential of influencing the way medical care is delivered, underscoring the importance of all team disciplines, and offing an unique educational experience for all participants.