To provide appropriate healthcare services to all patients, strong interprofessional partnerships are essential. We have developed a voluntary community-based interprofessional education (IPE) program for medical students and other healthcare students. In this program, students from different healthcare fields conduct fieldwork together in small groups. The purpose of this study was to determine what participants learned through the IPE program. 1) Five researchers with different healthcare backgrounds analyzed all (63) participants' postprogram reports (collected since 2002) and extracted and categorized items describing what the participants had learned. 2) The categories of items learned included the roles of healthcare professionals, cooperation among healthcare professionals, the meaning of “community medicine”, the difficulty and the importance of communication, and a sense of fellowship with participants of other backgrounds. 3) These items indicate our IPE program helps students learn about interprofessional cooperation by observing actual examples of cooperation in the community and by working with students from different healthcare fields.
Clinical training programs play an extremely important role in the new postgraduate clinical training system introduced in 2004 because facilities for clinical training now include various health-related institutions in addition to the university hospitals and special hospitals for clinical training used in the previous system. Although educational goals have been established by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, trainees may have difficulty achieving these goals, even under the guidance of staff at the various facilities. There are differences in the function and quality of health-related institutions in the community. For the practical and convenient application of educational goals, we have attempted develop a “model program” to supplement the objectives indicated by the learning goals with more specific objectives. These supplementary objectives can be modified by individual institutions. We hope that this “model program” contributes to the development of objectives for each institution and helps improve the quality of the postgraduate training system in Japan.
To understand how often and how well medical and nursing students use information and data on the Internet for selflearning, we conducted a survey of students in the first through fourth years at Kochi Medical School. To allow comparison we also conducted a small survey of medical students at Maastricht University. These surveys indicated several problems in the use of the Internet by students at Kochi Medical School.
In autumn 2005, a 15-hour patient-safety education program was incorporated into the core curriculum for fourth-year medical students at the Yokohama City University School of Medicine. Sixty students took part in the program. The goals of the curriculum are for students to understand the prevalence and origins of medical errors and to increase awareness of the physician's responsibility for patient safety. Because typical learning methods, such as didactic lectures, might not be effective, we developed an experimental or case-based learning method. Educational modalities included small-group discussion of medical errors, role-playing of medical error disclosure, and experience operating infusion pumps. In addition, to bridge the gap between educational systems and hospital systems, we collaborated with other healthcare workers, such as nurses and hospital pharmacists. Students evaluated the program favorably; most recommended continuing the curriculum for future medical student classes.