That approach emphasizes that health care professionals from different disciplines work closely together to improve patient outcomes. For example, a social worker, physical therapist and nurse confer, communicate and cooperate with the physician as a team when deciding how to treat someone.

Students and faculty taking part in the half-day-long exercises are from SDSU’s College of Pharmacy; USD’s College of Arts & Sciences, which includes audiology, speech language pathology and clinical psychology; the USD Sanford School of Medicine’s medical program and center for disabilities; USD’s School of Health Sciences, which includes addiction studies, dental hygiene, medical laboratory science, nursing, occupational therapy, physician assistant, physical therapy, public health, social work and health sciences major.

"The event, which started in 1999, provides the students a great chance to interact with and learn about other health professionals, and how they can work together to provide team-based care," said Joy Karges, professor of physical therapy and Chair of the interprofessional training event at USD.

“This is an important event in the development of health care professionals in South Dakota, setting standards for interprofessional health sciences education and practice,” added Michael Lawler, Ph.D., dean of USD's School of Health Sciences, which is leading a statewide effort that’s unique in the United States because it blends government, education and health institutions to advance interprofessionalism. For details on the effort, see the current issue of South Dakotan Health magazine.

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