The University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus is one of the nation’s leaders in interprofessional education, which teaches students to improve patient outcomes by collaborating across disciplines. From the way classrooms and labs are designed, to classes where students from multiple disciplines learn together, to teachers who stress collaborative problem solving, every aspect of our students’ education is designed to help them work together.
Students benefit from the knowledge of their peers by seeing how different points of view can affect patient treatments. Interprofessional education is all about team-based learning, which prepares students for how medicine works in the real world. Teamwork is the key to quality health care, but effective teamwork takes skill, practice and knowledge. That’s exactly what tomorrow’s healthcare professionals receive at CU Anschutz.
A New Dawn for Clinical Care
The DAWN Clinic in Aurora, Colorado
The DAWN (Dedicated to Aurora’s Wellness and Needs) Clinic is a partnership between the Aurora community and the CU Anschutz Medical Campus. It is a free clinic that treats uninsured adults and is staffed by a multidisciplinary team of medical, physical therapy, physician’s assistant, pharmacy, public health, nursing and dental medicine students. At DAWN, students come together to learn what it means to work as a team while providing quality health care to people in need.
“The primary care system can be so fragmented,” says David Choi, a third-year pharmacy student. “Here, we’re working together as a team to provide holistic care that serves patients well and keeps them from falling out of the system.”
There are currently 50 CU physical therapy students volunteering at the DAWN Clinic. Jenna Walton, a second-year student, has been highly involved in the formation of the clinic and is serving as its manager. Walton says, “This experience has completely transformed the way that I view health care and, as a result, the kind of clinician I will be in the future. It has also been such a rewarding experience to work alongside students and clinicians across all professions. Each profession came together to create a unique model of care that effectively integrated medicine, physical therapy, pharmacy, dental medicine, behavioral health and social services to provide the best interdisciplinary care for our patients.”
DAWN is generating tremendous value. Patients can receive all the services they need in one visit and students learn how they can function as one piece of the overall health equation.