Background: In 2015, medical students in their clinical clerkships (traditionally known as third year medical students) began rotating directly with hospitalist attendings. As we began crafting the rotation, we sought to provide value that was not leveraged elsewhere in their clerkships. Different organizations, including the Liaison Committee on Medical Education and Association of American Medical Colleges, all have made effective teamwork and communication part of their core requirements for mastery prior to advancement. In hospitalist medicine, we recognize the value of interprofessional collaborative practice in promoting patient safety, enhancing patient outcomes, and improving quality measures, making this an area ripe for capitalization.

Purpose: 1. Create partnerships with other professional groups in the hospital to teach students about the roles they perform in enhancing patient care. 2. Expose students to collaborative practice in the hospital setting.

Description: We set up sessions with Case Management and Social Work, Nutrition, Pharmacy, and Nursing. For Case Management, Social Work, and Nutrition, these sessions include descriptions and explanations of the roles with the provision of materials to help the students care for patients. As time permits, students are also taken to examine patients with these providers. These sessions are generally afternoon sessions.

Pharmacy and Nursing sessions have evolved to three hour sessions that occur in the morning. In Pharmacy, students start with our floor pharmacists who take them through medication reconciliation, the checks and balances for medication safety (including dosing of antibiotics, insulin, and chemotherapy), efforts to combat drug diversion, research and development, and the actual packaging of medications for inpatient delivery. With Nursing, students start with handoff, and are present for the first four hours of a nursing shift, including assessments and medication delivery.

Conclusions: The initial response from students and from the other services has been markedly positive. From students, 46% strongly agreed and 39% agreed that this was an effective introduction to the roles of other professionals. They also overwhelming felt that they had a better understanding of how patients and physicians were supported by these services (87% strongly agreed or agreed). Students have also asked for more experiences, including with the laboratory and chaplain services.

Some representative comments from the students are as follows: “It was great to learn about the many individuals who make great healthcare possible. I believe understanding just a little bit of what they do on a daily basis helps improve the interactions between healthcare professionals.”

“I learned how each component of the system contributes to the bigger picture.”

“The other specialties would like doctors to listen to them more.”

“It was really insightful getting to see all the pieces that go into patient care. All the allied health and social workers play a significant role in optimizing patient care both in the hospital and at discharge. I think these sessions helped me gain a better understand[ing] of how I might work with these other professions more effectively now and in the future. I believe it is critical to giving a holistic level of care.”

In addition, we have seen our colleagues in these services rise to the challenge of these presentations. They have a newfound presence and have worked to hone their teaching skills so that they become more effective communicators.