News: Fifth annual IPE Day biggest event yet

Photograph of a large group of students

More than 800 students from across Southwestern Ontario gathered at Western University’s Alumni Hall for the fifth annual Interprofessional Education (IPE) Day, which focused on refugee and newcomer health.

IPE Day brings together learners from programs in medicine, dentistry, nursing, occupational therapy, pharmacy, physical therapy, optometry, social work and nutrition to learn about collaborative patient care.

Monday marked the biggest IPE Day event yet, where hundreds of students explored professional roles, built communication skills and developed a better understanding of collaborative practice.

“IPE Day allowed us to define our roles within the circle of care, and also helped us tackle common misconceptions about the scope of practice in our respective fields,” said Mehran Mansouri, Medicine Class of 2023. “It was great to see a multitude of students from different health care fields working together to provide better care for our future patients.”

A panel discussion with eight practitioners from London and Kitchener, moderated by Schulich Dentistry Associate Professor Dr. Cecilia Dong, offered expertise into refugee and newcomer health and collaborating in clinical settings.

“Everyone is training in their own health care field, but it is important to know when to reach out to colleagues to help contribute to a patient’s care,” Dr. Dong explained during the panel. “When we work together, we are able to provide our patients with the best possible care.”

Panellist Amina Al Rohani, a registered nurse with the London InterCommunity Health Centre, reminded the students that each professional is “just one part of the puzzle.”

After the panel discussion, students broke out into small groups to work through a case study.

“I really enjoyed collaborating and conversing with a diverse group of students from other branches of health care,” said Davis Dong, Medicine Class of 2023. “There were so many great resources that I didn't know that were available until my future colleagues brought it to the discussion. In order to provide a patient-centered approach and the best care, we have to truly rely on each other as an integrated team of professionals.”

IPE Day is a partnership between Schulich Medicine & Dentistry, Western University, the University of Windsor and the University of Waterloo. It is developed with the SouthWestern Academic Health Network (SWAHN), a network of health care educators and practitioners across the South West and Erie St. Clair LHIN regions.

Since its inception in 2016, IPE Day has welcomed more than 2,495 students and 200 facilitators across two venues. The Schulich Medicine Windsor Campus will host a mirror IPE Day event on March 24.

Dr. Kevin Fung, Chair/Chief of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, and IPE Day’s emcee, emphasized the importance of interprofessional collaboration in the health care field.

“IPE Day is about real life, and working in real life means working together in teams,” he said.