Development of an interdisciplinary student-run health care clinic

Issue: BCMJ, Vol. 60, No. 1, January, February 2018, page(s) 10,12 Letters
Sandra Seo Young Kim, BSc, Harrison Jeffrey Lee, BSc(Pharm), Todd Sakakibara, MD

There has been growing support for an interdisciplinary health care model, which has demonstrated better outcomes for patients, providers, and the overall health care system. Studies have shown that interprofessional collaboration results in positive outcomes in chronic disease management, decreased length of hospital stay, reduced admissions, and harm reduction.[1,2]

To implement the interprofessional care model effectively, early exposure for future health care providers is essential. At the University of British Columbia, interprofessional educational experiences are relatively limited for health care students. To address this gap in current health care education, the development of a new student-run clinic began in 2014.

While other student-run clinics in Canada focus on drop-in care delivered by medical students with support from other professions, the Community Health Initiative by University Students (CHIUS) clinic places an emphasis on having an interdisciplinary team see complex patients for a comprehensive assessment with follow-up appointments.[3] The CHIUS Three Bridges Student Clinic has completed 2 successful years of operation from September 2015 to April 2017, with students from the Faculties of Medicine, Pharmacy, Social Work, Occupational Therapy, and Nursing, seeing patients as a team under the supervision of faculty and medical residents.

With an emphasis placed on interdisciplinary collaboration, the teams were given time to collectively interview patients, devise care plans, and deliver interventions.

The feedback from students participating in the clinic has been overwhelmingly positive. Preliminary results from student surveys demonstrate a significant increase in understanding the scopes of practice of other health care professionals. As role clarity is an important aspect of encouraging and incorporating interprofessional teamwork into a future practitioner’s practice,[4] the CHIUS clinic addresses a gap that currently exists in our health care education.

We hope that the CHIUS Three Bridges clinic will serve as a model and inspiration for future interdisciplinary-focused student-run clinics across Canada.
—Sandra Seo Young Kim, BSc, MD Candidate 2018, UBC Faculty of Medicine
—Harrison Jeffrey Lee, BSc(Pharm), MD Candidate 2018, UBC Faculty of Medicine
—Todd Sakakibara, MD

References Top

1.    Barrett J, Curran V, Glynn L, Godwin M. CHSRF synthesis: Interprofessional collaboration and quality primary healthcare. 2007. Accessed 25 September 2017.
2.    Dinh T. Improving primary health care through collaboration: Briefing 1—current knowledge about interprofessional teams in Canada. The Conference Board of Canada. Last modified 31 October 2012.
3.    Holmqvist M, Courtney C, Meili R, Dick R. Student-run clinics: Opportunities for interprofessional education and increasing social accountability. J Res Interprofessional Pract Educ 2012;2:264-277.
4.    Suter E, Arndt J, Arthur N, et al. Role understanding and effective communication as core competencies for collaborative practice. J Interprof Care 2009;23:41-51.