Students develop a novel way to teach interdisciplinary care

February 16, 2012, University of Western Ontario
Medical students pose with their board game "Circles of Care" which they developed as an educational tool for students who may end up in interprofessional health teams. Credit: Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Western University

A unique board game developed by a group of medical students at Western University will help bridge gaps between various health disciplines to better educate students about their roles in interdisciplinary health teams.

Students at Western's Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry began developing the as part of a second year ethics project, and now it's been professionally reproduced for use in healthcare faculties at universities across Canada.

"We wanted to develop something creative that could be integrated into the curricula of all undergraduate and graduate healthcare programs, from audiology to personal support work, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and all the way to the different medical specialties," said Sarit Khimdas, a fourth year medical student at Schulich.

Khimdas and his classmates, Akshay Shetty, Chandheeb Rajakumar, Colin Meyer-Macaulay, Cal Shapiro, Rachit Sheshgiri and Neeraj Patel, used a case-based approach to create a game that would provide a realistic look at how different allied health professionals approach various aspects of patient care. The game, called 'Circles of Care,' can be played by four to eight players and ideally would be played by a group of people each from different healthcare programs.

"It provides the opportunity to learn together by discussing what our individual roles are in the healthcare team," Khimdas said. The game is currently being translated into French, and digital applications for tablet devices are also being explored.

A paper on their work has been published in the Journal of Interprofessional .

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