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J Allied Health. 1997 Spring;26(2):63-9.

Breaking down barriers: multidisciplinary education model.


A pilot project was implemented involving students from three disciplines: dental hygiene, physical therapy, and physician assistant. The purpose was to prepare students to work together in multidiscipline teams utilizing concepts of problem-based learning (PBL) on both simulated and real patients. The project was divided into three phases. Phase I introduced discipline specific information, team concepts, and PBL concepts. Phase II involved students working in multidisciplinary teams solving a simulated patient case in the PBL format. Phase III consisted of students working in small groups and on real patients, performing an extraoral/intraoral and periodontal examination, a problem oriented physical examination, and a neuromuscular assessment. Pre and posttest evaluation of Phase I revealed no difference in knowledge among the three disciplines. Of those students evaluating Phase II and III, 100% felt PBL was an effective means of presenting multidisciplinary material; 93% reported enhanced problem-solving; 98% indicated improvements in working in groups; and 98% felt they had learned more about each other's discipline. This model may provide a viable means to prepare interdisciplinary teams to work effectively together.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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