To develop an equitable, high-functioning healthcare system, all health professionals must have the ability to work collaboratively across professions. This must include an understanding of the healthcare system and the policies that contribute to that system. The study of the humanities contributes to the development of the skills needed to work effectively in healthcare and develop effective policies that meet the needs of humanity. Book club discussions that bring together students in the various health profession programs including nursing, pharmacy, medicine, dentistry, and others may provide an effective strategy to incorporate the humanities while improving interprofessional skills as well as skills in advocacy and policy development needed in the healthcare arena. The purpose of this project is to describe interprofessional students’ experiences and learning as participants in book club discussions focusing on the humanities at one Midwest health professions education institution. In total, 27 medical, dental, nursing, and allied health students participated in three separate book club discussions. Following the discussions, each student completed a survey about the experience and wrote a reflection addressing the learning outcomes for the discussion. The survey results indicated that students viewed the interprofessional book club discussions positively. The written reflections were reviewed using thematic analysis, identifying common themes. The reflections supported advocacy and policy development as the foci for these discussions. Additionally, five themes emerged including: quality patient care, communication, interprofessional collaboration, evidence-based practice, and leadership. Students were able to draw clear connections between the content of the books and interprofessional practice, policy development and advocacy within healthcare demonstrating the relevance of incorporating humanities into health professions curricula through book club discussions. The themes that emerged relate well to the learning outcomes for the activity and the Core Competencies for Interprofessional Collaborative Practice from the Interprofessional Education Collaborative. This project supports the use of book club discussions as an educational strategy to incorporate the health humanities in interprofessional education and achieve interprofessional competency and skills in advocacy and policy development.
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