Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education
at Washington University Medical Campus

IPE Curricular Activities

Do you have an IPE activity or initial idea that you would like added to the repository of the IPE activities on campus?

The Curriculum and Assessment Committee is indexing the IPE activities that exist outside of the Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education to provide support and connections to other programs if desired.

Example: Breathe Easy: Interprofessional Education Enhances Asthma-Related Knowledge

  • Learners: Second-year pharmacy and medicine students participate in an interprofessional activity related to asthma management.
  • Activity overview: IPE activity began with an individual quiz to assess baseline knowledge of asthma management and inhaler devices. Next, students in interprofessional groups discussed their respective curricula in general and then, more specifically, their asthma coursework. Groups proceeded through asthma-related cases and prompts to highlight the different expertise among professions. Medical students demonstrated the steps in a pulmonary physical exam and described lung sounds. Pharmacy students demonstrated inhaler device technique on placebo inhalers and described barriers to their use. Collaboratively, the students created a patient-specific, evidence-based plan to optimize the asthma management for a patient case, while facilitators from both professions were available for guidance throughout the activity. The last activity was an individual post-quiz to reassess students’ asthma and inhaler device knowledge.
  • Read more about this example in the Fall 2019 CIPE Newsletter

Click here to add your submission to the repository.


All of the educational programs involved in the CIPE are incorporating IPE into their curriculums. Click through the list below to learn more about some of the IPE activities on campus. 

Standardized Patient Team Experience
In AY20-21 this experience was run virtually.

This session is a hands-on experience with multiple healthcare professions (medicine, nursing, occupational therapy, pharmacy and physical therapy). Students practice novel ways a healthcare team might function in order to effectively and efficiently care for a hospitalized patient/client. IPE student teams determine how to work together to take a history and physical and develop a care plan for a standardized patient; the experience is then debriefed by an IPE faculty team. The goal for this session is to develop an integrated, interprofessional treatment plan that reflects the roles and strengths of each member of the care team as well as the needs of the patient. This experience initiated in 2009 with medicine and nursing students and has since been expanded and adapted based on feedback from participants and the curriculum team. Further development and placement of this experience will be informed by the integrated, longitudinal interprofessional curriculum being developed by the Curriculum and Assessment Committee.

  • Respect the unique cultures, values, roles/responsibilities, and expertise of other health professions.
    • Organize and communicate information with patients, families, and healthcare team members in a form that is understandable, avoiding discipline-specific terminology when possible.
  • Express one’s knowledge and opinions to team members involved in patient care with confidence, clarity, and respect, working to ensure a common understanding of information and treatment and care decisions.
  • Use the full scope of knowledge, skills, and abilities of available health professionals and healthcare workers to provide care that is safe, timely, efficient, effective, and equitable.
  • Integrate the knowledge and experience of other professions—appropriate to the specific care situation—to inform care decisions, while respecting patient and community values and priorities/preferences for care


  • Tammy Burlis, PT, DPT, CCS, Washington University School of Medicine
  • Dennis Chang, MD, MD Program, Washington University School of Medicine 
  • Rebecca Claxton, DNP, RN, Goldfarb School of Nursing
  • Heather Hageman, MBA, Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education
  • Angela McConachie, DNP, RN, FNP-C, Goldfarb School of Nursing
  • Jonathan Mullin, MD, Washington University School of Medicine
  • Monica Perlmutter, OTD, OTR/L, Program in Occupational Therapy, Washington University School of Medicine
  • Dusty Scheper, BSN, RN, Goldfarb School of Nursing
  • Alison Stevens, Pharm.D., BCPS, St. Louis College of Pharmacy
  • Julie Woodhouse, MEd, RN, CHSE, Director of Immersive Learning Centers, Washington University School of Medicine

Hotspotting brings together a team of learners over an 8-month period to engage with a client/patient who needs extra support. Learners to complete an online curriculum from the Camden Coalition throughout the activity. In our AY 20-21 pilot, four senior-level interprofessional students from medicine, nursing, OT and pharmacy engaged virtually with a client/patient identified by the BJH Outpatient Service Team to: 

  • Address systemic barriers to health care 
  • Provide person-centered, trauma-informed care 
  • Implement a guiding strategy to respond to their needs 


  • Dennis Chang, MD, MD Program, Washington University School of Medicine 
  • Gloria Grice, Pharm.D., BCPS, Interim Chair, Department of Pharmacy Practice, Assistant Dean for Curriculum and Assessment
  • Heather Hageman, MBA, Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education
  • Duana Russell-Thomas, MSOT, OTD, OTR/L, Washington University School of Medicine
  • Barbara J. Whitaker, DNP, MPH, BSN, RN, Goldfarb School of Nursing
Transitions of Care Curriculum

In AY 20-21 this experience was run virtually. 

In the Spring of 2018, CIPE piloted an innovative IPE experience focused on the transitions of care process to determine the feasibility of incorporating the experience into all programs’ curricula. In addition, coordinators wished to gain student insight into the value of the experience to generate ideas for future expansion of experiential offerings. 

Twenty-five students, five from each profession (medicine, nursing, occupational therapy, pharmacy, and physical therapy), volunteered to participate in the pilot. The pilot was structured into three phases. Learners completed the first phase on their own by reviewing two online cases focused on transitions of care. The St. Louis College of Pharmacy provided funding for use of the CareCases software from CaseNetwork®. Themes of the cases centered on medication management and transition planning/ information transfer. Learners received discussion questions to prepare for the in-class session that followed. 

The second phase consists of an in-class discussion session.  Each learner is assigned to an interprofessional group with one learner from each profession. All groups discussed both cases during the two-hour class session, and the experience ended with a large group debrief presentation emphasizing best practices and important takeaway points from each case. 

The last phase of the pilot is an experiential activity. Each interprofessional group meets with a medical resident facilitator to walk through a simulated discharge on a hospitalized patient. The facilitator highlights issues to address for facilitating a safe discharge.

In spring 2021, a modified version of the case exercise will be incorporated as an IPE session in the IPE Transitions of Care course in the pharmacy curriculum and as an elective experience for the other programs. To learn more about the pilot click here. 

  • Recognize the individual’s professional role during transitions of patient/client care.
  • Identify barriers to safe transitions of care.
  • Evaluate effective strategies to enhance safety and improve communication during care transitions.



Maggie Bland, DPT, Program in Physical Therapy, Washington University School of Medicine

Dennis Chang, MD, MD Program, Washington University School of Medicine

Audrey Coolman, MPH, Community Service Learning Project Manager, Washington University School of Medicine

Pat Nellis, MBA, OTR/L, Program in Occupational Therapy, Washington University School of Medicine

Catherine Kush, DPN, GNP-BC, Goldfarb School of Nursing

Pamela Newland, PhD, RN, CMSRN, Goldfarb School of Nursing

Lisa Sitler, PhD, RN, MSN-Ed, APHN-BN, SANE, Goldfarb School of Nursing

Alison Stevens, Pharm.D., BCPS, St. Louis College of Pharmacy

Medicine and Physical Therapy Patient Transfer Experience

 This experience was newly developed in the Spring of 2016. It is an elective for year-three physical therapy students and is required for year-two medical students. The PT students teach the MD students safe handling techniques for moving patients in bed, to and from examination tables, and in and out of wheelchairs.


  • The medical students will recognize the skill physical therapists have in applying good body mechanics to move and assist patients.
  • Describe basic principles of correct body mechanics for the health care worker.
  • Describe how to assess a patient’s ability to move, bear weight, and maintain balance.
  • Demonstrate how to assist a patient to arise from a chair, ambulate across the room, and get onto an exam table.
  • Demonstrate how to move patients safely: move between sitting and supine, transfer between a chair or wheelchair and bed, and move the patient up in bed.
  • List the types of patients where special precautions need to be taken to assist them in moving (e.g. possible cervical injury, person in a halo vest, obesity, and post-surgical movement limitations).
Pharmacy and Dental Student IPE Experience

St. Louis College of Pharmacy and the Missouri School of Dentistry & Oral Health recently joined forces to bring students together for a meaningful interprofessional experience. A total of 24 students - 12 third year dental students and 12 fourth professional year pharmacy students participated in the pilot program. On two separate dates, 6 dental and 6 pharmacy students were partnered to see patients in the St. Louis Dental Center intake clinic.

Students address patients in teams of two for the interview: dental students asked about the health history and pharmacy students collected a thorough medication history.  Pharmacy students then watched the dental exam (specific things were noted to pharmacy students by dental students).  Both students provided education: medication-related by pharmacy students and dental care-related by dental students.  Both students worked on documentation of the visit together.

When asked about lessons learned, students mentioned the importance of communicating across disciplines. They discussed benefits to team-based care, for the patients and the professionals caring for them. Simple steps, such as introducing themselves to their local dentist/pharmacist or participating in each other’s study clubs would encourage basic communication and collaboration. Dental and pharmacy students all felt they would be more likely to reach out to the other profession after this experience.  As one student noted, “I think the main barrier to collaboration is simply not understanding the importance. After today, I feel more confident about reaching out to my local pharmacist.”

Both programs plan to repeath this interprofessional experience and are discussing other opportunities to encourage meaningful interactions and learning opportunities for the students.  


Medicine and Pharmacy Student Inhaler Training IPE Experience

In this activity, MD and Pharmacy students teamed up to work interprofessionally on a case study for an individual with asthma. Students worked together to address all aspects of the case, develop treatment plans, and strategies to increase adherence to inhaler use. 360 students participated in the fall 2018 session in teams of six, two MD students and four pharmacy students. 


  • Effectively communicate with the members of your interprofessional team 
  • Describe the unique role of pharmacists and physicians on an interdisciplinary team 
  • Given a clinical scenario, classify asthma symptoms into a stage of control and propose an appropriate next step in management 
  • Demonstrate a positive attitude towards the other disciplines 
  • Given a clinical scenario select an appropriate inhaler for your patient considering costs and ease of use
  • Demonstrate a focused pulmonary exam and compare three major auscultory findings (crackles, ronchi, wheezes) and their significance
  • Demonstrate proper inhaler technique
  • Identify MDI, DPI and SMI when presented with a description and/or picture.