April 27, 2015
Dr. Sweet and Dr. Mueller Win Provost’s Teaching Innovation Prize for New Interprofessional Course

Two College of Pharmacy faculty members have been named as recipients of the annual Provost’s Teaching Innovation Prize. Gundy Sweet, PharmD, and Bruce Mueller, PharmD, are part of an 11-member faculty team being honored for the development of a large-scale interprofessional education (IPE) course called Team-Based Clinical Decision Making.

Traditionally, health care students have been educated in silos, segregated by profession, with few opportunities to learn from and with students in other health fields. This year, Dr. Sweet led a team of faculty from the College of Pharmacy, School of Dentistry, Medical School, School of Nursing, and School of Social Work in creating a course that begins to dismantle those silos.

“This course is designed to provide students with an increased understanding of and respect for the contributions that each profession makes to the healthcare team,” explains Dr. Gundy Sweet, course director. “As they work through a series of cases, interdisciplinary student teams gain an appreciation for differing perspectives and the importance of interprofessional collaboration when providing clinical care.” The semester-long IPE course was first offered in winter 2015 and brought together over 250 students from the five health science schools across the University.

“My understanding of the roles that other health care professionals play in providing patient care has increased exponentially,” says third year PharmD student Emily Jaynes. “I feel much more prepared for future collaboration now that their roles are not such a mystery.”

  Team-Based Clinical Decision Making Class   Team-Based Clinical Decision Making Class   Team-Based Clinical Decision Making Class

The course is taught by interdisciplinary teams of faculty but much of the learning occurs through students teaching each other. Student teams are provided with clinical problems to solve. The teams then decide how they will operate and come to a decision as a group. The course aims to provide students with the tools to develop into self-reflective practitioners who take responsibility for themselves and the outcomes of their teams.

“The enthusiasm of the faculty for this course is contagious,” explains Elizabeth Eisenhauer, RN, doctoral student at the School of Nursing. “It inspires students to critically consider the clinical problems that are presented to them, and to learn from each other.”

The Provost’s Teaching Innovation Prize recognizes innovative projects that improve student learning. Faculty from the course will be honored on the opening day of the upcoming Enriching Scholarship program on May 4, 2015.

Watch a two-minute video about the course:

The Future of Health Care: Multiple Disciplines Working Together 

Read more: Using interprofessional student teams to teach contemporary interprofessional practice in health care

Read more: Students seek health care solutions through interprofessional teams 


Course Director: Gundy Sweet, PharmD, College of Pharmacy

Project Manager: Anica Madeo, MSW, MPH

Instructional Faculty:

School of Dentistry

Mark Fitzgerald, DDS, MS
Domenica Sweier, DDS, PhD

School of Medicine

Joseph House, MD
Joseph Hornyak, MD, PhD
Jennifer Stojan, MD

School of Nursing

Michelle Pardee, DNP
Cynthia Arslanian-Engoren, RN, PhD

College of Pharmacy

Bruce Mueller, PharmD
Gundy Sweet, PharmD

School of Social Work

Brad Zebrack, MSW, MPH, PhD
Debra Mattison, MSW