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Interprofessional Education Brings Students from PBA, FAU Together

“The sessions allowed us to not only acknowledge that we all have to work together to help the patient, but also allowed each professional group to showcase what they can do for the patient.” The sessions that pharmacy student Marcus Silio is referring to describes a new program at Palm Beach Atlantic University where pharmacy students partner with Florida Atlantic University (FAU) medical and social work students to learn with and from one another.

FAU/ PBA Collaboration

Interprofessional education is defined as students from two or more professions in learning together through a part of their training.

Dr. Mariette Sourial, assistant professor of pharmacy practice in the Gregory School of Pharmacy, identified the nearest medical school and connected with Dr. Jo Ann Bamdas, director of interprofessional education at FAU. Sourial attend one of FAU’s didactic sessions and the program started out as a volunteer opportunity for PBA pharmacy students.

“This is very unique that this is going on, it’s going to open up doors to research, funding and enhancing our own internal programs,” Bamdas said.

Sourial found that students really enjoyed their time at FAU, and FAU felt the same way about PBA. “They (the FAU students) actually had it written in their commentaries they wanted to have pharmacy more present,” Sourial said.

“The session was rather eye opening not only for me but also all in attendance,” said Silio. He noted that the sessions were very helpful especially in learning how healthcare professions work together.

The voluntary sessions were so successful that now first-year PBA students attend three didactic sessions and three field visits where theypractice the skills they have learned, Sourial said.

“It’s a rarity within your profession to talk to other schools,” Dr. Mark Bonifiglio, associate professor of pharmacy practice, said. “I enjoy the fact that if you were looking across the academy you’d be hard pressed to find two institutions that have more differences and that’s the beauty of this. The more different you are, the better it can be.”

The idea of a public and private university collaborating is almost unheard of, but for Palm Beach Atlantic University and Florida Atlantic University this became a reality.