Interprofessional collaboration between health sciences librarians and health professions faculty to implement a book club discussion for incoming students

Jen Haley, Rebecca Carlson McCall, Meg Zomorodi, Lisa de Saxe Zerdan, Beth Moreton, Lee Richardson


Background: The following case example provides an overview of one innovative way to engage health professions faculty with health sciences librarians in the development of an interprofessional book discussion and identifies strategies to address implementation challenges. Academic health sciences librarians worked with the Interprofessional Education (IPE) Steering Committee to organize interprofessional book discussion groups for incoming health professions students. This inaugural book discussion brought together students and faculty of different disciplines to engage students in “learning from, with, and about” other professions.

Case Presentation: When Breath Becomes Air, by Paul Kalanithi, allowed involved discussions on important health sciences issues. The project included outreach, designing pre- and post-surveys, scheduling participants, and communicating with all participants before, during, and after the event. A total of seventy-nine students and thirty-six faculty, representing all health professions schools, participated in the small group IPE book discussions over two weeks.

Conclusions: Small group book discussions have been shown to be an effective tool to engage students and faculty in IPE. The results of the participant surveys were positive, and the IPE Steering Committee found value in including health sciences librarians throughout the process. Lessons learned from the pilot project include needing an efficient scheduling system, strongly communicating at all stages of the project, and starting the planning process months ahead of time. The IPE Steering Committee plans to conduct similar book discussions every fall semester moving forward and explore options for other IPE events.


Interprofessional Education; IPE; Interprofessional Collaboration; Health Sciences Education; Academic Libraries

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