Student Response to COVID-19: An Academic Interprofessional Case Study
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic presented challenges for academic medical centers in each of their tripartite mission areas of education, health care, and research. For students, in-person classes and clinical rotations were temporarily suspended in the spring of 2020. Educational and clinical leaders at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, located in Jackson, Mississippi, immediately identified how students could continue training by volunteering in numerous interdisciplinary pandemic relief efforts. They could also be rewarded with academic credit hours by completing an online course focused on principles of disaster management and document volunteer hours. The purpose of this case study is to describe how an interprofessional disaster management course that would also contextualize student volunteer efforts and require synthesis of their experiences was developed. The course curriculum was developed incorporating the Interprofessional Education Collaborative core competencies.
The positive impact of student volunteerism is discussed, as well as the increase in disaster management knowledge after course completion. Emergent themes identified through written student reflections are also discussed. The learning opportunity presented in this case study provides a template for future interdisciplinary courses.