April 1, 2019

Team-Based, Interprofessional Education Will Prepare Students for the Future of Healthcare

New Health Education Campus designed to encourage interaction and shared decision making

students in lab

One ofhe Shelia and Eric Samson Pavilion at the Health Education Campus of Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) and Cleveland Clinic is slated for dedication next month.


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As the 2019-2020 academic year begins, more than 2,200 students from the university’s dental, nursing and medical schools — including Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine — will learn in a building specifically designed to encourage them all to interact both during and outside of classes.

Team-based education for the next generation of caregivers

Health and education leaders worldwide believe that interdisciplinary education, which occurs when students from more than two disciplines learn about, from and with each other, will best prepare students for their practice after graduation.

“We’re moving to team-based education to align ourselves with the way care needs to be delivered today,” says Barbara R. Snyder, JD, President of CWRU. “In the educational environment, we haven’t been educating students with that in mind. All these programs have been in separate buildings. We are excited to put them all under one roof where [students] will learn together, and will [] have lots of informal interactions together too.”


According to Tom Mihaljevic, MD, CEO and President of Cleveland Clinic, “Interdisciplinary learning as a phrase, as a terminology, is new […] Physicians currently in practice [] were educated separately from the nurses or other healthcare professionals. Then for the first time that we met and started working as a team is the first time we got our jobs, which is certainly not optimal. We hope to change it through interdisciplinary learning, […] which has been part of Cleveland Clinic from the very beginning. Our found[ers], almost 100 years ago, had a slogan to act as a unit, to act as a team, because they recognized that healthcare is an ultimate team sport. In order for us to meet the demands of our patients and their families, the best way to do it is by working as a team.”

Interdisciplinary Collaboration by Design

At more than 477,000 square feet, the Samson Pavilion is expressly designed to encourage interaction and shared decision making among all students in an effort to prepare them to solve complex health problems. CWRU’s dental clinic will be located across Chester Avenue to the North, providings its patients far easier access to its services. The goal is for students to graduate with a deeper understanding of how caregivers complement one another’s work – as well as appreciation for the unique roles each plays in enhanced outcomes for patients.

The new space encourages students to learn from and about their colleagues, developing the collaborative leadership skills needed to work effectively and deliver the best patient care.


“As students from multiple health professions learn together in one extraordinary space, they will be uniquely prepared to lead teams that provide coordinated treatments that result in better outcomes for patients,” states President Snyder.

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