The Interprofessional Learning Exchange and Development (I-LEAD) Program at CWRU is aimed at developing an interprofessional curriculum for students in the medical, nursing, dental, and social work√ā¬†professions.


I-LEAD integrates several models

Learning experiences seek to prepare collaborative practice-ready healthcare providers. All learning experiences are currently in the phase of pilot testing. Interprofessional learning groups offer a variety of activities including instruction, case discussion, dialogue, reflection, and simulated and actual clinical practice experiences. Interdisciplinary faculty development and collaboration are integral to the program. Multi-disciplinary faculty and student leaders co-lead the core working group which is also comprised of faculty and students from various schools. Opportunities for immediate post experience feedback and reflection papers capture the level of student engagement. Standardized tools monitor impact over time.


The program began with medical students and masters' level nursing students who held at least one previous college degree. It has currently expanded to include BSN, dental and social work students.


The structure offers a variety of components that support the various models. Small group learning experiences within a larger group framework raise appreciation for the unique value of each profession. Other key elements in the IPE curriculum include opportunities for meaningful work, the development team skills, and supporting quality improvement in healthcare. Learning experiences involve both intra- and interprofessional collaboration. Interdisciplinary faculty development is an integral component of the program. Team skills of the leaders within the planning and implementation process are also monitored. Each component is evaluated by students and facilitators using a standardized tool. Students also complete required reflection papers. Both quantitative and qualitative analyses are completed for each session.

Individual Learning Activities

  • Interprofessional Interface (IPE4)
    At least 400 students from four different healthcare professions come together to explore their own knowledge, skills and attitudes as well and an understanding of each other's profession.
  • Community
    Students can select from various venues within public health settings to learn collaborative practice in small groups. They can work in one or more of these settings
    • a foot clinic for homeless Clevelanders
    • an urban elementary school for hypertension and obesity screening
    • a public library for health literacy
    • a student-run free clinic for health education
  • In-patient Shared Learning Experience
    Medical and Nursing students work in pairs in an acute care hospital setting to assess mutual patients. Together the pair
    • Discusses the challenges in care coordination/delivery and interprofessional communication
    • Plans for discharge/transitional care
    • Develops a systems-based hospital improvement plan
  • Student-Run Free Clinic
    This capstone experience embodies all the elements of interprofessional care in the outpatient community. Under the supervision of a physician and nurse preceptor medical and nursing students see patients and plan for their care as provider teams rotating the role of clinical leader. Students work in interdisciplinary teams using a comprehensive approach to
    • Development of a system of care delivery for an underserved population
    • Application of leadership skills within the framework of a clinic's daily operation
    • Planning
    • Management of all activities and resources
    • Finance and use of resources
    • Marketing and outreach
    • Scheduling of staff and patients
    • Evaluation and process improvement
    • Quality and safety
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CWRU Medical, Nursing, Dental and Social work students share perspectives on patients

Students from all four schools join in 46 small groups to discuss their perceptions of each other's and work together to solve patient cases.