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Author Notes:

Correspondence: Fred P Sanfilippo Emory–Georgia Tech Healthcare Innovation Program, Emory University, Grace Crum Rollins Building – Room 730, 1518 Clifton Road Northeast, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA Tel +1 404 778 0234 Email fred.sanfilippo@emory.edu

The authors wish to thank HIP Program Manager Maryam Carn, the HIP Student Advisory Group, and the student and faculty participants that helped make the symposium a remarkable success.

The authors report no conflicts of interest in this work.


Research Funding:

This study was supported in part by PHS grant UL1TR000454 from the Clinical and Translational Science Award Program, National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, National Institutes of Health, and the Woodruff Fund, Emory University.


  • multidisciplinary health care education
  • multidisciplinary student engagement
  • multidisciplinary team-based learning

Breaking down silos: engaging students to help fix the US health care system


Journal Title:

Journal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare


, Pages 101-101

Type of Work:

Article | Final Publisher PDF


Problem The field of health care is becoming a team effort as patient care becomes increasingly complex and multifaceted. Despite the need for multidisciplinary education, there persists a lack of student engagement and collaboration among health care disciplines, which presents a growing concern as students join the workforce. Approach In October 2013, the Emory–Georgia Tech Healthcare Innovation Program organized a student driven symposium entitled “US Healthcare: What’s Broken and How to Fix It: The Student Perspective”. The symposium engaged students from multiple disciplines to work together in addressing problems associated with US health care delivery. The symposium was organized and carried out by a diverse group of student leaders from local institutions who adopted a multidisciplinary approach throughout the planning process. Outcomes The innovative planning process leading up to the symposium revealed that many of the student-discipline groups lacked an understanding of one another’s role in health care, and that students were interested in learning how to work together to leverage each other’s profession. The symposium was widely attended and positively received by students and faculty from the Atlanta metropolitan area, and has since helped to promote interdepartmental collaboration and multidisciplinary education across institutions. Next steps The student symposium will become an annual event and incorporate broader discipline representation, as well as a patient perspective. Proposals for additional institution-wide, multidisciplinary educational offerings are being addressed with the help of faculty and health care providers across the network. Accordingly, the implementation of student-driven symposia to engage students and stimulate institution-wide changes may be a beneficial and cost-effective means for academic health centers looking to facilitate multidisciplinary health care education.

Copyright information:

© 2015 Kumarasamy and Sanfilippo.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/), which permits distribution, public display, and publicly performance, distribution of derivative works, making multiple copies, provided the original work is properly cited. This license requires copyright and license notices be kept intact, credit be given to copyright holder and/or author. This license prohibits exercising rights for commercial purposes.

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