A CALL for One Health Interprofessional Education: Student-led Comparative Medicine Initiatives at the University of Minnesota
Interprofessional Student Poster Description:
Industrialization, population growth, and increased human mobility are increasingly placing humans into contact with animal ecosystems, leading to changing perspectives of human health in relation to the environment. In a world of increasing connectedness between humans, other animals, and the environment, an understanding of One Health is of increasing importance for health professional students. In particular, Zoobiquity, a University of Minnesota student organization composed of 100+ student members from different health professions, has been a leader in uniting student experiences in human and veterinary medical education through multi-species approaches. Zoobiquity aims to provide opportunities for exploring the interdisciplinary nature of healthcare and bring awareness to clinical similarities found across health professions. In particular, an annual comparative anatomy lab provides an opportunity for student-led interprofessional education.
The Comparative Anatomy Lab and Luncheon (CALL) invited students from multiple pre-health and health professional programs to a morning presentation from the Minnesota Department of Health about shared enteric zoonoses in humans and animals. This was followed by student presentations of gastrointestinal anatomy of humans and veterinary species. A lunch break allowed participants to learn more about each other and their professions. The afternoon included in-lab student-led demonstrations of anatomical specimens from several species (e.g., human, dog, pig, llama, cattle, horse). An online Qualtrics post-event survey was available to all attendees.
This IRB approved study was exempt from further review. On average, 4 out of every 5 participants indicated the event very much improved their understanding of the roles and responsibilities of health professionals outside their own, changed their perspective on interprofessional events and activities, and improved their understanding of the benefits and risks associated with human and animal interactions.
Conclusion and Reflections:
Overall, Zoobiquity-hosted events have been well received by many health professional students. The yearly increase in student membership and consistently high attendance at events has demonstrated the success of Zoobiquity. CALL has been very successful due to the nature of this hands-on learning opportunity that encourages peer-to-peer interactions through teaching anatomy. The success of CALL and other Zoobiquity events is a promising indicator for the desire of health professional students to seek education in One Health approaches in addition to their respective field of study. Various challenges in implementing an event like CALL included: 1) participant recruitment and openness to exploring other species, 2) timing of the event with varying academic calendars, and 3) limited lab space and specimens.