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Valued Perspectives

No matter what any one of us thinks or feels, it is guaranteed that in our great University there is someone (or many people) who thinks and feels the exact opposite. It is only by hearing all of these views that we can develop a complete picture of how to move forward. That is why your feedback on these messages is so important.

One of the best things about the feedback from the AHC Mission and Vision email is that it came from so many diverse areas. Even better than that is that so many of you actually read the message—over 50%. Communication only works if it is received, so I am grateful that you are taking the time to participate in the process.

So that we can all benefit from the shared wisdom, here are some of the (paraphrased) themes and standout ideas people had for what is key to inter-professional research, education, and practice:

  • Create a culture of collaboration, encourage a willingness to venture into unknown territory. [Acknowledging risk and failure as essential parts of learning and research is critical.]
  • All disciplines need to identify that inter-professional action is a priority, particularly to show students its value. Our students will not only enrich the inter-professional work already happening in the field, but they will be the change agents that initiate collaborations of the futures. [Excellent point. We need to ensure that we model this behavior for the next generation.]
  • AHC Best Practices Conference where faculty and staff share their best ideas and showcase their innovations. Create time and space for faculty to share and co-develop more instructional best practices. [Interesting idea. Who would like to work on developing this?]
  • Understanding other professions’ priorities. Opportunities, social or otherwise, to engage in inter-professional interaction and learn more about others’ activities and interests. [Very important and difficult to do. Suggestions of ways to do this?]
  • A major obstacle is high clinical workloads in some areas. Additional support, such as a research coordinator, is welcomed. [The need for more time and for a reduced administrative burden is a common theme in trying to find time to reach out across the University.]
  • Seed funding that requires inter-professional components. [Money is a good motivator when we are trying to change these behaviors.]
  • Students have difficulty finding opportunities for work across professions. [See next comment.]
  • Right now inter-professional education lives more in grant proposals than in the real world. Need to have cross-curricular teams. [Cross-curricular teams could not only facilitate cooperative relationships across the AHC, but could also greatly improve the student experience.]
  • Respect for the skills and knowledge of colleagues combined with a sense of perspective that goes beyond your own training and capabilities. (Sense of humor and funding help, too.) [This sums it all up perfectly. We need to have fundamental courtesy and respect for others combined with an awareness that our own knowledge does not cover everything.]

I read all the feedback, and while it doesn’t have to be positive to be welcome, concise is preferred (because I really do read all of it).

I am going to finish with a comment from you that I found to be particularly inspiring: "[I am] thankful that I am at the University of Minnesota where change is not only always necessary, but is valued and sought in the pursuit of excellence within our community of scholars."

It is only by hearing all of these views that we can develop a complete picture of how to move forward.

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