By Kate Hunger
One day in his future career as a medical laboratory scientist, Prit Desai hopes to collaborate with health professionals in other fields to exchange information and insights with the common goal of delivering excellent patient care.
That ideal interprofessional scenario motivated Desai, a first-year Medical Laboratory Science master’s student, to apply to the UT Health San Antonio Interprofessional Leadership Scholars Program (ILPS), which enables students representing all five schools within UT Health San Antonio to develop interprofessional team skills while interacting with and learning from each other.
The program’s first of six meetings was held Sept. 11.
“One of the main things I’m trying to get out of this is the relationship with other students of other departments,” Desai said.
It appears to be working. Consider how much Desai and two other student participants learned about their fellow students during the first meeting:
• Desai had not known about speech-language pathology’s role in diagnosing swallowing disorders.
• MLS student participant Cristopher Rodriguez learned about the healthcare role of biomedical science researchers.
• Second-year Physical Therapy student Sheena Caramba satisfied her curiosity about what medical laboratory scientists do.
The meeting included an assessment to gauge the students’ areas of strength, which carried over into team activities.
“It wasn’t like other activities where you sit and listen. It was very interactive and fun,” said Rodriguez, who is clear about his reasons for applying to the program.
“I decided to apply because it seemed like it was going to be fun and I would learn a lot about myself and how to work with the other professions in the hospitals,” he said. “I want to expose myself to that.”
For Caramba, who hopes to some day work with pediatric patients with neuromuscular disorders, the opportunity to learn about other professions was equally matched by a desire to make sure physical therapy is better understood.
“I think just getting to understand what they do and what we can do with them to help patients is key,” she said.