CLARION: A novel interprofessional approach to health care education

Alan W. Johnson, Sandra J. Potthoff, Leslie Carranza, Heather M. Swenson, Christine R. Platt, Jon R. Rathbun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


The authors describe the development and impact of CLARION, a student-run organization at the University of Minnesota founded in 2001 and dedicated to furthering interprofessional education for health professions students. CLARION's student founders recognized that three recent reports from the Institute of Medicine will fuel significant changes in health professions education. Moreover, they deduced that targeted, interprofessional education in the preclinical years could provide fundamental skills and understanding needed to make today's patient care safer and more effective. By engaging health care professionals and faculty, CLARION creates and conducts extracurricular, interprofessional experiences for students that are reflective of the six IOM aims for health care.Student members are from four separate schools of the university's academic health center: medicine, nursing, pharmacy, and public health. The organization's capstone event, the Interprofessional Case Competition, challenges interprofessional teams of students to compete in conducting and presenting a root cause analysis of a fictitious sentinel event. The interprofessional organizational structure of the CLARION board models the kind of interprofessional equality needed to effectively solve problems in the health care system. The interaction among students from different health professions has led them to many new understandings about health care and the realization that many fundamental biases about other professions are firmly rooted in students before they enter the workplace. CLARION has enabled continued professional development of students, faculty, and practitioners, leading individual students to enhanced understanding of the health care system. It is a grassroots catalyst that has prompted faculty to reexamine traditional health professions curricula and look for ways to integrate more interprofessional opportunities into it.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)252-256
Number of pages5
JournalAcademic Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2006

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