USF Health faculty and alums earn award at national meeting

Two USF Health faculty and USF alumni won second place for their interprofessional education poster that was presented at the Association of University Programs of Health Administration (AUPHA) Annual Meeting in June.

Rahul Mhaskar, MPH, PhD, from the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine, and Zachary Pruitt, PhD, MHA, CPH, from the USF Health College of Public Health, earned second place out of 40 presenters at the national meeting.

From left, Dr. Pruitt and Dr. Mhaskar with their winning poster.

Their poster, titled “Medical and health administration student collaboration in problem-based health systems curriculum,” highlighted the perceptions of first-year medical students in MCOM’s SELECT MD program regarding interprofessional collaboration with health administration graduate students in COPH.

Dr. Mhaskar, who is director of the Office of Research and associate professor of internal medicine in MCOM, as well as associate professor of global health in the College of Public Health, said that their finding showed to key points.

First, that there are significant changes in perceptions among medical students on professional competency, suggesting that the Health Systems curriculum improved medical students’ perceived professional competency in Health Systems-based problem solving.

And second, that there was a significant increase in “Individuals in my profession think highly of other related professions” scores, showing that perceptions regarding cooperation with health administrations improved significantly after the interprofessional education program.

Dr. Pruitt, who is assistant professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management in the College of Public Health, said that future professional collaboration among physicians and health administrators would be improved through problem-based learning of non-clinical topics, such as quality improvement, health policy, and finance.

“Our study’s award reinforces the importance of collaboration among professions,” Dr. Pruitt said. “We are planning more interprofessional opportunities for our health management and medical students to learn and grow together.”