About the Seminar Courses
The Columbia Commons IPE Seminar courses bring together faculty and students from all ten professional health programs and schools to learn how to support respectful and effective health care teams. These seminar courses open up urgent questions about health, illness, and care while absorbing each of our many perspectives on these topics.
Our four courses focus on a health topic with an emphasis on orientating students to the philosophy and methods of Narrative Medicine. Through small group work, the students will develop narrative skills of close reading, attentive listening, and creative writing. These seminar courses are eleven-week long classes open to dental, medical, nursing, nutrition, occupational therapy, pastoral care, physical therapy, public health, social work, and genetic counseling students. At the completion of the course, you will receive designation as a Columbia Commons Scholar.
Student Seminar Experiences
“Relationships and Spaces of Care was a highlight of my medical education so far. The opportunity to reflect on what I bring as a person to my role as a medical provider, and work closely with students from other professional schools to begin formulating an understanding of our relative perspectives and capacities to contribute was both unique and invaluable. The balance of personal writing and group discussion offered a rich experience that I wish every person at the CUIMC campus could experience. I could not recommend this seminar nor the IPE narrative medicine experience more highly.”
“My Columbia Commons IPE Seminar, Health Care Justice, experience is one of the highlights of my time at Columbia, and has absolutely shaped my relationship to this campus. I am incredibly grateful for having had the opportunity to think critically about the structural inequities underlying health with students from across the healthcare schools – I highly recommend it!”
“I thoroughly enjoyed the Spirituality and Healthcare Seminar and appreciated the opportunity to learn about engaging with patients and their spirituality. The interprofessional nature of the seminar provided an environment for meeting students from other healthcare programs and learning about their future professions that is missing from our medical curriculum. One of the highlights was shadowing a chaplain at the hospital – listening to the chaplain comfort a patient as he worried about the future of his wife and daughter after he passed away ranks as one of the most powerful moments of my medical education so far. I would highly recommend this experience to all first years!”
“The IPE seminar on Health and Healthcare spaces was the best course I have taken during medical school. We went from birth until life, exploring each theme from different angles and seeing how it applied to our roles as providers on a healthcare team. For me, many of the themes had been brought up by other aspects of medical school, but I had never felt like I really had the time to think deeply about them, discuss them, and process them until this seminar. I am so happy and thankful that I had this experience.”
Students must apply to be placed into one of our four seminar courses.
Applications are now closed for the Spring 2020 Semester
Spring 2020 Course Descriptions
Classes will begin the week of January 27, 2020 or February 3, 2020 and end the week of April 27, 2020.
Relationships of Care and the Spaces of Care
Tuesdays, 5:30pm – 7:00pm | beginning January 28, 2020
Michael Devlin, MD and Mary Sormanti, MS, MSW, PhD
This seminar will open up questions of the nature of the therapeutic relationship and the ways in which spaces influence the care provided. What has to happen for care to occur? What is required of the ones being cared for and the ones caring? What does care mean within the interprofessional team? What constitutes a healing environment and how is this reflected in the physical spaces in which care takes place (emergency rooms, birthing rooms, clinic offices, home hospice)? These questions apply to spaces and care intended for individuals, families, communities, and populations. We will consider issues of intimacy, embodiment, relationality, boundaries, interior states of caring or not caring. We will probe how one prepares oneself for the life of caring and how one attempts to cope with the inevitability of suffering and death. We will consider the implications of these issues for everyday personal and professional experiences.
Aging and End-of-Life
Tuesdays, 5:30pm – 7:00pm | beginning January 28, 2020
Letty Moss-Salentijn, DDS, PhD and Mark Nathanson, MD
This seminar explores the role of health professionals in advancing and improving quality of life in the aging population. The spectrum of topics includes successful aging in healthy seniors to end of life decisions. We face these issues daily in our work, our family life, through interactions with friends and colleagues, and in the course of our lives. The seminar includes careful readings and discussion of fiction, memoir, poetry, and film to better understand the role of the arts, volunteerism, palliative care, psychological distress, loss, and caregiving of the ill. We will share our own writing to examine personal experiences with advanced aging, serious illness, and dying. The policy implications of these questions—including the goals of senior housing, ageism, hospice care, requirements for palliative care services, “guarantees” of health that many think are being made by the health care system—will be faced. These topics are of particular import given the aging of the population worldwide and the health care debate to determine sound and compassionate policy which would allow all people to experience quality of life and dignity and to prevent unnecessary suffering at the end of life.
Health Care Justice and the Care of the Underserved
Thursdays, 6:00pm – 7:30pm | beginning February 6, 2020
Kristen Slesar, LCSW, MS
Health care access and equity is a central issue in today’s sociopolitical climate. For millions of Americans, availability of health care is worsening; for millions more, lack of health care access and equity has been normative, an everyday scourge of institutionalized racism, sexism, and classism. Using a lens of structural violence and intersectionality, this seminar will examine various forms of health care disparity and injustice and their history in the United States. We will focus on historically and currently targeted (or neglected) populations, emphasizing health care access and outcomes for Persons of Color, women, persons who identify as trans, impoverished communities, Veterans, and persons who are incarcerated. The seminar will move from a survey of institutions/systems to the challenge of structural competency in one-on-one interactions between providers, their peers, and patients.
Spirituality and Healthcare
Thursdays, 5:30pm – 7:00pm | beginning February 6, 2020
Naomi Kalish, ACPE, BCC, Chaplain and Ssanyu Birigwa, MS
Illness and hospitalization are often the site of engagement with spirituality and religion and of existential exploration of meaning and meaning-making. In this seminar, students will gain an introduction to the provision of spiritual care in healthcare settings from an interdisciplinary approach. Students will learn a conceptual understanding of religion, spirituality, and culture through an intersectional approach that addresses power differentials and health disparities. This approach will incorporate the provision of spiritual care to people from diverse backgrounds, including that of the atheist and those who identify as “spiritual but not religious.” Students will have the opportunity to shadow a staff chaplain on a spiritual care visit. Students will learn how to conduct a Spiritual Care Screening. Students will learn basic skills for responding to spiritual distress, such as when people ask questions like “Why me?” or “Why is God doing this to me?” For too long, there has been a taboo against asking patients directly about their beliefs, practices, or faith concerns. In this course, guests will join us from interdisciplinary approaches in the Intensive Care Unit and from the patient family members. In exploring the relational model of care, this seminar will include room for consideration and contemplation of our own belief systems, practices, and relationships to faith – or lack of faith – in the face of illness.
For questions on the seminar itself, please contact Jordana Vanderselt at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For questions about registration with your program/school, please contact your Commons faculty representative:
|College of Dental Medicine
Michael Devlin email@example.com
|School of Nursing
|Programs in Occupational Therapy
|Clinical Pastoral Education Program
|Mailman School of Public Health
|Programs in Physical Therapy
Laurel Abbruzzese firstname.lastname@example.org
|Program in Genetic Counseling
Amanda Bergner email@example.com
|School of Social Work
|Institute of Human Nutrition