Broad Success of Interdisciplinary Course


Miami Law's new interdisciplinary course – "The Idea of the Hospital: An Interdisciplinary Inquiry" – launched this spring with thirty-six graduate students from various schools across the University of Miami (UM) campus. The first of its kind, the course gave students an exclusive opportunity to study the multiple perspectives from which we view, think, and work in hospitals.

"The course was able to successfully give a comprehensive picture of several of the numerous components of a hospital," says rising third-year law student Jessica House Bunkers, who took the course. "Many of the speakers addressed the future of hospitals in their specific areas of study, which was extremely interesting."

While the graduate-level course was organized, coordinated and sponsored by Miami Law, it was taught by UM professors from across six schools and colleges, including the Schools of Nursing, Law, Architecture, Medicine and the College of Engineering and the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health. The course was taught in eight full-day/eight-hour Saturdays classes.

Each class session, or module, focused on a different aspect of the Hospital – from the future of nursing, to patient safety, to the use of technology in hospitals, to the design of hospitals.

"The interdisciplinary fashion in which this course is structured is its greatest strength," says Brandon Faza, a graduate student in the MD/MBA dual-degree program. "Examining so many aspects of hospitals through the lens of so many different professions has helped me immensely to understand hospitals and healthcare. I truly recommend this course to every student interested in the healthcare profession."

Was the course considered a success? "Absolutely," says Jessica Shore, a Visiting Researcher at Miami Law, who helped organize 'The Idea of the Hospital,' along with Sandra Abraham, Executive Liaison of Interdisciplinary Programs and Initiatives. "We had a great turnout, wonderful feedback, and the model was truly unique."

The course will be offered again next year in the spring.

"I believe that the educators of UM who are pioneering this course have hit the nail on the head," says Faza. "I hope the model provided by 'The Idea of the Hospital' spreads to all centers of higher education. Tremendous learning takes place when graduate and professional students are educated collaboratively and in an interdisciplinary format."

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