What's Wrong With Warren? Highlighting the Physical Therapy Perspective of a Dynamic Interdisciplinary Case.


The Interprofessional Education Collaborative (IPEC) discusses the critical role interdisciplinary education plays in promoting patient and community centered care1. Roles and Responsibilities, a core competency addressed by IPEC, was the focus of a highly interactive campus wide interdisciplinary activity (What’s Wrong With Warren) occurring in January of 2016.


A core case was initially developed within the school of medicine that centered on a teenager with a diagnosis of meningococcal meningitis and a resultant below the knee amputation. Three phases of the case were delineated: acute, post-acute, and community response. Each discipline involved ( medicine, physician assistant, nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy, public health, clinical laboratory sciences, medical humanities, pharmacy, and biomedical sciences) modified each appropriate phase for their discipline to highlight important discipline specific roles. The activity involved first or second year students from each discipline (totaling around 500) who were assigned to discipline and phase of care specific small groups ( 5-7 students) with a faculty facilitator. For the initial hour of the activity, the students identified their key roles and responsibilities for the phase of the care assigned. Additionally, they developed a list of potential consults they would need to assist in their provision of care. The second 1.5 hours was a consultation phase. Students traveled all over campus obtaining consults and having questions answered by relevant disciplines. As consults were completed, the answers received were collected on discipline specific colored sticky notes and placed on a continuum of care timeline in the center of campus. Physical therapy participated in both the acute and post-acute phase of care highlighting the importance of early mobilization and rehabilitation phases of a patient with a below the knee amputation. The last hour of the activity all students came together for a group debriefing session, where key contributions of each discipline were discussed across the timeline of care. Activity feedback was collected from students and faculty via survey.


52 PT students and 7 PT faculty were surveyed; 100 % reported a positive experience, with 75% identifying specific opportunities to communicate with disciplines early in their education as beneficial. Survey data also identified areas of improvement for the activity, especially regarding logistics of the consultation phase.

Conclusions/Relevance to the conference theme: The Pursuit of Excellence in Physical Therapy Education

Engaging PT students in high energy, dynamic IPE early in their education is critical to their development of a “PT identity” across the continuum of care and fosters opportunities to develop interdisciplinary communication skills.


1. Interprofessional Education Collaborative Expert Panel. Core Competencies for Interprofessional Collaborative Practice: Report of an Expert Panel. Washington, DC; 2011.

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  • Control #: 2527470
  • Type: Platforms
  • Event/Year: ELC2016
  • Authors: Dr. Laurie Farroni
  • Keywords:

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