ASCO Task Force Plans IPE/Collaborative Care Summit

smythe-picMy favorite Tedx Talk is one that I know many of my colleagues in optometric education also refer to when making decisions of all kinds, from simple to complex. The talk is Simon Sinek’s “Start with Why …” At a recent meeting of ASCO’s Interprofessional Education Task Force, we quickly moved into that discussion of “why?” Why do we think it is important to provide interprofessional experiences for our students? Why is interprofessional collaborative care important in optometric education? It was the unanimous consent that integrated collaborative care is good for the patient, which is a pretty compelling “why.” So, we MUST prepare future doctors of optometry to be adaptable and collaborative because that is how healthcare transformation will affect all of us in the health professions.

Representatives from many of the schools and colleges of optometry have had the opportunity to attend an Interprofessional Education Collaborative (IPEC) workshop. Overall, our colleagues report that the experience is worthwhile because it provides the opportunity to develop action plans for interprofessional education alongside other educators from their institutions. Time set aside for focused small group discussions and large audience participation, all with knowledgeable facilitators, is a strength of the format. The ASCO IPE Task Force is now planning an Eye on Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Care Summit modeled after those successful IPEC workshops. The summit will likely be held in February 2016. The date, location and formal details will be forthcoming. The overall goal is to have an intense one-day workshop with participation from all ASCO member institutions and interested industry partners. Please start sending me your ideas for the event so we can address key issues, including but not limited to breaking down the barriers to IPE (which we know are typically time and resources), developing action plans for a new model at specific institutions, and sharing experiences for group feedback.

Finally, I would like to congratulate Dr. Melissa Vitek, Dr. Jon Baker and Dr. Elizabeth Hoppe on their successful poster presentation at the American Optometric Association meeting, where they shared the results of ASCO’s 2013 IPE survey of the schools and colleges of optometry. The “whys” are plentiful: IPE is good for the patient, good for the profession and good for education.

Coyle-SignatureJennifer Coyle, OD, MS, FAAO


Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry