After completing ILEAP (an interprofessional experience program), new perspectives on comprehensive health care opened up to me that reached beyond the world of dentistry. Not only did I learn the connection and importance of dentistry within systemic health, but also the significance of integrating social worker and public health professionals into preventive health, decision-making, and delivering quality care to patients..
With my interest in preventive medicine, participating in ILEAP allowed me to gain more insight on how I can better promote the importance of oral health to those in other professions. For example, many of my ILEAP peers were surprised to learn that many systemic pathology is first seen in the oral cavity. Working closely with my team at Neighborhood Family Practice on Cleveland’s west side, we were all able to learn more about managing patients with diabetes from different perspectives. As a (future) dentist, I think I play an important role in bridging the gap between patients that visit their physician less frequently. Aside from the health aspects of treatment, I learned more about many of the socioeconomic factors that have an influence on healthcare.
I am very appreciative of Case’s commitment to interprofessional care and introduction into a new model of healthcare delivery. Not only was I able to gain many team skills, but also learn more about other professions and their roles within healthcare delivery. I hope that I can translate the knowledge and skillsets gained from this course into the remainder of my career at Case as well as a future practicing dentist.