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Highlighting IPE Faculty at UW - Deborah Kartin

Deborah Kartin, PhD, PT
UW Rehabilitation Science





                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Deborah Kartin is a Professor in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine in the UW School of Medicine. Her academic preparation included earning her BS in Physical Therapy at Boston University, an MS degree in Rehabilitation Medicine and her PhD in Education (Educational Psychology) at the University of Washington. She is the Director of the interdisciplinary PhD Program in Rehabilitation Science and is the Graduate Program Coordinator for the four degree granting programs in the Department: the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT), Masters of Occupational Therapy (MOT), Masters of Prosthetics and Orthotics (MPO), and PhD in Rehabilitation Science. She teaches in the DPT and PhD Programs and has directed a number of interdisciplinary post-professional training grants in rehabilitation. She currently is the founding chair of the Department’s Interprofessional Education Group.

Why (and how) did you get involved with IPE?

Dr. Kartin: “My commitment to IPE really stems from the dissonance I experienced based on my training as a physical therapist and my early clinical practice as a pediatric physical therapist. I was educated in the “silo” of physical therapy. When I began my clinical practice I really had a limited appreciation for and understanding of the importance of interprofessional rehabilitation practice. That was until I actually began to work with children and families. In the process of learning to meet their needs, I recognized the necessity of having interprofessional clinical partners who would, along with the child and family, engage with me in rehabilitation that was a team endeavor. This truly was a powerful realization. I was also fortunate to work for many years at the now Center on Human Development and Disability where interdisciplinary (interprofessional) service, training and research are core values. These experiences have gone on to influence my values not only as a clinician but as an educator.”

What do you believe are the benefits of IPE?

Dr. Kartin: “If we have a better understanding of each other’s professional perspectives, we are in a better position to collaborate. We live in a complex world and, for example, the issues facing people with disabilities and their families are also complex. I think any assumption of being able to do “it” alone to address complex issues, be they in clinical service, education, or research, is an anachronism. For me some of the compelling benefits of IPE are that it provides us with opportunities to learn from each other and to practice with each other in ways that will help us generate creative real world solutions that reflect the complexity of issues and questions.

What has been the most memorable experience/highlight of teaching IPE so far?

Dr. Kartin: “I would have to say the highlight of IPE teaching has been my involvement in the development and implementation of our PhD Program in Rehabilitation Science. At its inception the program was designed from an interprofessional perspective. This is reflected not only in the varied training backgrounds of the students entering the program, but is also apparent in our intentional design of a curriculum that fosters interprofessional engagement among the students.”