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Highlighting IPE Faculty at UW

Lynne Robins, PhD

Professor, Department of Biomedical Informatics and Medical Education

Director, Teaching Scholars Program

This feature is part of our series highlighting the work of faculty teaching IPE at UW.

Dr. Lynne Robins is a Professor in the Department of Biomedical Informatics and Medical Education in the UW School of Medicine and holds adjunct appointments in the Departments of Family Medicine and Pediatric Dentistry. She earned a PhD in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Michigan and taught linguistics and anthropology before entering the field of medical education as Director of Curriculum Evaluation at University of Michigan Medical School. Dr. Robins joined the UWSOM faculty in 2000, soon finding her niche in faculty development and mentoring. She has been Director of the University of Washington’s Teaching Scholars Program – a longitudinal education fellowship for faculty in the health professions – since 2002.  In 2011 she won the UW Medicine Mentoring Award. In 2015, she became the Director of the Center for Leadership & Innovation in Medical Education.  Her major areas of research interest include patient-physician communication and interprofessional team practice. 

Lynne Robins, PhD

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How and why did you get involved with IPE?

Dr. Robins: "Whether at work or play, teamwork animates everything I do. As an avid sweep rower I rely on committed team members to show up and work together to make our boats swing.  As a PhD educator, I rely on clinician colleagues to create and disseminate high quality education materials.  When I arrived at the University of Washington in 2000 Pamela Mitchell invited me to participate in a variety of HSPICE team initiatives. Together we created a modular IPE curriculum organized around patient safety, leadership, improving the culture of practice, changing the response to error, and incorporating IP principles into teaching and learning. We also collaborated on a Provost’s Fund for Innovation and Redesign award to create and pilot an objective structured clinical exam (OSCE) to assess graduating health professional students’ competence in core IP skills.  Through these initial projects I established enduring collaborations with colleagues who continue to innovate and expand the boundaries of IPE."

What do you believe are the benefits of IPE?

Dr. Robins: "Teamwork may be the best – perhaps the only – way to deliver safe, high quality patient-centered health care.  But working in teams is not easy. IPE acknowledges and addresses the challenges and opportunities of teamwork by providing opportunities for trainees to deliberatively learn how to work together in real world and simulated clinical contexts."

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

Dr. Robins: "As a faculty developer I was thrilled to collaborate with UW’s Macy grant faculty to create an IPE faculty development “track” within UW’s Teaching Scholars Program. It is immensely gratifying to watch graduates of the program become local and national leaders in IPE and to effect transformative changes in the way current and future health professionals are educated."