Developing end-of-life interdisciplinary programs in universitywide settings

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Abstract

Interdisciplinary programs in end of life are widely discussed as valuable, particularly approaches to end-of-life care. Despite this emphasis, interdisciplinary programs have not been easy to implement. In universities, the implementation of interdisciplinary programs encounters administrative obstacles, including credit for the time spent in these group efforts and “ownership “ of interdisciplinary courses (IDCs). This article details the process of development and the activities of an end-of-life interdisciplinary program at one urban university with a major medical center. The issues faced in the first year are examined. These included trust, group identity, and communication. The lessons from the first-year activities are presented and efforts of the second year described.

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