This month on the blog, we're highlighting primary care exemplars. Virginia Tilden is a champion of interprofessional education and team-based care. She represents the values we need in the next generation of primary care delivery. Today, we run a post by Dr. Tilden from our archives.
By Virginia P. Tilden, Ph.D., R.N.
It’s been a long time since I was a baccalaureate nursing student at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., but my memory is sharp about this fact: nothing in our curriculum taught us to work as an interprofessional team. In 1967, the year I graduated, nursing was a rigid, rule-based discipline driven as much by hospital policy and faculty dogma as by scientific evidence.
And, just like medicine, it was siloed by its own knowledge, traditions, and truths. Even back then it struck me as odd that we nursing students and fellow medical students cared for the same patients when barely a word passed between us. Further, our faculty seemed unaware of each other, as though the two professions operated in parallel universes with almost private and separate languages about the very same patients for whom we jointly cared.