Interdisciplinary Collaboration: HQP Voices

Sarah Leslie, a Project HQP who started in May 2018, told us, “My involvement in this CFN project has given me an opportunity to broaden my understanding and skills in the area of mixed methods research. I have also been able to liaise and network with community organizations serving older adults, which I have found quite valuable. Although I had considerable experience working as part of an interdisciplinary team, this particular opportunity has allowed me to engage with a variety of researchers in a discipline I was not that familiar with. This experience has improved my knowledge of other allied health professions serving the older adult community and their importance in managing chronic conditions.”

This sentiment was also reflected in Matt Leyenaar’s CFN training experience. Matt, who works as a paramedic, noted that: “When I reflect on the CFN Interdisciplinary Fellowship, in part because it was early in my PhD, I think about the translation of problem-solving skills from acute emergencies to the bigger health system and to the research process.  The CFN Interdisciplinary Fellowship was helpful for me to take that understanding and the problems with the system and think about problem-solving in new ways with other researchers with different backgrounds.”

Unique to our IFP stream, HQP further benefit from an interdisciplinary mentor over the course of their training. When discussing her interdisciplinary mentor, Alexandrine Bouche, a 2018 IFP, noted that, “Being immersed in the nursing universe, I sometimes forget how system dynamics may influence care provision. It is valuable to have someone from the outside asking questions and ‘shaking things up.’ The result enables me to self-reflect on that which may be my own assumptions.” As these experiences demonstrate, even trainees who have interdisciplinary experience benefit from the structure of the CFN Training Program in significant ways.