Skip to main content
Click logo to go to Libraries homepage

InterProfessional Student Advisory Gatherings (IPSAG): Home


Students from the following schools are invited to attend InterProfessional Student Advisory Gatherings (IPSAG): Dental Medicine; Perelman School of Medicine (both M.D. and BGS); Nursing; and Veterinary Medicine. In addition, students from the following programs who are working in health care settings or conducting biomedical-related research are also encouraged to attend: School of Social Work and Practice; School of Engineering and Applied Science; and Pre-Health studies. Any interested student is welcome to participate. To learn more about IPSAG, please read the IPSAG Charge.

For additional resources, check out the Health Sciences Student Resources Guide.

Upcoming Events & Opportunities

What are you doing this summer? Stop by the new #IPSAG bulletin board to answer this question at the Biomedical Library! The bulletin board is located in the hallway leading up to the security desk.

Consider submitting an abstract to present your research, education, and/or practice activities at the 4th Annual Penn in Latin America and Caribbean (PLAC) Conference to be held in Sept-October 2018. This year's theme is Climate Change, Resilience, and Environmental Justice in Latin America and the Caribbean. Abstracts are due by July 20, 2018. And should be submitted

InterProfessional Course Opportunity in Fall 2018
Title:      Innovation in Health: Foundations of Design Thinking 
Course Units:     1.0 c.u.
Course day/time: Monday, 4-7p
Catalogue Description:
Innovation, defined as a hypothesis-driven, testable, and disciplined strategy, is important to improve health and healthcare.  Employing new ways of thinking, such as with design thinking, will help open up possibilities of ways to improve health and the processes of healthcare. Additionally, incorporating current and emerging social and digital technologies such as mobile applications (“apps”), wearables, remote sensing, and 3D printing, affords new opportunities for innovation. This course provides foundational content and a disciplined approach to innovation as it applies to health and health care. A flipped classroom approach with the in-class component focusing on group learning through design thinking activities. The course is open to undergraduate nursing students as a case study, and upper-level undergraduate and graduate students from across the Penn campus. The course provides a theoretical foundation in design thinking and may provide an overview of innovation technology and digital strategies as well as social and process change strategies.
To enhance the didactic component, students will actively participate in a design case study. Students will be matched by interest and skill level with teams and will work with community-based organizations, healthcare providers and/or innovation partners. Student teams will meet with their partners to identify and refine a health or healthcare problem to tackle. Students will work throughout the semester to create an innovative solution that will be pitched to their community-based organization, healthcare provider and/or innovation partner at the end of the semester.
Placement:         Undergraduate Case Study 300 Level (N357), and Undergraduate & Graduate Elective – 500 Level (N573)
Faculty:                Marion Leary RN MSN MPH
Prerequisite:     Completed freshman and sophomore level courses
Course Overview:
A foundational knowledge of design thinking is central to creating and implementing innovative solutions to problems in health and health care. This is paramount to the education of all disciplines with an interest in addressing health needs by incorporating a disciplined approach to innovation into their armamentarium of knowledge and skills.  By the end of the course student teams will have a firm understanding of the Design Thinking model, and other innovations used to solve difficult health and healthcare issues. Students will work in teams, identify a health problem in collaboration with community-based groups, healthcare providers and/or innovation partners, formulate a clear problem statement, and develop an innovative solution based on the five steps of Design Thinking: Empathy, Define, Ideate, Prototype, and Test. The curriculum incorporates the latest trends in health care innovation and employs collaboration with other professionals and faculty across diverse disciplines. The final products will include a storyboard or wireframes, business canvas model, and a 5-minute pitch and pitch deck.
Course Objectives:
1.            Examine the theoretical foundations of innovation and design thinking as they relate to health and healthcare.
2.            Develop an innovation initiative to address a health, health care, or public health need or disparity identified in conjunction with community-based organizations, healthcare provider and/or innovation group stakeholders.
3.            Employ the tools needed to identify a problem, clearly define a problem, explore solutions, rapidly test, determine impact and the strategies to implement and bring to scale
4.            Collaborate with a multidisciplinary team of students and stakeholders to plan and design an innovation project.
Course Competencies:
•             Identify issues that negatively affect health and health care delivery
•             Discover the core problem to be solved through in-depth contextual inquiry
•             Clearly define the problem to be solved and the measurable outcome (the metric) to be shifted
•             Broadly explore multiple possibilities to uncover attributes of effective solutions
•             Conduct rapid, low cost experiments to test potential solutions
•             Determine the impact of the best solution and strategies to implement and bring to scale
Teaching Methods:
This course is designed as a flipped classroom approach (in-class and online). Didactic lectures will take place through online video tutorials. Assigned readings/video lectures will be reviewed in class. Students will work in groups and perform hands-on Design Thinking activities during in-class sessions.


Interprofessional Education:

  • Students hearing and learning from each other
  • Students engaging in conversations with faculty, staff, and alum

Input in Library Resources & Services:

  • 3D Printing service
  • New resources such as GraphPad Prism
  • Equipment lending
  • Upcoming renovation

On Thursday March 26th, 2018, IPSAG partnered with Penn Health-Tech and the School of Nursing to hold #ExtremeByDesign at Class of 1978 Pavilion in the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center. About 35 students, staff, faculty, and alum from SON, SEAS, PSOM, Wharton, Penn Design, SAS, Vet, and PCI along with clinicians from CHOP and external visitors watched Extreme By Design, a documentary that focuses on health sciences, engineering, business, and design graduate students who are taking an interdisciplinary service learning course at Stanford. In this course, the students use design thinking skills to design and build prototypes for low-cost devices that address health and environmental problems they observe abroad.

Following the documentary screening, there was an interdisciplinary panel co-moderated by Aman (the Community Health & Engineering Librarian) and Marion Leary (SON/PSOM). The panelists were:

  • Ocek Eke (SEAS)

  • Pamela Cacchione (SON)

  • Brian Litt (PSOM, SEAS, and Penn Health-Tech)

  • Karen Meador (Wharton alum)

  • Sarah Rottenberg (Penn Design and SEAS)

They discussed their overall impressions of the documentary, their experiences in interdisciplinary teams, and similar opportunities at Penn.

Following the panel discussion, undergraduate engineering students, Erica, Julia, and Kate, discussed their impressions of the documentary and experiences in service learning courses at Penn. Afterwards, there were light refreshments served. For a complete list of credentials of the panelists, students, and co-moderators, visit

On Monday February 26, 2018, IPSAG partnered with the Student Healthcare Alliance at PEnn (SHAPE), OneHealth, GAPSA, the Medical Student Government, and the School of Nursing Student Government to hold an event titled "Opioid Crisis: Interdisciplinary Perspectives" in the Fagin Hall Auditorium. About 120 students from PSOM, SON, Vet, and SP2 registered for this event. Faculty presenting PSOM, SON, and PennVet discussed the opioid crisis from their points of view as health sciences professionals.

The IPSAG BodyViz Demo was held on Monday February 5th, 2018 in the Biomedical Library Conference Room. There were about 15 people in attendance including several folks from Penn Libraries, a faculty member from the School of Nursing, and dental and med students. Everyone provided the BodyViz representative feedback on the immersive anatomy and virtual dissection tool. This feedback will help the Biomedical, Vet, and Dental Libraries decide whether or not to purchase BodyViz or similar tools.

The Spring 2018 IPSAG Virtual Reality Anatomy Demo & Lunch was held on Tuesday January 16th in the Biomedical Library Conference Room. There were 30 people in attendance including students and faculty representing Vet, PSOM, Dental Schools along with other health sciences-related programs throughout Penn. Students provided feedback on the Visible Body app, videos, and modules. This feedback will help the Biomedical, Vet, and Dental Libraries decide whether or not to purchase the app.

On October 31st from 12pm to 1:30pm, 25 student representing Vet, PSOM, and SON attended the IPSAG Halloween Lunch at the Hill Pavilion, the home of the Vet School Library. Students focused their discussion on OneHealth, the intersection of environmental, animal, and human health. Students also provided suggestions on how to increase increase across the schools via interactive activities and other learning experiences at the Biomedical Library.

24 students attended the Fall 2017 IPSAG Welcome (Back) Lunch held on Sept 6th in the Biomedical Library Conference Room. The students represented CAS/SAS, Vet, Nursing, PSOM, and Dental. The students met 8 health sciences librarians from the STEM Libraries as well as Dr. Rosemary Polomano, a faculty from the School of Nursing who teaches the popular interprofessional course on Pain. The group discussed summer experiences including research/clinical experiences, courses, internships, travel, and exam prep. Some students commented on the library services including:

  • BoardVitals (an exam prep tool for students taking the USMLE)
  • Biomedical Library
    • hours
    • hot water dispenser
    • availability of virtual consultations
  • Kislak Center (6th floor of Van Pelt Library)
  • Education Commons (the bookless library inside the stadium)

2 graduate students attended the Spring 2017 IPSAG Meeting held on April 5th in the Biomedical Library Conference Room. The students represented SAS, the Vet School, and PSOM. The students met with health sciences librarians and Dr. Gregg Lipschik, the Coordinator of InterProfessional Education at PSOM. The group discussed interprofessionalism at Penn in both curriculuar and extracurricular ways. For example, the One Health Initiative provides research funding and lectures geared towards Vet, Med, and Public Health students. Med and BGS students mingle at social events. Health sciences PhD students are encouraged to take courses in each other's programs. There is a lot of overlapping coursework that future clinicians should take together. Some academic buildings restrict access to those only students, staff, and faculty within certain programs and schools, so it can be hard for students to attend events outside of their programs.

The group also talked about how graduate students who are participating in research activities would be available for IPSAG breakfasts in Fall 2017. However, the timing may not work out for all students. Students have classes throughout the day. IPSAG may also change its name in the future to be more inclusive.

During the second half of the meeting, students provided feedback on the proposed Biomedical Library website such as including mouse-overs that provide additional information about library staff, databases, and widget sections. Students discussed using Browzine, Articles +, Franklin, and FindIt. Reserving a room and accessing the proxy were also things students did when going to the Biomedical Library website. Students will have two weeks to share the new design with other health sciences students and provide additional feedback to librarians.

7 students attended the Spring 2017 IPSAG Lightning Talks held on February 15th in the Biomedical Library Conference Room. Alfredo, a student and research coordinator, talked a virtual reality study that he is involved in. He is looking for more participants and partner organizations.

Rebecca, a library intern, discussed her experiences piloting a new library service in the School of Nursing, which led to a larger discussion about libraries, resources, and services. Students gave suggestions on how to strategically implement a satellite reference program (librarians setting up temporary reference desks outside of libraries).

We discussed that libraries are awesome study spaces. Librarians are in a great position to help students navigate Penn's many resources and services through one-on-one consultations, orientations, and workshops.

The Fall 2016 IPSAG Student Lightning Talks event was held on Wednesday November 9th. 4 students attended representing PSOM and the College. Students shared experiences regarding research projects and library usage. The BGS students discussed research projects along with software needs, thesis writing, data management, and database alerts. A BIBB student talked about the Minority Association of Pre-Health Students (MAPS) and collaborative study spaces. Students gave librarians feedback on book requests and workshop availability.

The Fall 2016 IPSAG Reception was held on Wednesday September 14th. 11 students attended representing Vet, Nursing, SAS, SEAS, & Wharton. Students shared summer experiences including mentoring students on campus, working in labs, interning around the world, and completing research projects. Students and librarians conversed about online classes, cool places to visit in Philadelphia, and changes in library spaces.

George Lin, a researcher from the Center of Resuscitation Science, shared information regarding a virtual reality study. If you are interested in learning more about the study, please email him at

Loading ...

Community Health & Engineering Librarian/IPSAG Coordinator

Aman Kaur's picture
Aman Kaur
University of Pennsylvania Libraries
Biomedical Library
Johnson Pavilion
3610 Hamilton Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Director of STEM Libraries & Director of Biomedical Library


University of Pennsylvania Libraries

Biomedical Library

Johnson Pavilion

3610 Hamilton Walk

Philadelphia, PA 19105