Law and Psychiatry Seminar: An Advanced Intervention in Interprofessional Education and Attitudinal Improvement

Mansfield Mela, Krista Trinder, Glen Luther, Marcel D'Eon


Background: The tenuous relationship between psychiatrists and lawyers does not serve mental health patients in conflict with the law or society well. The characteristic miscommunication that occurs, though premised on differential pedagogical constructs, presents an opportunity to intervene from the pre-licensure educationalstage with the hope of positively affecting future practice.

Methods: Law students and psychiatric residents were brought together to interact with each other and with instructors from the two fields through the Law and Psychiatry interprofessional seminar series. We examined the attitudes and perceived co-operation of learners in this seminar in comparison to a control group of law students (Human Rights class) who did not have any interprofessional interaction.

Findings: Learners in the interprofessional seminar series reported more positive attitudes toward members of the other profession after completing the course. Additional positive changes in the level of perception of and actual co-operation with the other profession were noted with high satisfaction among participants.

Conclusions: Learning activities that can foster positive interactions with and understanding of other professions may improve relations and collaboration in interprofessional education. The potential impact and benefit for the patient and the system are worthwhile.


interprofessional; education; law; psychiatry; collaboration

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