For fifty years, health care teams have been a misunderstood, undervalued, and neglected part of health care. Yet, as Drinka and Clark make clear, well functioning interdisciplinary health care teams (IHCTs) have the potential to help the health care system face its demons-financial constraints and comprehensive error-free care. Because of misunderstandings, administrators, funders, and policy makers keep the potential for interdisciplinary teams hidden. Health care educators teach versions of teamwork that are inadequate and clinicians cling to automous modes of practice. IHCTs have characteristics and problems that are unique to health care settings and the health providers who work in them. Drinka and Clark present a groundbreaking attempt to develop a comprehensive framework for IHCTs. They intend to empower clinicians who work on teams and educators who teach teamwork to impart the basic essentials of effective interdisciplinary teamwork in the health professions. Until w, much of the thinking about IHCTs has been drawn from the research and practice literature from other fields, such as business and group dynamics, which may be of only limited relevance to health care settings. Drinka and Clark present new ways of thinking about team development and maintenance, leadership, conflict, the science and art of practice, communication, and team members as teachers and learners. Anyone who is currently working in health care or is considering a career in health care should read this book.
THERESA J. K. DRINKA worked for 20 years with interdisciplinary health care teams as a clinician, trainer, administrator, and researcher at the University of Wisconsin and the Department of Veterans Affairs./e In 1996 she founded River's Edge Consulting and codeveloped Team Signatures, a unique technology that allows trainers to evaluate a team's changing dynamics. PHILLIP G. CLARK is Professor of Gerontology and the Director of both the Program in Gerontology and the Rhode Island Geriatric Education Center at The University of Rhode Island./e He has extensive experience in teaching interdisciplinary health care team courses, developing interdisciplinary health care research and demonstration projects, and consulting on interdisciplinary educational development and evaluation projects in the U.S. and Canada.