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Student Research Spotlight 
Ashley Poole (PsyD '20)

October 15, 2019

Doctor of clinical psychology student Ashley Poole explains her examination of healthcare students' perspectives on collaborative care and interprofessional education.

After graduating with her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Fayetteville State University, Ashley Poole (PsyD ’20) began working as a licensed professional counselor (LPC) in her home state of North Carolina. During that time, Ashley was able to apply the skills she’d learned in school to work with a wide range of mental health conditions, including specific treatment for sex offenders. After working as an LPC, Ashley decided to expand her skillset even further and enrolled in the doctor of clinical psychology program at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM).

What are you studying?

My research examines healthcare students' perspectives on collaborative care and working with other healthcare disciplines.

What prompted you to pursue research?

I’ve been working as a graduate assistant for the PCOM Interprofessional Education (IPE) program with Stephanie Felgoise, PhD, ABPP, associate dean, PCOM’s School of Professional and Applied Psychology, and the PCOM IPE team since 2016. Dr. Felgoise, who is also my dissertation chair, sparked my interest in the research for my dissertation. After reading extensively on IPE and collaborative practice, I noticed the need for on-going research regarding the best ways to implement IPE.

What experience do you have conducting research?

Most of my research experience has taken place here at PCOM. In 2017, I conducted and presented research on the relationship between social media and mental health at the American Psychological Association National Conference with Celine Thompson, PhD. Additionally, I have worked with David Festinger, PhD, director, substance abuse research and education, PCOM’s School of Professional and Applied Psychology, in the Philadelphia Drug Court using a brief intervention to link drug court participants to primary health care. Most recently, I was a contributing author on “Interprofessional Education: Collaboration and Learning in Action” which was published in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, alongside other PCOM faculty and students.

What were your responsibilities in the research project?

Along with my principal investigator, Dr. Felgoise, I will be collecting and analyzing the data for my research study. Participants will complete an online survey, which will include questions about their thoughts on collaborative practice with other healthcare disciplines. Additional research questions will explore ways of improving the IPE learning experiences at PCOM.

What is the broader impact of your research?

It’s known that interprofessional healthcare teams improve healthcare outcomes. It is my hope that this study will provide information to support the effective delivery of interprofessional education for students. I want to contribute to existing knowledge regarding the best way to prepare students to improve patient care. I also believe the interprofessional experiences I’ve had at PCOM have prepared me to work collaboratively with other disciplines in my role as a mental health professional.

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About Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

Founded in 1899, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) has trained thousands of highly competent, caring physicians, health practitioners and behavioral scientists who practice a “whole person” approach to care—treating people, not just symptoms. PCOM operates three campuses (PCOM, PCOM Georgia and PCOM South Georgia) and offers doctoral degrees in clinical psychology, educational psychology, osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy and school psychology, and graduate degrees in applied behavior analysis, applied positive psychology, biomedical sciences, forensic medicine, medical laboratory science, mental health counseling, non profit leadership and population health management, organizational development and leadership, physician assistant studies, school psychology, and public health management and administration. PCOM students learn the importance of health promotion, research, education and service to the community. Through its community-based Healthcare Centers, PCOM provides care to medically underserved populations. For more information, visit or call 215-871-6100.

For more information, contact:
Daniel McCunney
Associate Director, News and Media Relations
Office: 215-871-6304 | Cell: 267-449-1360

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