TEACHING QUALITY IMPROVEMENT: INTERDISCIPLINARY RELATIONSHIPS

M.A. Martínez, I. Ares, E. Ramos, A. Romero, V. Castellano, M. Martínez

Universidad Complutense de Madrid (SPAIN)
Toxicology is the science of chemical safety. Aim and mission of toxicology is to identify potential harmful effects of chemical compounds to humans, animals and the environment, and to provide for their prevention and treatments. Appropriate experimentations and expert judgment allow to minimize the probability of the occurrence of adverse effects, which in the past has sometimes been of catastrophic dimension. Toxicology is a multidisciplinary science based upon basis sciences such as Physiology, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Chemistry, Pharmacology, Pathology, Epidemiology and several others. Comprehensive education and training on and up-to-date level of toxicological science is mandatory. Applied Toxicology covers five fundamental areas: general toxicology, analytical toxicology, clinical toxicology mechanistic and toxicological evaluation. Learning to work effectively with other disciplines can be a challenge. Each discipline has its own set of assumptions, values, and priorities, and it is important to be coordinated. There are many different models of interdisciplinary relationships. When professionals from various toxicology branches work together day to day in one setting, they often think of themselves as forming an interdisciplinary team, and yet interdisciplinary teams may function in other ways. For example, a group of individuals from various disciplines may meet periodically or episodically to review subjects or new advances in Toxicology. From various disciplines and external members may assure representation of diverse views. This is an interdisciplinary team too.

The interdisciplinary relationships in professional knowledge demonstrate and suggest the potential for significant ideas about one discipline, in this case Toxicology. Characteristics like positive quality of communication, capability, similar perspectives, cooperation, working together, interdependence, teamwork, collegial and professionalism are benefits of this exchange. The interdisciplinary team practice allows to improve organizational effectiveness, improve service to clients, synergistic effects, learning from other disciplines, mutual support, and team maturation as it grows from interdisciplinary tension. There are several specialized national and international associations on many subjects which can help to achieve these objectives in the field of Toxicology.