October 2010


The reorganization of the health sciences and the promotion of interdisciplinary research and study at the University of Minnesota forty years ago affected not only administrators and faculty, but students as well. Sensing an opportunity to include themselves as part of the movement toward interdisciplinary education, students within the health sciences organized the Council for Health Interdisciplinary Participation, or CHIP. Today the acronym remains but it stands for the Center for Health Interprofessional Programs.

From its beginning, CHIP focused on projects developed by student members seen as a way to reach out into communities and provide new educational perspectives for students. These projects included recruiting minority students into the various health sciences programs, staffing St. Mary’s detoxification unit, working with the College of Pharmacy to create a drug educational seminar, and designing a national program on the education and eradication of venereal diseases.

CHIP also sponsored guest speakers to discuss health care topics not covered in their coursework. Two early notable speakers included Dr. Evan Shute and his advocacy for mega doses of vitamin E to combat disease and Dr. Andrew Weil, then a researcher at the National Institute of Mental Health, who discussed recent research on marijuana in his talk “Altered States of Consciousness: Drugs and Society.”

The Alumni News magazine wrote a profile on CHIP and its early accomplishments in the October 1972 issue. Read the article below.