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Focus on interprofessional education

Sharon Ternullo


The World Health Organization has advocated for interprofessional education (IPE) worldwide since it published its position paper in 2010. Since then accrediting bodies of schools charged with educating health care professionals, have increasingly focused on the insertion of interprofessional education into their respective curriculums.  The ultimate goal is to train students to provide patient-centered care in a collaborative health care team. To accomplish this, schools must produce students who are skilled in collaborative practice and prepared to work effectively with other disciplines to provide safe, high quality, patient-oriented care during their advanced practice rotations and after graduation. IPE relies on direct multidisciplinary student contact in which students exchange information and learn from each other. IPE focuses on providing skills in four competency areas: values/ethics for practice, roles and responsibilities, interprofessional communication practices, and interprofessional teamwork and team-based practice. Logistics of transitioning curriculums from individual discipline-centered to interprofessional team-centered can be extremely difficult in the educational setting and in advanced rotations where practitioners and preceptors to demonstrate skills in this area may be lacking. Global studies of interprofessional education have showed positive outcomes with respect to learner satisfaction, student attitudes, and collaborative knowledge, skills, and behaviors. Research on the effect of interdisciplinary teamwork on patient care outcomes is emerging.



Interprofessional, education, healthcare, team-based practice


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