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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Implementation of interprofessional education (IPE) in 16 U.S. medical schools: Common practices, barriers and facilitators.

  • Author(s): West, Courtney
  • Graham, Lori
  • Palmer, Ryan T
  • Miller, Marissa Fuqua
  • Thayer, Erin K
  • Stuber, Margaret L
  • Awdishu, Linda
  • Umoren, Rachel A
  • Wamsley, Maria A
  • Nelson, Elizabeth A
  • Joo, Pablo A
  • Tysinger, James W
  • George, Paul
  • Carney, Patricia A
  • et al.

BACKGROUND:Enhanced patient outcomes and accreditation criteria have led schools to integrate interprofessional education (IPE). While several studies describe IPE curricula at individual institutions, few examine practices across multiple institutions. PURPOSE:To examine the IPE integration at different institutions and determine gaps where there is potential for improvement. METHOD:In this mixed methods study, we obtained survey results from 16 U.S. medical schools, 14 of which reported IPE activities. RESULTS:The most common collaboration was between medical and nursing schools (93%). The prevalent format was shared curriculum, often including integrated modules (57%). Small group activities represented the majority (64%) of event settings, and simulation-based learning, games and role-play (71%) were the most utilized learning methods. Thirteen schools (81.3%) reported teaching IPE competencies, but significant variation existed. Gaps and barriers in the study include limitations of using a convenience sample, limited qualitative analysis, and survey by self-report. CONCLUSIONS:Most IPE activities focused on the physician role. Implementation challenges included scheduling, logistics and financial support. A need for effective faculty development as well as measures to examine the link between IPE learning outcomes and patient outcomes were identified.

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