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



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.


To examine the IPE integration at different institutions and determine gaps where there is potential for improvement.


In this mixed methods study, we obtained survey results from 16 U.S. medical schools, 14 of which reported IPE activities.


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.


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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